Spotify's Latest Plan to Devalue Music
Spotify generated tons of junk tracks itself to waylay residuals to artists like ambient, drone, white noise, and so on. So it's rich that they can generate a ton of junk then point at the junk and say, "Hey, there's a lot of junk on this platform."
This world gets sadder by the day.
This just seems like it should be illegal to me.
I've seen some calls for companies who artists can pay to get their music onto Spotify and elsewhere, like Distrokid, etc, to act as kind of middlemen representatives to indie artists and protest this move, since it also affects these kind of businesses too. I don't know if that will help at all, but it doesn't seem like anything will make Spotify an actually pro-music company anyway. What a stupid thing they are.
Few years ago Ek responded to me on Twitter with somewhat robotic answer to my query as to where the money go. According to him everything was fair back then - the label and the artists received their fair share from Spotify.
I think he's a habitual liar/con-man, just like Musk - and Joe Rogan being on Spotify and being paid millions is as good of a proof of this theory as any. Unlike Musk, though, he gets a lot less public scrutiny, because Spotify as a product appeals to a lot of people.
Similar to the argument Meta corporation used in their comments to the U.S. Copyright office: that royalties to less-known visual artists would be so small, they may as well skip paying them altogether (for training Meta's Generative AI, G.A.I., on copyrighted works.) https://www.businessinsider.com/generative-ai-copyright-meta-google-openai-a16z-microsoft
It is so disheartening. My band is getting ready to start on a record. Musically, I'm excited -- personally, I'm bummed going in knowing that I'm unlikely to come even close to breaking even.
Ironically, the same kinds of AI algorithms that generate junk revenue-generating tracks on Spotify could be used to flag junk tracks. If Spotify execs actually cared about fairness, of course...
To generate 1000 plays in a year means one person playing the track 3 times a day for 334 days. Or 5 times a day for 200. Seems like that can be gamed too.
Wonder how many of those "pay-for-play" operations have a backdoor relationship with Spotify itself? Seems awful weird that they can just advertise like that; I thought it was just an underground business.
When value is judged by popularity, artistry never wins. I find this personally very upsetting - I've independently released seven studio albums over 20 years, all critically well received but with only small niche audiences - and only around 5 of my songs will now be eligible for streaming revenue. I recall in Australia when they introduced a form that musicians had to sign to get paid when they did gigs stating they were 'hobbyists' if they earned less than $80k a year - it was similarly devaluing and insulting. Ugh. Thanks so much for writing about this.
How is this move even legal? It sounds like theft because it is theft.
2 Music Worlds coming soon--already here actually! Human and -----?! If All producers of (Human) music would just UNPLUG.!
Isn’t a few thousand copies of of YOUR records for $20--better than bleeding from the rear!!!?
If you can't even get <1000 people interested in your art, consider changing your profession. Even amateurs can do better than that. Or better yet, pull your tracks off Spotify and ask people to pay for individual albums. I somehow don't believe you'll be making more money had streaming platforms never existed.
Sigh. Such shitty people they are.
Read the Guardian article you wrote and posted here, Damon. Well said. Thank you.
Encourage people to move to Tidal? Easy to do, pays artists more, and shifts money away from Spotify. Not a solution but better than nothing. I love music, love Spotify, and am lazy, but this switch means artists make 2/3 times more per stream, right? I know it doesn’t solve the streaming issue but it could dent Ek’s profits with relatively little effort while increasing artists income, however small. It seems like people just collectively forgot the platform even exists. Maybe I’m missing something but for now I’m switching over.