What The Biggest Pop Stars Make Per Lyric

Check out what Ed Sheeran earned for ‘Shape of You’ streamings.
Monday 6 July 2020
The more times you play their songs, the more money they make per word. Photo: AFP

We are living in a digital age where artists are no longer just using album and song sales to make money. Streaming plays contribute a lot of revenue to your favourite artists. One of the most popular streaming platforms, Spotify, pays out £0.00349 per play. While that might not add up to much money for lesser-known artists, it makes quite a large sum for popular musicians.

Based on the amount per play, Vanquis UK looked at the top 100 most streamed songs on Spotify and used this figure to calculate how much each song has earned. The list is broken down by the number of lyrics each song has, to see who’s earning the most per word. Check out the top six most popular streamed songs on Spotify below.


Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

Streams: 2,479,061,600

Earnings: £10,833,499.19

Lyric Count: 673

Cost Per Lyric: £16,097.32


Post Malone featuring 21 Savage – Rockstar

Streams: 1,885,927,493

Earnings: £8,241,503.14

Lyric Count: 474

Cost Per Lyric: £17,387.14


Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla – One Dance

Streams: 1,842,641,765

Earnings: £8,052,344.51

Lyric Count: 398

Cost Per Lyric: £20,232.02


The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey – Closer

Streams: 1,759,898,748

Earnings: £7,690,757.53

Lyric Count: 353

Cost Per Lyric: £21,786.85


Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

Streams: 1,523,464,061

Earnings: £6,657,537.95

Lyric Count: 315

Cost Per Lyric: £21,135.04


Drake – God’s Plan

Streams: 1,519,451,527

Earnings: £6,640,003.17

Lyric Count: 350

Cost Per Lyric: £18,971.44