Spotify now no longer generates revenue for tracks that have fewer than 1,000 streams.

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Spotify has now stopped monetizing any tracks with fewer than 1,000 streams. This policy, which began on April 1, 2024, follows an announcement last year that only tracks surpassing a threshold of 1,000 plays over the past 12 months will count towards royalty calculations. Spotify notes in a blog post that 99.5% of streams are for tracks above this threshold, suggesting that the remaining tracks will likely earn more.

Additionally, Spotify has introduced a requirement for a minimum number of unique listeners to qualify for royalties, aimed at preventing manipulation by those artificially inflating stream counts. Changes also affect “functional” genres like white noise, which now must be played for at least two minutes, up from 30 seconds, to earn revenue.

The move has sparked significant backlash from parts of the music community. This week, the United Musicians and Allied Workers claimed on X that these statistics might be greatly exaggerated, with their analysis indicating that 86% of Spotify’s content might not meet the new streaming criteria for earning royalties.

The United Musicians and Allied Workers recently launched the Make Streaming Pay campaign, pushing for a fairer revenue distribution for artists on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. They are advocating for the new Living Wage For Musicians Bill, introduced to the US Congress in March, designed to help artists and musicians forge sustainable careers in today’s digital landscape. More details about the initiative can be found on their website.

As political and public demands for improved royalty payments escalate, Spotify is seeking additional revenue streams to address its financial deficits. Despite going public in 2018, the company has reported losses each year. Recently, it was disclosed that Spotify plans to adjust and increase its subscription prices.

According to Bloomberg, the streaming service will hike monthly fees by $1 to $2 in various regions, including the UK, Australia, and Pakistan, to offset costs associated with new offerings like audiobooks introduced in late 2023 and the recent addition of video learning content.

To accommodate users not interested in audiobooks, Spotify will also introduce a new basic tier package, part of several pricing updates. Following this announcement, Spotify’s stock price rose by 4.6%, though the long-term effects remain uncertain.

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