Any idea how many Spotify plays it takes for a band to turn a profit?
Business is business is business. You? You're a consumer. A consumer, for example, of this website's content.
And of your favorite band's music. And your second favorite band. And the band that you like but you're not crazy about.
That band—the emerging band—is in a pretty tough spot, because it needs you and everybody else to discover it, perhaps through streaming services like Spotify, and it needs revenue so it can keep making music.
Here's how much money one band estimates it makes per Spotify play: $0.009. That's not a typo. It's almost one cent. And we know what one cent is worth. A post on TheNextWeb estimates that, at that rate, the band needs more than 5,000 plays to break even (based on how much it costs to have a service digitally distribute the music). To make $50 profit, they'd need another 5,000 plays.
This is in line with much earlier reports from bands, like this very thorough look at what a band made on various different services a year ago—including, crucially what they make if you just bought the music through their Bandcamp site or on CD or vinyl.