Spotify pays artists every time their songs are played. But they pay only a fraction of a cent. In conversations I have had with many artists, I hear that they often have thousands of plays per month, but even at this moderate level of activity they receive less than $1 per month.
To me, this is really the same as not getting paid. So, in reality, Spotify is simply a legalized form of piracy.
Sure, thay have the proper contracts with the labels. Everything is completely legal. But in this case, 'legal' doesn't really mean anything. The payments that artists receive are virtually nothing. Spotify makes money from subscribers and advertisers. The labels make a much higher proportion of all income than the artists. But it is only the artists who create everything.
Creating music takes a lot of time and a lot of money, most of which is contributed by the artists themselves. To do this full time, as a professional, you must be able to make a living at it. If we, as a society, are unwilling to pay for music then music will die. It won't disappear, but it will die. We will be left with only those 'artists' who create products that are designed to appeal to as many people as possible, which of course means that the 'artists' must be very attractive people too with a willingness and talent to be a model/dancer. That is really the only way to make a significant income in the industry anymore. And this is very different from how it was not that long ago. I am struck by how many truly gorgeous people there are posing as musicians these days, versus how it once was were few people cared how a musician looked. After all, music is there to hear, not see.
These trends make it extremely hard for REAL musicians to be heard, or to even survive. All of the promotion done goes to the gorgeous people who ought to be on the cover of a fashion magazine instead of in a recording studio. Spotify, in not fairly compensating artists, contributes to the adverse situation that real muscians face today in the business. I suggest that Spotify look less to their immediate-term bottom line and more to future of music itself. For without good music to stream, they got nothing.
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I think that spotify is big enough to renegotiate with the big labels. spotify tells me they are at the mercy of the labels, and that's why they made this deal. well now they have such a huge subscriber base that nows the time to re-negotiate. if someone wants to listen to lady gagas new song 8 million times they can do it on youtube or use torrents. i want to support real musicians, not stage performers whos songs are written by old men. i'll even pay MORE per month to do this. sign me up on the 'i dont support **bleep**ty pop music' plan for $12.99 a month and only give my money to what i listen to. lets use the internet for what it was meant for, to create and perpetuate creativity, not to make it another way to feed the crap media machine empire. sound good? 🙂