On TLDR #20, I spoke to Jack Stratton of the band Vulfpeck, who released an album of complete silence on Spotify called Sleepify and asked listeners to stream it while they slept so the band could tour without charging for shows.
The gambit was a surprising success, garnering quite a bit of press attention, and eventually arousing the ire of Spotify, who asked the band to remove the album from its service. In the aftermath, I was curious what kind of payout the band ended up getting for its efforts, so I got in touch with Stratton to see how it went. Turns out it went pretty well.
According to him, the band ended up getting around $19,500 from Sleepify, which averaged out to .0038 dollars per stream, or about .4 cents each. That's over five million streams of "songs" from Sleepify. Additionally, the band put up a 3 song album called Official Statement in the wake of Spotify's request to remove the album, and those three songs (one of which was just Jack reflecting on the request, one of which was 30 seconds of silence) earned the band another $1,000 in revenue.
Sadly, the band wasn't able to realize its dream of scoring a gold record (which requires 50 million streams), but they still brought in quite a bit of money. Hopefully enough to tour for free, because I'm poor and I'd like to go see these dudes play. When they're not releasing silence, they actually wail pretty hard.