Libra cryptocurrency would enable fans "to pay artists directly," according to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. Earlier this week, Spotify became a founding partner in the Facebook led Libra global cryptocurrency initiative.
A primary goal of Libra is to bring digital transactions to the hundreds of millions who do not have access to the global banking system. Libra could, for example, make it possible for more people to pay for Spotify Premium, as well as, simplify how artists and rightshoders are paid by the streamer.
But according to Ek, Libra could also empower fans to pay artists directly.
"The most important thing is it will enable paying for things digitally in many of the places around the world where those kind of methods just doesn’t exist. A service like Spotify, you can imagine what would happen by allowing users for instance to be able to pay artists directly,” said Ek on Spotify’s own Culture: Now Streaming podcast recorded this week at Cannes Lion.
“That can open up massive opportunities where all of a sudden, a user in Japan might pay a creator in Argentina. And that opens up huge opportunities for how we can further our mission.”
Presumably, Ek is referring to fans tipping artists or buying digital goods. It's a tantalizing prospect for musicians struggling to survive on the smaller payments that streams deliver vs. physical sales.
Why Not Do It Now?
Both feature's are already live on China's massive Tencent Music.
While Libra and cryptocurrency could make cross country fan support possible, Ek could make in-country - or in the case of the EU, in-currency - tipping and support possible well before Libra even launches.