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Give me a way to ACTUALLY support musicians or I'm gone.


Give me a way to ACTUALLY support musicians or I'm gone.

With the coming addition of audiobooks to Spotify, royalty payouts to musicians are expected to decrease even further. 

As a Spotify user who is interested in music only, I find this egregious and unacceptable. I personally think Spotify is actually too cheap for the value a heavy music listener gets. I get to listen to dozens of hours of music per month and most artists can barely pay for a beer once a year from the money they get from Spotify. As the leading music streaming platform, Spotify has a huge responsibility to make life better for musicians, but all I see from Spotify's end are changes that make their lives worse. 

I have never listened to a podcast on purpose (yes, weird, I know) and I don't like audiobooks either. I only use Spotify for music and no matter how many types of content Spotify throws in my face, I'm only ever going to use it for music. 

Either give me a way to tip artists directly, add an optional monthly tip amount that is distributed proportionally to my listening that month, or add a music-only plan. Or I'm going to Tidal. And I'll encourage everyone I know to do the same. 


Spotify has a good catalog and it's convenient. Believe me, I respect the **bleep** out of whoever got Spotify Connect working as well as it does. But as someone who loves MUSIC and supports MUSICIANS, the prospect of continuing to give Spotify money every month is starting to feel downright immoral. 


To whoever on the community team reads these - please pass this along to product before you delete it. If someone in product reads this, please know I'm a fellow software product manager / marketer and I assume your data doesn't reflect the sentiments expressed here. How could it? Just look at however many occasional-to-never users of non-music content you have, and ask yourself how long you start to see increasing churn with no cause you can find in the data. Maybe it's already trending up. Heavy music listeners suddenly churning with no signal in their usage patterns. Could it be they don't want to pay for a bunch of "Content" besides music? Could it be that they don't want to stiff their favorite musicians? Nah... if we just make Joe Rogan EVEN more prominent in the UI, surely we'll see podcast engagement tick up... any day now, right? 

NOTE: Finally shipping lossless audio won't fix the problem. The problem is artist payouts are too low and there's nothing I can do about it as a user. 

7 Replies

You can do something about it. Go to their concerts. Buy their albums. It always good to have physical copies. Buy their merchandise.

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This is something that seems like an obvious great gesture to artists, but is actually kinda complicated, as record labels have legal contract and ownership claim. So they might demand a cut of whatever users donate through a button on a streaming service, and you're back at square one. 


However, some artists (probably without label relationship - those who go direct through distributor) do have a donate button - for example, search for the artist "Varra".  I see the "Make a contribution" button at the top of the artist page, with a direct link to Paypal. 

Yes, and I do, but that has nothing to do with Spotify not paying enough for music. 

"The problem is artist payouts are too low and there's nothing I can do about it as a user. "  The problem isn't that I lack ways to give artists money. The problem is Spotify is not giving artists enough money, nor is it offering a way for me to fix that. 

It's a fair point, but that's a problem for lawyers and software developers to solve. It's not a reason for users to accept the fact that Spotify's payouts are pathetically small, even by industry standards, and are shrinking. 

You should put this into the ideas area. I agree with the user who said it’s  likely legally complicated to do it through the streaming platform itself but I am sure there are creative ways that can be explored to learn more and create noise about this. It’s a just cause and I realize I’m not being helpful by merely saying “good idea, keep at it,” but it’s cool to see the passion. 

Certainly it would be complex when it comes to accounting, contractual details, and actually distributing the funds. I could understand not wanting to work on this. The deals are complex enough without adding additional revenue streams that need to be negotiated over. I've speculated that Spotify was one of the first movers in the streaming space and has some of the most convoluted contracts with labels as a result... at least, that's my personal story about why lossless is taking so long.  

That said, there are people at Spotify who get good salaries to deal with this sort of thing. It's not like we're asking them to pull the money out of their own pockets. 🙂 

In the midst of the hellacious uproar about the lyrics feature being removed from free subs, your post about paying and contributing to the proliferation of music is a bright spot in my day. I have a particular passion for Spotify because it bears a lot of similarities to the injustices I see in my career. Consumers want everything, aren’t willing to pay for anything, don’t appreciate the sacrifices and overall mission of a service intended to improve people’s lives and foster cooperation. It’s a shame. 

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