Only 0.4% of musicians in the UK make enough money from streaming revenues to live off

A new 224-page study titled ‘Music Creators’ Earnings in the Digital Era’ has dived straight into how many artists in the UK actually make a living from streaming revenues, and the results are shocking. According to the study, only 0.4% of artists in the UK actually make enough money from digital streaming services to live off comfortably.

Published by the UK Intellectual Property Office, the research was based off data collected from 2014 to 2020 and results from study groups done with artists. But what amount of money and streams can be considered to make a living off? Those that are consistently making 1 million streams a month – which is very few, and adds up to be around £2,00 and £3,700 a month – can say that they can exclusively live off the money made from digital music platforms, and that is the 0.4% of UK artists equal to 1,723.

In the report, it states:

“… a sustained achievement of around one million UK streams per month may be some kind of guide to a minimum threshold for making a sustainable living out of music, at least in cases where UK streams are complemented by non-UK streams and other sources of income … The number of artists achieving one million UK streams or more in October 2020 was 1,723 … or 0.41% of all artists [in our dataset].”

Image credit: UK IPO

Also in the report, it states that the vast majority of the artists that make up the tiny percentage are signed to massive record labels with independent artists hardly making up any of those numbers, their group being way less. This report also follows another study recently, which showed that 76% of the top streamed artists on Spotify made under $50,000 on the platform, with only around 13,400 musicians earning over $50,00 and around 870 earning over $1 million. You can read about that here.

The full ‘Music Creators’ Earnings in the Digital Era’ report is available to read here.


Image credit: Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

A 24 year old dance music enthusiast from Manchester, UK. Lover of all genres, especially dubstep and house. Find me at gigs and festivals across the world.

[email protected]