Expert says you can make $1,200/month in Spotify royalties with 30-second ‘song’—using your phone to play on repeat

@1kperdayaffiliate/TikTok r.classen/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Alternate between different countries on a vpn’: Expert says you can make $1,200/month in Spotify royalties with 30-second ‘song’—using your phone to play on repeat

‘Alternate between different countries on a vpn’


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Sep 17, 2023

In a viral TikTok, a man claimed that viewers can make more than $1,200 a month by uploading a 30-second clip on Spotify. He’s wrong.

In the video, user Steffan Watson (@1kperdayaffiliate), who shares his strategies for making side hustle income and his journey as an affiliate marketer, breaks down what seems like a simple enough way to make an extra $1,200 a month, or $14,400 a year.

@1kperdayaffiliate If you want more tips on how to start your own side gustle, ask me how… #sidehustlesthatwork #sidehustlesforanyone2023 #bestsidehustles2023 #howtomakemoneyonline #onlineincomeopportunities ♬ EL NOPAL – Goliath Flores

In the video, he shared that JPMorgan, more widely recognized for Chase bank, reported that users could make about $1,200 monthly uploading 30-second songs on the streaming service. Apparently, the person’s phone would have to be programmed to listen to the clip on repeat the entire day.

The JPMorgan analysis was reported by the Financial Times earlier this month. However, CEO Daniel Ek quickly debunked the analysis in a post to X (formerly Twitter).

“If that were true, my own playlist would just be ‘Daniel’s 30-second Jam’ on repeat!” Ek said. “But seriously, that’s not quite how our royalty system works.” 

Spotify’s systems are programmed to “regularly detect and remove artificial streams before payouts reach significant levels,” a spokesperson for the popular streaming service told Business Insider.

In recent years, there has been an uptick in fake music on the site, and JPMorgan estimated that up to 10% of all streams are artificial.

The video has more than 5.4 million views and 800 comments.

“Contrary to what you might have heard, Spotify does not pay artist royalties according to a per-play or per-stream rate; the royalty payments that artists receive might vary according to differences in how their music is streamed or the agreements they have with labels or distributors,” Spotify says on its website.

In most cases, artists get their royalty payments monthly, but the exact amount they receive varies based on their agreement with their record label, distributor, publisher, or collection society. Spotify pays the artists or songwriters their cut after the rightsholder.

“Spotify has no knowledge of the agreements that artists and songwriters sign with their labels, publishers, or collecting societies, so we can’t answer why a rightsholder’s payment comes to a particular amount in a particular month,” the royalty explainer reads.

However, this payment structure seemingly wouldn’t be an issue for individuals trying to recreate the debunked TikTok side hustle since they would likely be the rightsholder and get the Spotify payment directly versus through a third party.

Commenters who weren’t aware the claim had been debunked shared their own speculations about how they’d make the money-making strategy work in their favor.

“To pull this off you would probably need to use a VPN and make it appear that the plays are coming from other locations than your own,” a person said.

“Buy a bunch of cheap Walmart phones and have multiple phones doing this, if it really worked,” another wrote.

While many expressed disbelief about the method’s legality and validity, one claimed they’ve done this successfully.

“I’ve actually done this for so many friends and local scene music careers cause they really good,” the commenter shared.

The Daily Dot reached out to Watson via Instagram DM and to Spotify via email for comment.

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*First Published: Sep 17, 2023, 5:14 pm CDT