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No matter your music taste and preferences, it’s almost certain you’ve heard of Drake. The artist who’s already made history in the music business many times before has done it yet again.

It was recently announced by a music industry Twitter account, Chart Data, that Drake became the first artist to achieve over 50,000,000,000 (yes, that’s billion!!) streams on the music platform Spotify.

Now, this is an incredible feat and those numbers are relatively difficult to really comprehend, which led us to looking into how exactly he achieved this. Using ChartMasters, we were able to see that Drake has racked up an astonishing number of lead streams (streams of his personal releases).

According to Ditto Music, Spotify currently pays out $0.00437 (£0.0032) per stream to the artist. From this finding, we decided to do a little research to find out who the top earners are when it comes to lead Spotify streams and how much they have earned from this.

Spotify’s Top Earners


This data, which covers a time span from when the artist first appeared on Spotify, shows us that Drake has made a staggering £114.3m from Spotify streams alone! The next artist on the list, Ed Sheeran, has earned £87.6m which is a relatively large gap between the two compared to the rest of the list.

Spotify’s Most Popular Artists

You’ll notice from the table above that when looking at the number of lead streams, Drake’s number doesn’t sit above the 50 billion mark. This is due to the remaining number of streams coming from his featured streams (where an artist features/makes a guest appearance in a song).

Whilst we can’t calculate earnings from these streams as there are a variety of ways an artists gets payment for these (up-front payment, a percentage of royalties, pro bono, etc), there are some interesting findings.


From this data we can see that the rank doesn’t change for any artist, however, the difference between positions one and two are now astonishing, with Drake having almost 70% more streams than Ed Sheeran!

Justin Bieber makes his way from 8th place to 3rd place by having the second largest amount of featured streams, whilst Ariana Grande makes the reverse change of this.

An incredibly interesting accomplishment is that Coldplay and Billie Eilish both remained on the top 20 list whilst having zero featured streams, which is a true testament to their popularity (we know that saying that about Coldplay may cause some serious discussions).

Is there anyone on this list that you were surprised to see, or not see for that matter? And who do you think is going to be the next person to reach the 50bn stream milestone?

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