How much does Spotify pay artists? It’s the biggest mystery in music. One independant artist claims to have received a measly $0.004 per stream. There was a rumor that Lady Gaga only earned $162 from a million streams. Even indie band Grizzly Bear chimed in to express their displeasure with the alleged slave wages of Spotify declaring that they only received $0.001 per stream. Some have even taken to restricting their music from the service altogether. Is it really that bad? are the payments that low?
Music Think Tank Open
Anybody (no really anybody) can contribute anything relevant to this page…All mp3s should be posted on the MTT radio page. If you cannot find your post here, your article may have been moved to the MTT homepage.
Entries in spotify (15)
Cazzette is about to blow up, or at least that’s what one of the world’s largest streaming services claims. When their debut album Eject drops tomorrow, it will be marketed in full force by Spotify to millions of users worldwide. The major marketing push is really more of an experiment for the company to discover whether or not they can help break new artists. It just so happens that their first “experiment” is being done with one of the most hyped EDM artists of the year. Cazzette is a Swedish DJ duo consisting of 23-year-old Alexander Björklund and 19-year old Sebastian Furrer. They just wrapped up a 17-date September tour in the US and have received support from David Guetta, Tiësto, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, and Martin Solveig to name a few. The underground success for the duo began a year ago when Cazzette released their first track, a remix for Avicii entitled “Sweet Dreams (CAZZETTE meet AT NIGHT Mix), which charted at the Top20 on Beatport Top100 General Charts for months. Soon after, their bootleg of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” landed the number one spot on HYPE MACHINE Most Popular after being uploaded on their Soundcloud page.
The conventional wisdom among music technology theorists is that the traditional model of listening to music has changed, that music fans listen to streaming services like Spotify instead of buying music. I haven’t seen data or research to support that argument yet, only industry buzz, but I imagine it’s true for a strong minority of music fans. And industry data may support the trend as well; however my own, admittedly anecdotal, experience doesn’t.
You might think this is quite a rash and bold statement but I can guarantee you within the next 5 minutes of reading I’ll have it well justified. We all know that independent musicians from day one should be working themselves like a business through production, promotion, sales and shows. All of which incur some set up fee or ongoing costs. These costs vary depending on the size of the project or how smartly the independent has measured their market and are willing to invest. Even though spotify keep hush hush the amount of royalties that are paid through spotify, some speculation and leaks show what they are really paying artists.
People want free music. Artists want to make money from their art while supplying people with music, be it free or otherwise. Could Spotify, Rdio, and MOG be the answer? Does our use of services like Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and Reverbanation handicap the revenue potential of those services?
So, I was reading an interview in Wired Magazine on Marc Andreessen, the creator of the first browser, this past weekend and he was asked about the future of the web. In the article titled ‘The Man Who Know’s What Next,’ Marc states “The application model of the future is the web application model. The apps will live on the web. Mobile apps on platforms like iOS and Android are a temporary step along the way toward the full mobile web.”
I interviewed Ari Stein of WahWah.FM a month or so ago and he told me “Who knows 5 to 10 years from now apps may not even exist.” This was a very interesting statement to me, because WahWah.FM is a mobile app which is currently available for iOS users only with plans to create an Android app once additional funding is secured. I pondered about making that statement the title of the post but I wanted to focus on their product because I think it’s great.
How do you place a measurable value on music? Thanks to a tweet from Hypebot I came across an interview with Spotify’s Daniel Ek on Grammy.com, posted in early February. Aiming to keep this post shorter than my last; I won’t dwell beyond this paragraph on how awkward it is for Grammy, the self-appointed standard bearer for artistic expression in music, to be asking anything of Ek. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Representatives of music distribution services should interview Grammy insiders about trends in popular music - to gain insight into the creative forces behind music. Or not. Anyway, the interview was pretty typical Ek; Too focused on technology and consumption for my tastes. He is the future as he sees it. Best to read it for yourself though.
I’m trying not to be a Spotify hater. It has done a lot to innovate in the music space - especially on the consumption side. The social integration part is well-executed, though it too has its detractors. I have met some of Spotify’s developers, ran into them at an industry conference hosted by Amazon. They are nice folks, very enthusiastic about advances in local network caching and reduced edge-server latency. They are also particularly fond of that “bringing the pirates into the light” narrative. The story about how people do not need to torrent/file-share/steal music anymore, thanks to Spotify. It seems to come up a lot. It is probably in their welcome packet for new employees. Whether or not they are misguided is debatable, but they certainly aren’t all bad. Spotify is not the “Death Star”, back to destroy what’s left of the music industry. It also isn’t the industry’s savior, it is no Luke Skywalker, if you will.
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.
Piracy was what the (now dormant) SOPA bill was all about, and was never far from anyone’s lips at MIDEM this year. But bored of the same tired arguments against piratebay, bittorent sites and the infamous Megaupload, the industry has turned its attention to those who actually do stay on the right side of the law
With much debate surrounding streaming services and file-sharing sites, I brainstormed reasons why people still buy music in 2012. Although scarcity is a factor, it was omitted because theoretically once music is digitized it is vulnerable to mass sharing. Also, although there are many opinions about the overall quality of music being unworthy of purchase these days, but I believe that goes without saying.
Sean Parker’s character, which was played by Justin Timberlake, is without a doubt my favorite character in the ‘The Social Network.’ Reading and watching his interviews you can tell that he has mastered the art of story telling and he must have read Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is interesting to see how pivotal his role was in the initial stages of Facebook, and I wonder if Facebook would have been what it is today without his help.
Spotify could add an extra charge if users wanted to make their local files available to their friends via shared playlists. They could do so for an extra charge, to cover the added bandwidth costs and royalties.
Welcome to episode 15 of The Music Biz Weekly, a weekly podcast co-hosted by Michael Brandvold and Brian Thompson. Each week Michael and Brian will discuss the latest events in the music business and music marketing events and techniques. This week’s episode, July 8, 2011 – Thomas McAlevey CEO of Radical.FM