So, regarding this article in Wall Street Journal re: Spotify and how it pays artists. Though it’s not really news-news, because we’ve known this for a while, it once again fuels the whole ‘should I put my music on Spotify or not?’ debate.
Each time a user listens to a song, rights holders are paid between 0.6 cent and 0.84 cent. When someone gets what: I’ve no idea.
Thom Yorke called for a boycott of the service last summer, alleging unfair payment practices. His music was pulled, although Radiohead music remained.
Spotify has more than 20 million songs in its catalog, and can be accessed in 32 countries.
Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek: “We’re selling access, not ownership.” And: ”All they [artist] see is millions of streams and they see, you know, not millions of dollars in the end, but thousands of dollars, and they think that a million streams is comparable to a million downloads, which it obviously isn’t.”
All good points. So, which side to pick? And should you even pick?
I dunno. My first album’s on Spotify. I haven’t received a check yet. I haven’t received a check from airplay or iTunes either (though I know the money’s underway). And yes, that is a meager amount of money. But Ek is right: it’s not a download, it’s a stream. What we want, as artists, is for people to buy our music. Preferably our albums, but the songs will do, too.
I don’t like Spotify
I, for one, don’t like Spotify, as a user. It eats up my data on my mobile (and once you exceed that…) and there are tons of times I have a bad reception, which would mean no music. And - this is the same problem I had with my iPod - the choice is way too big.
But yet: this is the way music goes. For years, cd’s have been sold for a crazy amount of money, once you find out what producing a cd actually costs. And why would someone own your songs, when they have this? Remember: they are not fans. Fans are different.
So what would be the solution? For me, it would be hypocritical to not put my next album on Spotify. I mean, you can stream it on Bandcamp, since that’s part of my shop (and website). (Plus, iTunes really sucks, those 30-second preview clips.) And think about it: what’s the first thing you do when you get a CD nowadays? I load it onto my phone right away. So there’s really no difference from streaming it or playing it.
So I’ll put my music on Spotify. Fans will buy the LP or the coffee table book. And through Spotify, who knows, maybe they’ll become fans.
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