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Here are the US states where music producers can actually make a living wage

Here are the US states where music producers can actually make a living wage

How many Spotify streams are needed to earn the average wage in America? 

To earn the average US wage from Spotify streams, artists would need more than 400,000 streams every week!

Attention music makers! Mississippi would be the best place in America to earn a living as an artist on Spotify, a new study has revealed. 

The analysis by Pirate, the world’s leading provider of rehearsal and recording facilities for artists, compared the average weekly wage in each state with the average amount an artist earns from a single Spotify stream, to discover how many plays would be needed to earn a standard wage across the country.  

The results reveal that Mississippi residents would require the fewest Spotify streams to earn the average wage, with the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that the average weekly wage in the state is $933.  This means that, based on industry estimates of $0.0032 per stream on the platform, an artist would need to generate 291,563 streams each week to match the wage.  That equates to 15,161,250 streams per year to earn the state’s average annual salary of $48,516. 

A music artist living in Arkansas – where the second-fewest Spotify streams would be needed to match the state’s average wage – would need more than one million more streams each year than in Mississippi. The average weekly wage in Arkansas is $1,036, which requires 323,750 streams per week, and 16,835,000 over a whole year. 

Third on the list is West Virginia, with a slightly higher average weekly salary of $1,042 which translates to 325,625 streams per week.  

Top ten states where the fewest Spotify streams are needed to earn an average wage:

State Average weekly wageStreams per weekStreams per monthStreams per year
Mississippi $                      933 291,563 1,263,438 15,161,250 
Arkansas $                   1,036 323,750 1,402,917 16,835,000 
West Virginia $                   1,042 325,625 1,411,042 16,932,500 
Oklahoma $                   1,047 327,188 1,417,813 17,013,750 
South Dakota $                   1,052 328,750 1,424,583 17,095,000 
Montana $                   1,059 330,938 1,434,063 17,208,750 
Idaho $                   1,063 332,188 1,439,479 17,273,750 
South Carolina $                   1,079 337,188 1,461,146 17,533,750 
Kentucky $                   1,082 338,125 1,465,208 17,582,500 

At the other end of the scale, aspiring music stars living in Washington need more than half a million streams each week – 517,813 – to match the state’s average weekly income of $1,657, which is the highest in the country. That works out to a massive 26,926,250 streams needed per year.  

Massachusetts has the second highest number of streams needed to match its average weekly wage of $1,651, with 515,938 plays required, while New York is just behind in third with 502,500 streams needed to match $1,608 per week. 

Nationally, the average wage across the US is $1,334 per week, which translates to 416,875 streams per week.  

Top ten states where most Spotify streams are needed to earn an average wage:

StateAverage weekly wageStreams per weekStreams per monthStreams per year
Washington $                   1,657 517,813 2,243,854 26,926,250 
Massachusetts $                   1,651 515,938 2,235,729 26,828,750 
New York $                   1,608 502,500 2,177,500 26,130,000 
California $                   1,601 500,313 2,168,021 26,016,250 
Connecticut $                   1,491 465,938 2,019,063 24,228,750 
New Jersey $                   1,461 456,563 1,978,438 23,741,250 
Colorado $                   1,432 447,500 1,939,167 23,270,000 
Maryland $                   1,418 443,125 1,920,208 23,042,500 
Virginia $                   1,380 431,250 1,868,750 22,425,000 

Commenting on the study, a spokesperson for Pirate said:

“This study offers a fascinating insight into the scale of success an artist would need just to earn the average wage from Spotify across America. To earn around one thousand dollars a week from Spotify, an artist would need to have more than 15 million streams per year. Obviously artists will rely on multiple streams of income rather than earning from just one platform, but this still shows the heights that performers have to reach to have the chance of earning a living solely from music.” 

There you have it. If you’re already making music and lucky enough to live in one of the states with the highest payouts, kudos! For everyone else, might it be time for a move?

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