Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spotify Pays $0.006 For a Single Play of a Track

How is this something that can be sustained unless three billion people start streaming music every minute of every day?

A song played on Spotify can earn an artist just $0.006, the streaming site has revealed, in an attempt to answer critics such as Thom Yorke, who accuse it of paying meagre royalties to emerging musicians.

Bruised by the attacks, the Swedish platform, which claims 24 million active users, has launched a website explaining to musicians how its business model works. 

Spotify said that the average payment to rights-holders for a single play of a track is between $0.006 and $0.0084.

Spotify needs a much larger customer base before it can even begin to start paying more for tracks. An independent artist who gets a few thousand plays in a month or a year isn't going to make anywhere near enough to pay for recording costs and make a living.

They make a big deal about paying Daft Punk massive amounts of money because their tracks get played. See? It works! Someone is making money. The problem is, this is not a replacement for the old music business model. It simply does nothing to ensure that an artist can get paid what they are worth for their music.

Under the arrangement that allows Spotify to thrive, the Daft Punk song is equal in valuation, roughly, to the sound of ducks farting and horns tooting on an obscure indie band's fuck you EP to their former record label. Are you telling me that Get Lucky is equal in value to every song in existence? Please. If that were the case, it would cost a hundred bucks to put that in the movie I'm not making.

Articles like this are designed to demonstrate that an "independent" artist is making money hand over fist. Look at the hundreds of millions of dollars in payments! Those Indie artists are rolling in dough. This means that it is okay to steal their music because they're getting paid.

What you won't see in this article is the complicated breakdown of who gets paid what, how many artists are being compensated (hint: those hundreds of millions of dollars are being distributed to successful and unsuccessful artists at the same time, meaning someone might get $100,000 and someone might get $.39 and so that means everyone is making money, right?), and who is collecting massive fees.. You won't see the inequalities and the separate deals that allow bands to survive by selling their own CDs while someone else sells the same item and makes money undercutting their efforts to reach fans.

What a mess.

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