Posted: 9 Minute read

Spotify on Shopify: The Musicians Making a Killing at Ecommerce

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have recently time-travelled from the 1800s (in which case, hello fair traveller, how was your journey?), then you’ll have heard of Spotify. 

And even if you’re not a user, we’re sure you’ve heard of the platform – especially around late November, when people around the world celebrate the most important day of the year: Spotify Wrapped Day. 

(Seriously, this is an EVENT, okay. The fear, and the joy, is real – no-one knows the real you like your Spotify Wrapped.)

But that’s not what we’re here for. See, some artists have taken it a step further, and set themselves up on the similarly-sounding (but very different) platform called Shopify. Unlike the freemium music streaming service that is Spotify, Shopify is an ecommerce platform designed to make selling online super-easy.

But why do artists need an ecommerce platform?

Considering they have concerts, tours, TV appearances, music releases, radio – and a whole host of other streaming platforms they can use, where does ecom fit in for musical artists?

We have two words for you. Merch. Sales.

Everyone loves a bit of merch. From keychains and posters, to vinyls and tour tees, merch is an easy way for you to support your favourite artists, show your allegiance (or show off) to other fans, and find clothing or accessories that you can incorporate into your personal style. 

So, why shouldn’t musicians cash in on this, and sell merchandise from their own dedicated ecommerce platform? Especially when merch sales may be way more important than you think…

The meeting of music, merch and money

Whilst we all know that the super-mega-awesome music stars rake in the cash – with some arguing that they earn too much – there are a lot of expenses included that us normals don’t think about. From paying supporting musicians, to financing personal security, publicists, designers and makeup staff, fitness trainers, and many others, the money all finds a place to go.

And, surprisingly enough, not all of this money can always come from streaming. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a closer look

(We’d like to preface this part by saying it will seem like a fairly complicated system, but we’ll do our best to clarify it for you.)

According to Spotify, rather than using a per-stream payment method, royalties are calculated on a ‘streamshare’ basis. This means that rights holders are paid according to how much of the stream market share the music takes up.

That’s the first thing you should know: Spotify does not pay artists directly. Instead, they pay the rights holders, like record labels, distributors, or collection societies for songwriters. It’s these companies who are in charge of paying the artists. Therefore, depending on their contracts and agreements, the amount an artist gets paid will vary.

But, back to the maths.

Spotify calculates streamshare by adding up the total number of streams an artist’s piece of music gets. This is done separately in each territory, so streams in the UK for example have no relevance to streams in the US or Brazil. This number is then divided by the total number of streams in that market to calculate the percentage of the market royalties awarded to the rights holder.

Or, to put it in a more visual way…

An image of Spotify revenue calculations. Artist streams over Market streams equals royalties share.


As a practical example, imagine an artist gets 1,000 streams, and the total market streams is 10,000.

1,000 ÷ 10,000 = 0.1, or 10% of the total market royalties pool. Therefore, if the royalties pool stood at £46,000, the right’s holder would get 10% of that total – £4,600. This would then be distributed by the rights holder to the necessary parties, including the artist.

This royalties pool, by the way, is not an arbitrary number. Spotify pays ⅔ of every dollar made by premium subscriptions and ad-revenue for that market into the pool, which is then divided to pay the streamshare.

So that’s Spotify payments (basically) in a nutshell… What about merch sales?

Merch has been around for decades as an additional revenue stream for artists – or even longer if you consider the sales of sheet music sold by early popular artists (especially before the invention of the phonograph). And they can arguably make much more from this than music streams. Part of this may be because there are fewer hoops to jump through when creating the contract. This allows artists to negotiate a more favourable percentage of the revenue with the third-party vendor – and with potentially fewer people even involved in the negotiations, artists can effectively get a bigger piece of the pie. 

For example, say an artist has negotiated to get approximately 50% of the merchandise sales. When the average concert t-shirt tends to retail at around £30 - £50 (or more), this can very quickly add up.

And, this can be even higher when artists use their own ecommerce store – because they’re bypassing commission fees often demanded by venues, which can be up to 25% of all merchandise sales!

Impacting the bottom line

We know that we’ve used a fair whack of hypothetical amounts here, and ‘it depends’ is often an unsatisfactory answer. 

But, it’s hard to argue against the importance of merch as a revenue stream for musicians – especially for smaller artists, where merch sales are an even bigger deal in helping them build a career doing something they love, (and even more since Spotify has demonetised songs that achieve less than 1,000 streams in a year.)

With the option for fewer people needing to be involved, fewer steps to take, and the opportunity to negotiate more favourable royalties and total revenues, the Spotify to Shopify pipeline simply makes sense…

Our Shopify Wrapped

So, with all of this in mind, which artists are killing their ecommerce efforts and making it to our all important Wrapped list?

Our global stars

Outside of our little island, there are hundreds of amazing artists absolutely smashing it when it comes to Spotify.

Taylor Swift

A dark background, with sepia toned merch, and TTPD written on the top.


Powered by millions of Swifties, sitting Fearless at the top of the streaming charts is the absolute icon that is Taylor Swift. And by a huuuuuuge margin too – with approximately 29.1 billion streams in 2023, she’s sitting pretty at nearly twice the total of the second place contender.

And it’s not hard to find a Lover of her merch store either. Regularly switching up her website design to match her albums, Taylor definitely seems like an ecommerce Mastermind – and has arguably changed the face of the music industry forEvermore.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd CDs on a plain background.


Coming in next, Starboy The Weeknd amassed an impressive 14.14 billion streams in 2023. This Canadian-born artist has been making waves since the Dawn (FM) of his career, and shows no signs of stopping.

As for merch, there are plenty of After Hours sales to boost his revenue – in fact, you could say his ecommerce store is the Beauty Behind the Madness.


An animated room with a large sofa, interactive elements and clutter.


Another Canadian to make this list, Drake needs no Comeback Season with a very respectable 14.03 billion streams in the 2023 Spotify charts.

And, his ecommerce store is definitely The Gift Without a Curse. With innovative designs and interactive features, Drake’s official website is an excellent example of how ecommerce (and Shopify) stores can bring More Life into shopping online (don’t worry, Aubrey, Kendrick can’t hurt you here).

Peso Pluma

A black background with Peso Pluma tour information.


Mexican singer and rapper Peso Pluma has definitely had a very impressive Gènesis to his career, coming in as one of the top five artists on the global Spotify streaming charts – with 10.54 billion streams in 2023. With a simple but effective Shopify merch store, this is definitely one to watch for the future.


Feid ecommerce store, with an animated man with a torch and cartoon ghosts.


Feid, aka Ferxxo, is a Colombian singer-songwriter who is taking the charts by storm. Known for some impressive collabs with Bad Bunny, Sebastián Yatra, and Karol G, and way more than 19 songwriting credits to his name, it’s no surprise to see him on this list.

And with a colourful and interactive Shopify merch store, he’s definitely living up to expectations. The ghosts are cute too.

(All stream data from Statista and Spotify*)

Note: we’ve had to pick and choose amongst the top artists here. For example, technically Bad Bunny is second on the most streamed artists of Spotify. However, we couldn’t seem to find an official merch store (even if there are a dozen sites with variations of bad, bunny and official in the URL). But, Bad Bunny, if you’re ever fancying a unique Shopify store, *tucks hair behind ears*, give us a call. 

UK favourites

And how about artists closer to home, how do they stack up when it comes to streams and seams?

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys t-shirts and poster on a khaki green background.


For any self-styled Fluorescent Adolescent, a trip to the Arctic Monkeys merch store is a must. Rocking up at number four on the list of most-streamed albums in the UK, AM may have been a surprise for some – particularly as it’s not a new album, but rather 10 years old.

With stats like that, there’s clearly no need for any fans to be a Mardy Bum.

Harry Styles

Love on Tour hoodies and stickers on a white background.


For some of us, the world is Harry’s House, and we’re all just living in it. And the streaming figures back it up. With 5.11 billion streams, Harry’s definitely been getting more listens than just Love on Tour.

Considering he’s released only three studio albums, this is a particularly impressive Sign of the Times we live in – so why not pick up some cosy merch from his Shopify store?


Dave CDs on a black background


Dave’s collab with CentralCee (who also has a Shopify store, just FYI), Sprinter made it to the top of the Spotify charts in 2023 as the most-played song on the platform. Not bad for a first time partnership!

Like the vibes? Pick up the album on Dave’s merch store.


Coldplay merch on the ecommerce store.


Coming in with a very comfortable 5.58 billion streams, Coldplay are continuing to enjoy an Unbroken reign as one of the most streamed British artists on Spotify. Interestingly, with 29.3 billion streams in their career, they’re the second-most streamed band ever – after BTS.

And, whilst you can’t get any Parachutes, there’s a lot more than Ghost Stories to choose from on their ecom store.

Calvin Harris

An image of Calvin Harris merch on a white backgound.


Known for his impressive array of famous collaborations with top stars like Rihanna and Sam Smith, Calvin Harris is another of the top British artists to Slide into our Spotify to Shopify setlist. 

Ranking 16th on the list of most monthly listeners, Calvin seems to have it all Under Control when it comes to making the most of his career and ecommerce merch store.

(Data from ChartMasters, BBC News.)

Spotify to Shopify in action

Aside from the pithy title, and the fact that we’re a Shopify Partner, you’re probably wondering why we’re highlighting the Spotify to Shopify connection? After careful consideration, I think I’ve come up with a better explanation than ‘it seemed like fun and they rhyme’...

Shopify is already set up for it! Purpose-built apps are what make Shopify so usable as an ecommerce platform. And, you guessed it, there’s one to connect your Spotify for Artists merch tab with your Shopify store.

Or course, you don’t have to be a musician to take advantage of what Shopify has to offer. If you’re interested, why not get in touch with us to see how we can level up your ecom game?

Still curious? Check out… The Value of the Written Word | The Lowdown on Lifestyle Brands and What Makes Them | Ecommerce Merchandising That Sells

Written by:

Photo of Rachel Stevens
Rachel Stevens
Content Executive
Rachel (she/her) is an enthusiastic content writer with a keen interest in fitness, socio-political history, and theatre. She is a writer to her core, and specialises in writing creative and engaging copy for a variety of topics. Rachel previously studied Ancient History at university, and tries to keep up with new and exciting developments within the subject. Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.