VOTE: Is Spotify A Good Deal For Artists?

image from www.google.com Over the last few week’s, three indie labels have left Spotify and a number of Hypebot readers have expressed their misgivings over the streaming music service’s payments to labels and artists. Of particular concern is how much money will trickle down to the d.i.y. and indie community.  Spotify responded, but many readers are still unsatisfied. So, to see what the silent majority of Hypebot readers really think of Spotify – not as a service,  but how it helps or hurts artists, we created a simple poll “Is Spotify A Good Deal For Artists?“. VOTE NOW:

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  1. I’ve found generally that to generate the same revenue from one track download, some user needs to stream that track AT LEAST 75 times… I can’t think of any song I’ve listened to even 50 times.

  2. I don’t think we have anywhere near the data that we need to know this. It also depends on how you define good. What is the tradeoff between more listeners and more money? We all probably pay a lot of money to promote our music. What if the lost sales are tradeoffs for new listeners? It’s really not a yes/no answer at this stage.

  3. hearing it’s not just spotify.
    does anyone know what streaming outlets are giving advances to majors?

  4. This isn’t all on Spotify… Artists need to make smarter contracts with their Labels if they think the labels are taking all the revenue from services like Spotify. Also, keep in mind – for every person reluctant to spend money on a song or album and they stream it for free on spotify and fall in love with an indie artist: they just saved themselves $10 – enough to go see their show.

  5. Shouldn’t we treat Spotify as maybe not a revenue stream but as a promotional tool? Putting your music on Spotify can let somebody who hasn’t heard your music, hear it – legally. You barely gain anything financially from them listening to it but you gain something. If you can afford to put your music on Spotify, put it on there. The more online presence you have, the better.

  6. But that’s silly b/c Spotify is nurturing a culture of “free” in a non-free society. Spotify is selling hopes of exposure in exchange for devaluing your music.
    Bandcamp, on the other hand, not only allows more exposure (b/c it’s not geographically restricted), but also encourages the listener to support the artist.
    Two very different models, and they both point in opposite directions.

  7. That is a good point, for a single user but couldn’t the model be different? Instead of 1-1 user-purchaser those 75 streams of a track would be spread out over 60-70 people (a few of them would listen more than once). Those people are the radio listener types so they generally wouldn’t convert to purchasers, though that is the ideal. (I don’t take this for granted; it is just an argument I am posing.)

  8. Isn’t it funny that those few that complain never ever spent any time promoting themselves on Spotify yet have the nerve to complain that they don’t get paid enough?
    My last comment in a different thread got completely ignored, which wasn’t much of a surprise, but I’ll repeat it anyhow:
    “Yes, Spotify may pay slightly lower per-stream rates in comparison with premium only streaming services. But Spotify is still generating much more money for artists/labels thanks to being the biggest subscription service in the world.
    Getting a high per-stream rate is worth nothing if you can’t get enough listeners to make money from it.”

  9. Many friends of mine have subscribed to Spotify. Without openly calling them pirates, prior to this, they never spent anywhere near 120 pounds a year on recorded music. Now they do.

  10. I fully agree with your view. You have to take the number of users in account as well.
    Most artists who complain aren’t exactly million sellers on iTunes and the like too.

  11. Yeah you got the point that most are missing. Yes the income pr stream is minimal, but the amount is so much bigger.
    And from what we already know from Sweden is that the income from streaming are getting bigger and bigger and now also are more than the income from iTunes…

  12. the poll is biased… it should read:
    – NO : Spotify makes money and the Artists See Next To Nothing…
    Spotify is BAD for a number of reasons, Major Label Equity stakes is one of them, but that is not the reason why INDIE and DIY artists are also not seeing money!

  13. But the huge majority of that money goes to Spotify and major labels, artists won’t see any of it. Spotify is great from the user point of view (lots of music for very little money) but ultimately it’s not very different from these illegal russian websites selling MP3’s. I know we consumers like to have everything cheaper and cheaper, like for food and clothes and everything else, but this attitude is not good in the long term. Music is not different.
    Artists and smaller labels do not need another middleman like spotify who takes all the money and give people an incentive to never buy music ever again. I’d rather give these 120 pounds to the people creating the music.

  14. All streaming services and retail outlets who generate income from sales, subscriptions or advertising revenues, should allow each and every artist/band who are on that streaming or retail online outlets/service, ONE PAGE each to post and promote themselves by placing creative and promotional offers and/or information that is constantly kept up to date by each artist/band. All those artist/band pages would be put into an equally rotated pop up rotation, as do the paid ADs, except the artists/bands wouldn’t have to pay.
    THEN AT LEAST, it will be a LEVELER playing field.
    Cheers! DudeNoDude

  15. Except that I don’t know anyone who listens to music on bandcamp. The point of marketing music is to be where the bulk of fans are. Play an empty venue for $100 a head or a packed venue for $1 a head–your career, your choice.

  16. Apple Google and Amazon are not giving any such thing to labels as advance’s are something that is part of a record contract. What these companies are doing is paying for streaming. From the indie perspective most of those payments are only going to the major labels and the indies when they do get paid are compensated at different amounts. As for what the named companies really owe the labels. IMHO the number is in billions not millions.
    I did vote on it’s too early to see because it is, however it won’t take long to see if Spotify is any different then any other cloud streaming hardware seller compensating creators.

  17. This survey asks the wrong questions. Should be divvied up into two polls or worded differently.
    1)Is it a good deal & a good discovery tool?
    3)Is it a good deal and a bad discovery tool?
    4)It is a bad deal and a good discovery tool?
    4)It is a bad deal and a bad discovery tool?

  18. I can’t speak for other companies, but at The Orchard, we account all the money we receive from Spotify to our labels minus our distribution percentage. It is a considerable sum, to say the least.

  19. Yes, I agree the choices were slanted.
    I needed a 4th button that said
    No, Spotify is not a good deal for anyone except those currently employed by Spotify or having equity in Spotify for the exit strategy. Why would any musician point their fans to an online service when they don’t receive a fair share of the advertising revenue…including Facebook. At least with Apple, they blatantly tell us it’s about selling iPhones. They’re not in this to sell music. Technology treating musicians like slaves facing the lions in the Roman Colosseum…. unacceptable treatment of human creativity for mass entertainment.

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