2017 might be ending, but that doesn’t mean the endless interest and debate in the streaming wars are coming to a close. Case and point, yesterday Portishead band member Geoff Barrow posed the question on Twitter, had anyone really made more than 500 pounds off Spotify?
From one corner of the industry, the answer was a resounding yes, as Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest shared that on his non-Matador releases — recorded and written at home, and also available on Bandcamp — he’d made around $30,000. It’s not an enormous number, but it’s certainly a good amount more than what naysayers of streaming apps and numbers would be expecting.
“Since 2013 I’ve made almost $30k from spotify streams of non-matador albums,” Toledo wrote. “I use Distrokid. Income from those streams (again, not even counting my two most recent albums) would be enough to support me month to month. Not trying to brag, I just want some transparency. I see a lot of voices of authority disparaging streaming services as a source of income, and as someone who actually came up using them, it always seemed much better than relying on album sales.”
As a musician who built a significant fanbase off the streaming platform, Spotify, and turned that into a full-fledged label deal, Toledo definitely has a different perspective than someone like Barrow, who came up in the traditional label model. Yet, it seems more and more likely that future stars will come up in the way that Toledo did. And if he’s earning what is reasonably enough to support himself monthly off streams, that’s definitely a factor to keep in mind as this debate continues to rage on.