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Seriously, again?

Spotify is neither the lowest-paying streaming service per song streamed nor the highest volume streaming service. Yet the amount of ink wasted complaining about Spotify dwarfs the amount written about the industry leader in both low rates and listening volume, Youtube (though that could be changing here recently).

Until the artist community gets the target right, this is all just pointless. Garbage in, garbage out. If Youtube paid out what Spotify does per stream, artists would be making more from streaming than downloading, right now.


Yeah. Everyone is complaining about Spotify while Google is making off in the getaway car. Not to mention the fact that google is aiding and abetting piracy and making money from that too. Don't let anyone tell you that piracy is good for artists. It's done nothing but devalue us.

I was not aware of this spotify/label deal. It's certainly wrong, and I am greatefull that this article has pointed this out to me. But at the end of the day A record label (just like any business) is going to try and get as much for themselves as they can. This is nothing new, and there will always be artists who know how to negotiate a good deal for themselves and those who don't. Instead of saying these are the good guys and these are the bad guys. Do what is in your best financial interests for wherever you are in your career. If being independent with no label is best at this time do it until being on a label is. Just remember to know and understand your business and how to negotiate (or have someone who can) negotiate what is in your best interests. In many respects you the artist are no different than the label in that you will want as much for yourself also (just like the label).

But saying that all labels (including independent ones) need to go belly up and that piracy needs to be allowed to run rampant (as this article implies) is not the answer.


Spotify and Pandora are also not making significant profits, they are showing significant growth, but their fixed label payments grow at the same rate as their audience, consequently their size does not equate to profit.


Kyle Williams

I did an interview recently with Jack Conte (Patreon, Pomplamoose) and he made a great point about these music tech companies.

"Most tech these days…most companies that are emerging, especially in Silicon Valley, want to be billion-dollar-companies, and their method of doing that is by reaching out to consumers.

They’re consumer-first organizations. They want listeners. They want viewers. They want readers. They want consumers…they make the media as cheap as possible…let’s make it $10 a month for all you can eat songs….We want lot’s of consumers. Let’s give them a free, or close to free experience.

And as a media company we’ll benefit because we’ll take a cut of the advertising, and the consumers are gonna benefit because they get this free awesome service, and the people who are going to get fucked are the artists. That’s most companies that are coming into play."

As for major labels, I'm not a fan, but there is a caveat....

Once your audience gets to a certain size there are limits to the DIY model. You'll end up needing the marketing muscle and systems of the major label...if your goal is to be huge.

This is illustrated by the fact that Trent Reznor and Prince signed back with major labels.

However you don't need a major label to make a full-time living or even 6-figures per year with music.


The major labels and Spotify are interested in only 2 things:

1) making as much money as possible.
2) paying the artists who create the music as little as possible.

End of story.


@ ictus75: That's not entirely the end of the story. Just like anyone else a Label wants to get as much for as little money as possible (Don't deny that you're not the same way). The key is knowing how to negotiate the most for yourself when dealing with a label (or having someone in your court who can). Lots of artists who are more business savvey have done this. As for services like Spotify: It's important to step up your activism and work with organizations that are working for you to strengthen copyright law and royalty payments.

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