Spotify Fights Back: “We Paid More Than That!”

Yesterday I reported that Lady Gaga got just $167 from Spotify for 1 million plays. Our smart readers commented that this was probably only part of the story. Yesterday Spotify issued a retort:

image from “Firstly, any payment to STIM would only represent a fraction of the payments rights holders receive and only for music played in one country (in this case Sweden) as we pay not only collecting societies, but also publishers and the record company to play their music,” says a spokesperson.

“Secondly, the figure (unrepresentative as it is) is from a short period just after our launch last year, way before we’d established ourselves as a music service and built up a large user base. Specific payments are of course confidential, but this is certainly wide of the mark.”

How much did Spotify pay Lady Gaga?  They can't release numbers for a specific artist without permission, but Spotify could end the controversy by releasing a single example by an unnamed artist. Or Lady Gaga could make her first-ever positive contribution to the music industry by releasing the size of her payments. I'd be happy to print either.

More: Spotify Reportedly Paid Lady Gaga $167 For 1 Million Plays

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  1. I guess the bottom line is – why should they do either? She nor they are public property, another question might be to you – how much do you make from this blog? It would appear to be just as relevant.
    The ‘first ever positive contribution to the music industry’ is just plain vindictive.
    I notice there were no snide comments on the Susan Boyle story – so, I know what you want for christmas….

  2. Well Spotify still pays some procentage of the imcome to STIM, so eventhough if they pay many times more than the 167$ overall, it would still be an extremely low payout to the label/artist/rightholder

  3. I don’t understand why this is so mysterious! Unlike conventional performances which have to be sampled, covered by blanket venue licenses, etc., digital performances are easily tracked. Yet I’ve never seen SoundExchange (or any other royalty collector) give even a rough estimate of what a ‘play’ is worth, or even a rough explanation of how these are negotiated.

  4. Spotify pays a certain percentage of their income to the right holders- my estimate is that they pay 50 to 60% of what they get in. As long as they don´t get more money in they can´t pay more out- it´s as easy as that. It´s totally pointless to discuss how much a “play” SHOULD be worth as Spotify can´t pay 5 pence if they get 0,001 pence in per stream. Give it time- it beats the hell out of having your stuff stolen on Pirate Bay if you ask me!

  5. Yes, so maybe they should think that its not POSSIBLE to get a fair amount trough advertizing, so maybe the should focus on Premium Only or another businessmodel?

  6. Spotify has received concessions by the labels hence it is of interest to anyone in the music industry, or wishing to be in it, to try and get the amounts paid and understand how far from the usual 50-60%, mentioned as a guess by “S” mentioned above, they are…As to comments to Lady Gaga versus Boyle who cares? That’s not the point anyway…

  7. Spotify pays an enormous amount of $$ to the labels in licensing, which also presumably goes to the artist – at least some % of it. This has been up front cost to spotify and something it has had to bite to get into the market. It would be interesting to see what sort of numbers are generated when all of the figures are factored in to a play, but it’s got to be fractions of pennies.
    Perhaps a simillar model would be was kind of revenue a single play generates on a national or large regional radio show, and divide that amongst the reported listeners – anyone know this figure?

  8. “On Spotify, it seems, artists are not equal. There are indie labels that, as opposed to the majors and Merlin members, receive no advance, receive no minimum per stream and only get a 50% share of ad revenue on a pro-rata basis (which so far has amounted to next to nothing). Incidentally, when I asked a Spotify rep if they would feature music by unsigned artists the way We7 does, he said no, but that all they would need to do was to sign up to a label and they’d get on the site.”

  9. That is a good question, how much do you make from this blog? It would help get an idea of what music business is woth now a days. I still believe the re ord label or Lady Gaga or sotify would let us know something

  10. Ive been in the music business all of my life in Nashville- and its funny how all of these tech sites came of age ranting against all of the “greedy labels and their unfair business practices”. Well, with a choice between 167 bucks and absolutely nothing most of the other times due to out right theft……
    Frying pan to fire indeed.
    You guys are just the latest and by FAR the greatest at SCREWING creators. Give me a greedy record lable any day any way.

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