I was checking my Spotify stream count this morning and noticed it wasn’t updating – it usually updates around the same time every day but today it didn’t! So I took the internet, searched for the answer, and wrote this to save you some time.
If your Spotify stream count is not updating, simply wait until approximately 3 PM EST. Spotify only updates audience, song and playlist stats once per day and the “real-time stats” that Spotify provide are not always reliable.
However, Spotify can update their stats from anywhere between 8 AM EST and 5 PM EST and they simply state 3 PM EST to be safe.
I know, I know. Being told that the answer is “to wait” might be kind of annoying.
This wide range of time that Spotify updates can be particularly frustrating if you are tracking your stats every day or simply just released a new song and wanna see those juicy, juicy stats (read my article on how to check Spotify streams if you don’t know how to see these).
Knowing this information is also massively useful if you notice your Spotify streams went down as usually you need to simply wait for your stats to update.
With that said, I’ve done some more digging into all the nuances of how Spotify stats update and what the best way to track those stats are so that you can effectively grow your Spotify streams and maybe even get on coveted Spotify editorial playlists.
For example, did you know that the range of time that Spotify stream count updates can vary by day?
When Spotify Updates Stream Counts
As previously mentioned, Spotify states that they update their stream counts only once per day at approximately 3 PM EST. However, I’ve noticed that this time has a range and that this range actually seems to depend on the day of the week.
This data gets updated in the Spotify For Artists dashboard. If you do not yet have access, learn how to get access by checking out my article: Does DsitroKid Make A Spotify Account For You?
P.S. I show you to get access with and without DistroKid in the above article. 🙂
I go into detail more below if you’d like to know why Spotify stream counts update at different times. But, I have also included a handy little table just below to give you the best expectation of when you can expect your Spotify stream count to update. 🙂
Disclaimer 1: This data shows when you can expect to see updated stays in the Spotify For Artists dashboard, the numbers in your music distributor’s backend may be delayed and slightly different.
Disclaimer 2: The Spotify For Artists dashboard does not show Spotify royalties aka streaming royalties aka the money you make from streams.
To figure out how much money you stand to make from streams, you would need to use a Spotify Royalty Calculator.
Disclaimer 3: These are all rough estimates based on my past experience, but I’ve done quite a bit of research as well. With that said, use this more as guidelines as opposed to the gospel.
|Day||Earliest Time||Latest Time|
|Monday||8:30 AM EST||12 PM EST|
|Tuesday||8:30 AM EST||12 PM EST|
|Wedensday||8:30 AM EST||12 PM EST|
|Thursday||12 PM EST||5PM EST|
|Friday||12 PM EST||5PM EST|
|Saturday||12 PM EST||5PM EST|
|Sunday||8:30 AM EST||5PM EST|
When you can expect Spotify stream counts to update Monday – Wednesday:
Earlier in the week, you can expect your Spotify stream counts to update much earlier in the day.
Between Monday and Wednesday, I’ve seen streams get updated as early as 8:30 AM EST and on most days I see it get get updated before 12 PM EST – much earlier than the 3PM EST that Spotify mentions.
Why is this?
I can’t say for certain, but if I were to guess it would be because Spotify streams, in general, are much lower during these days because there are less (or no) Release Radar and other Spotify algorithm playlist pushes at this time.
If there are less streams in general, Spotify’s code can process the data quicker, providing a nicely updated dashboard for you to review early in the morning.
P.S. To learn how to get more streams in general, check out my article on the Spotify algorithm hack. 🙂
When you can expect Spotify stream counts to update Thursday – Sunday:
Later in the week, you can more likely expect Spotify stream counts to update between 12 PM EST and 5 PM EST.
Why is this?
Spotify pushes out algorithmic playlists to its users on Friday, which increases the number of streams and data that is needed to update stream counts.
Because Spotify is available in countries all around the world, different time zones must be taken into account.
For example, Thursday or Saturday for you in Canada could be Friday for someone in Australia.
The Truth About Spotify’s Real-Time Stats or Live Stream Count
You may have noticed that inside the Spotify For Artists dashboard you can see a little counter for the real-time stats of your song. You may have also noticed that this counter can seem off or unreliable.
So why exactly is that?
According to Spotify, the real-time stats or live stream count is a feature you can use to track streams for your new release live for the first 7 days.
This means that this counter is only meant to work for the first 7 days that a song is released and that is it. After the 7 days, you need to rely on stats that are updated daily.
Also according to Spotify, this live stream count updates every 2 seconds and the number it displays is meant to be the total number of streams for that song.
However, in real life, I personally noticed that this live stream counter can be really unreliable. It may work sometimes in the first week but definitely not all the time.
I did a bit of research and it looks like quite a few people have noticed the same issue. These are my two main findings:
- The live stream count tends to be more reliable in the first few days of your release. This may be due to the fact that there are less streams at first and it is easier for Spotify to process that data and provide updates.
- The live stream count tends to be less reliable when you get a large influx of streams. For me, whenever I trigger the algorithm to push out my song to other people’s Release Radar playlists, I get a very large influx of streams and the live stream counter basically stops working.
My general assumption here is that the larger amount of data there is for Spotify to process, the less quickly Spotify will be able to report that data.
Now, this may be simply because there is just more data to process or it could be because Spotify has checks to make sure that the streams are legit when a larger spike in streams happens.
If you know how much Spotify pays per stream… it is kind of insulting.
Knowing the lengths they go to not pay out those streams is also quite annoying lol.
P.S. If you don’t have access to the dashboard, considering using a music distributor that gives instant access like DistroKid (I personally use it, love it, and recommend it).
P.P.S. If you would like to learn more about what DistroKid has to offer, you can check out my big fat DistroKid review for the full rundown. 🙂
What To Do If Your Spotify Stream Count Has Not Updated in Days
From time to time, Spotify stream counts may get delayed by an extra day. This is one reason that you may not be seeing a change in Spotify stream counts after a few days.
However, it is important to remember that these delays really don’t happen that often.
Also, know that Spotify can take away streams if they believe any streams to be artificial (aka fake).
When your Spotify stream count has not updated after two days, the general advice would be to simply wait it out (sucks, I know). BUT, you’re good friend Matt isn’t going to simply do you dirty like that. Here are some steps you can take when your Spotify stream count has not updated in days:
- Use the Spotify For Artists dashboard. The dashboard for artists that Spotify created is the most accurate and quickly updated place to check on your stream counts. If you are using a distributor’s dashboard (like Distrokid for example), then get your tail over to the actual Spotify dashboard and get your stream counts from the horse’s mouth.
- Make sure you haven’t been doing anything sketch. If you have been doing some sketchy things to boost your Spotify streams (like paying for bots or click farms or getting your song on playlists that do shady things like that), then Spotify may be taking longer to dig into your data to sort things out.
- Reach out to Spotify or your distributor. You can always contact DistroKid or try to contact Spotify support for clarification but they will most likely tell you to simply wait. But hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
What To Do If You Get Kicked Off Your Music Distributor
If Spotify thinks that you have been getting fraudulent streams there are essentially 3 things that might happen:
- Only the fraudulent streams get removed
- Your entire song gets removed
- You get kicked off your music distribution service
Spotify is taking the issue of fraudulent streams more seriously every day. With more and more artists complaining that they are getting kicked off, it looks like the punishment is getting worse and worse.
If you do get kicked off, you can use the suggestions in the above section to contact Spotify and your distributor or you may need to start looking for a new music distribution service entirely.
My top suggestion for a music distributor is definitely DistroKid, however, I’ve compared DK to other popular services if you are in the market for a new digital distributor.
Popular alternatives to a music distribution service like DistroKid include TuneCore, CdBaby, Ditto, and Amuse.
If you would like to see how DistroKid compares to these services, more closely check out this articles:
- DistroKid vs TuneCore
- DistroKid vs CdBaby
- DistroKid vs UnitedMasters
- DistroKid vs Ditto
- DistroKid vs Amuse
- DistroKid vs SoundCloud
Or, if you would like a more detailed look into what DistroKid has to offer, you can check out my big fat DistroKid review. 🙂
P.S. If you also want to learn about music publishing and make sure that you are not leaving any money on the table with your music distribution setup, I’d recommend checking out these 2 articles:
What Is The Best Way To Track (and Grow) Spotify Streams
If you’ve been tracking your Spotify streams using the Spotify For Artists dashboard (and not just using it for Spotify editorial playlist submissions), you may have noticed that it’s hard to pinpoint how well you did on a particular day. For the most part, this dashboard mostly just shows you how you are doing right at that moment.
But what if you want to look back on how your song has done on particular days?
This can be extremely important if you want to keep track of things like:
- How your song performed leading up to a big algorithmic push like getting on Release Radar or Discover Weekly, so you can make sure to do that again next time.
- To monitor the performance of marketing tactics like social media or Facebook ads. If you made a change to some ads you are running on a specific day or scheduled a social media post on a specific day, you can look back to see how well that marketing effort turned out for you.
There are a bunch of reasons you may want to track your Spotify streams more seriously but a wise man once said: you can’t grow what you don’t measure.
It may sound a bit hokey-pokey but by simply watching your stats more closely, you are bound to figure out ways to make them grow.
So what is the best way to track and grow your Spotify streams?
First, make sure you know what you are tracking. It is important to know the difference between Spotify streams and listeners.
This will also allow you to fully understand Spotify’s listening now feature, which can be useful to help you know if your marketing efforts are paying off in real-time.
And now on to the good stuff…
I’ve created a Spotify Tracker For Artists, that you can use to track your Spotify streams, as well as the metrics that the algorithm may be looking at.
And, yes, you need to manually update that spreadsheet every day. But, tracking your Spotify stats properly will help you know what works and doesn’t work in your marketing efforts.
How does Spotify count a listen or stream on a song?
Great question! Spotify counts a single stream of a song when that song has been listened to for 30 seconds or more. Once the song hits the 30 second mark, a stream is counted in Spotify’s system.
Does Spotify count streams on repeat?
Another great question! Spotify counts a single stream of a song once it has hit 30 seconds, even if the song is on repeat. Once you restart the song, it will count another stream after 30 seconds have passed.
Does Spotify accurately track stream counts?
Another great question! Spotify’s Spotify For Artists platform is the most accurate way to track stream counts because Spotify directly provides the most accurate stream count data. Other platforms, such as distributors, like DistroKid, will not be able to provide stream count data as reliably or quickly.