Use Your Spotify Wrapped For Good – Support Your Favorite Small Artists

December 6, 2022

By Brendan Shepherd, Head of Brand Partnerships @ BYGMusic

The annual release of Spotify Wrapped has become a holiday season tradition for music lovers, an event when we see all the delicious data about our listening habits for the year, including time spent, variety of genres, favorite tracks, etc.  Fun fact – I listened to Spotify more than 91% of other listeners in the United States. 

Of course Spotify Wrapped makes great social content as listeners share their results and others create memes, and all that is entertaining. 

But this year I also viewed my Spotify Wrapped as an invoice and needed to settle the bill. 

Not an invoice from Spotify – they get my money every month. I am talking about paying the artists for the art that is ever-present in my life.

One of my favorite features of Spotify Wrapped is “Your top artist” and how many minutes we “spent together.” For me, I listened to nearly 2,400 minutes (and counting) of Kevin Morby in 2022. When seeing that stat, I knew it made sense. I listened to him a lot this year. (He’s amazing if you are not familiar. Of course he is, he lives in Kansas City.) I listened to him so much that Spotify let me know that I am in the top 0.1% of all Kevin Morby listeners this year.

Even with me being a huge Spotify listener and specifically one of Kevin Morby’s most active listeners – he did not make any significant money from my personal streaming use. In fact, I estimated that Kevin Morby made between $2.05 and $3.42 from Spotify on my behalf, depending on which per stream revenue number you use. 

That’s right. Kevin Morby made roughly between $2.00 to $3.50 for providing me with 40 hours of music. An entire work week of tunes for me and he can’t even buy a latte with the proceeds. 

That didn’t feel right to me. 

Here was an artist who entertained me most handsomely all year long – made me dance, made me cry, made me rip some mean air guitar.

Recognizing that I have never seen him live (and thereby providing some support through a ticket purchase), I felt the ledger was out of whack. So I went to his website and bought some merch – the new album on vinyl – knowing a large portion of this purchase is revenue that will go directly to him. It’s a tough hustle for music artists to make a career out of their art, so us fans need to do our part.

If music fans don’t take care of their favorite small artists, no one will. We can all be patrons of the arts.

So my suggestion for the season is that besides sharing the Spotify Wrapped results on social media, listeners should also buy some merch directly from some of the smaller artists on their list, a token of appreciation for the meaningful art they create that we spend so much of our lives listening to. If not buying it for yourself, artist merch from small artists make great holiday gifts. Share with your friends and family the music that you have been listening to all year, and help out your favorite artists in the process.