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So Now Spotify is The Enemy?

We are in a day where the choice is yours. No one is obligated in using particular services or products. Believe it or not I own no Apple products. I was given a 4gb iPod shuffle as a gift one year. I lost it about a month or two later. I went out, bought an 8gb memory card, loaded up my blackberry with music and never looked back. Sure the commercials and other marketing campaigns for Apple looked and continues to be great, but at the end of the day I have a choice. I say this to say, I don’t understand why artists & music industry personnel continue to lash out at Spotify. As I tweeted earlier today, if a download is .99, how much do you expect to get from a stream? That’s not Spotify’s fault. They didn’t create streaming, they just created a great model to capitalize off it.

It’s understandable if artists & bands make the decision to not use the service, that’s their right, but the backlash is pointless and I’ll even say foolish. It’s interesting, this Spotify/Streaming issue is similar to the Facebook/Privacy issue. I wish there were some figures on the people who refused to sign up for Facebook due to privacy concerns that have since signed up. If Spotify continues to grow as I assume they will, I can definitely see the same thing happening here….what are you gonna do right?


What are your thoughts on Spotify and how its affecting the music industry?


Taurean Casey is the founder of Music Assistant Now, a company specializing in major label services for independent artists.  He can be reached at

Reader Comments (5)

I think the problem with Spotify is the perception of how much money they are making from someone else's content compared to what they are giving for it. I for one do think should at least be paying the same rate as Pandora or LastFM, but it is my understanding they are not.

February 18 | Registered CommenterBrian John Mitchell

I think the main problem is not the low income. It's the lack of transparency and sustainability in their "business" model.

They did not "create a great model to capitalize off it". They made huge losses, and even more in the present. Those who had "a great model to capitalize off it" where the majors with their generous upfront deals, that now have to be paid back via indies' super low rates

"we have huge fix costs you know.. ermm.. most of all the major deals we have to pay back".

This is not a serious option for most indies.

The second and probably most critical point is that Spotify seems to fail at promoting artists (and generating further sales). Instead, it promotes its own little world. Not one URL points to the outside world.

This gets to point where I would even say that illegal downloads have a stronger promotional effect than any Spotify stream. Especially in the context that both virtually generate no direct income. Other streaming services like take the promo side much more seriously and offer real additional value.

Most illegal downloads come with an nfo file containing background infos and artist links. Also, successfully "hunting" for an album in illegal album is much more rewarding from the psychological point of view, it's an active task.

Spotify has its good sides, no doubt. But I guess it will become nothing more than the McDonalds of music. A cheap and low value place for main-stream back-catalogues. There are already huge gaps in their catalogue.

I recommend "piracy" over Spotify. It's much more rewarding for both the fan and you IMO.

February 20 | Unregistered CommenterFabien

Hey Brian,

I dont know the exact figures on what Pandora pays out but I believe the streaming rates across the board are too low anyway to consider any of them as legitimate income right now. And that's no fault to Spotify, Pandora, or LastFM. A great example is Gaga netting under $200 after a million streams. It's less important to fight the growing model and more beneficial to find a way to make it work for you....or you can just choose to opt out.

February 20 | Registered CommenterTaurean Casey


I dont know what your expectations are from Spotify, but they are not obligated to do anything other than what they are doing. Now I would agree with you saying that the majors did also capitalize off of the huge upfront deals, as they did with Apple and also Google. It was possibly the last big hoorah for a lot of people. The majors held the cards and that was the cost of doing business with them.

Now I cant agree with piracy > Spotify at all. I think you should really consider it from the fan's prospective. Choosing piracy over Spotify because you believe Spotify has some flaws is like choosing Myspace over Facebook today.

February 20 | Registered CommenterTaurean Casey

@Brian John Mitchell I have no clue what Pandora pays but I got 172 streams on which netted me only $0.09 entirely. In comparison I make $0.007 per stream from Spotify so if those were Spotify streams I would have made $1. Still a small number but not nearly as small as 9 cents.

@Taurean Casey Spotify pays artists based on how much traffic they generate to the site and busts that down to a per stream payout. I really generate little to no traffic to Spotify and I make $0.007 per stream. If I multiply that by one million I make $7000. I imagine Lady Gaga generates much more traffic to Spotify than I do so I doubt she only made $200 from on million streams.

October 2 | Unregistered Commenteriamthegif

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