Spotify expected to pay out $150M less to musicians after new price increase

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It’s more tax efficient for record companies to take less money in rights ie income, than it is in capital gains and dividends.

There is plenty of money in the music business right now, but when you get shit like a UK music CEO getting more money in a year than ALL THE SONGWRITERS in the UK put together you see how well the thievery works.

Spotify IS the record companies btw.


“But as Billboard reports, the decision to increase the kind of content available on the app means that Spotify will also be able willing to pay less money overall to the people who create that content”

Edited to highlight Spotify’s shittiness.


Okay, can we FINALLY stop pretending like streaming is some kind of win for artists, because “now you can reach a whole new audience”… And they can get your music in a way where you get paid a whole lot less in the process… This shit is not working for either the aritsts or the fans. It’s bad for almost everyone involved, except for a few corporations…

See Schitts Creek GIF by CBC

Between this and high profile artists selling off their catalogs to investment funds or WTF ever, we’re turning our cultural heritage into a commodity only usable by the wealthy…

Spot On Doctor Who GIF by BBC America


Don’t forget the publishing industry. They must have got points in Spotify to go with this deal. Or is it Audible that got points as they have a monopoly on audiobooks? Perhaps this was a move to claw some money back from Audible/Amazon by the publishers? Spotify doesn’t care who actually gets the money. At all.

I’m lazy and just searched the FT archive which typically just said “struck deals” with publishers and

“Will pay royalties” which doesn’t sound right to me. They are losing profits on it but gaining paying customers so line goes up and record company will be happier with that than paying license fees to musicians. I guess, going back earlier, publishers will be glad of any entrant into this space.


they can go back to getting nothing if they prefer piracy to this model.

most artists continue to make money from live shows, merch at live shows, and tours.

conversely, many people lack the technical savvy to sail the high seas of the pirate bay.

copyright law used to be 14 years. a large chunk of my spotify library would be public domain if this were still the case.

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Except that LiveNation/ Ticketmaster are taking larger and larger cuts of that, too… including shirts.

How about we stop having an exploitative business model that fucks over producers and consumers…

Which, even then was expandable to another term, so more like 28 years. If you can’t make a profit off your work by then, then… :woman_shrugging: Oh, wait, you STILL can claim royalties, it just means that others can use your work in new and interesting ways.

That’s how culture works. right now, pretty much the ONLY people benefiting from this model of cultural production ARE executives in C-suites. Not the artists, and not the fans. No one but the most wealthy and elite rent-seekers. I’m not sure why you would find this to be preferable to other options on the table (alternatives to the copyright system that only benefits a few such as creative commons, greater artist control over their work, more input from fans, a public domain system that allows people to really enage with their work, etc). It’s not like people just now started making music (or other culture) with the advent of mass production. It’s just… who we are… we make meaning and that meaning is often shared via culture. Why should only suits benefit from the culture being made? Because that’s what’s going on here.

Which is a great argument for forms of access which benefit both the artist and the fans, over corporation. Only Spotify is benefiting here… Most people are happy to pay a fair price to enjoy culture with some easy access that ensures the CREATORS and not some corporate middle man. If Spotify was doing that, then, fine… but they’re not. They’re objectively NOT… :woman_shrugging:


ok, so what are you proposing?

i had someone who was the creator of a large open source project once warmly receive my feedback, because for the issues i raised, i also proposed solutions.

what specific model would you prefer, if spotify is so terrible?

Ah yes, the old “my point isn’t salient, since I don’t have the perfect solution ready to go”… :roll_eyes: Also, you ignored the things I actually offered in my previous comment. But… how about this…

Look at all the many alternatives that have been proffered over the history of the recording industry, for one…there are plenty of indie label who are offering better deals with the artists on their labels and for years there has been an alternative set of places to buy and sell music (indie record shops, now directly from artists via bandcamp or their websites, etc). Most of them never get to the level of giant rock star, but for them, it’s not the point - and some do manage to make a living at making music professionally.

But the reality is as long as we’re living in a capitalist economy, they’re going to keep coming for the largest share of the profits at the expense of the artists (and of the fans, too). So, at this point, we have those alternatives that already do exist. Cory Doctorow also talked about some in the age of streaming as well, including artists run streaming services (and no, not Tidal, as that’s own by Jay-Z, who is a massive corporate entity at this point) and those available via your local library, in some cases that highlight local artists (in the last few chapters of his Chokepoint Capitalism book).

But mainly, people need to know about how this hurts and exploits artists and that there ARE other alternatives available. Consumers need to make better choices, too. Buy physical media, or buy downloads via bandcamp or directly from the artists - or join an artist’s patreon that you enjoy. It supports that artist directly and side-steps the lack of funding they get from the streaming platforms.

So, you can roll your eyes at me all you like, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is not a system that is good for artists or good for consumers. And we SHOULD talk about that, because the more we talk about it, the more people become aware and can make different choices in how they consume art/culture/whatever. The more we can push for alternatives to what is dominated by large corporations that systemically strip the world of the things that make life better…

On top of that, the truth is that the vast majority of artists do not make a living doing their art and the reason why is because of how the recording industry takes such a major cut of the profits, and that’s been true for a very long time. It is, in fact, getting worse. We see the huge numbers being thrown around with regards to Swift or Beyonce, or whatever major artists, but the truth is that is such a tiny fraction of people making music today are full time musicians. And for some people, that’s more than enough. They make music for themselves, their friends… maybe they’re in a band that plays local clubs on the weekend… More of us should do that (and patronize local clubs with local bands) and support that eco-system, as that does far more to side-step the giant corporation standing between you and the production of music… Until we have a different system of labor in place, all we’re going to get is small scale alternatives, but we shouldn’t stop pushing for change, since even a little change can improve things.

Also, I can’t magically change shit by myself… That takes like ALL of us doing the hard work. So, rather than demand that I FIX IT, maybe read what I wrote, discuss why you disagree with me, and take what I said into consideration rather than just dismissing it out of hand.


i can’t afford that

but is that a bad thing? (i mean, aside from that the day jobs they have are also exploitative)

not everyone can be a megastar – the fact they exist at all is partly a product of our capitalist markets.

if it’s truly about “the music”, isn’t streaming helpful because it allows you to find new artists and pick ones to support directly?

not everyone is some cash rich neurotypical who can fund a bunch of bandcamps and go to a bunch of shows.

i didn’t dismiss you, but i’m hearing the same literary tone i’ve heard for years from people with the means to buy a lot more than i ever have, and seem to view anyone who indulges at less than some perceived pay rate as a leech (to borrow from bittorrent terms)

Then don’t… Also, at no point did I say “stop listening to streaming”… then if and when you can afford to pay for physical media or a download or a show, then you do so. :woman_shrugging: Doesn’t mean we can’t recognize how exploitative the system is and talk about that, yeah?

Maybe read the rest of my comment, since I answered that.

read the rest of my comment.

But once again, it’s a corporate controlled environment, so it’s very much calibrated to push up the industry approved artists. They said the same about radio (which ended up being dominated by corporations) [ETA] and MTV… That’s how corporations work… they swoop in and colonize spaces… Just look what happened to the bay area punk scene post - Nirvana and then Green Day… :woman_shrugging:

I mean, yeah, you kind of did dismiss me. :woman_shrugging: But whatever. I’m sure that’s not your intent. None the less, the whole “well, what’s the perfect solution” is often used to dismiss a point…

But with regards to streaming… this wasn’t about YOU and your ability to pay… I’ve also not had money at times to buy the stuff I want and support the artists I wanted. I have tons of mixed tapes from friends that is technically “illegal”… But I’m lucky enough to have the money now and so I do try and support artists that I love. I think that streaming, pirating, etc when you can’t afford to buy is fine (also try your local library, as some do streaming now… and college radio… you can get used CDs awfully cheap nowa days… one store I go to on the regular often has cds for as low as a couple of bucks… some artists even do “pay what you want” on their bandcamp pages… oh, and another source for music is sound cloud). Many artists are happy if you get to hear their music and become fans and many don’t care if you do it via streaming, pirating, or whatever means. But that doesn’t mean that the system is rigged in favor of corporations and we need to recognize that and push for better alternatives.


And this will be the ‘justification’ to award Daniel Ek another obscene amount of money.

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I don’t use it. I listen to radio and then buy the music I like. When I can. I feel like I’m supporting the artists I like better- and I actually own something.


Seconding this. I don’t subscribe to a lot of Patreons, but I do pay for a few that go directly to artists. I pay them each $1-5 a month; I get at least one song per month that I get to own; and they make way more money than they make off streaming. Take Eve6, for example. Sure, they have millions of Spotify plays. But they don’t see much if anything from that, thanks to a record deal they signed when they were 18 years old. Maybe they only have some 600 or so paying subscribers on Patron — a much smaller audience! — but that gives them $3000 a month to put into writing and recording new music. That sounds rad to me!


Yes, yes it is. Apart from all the excellent reasons that @Mindysan33 gave, more artists means more creativity and more opportunity for new, exciting music.

Do you like Rock music? Thank unnamed artists who created the form and played in clubs, bars, and venues until the style became mainstream. Grunge rock? Same. Rap? Same. Big band. Swing. And on and on.

If artists can’t make a living, or at least make playing a worthwhile supplementary income, they’ll stop playing. The rate of musical innovation will slow, and music will start to sound the same. We are all less well off if that happens.

Not every artist is great, not every artist will or wants to make music their sole income. But our quality of life is so much better when there are more creatives working and making a fair wage off their labor.


Amanda Palmer is another artist who has done well with her patreon.

Yeah, so far, it seems like patreon has avoided the worst of enshittification, and let’s hope it can continue to do that…

to be fair, I think that there is a difference between making a living making music, and becoming a mega-star… But so much corporate resources are just sunk into the major artists by the labels, that there is far less for the artists who aren’t mega-stars (hence the importance of building alternative models for musical production - the indie circuit)… But for music to really thrive, you are spot-on there that there needs to be places for innovation, and the musical underground is part of that… But every artists should be able to get a fair wage for their labor. As long as we keep the corporate, mega-star model at the center of the industry, the longer that artists will continue to be exploited in this way.


Exactly! She’s basically/famously my archnemesis, and I can still respect the fact that she’s found a sustainable way to work outside the system!


Drama Popcorn GIF by The Drew Barrymore Show

Oh! Drama! Is it a Boston thing? It’s probably a Boston thing, isn’t it?

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You can die of exposure. :cold_face:

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Yes and no. It’s not like she personally pissed me off at a party one time (although I do know plenty of people she has personally offended at parties). I mostly just find her narcissism grating. Then I accidentally went über viral with a parody of her shitty Boston Marathon Bomber poem which got picked up by everything from Buzzfeed to the The Guardian. Suddenly everyone in the Boston arts community knew me as the Poet Laureate of Amanda Palmer Shit Talk. So a year later, I wrote a blogpost expounding on my frustrations with her which also went somewhat viral. Even a decade later, it still gets like 500 views a month. I barely update my website but it’s definitely the most popular thing on my domain haha.