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At last, we have an answer! Spotify keeps 30% and pays out 70% of their revenues.
Seems fair to me. I would like to see Daniel Ek confirm those numbers though.

Seth Keller

"Anyone who doesn’t think we’re paying a fair cut hasn’t seen the numbers we pay out."

I think that's the point. The reason many artists and some indie labels are not fans of Spotify is the perception that the system is unfairly biased toward advances to majors while keeping artists and independents in the dark about how their per stream payouts are calculated.

Hisham, did you not feel this interview was appropriate for asking a follow up question or did you simply assume or know that D.A. would not be privy to any actual payout figures and formulas?

Hisham Dahud

Hi Seth,

You're exactly right in explaining why that negative perception exists.

I felt that D.A.'s response of 70% of revenue going towards artist payouts was adequate in demystifying that gray area and negative perception that some in the creative community may have of Spotify. While D.A. could've perhaps elaborated more on the nitty gritty of payout figures and formulas, I felt that the purpose of this particular interview was more geared to get inside the mind of someone in a unique position such as D.A.'s; someone who represents both the artist community and the music tech community at the same time and on the scale that he does so.

Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!


I have to agree with Seth here Hisham, Having someone like DA on your payroll is more like having a quasi-celebrity press correspondent.

Realistically, he's more like a magic shield than a secret weapon. Unfortunately he's only reiterating the same evasive and vague info and figures that any other employee at that company is.

If we're supposed to appreciate it more coming from a relatively articulate artist, they need to put him in a room with someone who will ask the tough questions.

One more thing, you rarely see an artist slag off their label publicly, and you can say the same about someone like DH here, he's got his fingers in many pies.

Jim Powers

Hi Hisham,

"While D.A. could've perhaps elaborated more on the nitty gritty of payout figures and formulas..."

It certainly is user friendly, which is smart, though
a prompt follow-up Q&A session with D.A. revealing Spotify's royalty payout formula would be very helpful for artists and labels. The quoting of macro revenue figures is not particularly useful. Walk us through a single artist's Spotify revenue experience and maybe we will all feel better about their model. Currently Spotify's responses are unnecessarily vague.



I still don't see a solution for remixers and DJs who uses copyrighted work. Won't somebody please think of the DJs!?!

On top of that, I think it's funny that they can now essentially say, "With Spotify, you'll never be able to stop paying your favorite bands for their music!" and it's considered a benefit. I like owning my music. I like knowing that it will be there tomorrow if I want to listen to it, and not removed from the servers for some obscure legal or technical reason. And I like not having to pay someone every month just for permission to listen to it.

The other point Spofity assumes is that they'll be around forever. How annoying will it be when the service shuts down and users loose their music library, left to cobble together what they can salvage of their musical history.

The internet doesn't need one musical database. It needs several small, nimble ones. One large service will result in high prices and bad service for musicians and fans.


uh yeah... if the numbers are so good where's the transparency...


A lot of good points.

Also, another stupid hurdle and point in favour of what you've said, is geoblocking and regional BS.

I just moved from the US to Canada and other than Google Music / Play and Rdio i think all my other streaming services have some regional bullcrap block that makes them unavailable (yes i know i some cases it is Canadian law that is in the way) - MOG, Spotify, iHeartRadio, LastFM. I used all the ones i just mentioned and now they are either severely limited or just outright unavailable.

The more the merrier. The fact that there's a bunch of them is why i have at least two, or one and a half, working.


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