The facts about my streaming income and why I have a lot of respect for Lady Gaga.

I had a friend ask me the following question on Facebook and I think they were a bit shocked by my response.

The question was “If I played your music 24×7 for a month, how much would you actually get?”

And my answer was, “maybe $40 dollars“.

Well, that’s the direct answer to the question.  The full answer was this: “At an average of 0.004 cent(s) a stream, maybe $40 dollars. That is if you were to stream it on Spotify or Apple Music. For satellite radio, it would depend on the station and how often

If I figure an average of 4 minutes per song , that’s 15 songs an hour, which equates to 360 songs a day, for a total of 10,800 during a 30 day period. At 4/10 of a cent on average that’s about $43. Then of course the distributor gets its portion. So… about $40.

Now, the average that I came up with is the pooled average of the major streaming providers, such as Spotify and Apple Music.  Some pay more, some pay less, and it all depends on the duration of the play itself, along with if the consumer was a paid service consumer or using the free platform.  Overall it varies, but on average, from all the streaming sales I receive from all of the platforms, it comes out to be about 0.004 cents per stream.

If you take that average and apply it to my top song on Spotify as shown below:



You can see that through Spotify, my song V Feeling from Ambient Highways has a total of 1,768 plays for an approximate net income of $7.00 US dollars. For what it’s worth, as of April of this year, Ambient Highways, which is one of my best received album, has only netted me a total of about $250 US Dollars via Streaming, Digital Downloads, etc. across all platforms since it’s release in July of 2015.   I’m basing that value on actual sales data from Streaming and Digital downloads as of April 2017 from my sales analysis chart, and adding perhaps $40 to it that comes from people who have subscribed to me on Bandcamp, and a couple of other donations from folks.

I’m not detailing this to whine or complain, I’m just detailing some facts in case your curious. We are entering a world where the majority of music consumption is going to be wholly based on streaming services.  In fact, I’d say we are technically already there.

That isn’t to say though, that there isn’t money to be made from streaming revenue.  For instance, let’s take someone like Lady Gaga.  Use the following snapshot from Spotify as a reference:


So the title track from her album “The Cure” released on Spotify only a month and a half ago has brought in 79,160,215 streams.  At $0.004 cents per stream on average (Of course her average may be completely different depending on her labels deal with Spotify, etc), that comes to a total of about $316,640 US Dollars.  That’s almost 1/3 of a million dollars on ONE SONG ALONE after ONLY a month and a half.  I’m sure that’s not the total net that Lady Gaga is getting from that.  There is certainly a large portion that goes to the label, and surely she has to pay for her staff, etc.  But let’s say just pretend that on a pretty solid guess, she’s netting about 1/3rd of that herself or $100K US.  Not bad for only a month and a half, right?   It’s details like this that make me question the reasoning behind some other major players not wanting their music on the streaming services (such as ehem, Taylor Swift).  I mean c’mon… In a streaming world, there is definitely some income to be made from it.

So now let’s take the top 5 songs and sum up their stream counts as of today for Lady Gaga.  Again using the image above as reference, that’s 552,374,224 streams (552 million folks!) at an estimated average of $0.004 cents per stream equates to $2,209,496.90 in streaming revenue from Spotify.  Let’s apply the 1/3 factor to take care of her label and other expenses, which comes to $736,498.  Nearly 1 million US dollars on just the top 5 from Spotify.

Spotify was officially launched in 2008, and I’m unsure when Lady Gaga first showed up on the platform, but let’s assume at the same time. That’s also about the time that her album “The Fame” was released, in which included Poker Face which is one of the top 5 albums.    Let’s take that total of $2,209,496.90 from the top 5 songs, divided by the number of years Spotify has been officially launched and you come up with an average of $245,499 per year of streaming income. (Note, I’m positive that in the early years there wasn’t that much generated, and it has only increased over time, it’s just an average.).  Apply the safe guestimate of 1/3 that goes direct to her and you have $81,833 on average per year of estimated personal income.  Remember that’s ONLY for the top 5 songs, and ONLY from Spotify.

Ok, so I’m not a real fan of Lady Gaga.  Sure she has some catchy tunes here and there, but I’m generally not a big fan of pop music, but you have to have some respect for the fact that she’s certainly getting some solid income from streaming services.

Ok, so now with all of that said, at this stage in my music career I know I’m not going to make a living just by getting my music on the streaming platforms TODAY.  And I may never amass the number of streams that Lady Gaga receives, but I certainly won’t discount an opportunity to be heard on any streaming platform such as Spotify.  You never know WHERE you’ll find your audience.

In the mean time, I’m working on getting my music licensed for TV and Film, and if you are a follower of mine, you know my ultimate goal is to compose music for film for a living.  I’m just working on it one day at a time, and one thing at a time.  Always saying “Yes” until I can’t anymore.  You never know where that sudden spike in listeners may come from.  I have to think of creative ways that allow folks to help support these endeavors.  For instance, check out some of the ways you can help support me via my support page here!

As an artist, you are just going to have to accept the fact that this is the world these days, and there is certainly an income to be made from streaming music.  Would you rather make a fraction of a cent off of a stream of your music, rather than nothing at all from your music being pirated and given away free without your permission?

Take a step back, and look at the big picture.  Don’t give up hope.

I’ll take that fraction of a cent any day.

– Keith


Expanding my horizons and the Microsoft Cloud Show


I’ve known for a long time that in order to be successful in the music industry, especially for someone who doesn’t tour right now, that I needed to expand my horizons in order to get my music heard.

That’s why I’ve been working with other people to collaborate on music as well as offering my music for use in projects etc. that I have great interest in.

I thought I would share some of those collaborations and tidbits with you that you may have missed.

Smoking Land

First comes a student short film created by Axel Henneberg.  .

Axel is a film student of the Prague film school, and he has used some of the music from my award winning album “Ambient Highways” for his short film titled Smoking Land.

Smoking Land – A Noir Short Film by Axel Henneberg


A Room I Once Entered

Next up is a collaboration I did with David Gerard who goes by the name Ambientism.

David releases a collaboration album annually called “The Electronic Consortium” consisting of various artists he has collaborated with over the previous year.  David reached out to me to see if I would be interested, and I certainly was.

Here is A Room I Once Entered in which David and I collaborated

VR – Outward

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve started working with Geoff Varosky on a collaboration project we’re calling “VR”.

Geoff currently produces and releases experimental ambient music, ranging from long slowing soundscapes to beat and heavily sampled ambient house via Musical Nature which is an ambient project in experimental sound.

Together, we are “VR”.

VR is obviously a combination of the initials of our last names (Varosky and Richie), but as most know, it is also the abbreviation for “Virtual Reality”.

Virtual Reality typically refers to computer technologies that use software to generate realistic images, and considering that we are both individuals who have been involved in software development and software architecture, it seemed a good fit for us as well.
VR (us) will bring you music that will immerse you in a virtual world of the mind, where our musical stories will be the backdrop for your imagination.

Here is a sample of the type of music you can hear from us in the not too distant future.



The Microsoft Cloud Show and Mastering the SharePoint Framework

Last, but certainly NOT least, I’ve been working with Andrew Connell and Chris Johnson on a couple of things over the past few months.

First, you were probably first introduced to me on this blog via my various SharePoint related posts I’ve made in the past.  Even though this site has morphed more into supporting my music, I hope you’ve decided to stick around 🙂 .

BTW, if your interested on where I’ll be placing more technical/SharePoint related content in the future…. be sure to check out as that’s where I’ll be placing those things in the future.

I’ve known Andrew and Chris for many, many years and I’m super excited to inform you that they’ve chosen my music as the new theme music for their weekly podcast The Microsoft Cloud Show. I absolutely loved working on the piece of music they chose for the shows new theme, and upon listening to the first podcast using it myself, it was really cool to hear the specific sections of the piece they incorporated into the show. So go check out episode 186 right now and listen to them rip on me a bit and then geek out about home automation! :).

Secondly, Andrew recently started a new business venture called Voitanos. Voitanos is your host for on-demand technical training and educational resources for Microsoft’s Office 365, Microsoft Azure and cloud-related technologies. Whether you are looking to learn something new for a project, get up-to-speed on a new technology or level up your skill set, Voitanos is for you

The first set of deliverables Andrew is producing it is called Mastering the SharePoint Framework.  And guess what, it utilizes some of my music here and there for the background music!

I myself will be going through the Mastering the SharePoint Framework course, and I’m truly excited not only to be participating, but being a small part of the course material :).

Many thanks Andrew and Chris!

16 years

Lastly, this bit of news couldn’t come at a better time. Want to know how long I’ve been involved with SharePoint? Oh, just over 16 years.  Yep, 16 years ago today we announced Release to Manufacturing of SharePoint Portal Server 2001.

I remember taking a quick ramp up course on a product code named Tahoe in early 2000/2001 during my first tenure with Microsoft back in the day as it utilized the Web Storage System from Exchange.  At the time I was an Escalation Engineer for Outlook and Exchange.  Little did I know just how dramatic my life would change after that moment.

Happy Birthday SharePoint Portal server!

Be sure to also read Bill Baer’s post on the history of SharePoint right here.

That’s all for now! Back to a dedicated study day for myself.  I’ll be finishing up chapter 3 of the Mastering the SharePoint Framework course today as well!

– Keith




Help me reach my goal for Gunslinger!

You may or may not be aware of my current Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to have a physical CD produced for my next album Gunslinger – A Journey to The Dark Tower in Music: Volume 1.  Gunslinger is the first in a set of releases that I’ll be creating inspired by The Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King.

As of today, I’m only at 42% to my goal with only 10 days left in the campaign!

My goal is to have a physical CD produced for this album that I can use for promotional purposes. By helping me with this goal, you’re not only getting a copy of Gunslinger, but also my previous album Mister Stichs!  How’s that for a deal!

I have released several albums over the years with my most recent releases being Digital only. My latest albums such as Mister Stichs, The Maestoso Interstellar Suite, Skylines and Ambient Highways were released in digital form and are proving to be very successful albums thus far. Yet I find that I need physical CDs in order to send to various music review sites as well as radio stations for potential airplay.  This is generally the desired media they need, and sometimes the only media they will accept.

Yes I know, even though “The World has Moved On” away from actually buying physical CDs (and even then downloading music!), the fact of the matter is, they are still needed to have a strong impact promotion wise.  That’s why I’m asking for your help.

There are many ways you can help with your pledge.  It’s not just about getting a physical CD for yourself.  You don’t have to, to help!  In fact, I have a reward titled “The World has Moved On” for that very reason!  It’s a way for you to help, and get a digital copy of the album for yourself in return.  Of course, if you want a CD, you can even get an autographed copy signed by yours truly!

So, can you help?  If so, please visit the campaign page by clicking here and selecting a pledge level that suits you!

Are you someone who has already pledged or, are you someone who just wants to spread the news?  Then please share this link to the campaign with your friends, family, and social contacts you think may be interested. Especially if they are fans of The Dark Tower!

Thankee Sai and long days and pleasant nights!

Keith Richie