Spotify Listeners vs Streams: Differences Explained

Explore the metrics that offer valuable insights of an artist!

In this music world, knowing the listeners and streams difference is important.

Although these terms can appear similar, they refer to the different aspects of music engagement.

In this article, we’ll walk you through Spotify listeners vs streams and what their metrics and dynamics signify.

spotify listeners vs streams Differences Explained

Spotify Listeners vs Streams

Spotify is becoming one of the most famous music platforms to date.

The analytics of the songs on this platform are calculated through various factors, including streams and listeners.

First, let us learn the difference between Spotify listeners and streams as given below:

Spotify Listeners Spotify Streams
Unique number of individuals who listened to an artist’s music at least once within a 28-day or 24-hour window Total number of times  an artist’s songs played
Doesn’t matter how many times someone listens to the same song, they only count as one listener per 28 days or every day Each time a song is played for at least 30 seconds counts as a stream, even if it’s the same person listening repeatedly
Shows the size and reach of an artist’s fanbase Shows the popularity of individual songs and how often they are listened to

For easier understanding, let us consider an example. Imagine a library.

The number of Spotify listeners is like the number of different people who visit the library in a month or day.

The number of Spotify streams is like the number of times any book is taken out and read, regardless of who reads it or how many times they read it.

Also Read: How to See How Many Streams a Song Has on Spotify

How to Calculate Average Streams Per Listener on Spotify

The following formula is used to calculate the average streams per listener on Spotify:

Average streams per listener = Total streams/Monthly listeners

For example, let’s calculate the listener-to-follower ratio for Taylor Swift (as of February 2024). 

The profile has monthly listeners of 103,324,383 and 1,721,132,700 streams for the Cruel Summer song.

Then, the average streams per listener is 16.657, indicating that the average listener streamed that music 17 times approximately.

Average Streams Per Listener on Spotify

Why It’s Important to Have More Streams Than Listeners?

It’s actually not always important to have more streams than listeners on Spotify.

Both metrics offer valuable insights and their importance depends on your specific goals:

When there are more streams than listeners:

  • Suggests your existing listeners are deeply engaged, repeatedly listening to your music
  • Indicates a hit song with strong repeat listenability
  • Considers streams per listener, so higher ratios can push your music to more recommended playlists, Release Radar, and searches.

When there are more listeners than streams:

  • Implies many unique individuals are discovering your music, even if they haven’t listened repeatedly
  • Indicates success in reaching fresh audiences
  • Might convert into engaged fans with repeated listens later

What Level of Streams-to-listener Ratio is Considered Good on Spotify?

Though there is no specific streams-to-listener (STL) ratio on Spotify, a good level is considered to be 1 and 1.5.

If you have less than that, you should consider measures to gain long-term fans. 

Spotify Monthly Listeners vs Streams

The main difference between Spotify monthly listeners and streams is:

  • Spotify monthly listeners refer to how many people listened to a particular artist in 28 days
  • Spotify streams refer to how many times a song is played.

Note: If your number of listeners are same but your streams are increasing, it means that the same people are listening to the song again and again.

Also Read: Spotify Followers vs Monthly Listeners: Which is More Important?

To sum up, the difference between Spotify listeners and streams is huge, but the terms appear alike, so don’t confuse yourself. 

Hope this article helped you with Spotify listeners vs Streams.

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