After posting an article about why I don’t like Spotify, my boss sent me a link to someone who did not care for my review. He claimed that “Spotify has its problems, and I did not mention any of them.”
He also claimed that “His name is one that everybody should know” and he has “The spirit of a hustler and the swagger of a college kid.” That was part of a quote from somebody that goes by the name “T.I.” Part of me felt like I should take his opinion with a grain of salt.
All joking aside, he got me thinking “What do people hate about Spotify?” I did some research and, well it did not end well… for me.
When I worked at the radio station. I dealt with artists, struggling artists. They came in vans that were on its last legs. Played instruments that had their entire life savings put into it. And clothes found in a local thrift shop. Every cent they had was put into the music they played.
Country artist Taylor Swift recently pulled her music from Spotify. Simply for the reason that she was not making enough money. She was making more money from her Vevo videos on Youtube then Spotify.
When an artist puts a song on Spotify (or almost any music streaming source), the artist makes a little bit of money per song. Spotify pays a rate of $0.006 to $0.0084 (yes, that is less than a cent). But that adds up for more popular artists. An example is Avicii where he made between $900,000 to $1.3 million for his song “Wake me up” (also word of warning, if you are going to look that song up, do NOT watch the video. It will ruin it for you.). What I understand is that song was played 152.3 million times by users, that comes out to $913,800.
So what about smaller acts, artists that I dealt with that barely has a standing. One comes to mind is Calico the band. It is a trio that has been Grammy nominated for best song and album. If you don’t know them, don’t feel bad, I don’t care for them.
But this is what makes me wonder. What if, in a year they got 500,000 “views?” That is only $3000. Remember that van I was talking about? Well, that is probably just the gas for it, what if an artist needs to go to a festival across the country? You can’t take an airplane if you need the one-of-a-kind keyboard that your drummer needs for that one song.
Look, as much as I want to say “Spotify is killing music”…. I just can’t. Spotify is even proving their own method doesn’t work. They are barely making enough money to keep them in business. In 3-4 years, if nothing is done, they will go bust.
As for the artists. Well, that is how the world works. Even with me, writing this article. Popularity is what makes the money. Not the quality of your music, or the quality of your writing. It is all about how many people want to see YOU, the artist.
Technically, Spotify is fairly good for what they have. Yes, they should pay a little bit more to their artists, say .010 (still a third of the average download per song rate). But they already pay the artist 70% of the average income per song. The reason Spotify is losing money is that the business model is all about expansion, increased staff cost the company around $200 Million (along with other expenses).
So who am I to say that Spotify is “Ruining the music industry.” They are talking about $200 million. And how many jobs does Spotify hold? I just have my own to deal with.