Should, and will artists leave their music label? In my previous blog post I tried to defend the artist’s point of view, writing about how unfair the game is in the music industry. How artists get used and taken advantage off. That was one side of the argument speaking. Now that the artists had their turn, it is time for the other side of the story.
Daniel Ek, posted an article, $2 Billion and Counting, defending Spotify’s side on the whole drama that has been going on with Taylor Swift for years now. Through his entire article, he does not only answers questions unanswered about the case with taylor swift, but about the music industry’s struggle and road to recovery. He explains how the system works and disproves myths talked about how Spotify works.
“Spotify is not the enemy.” The real enemy out there is piracy. Spotify pays music industry’s up to $2 billion for songwriters and artists. The most common reasons why people believe Spotify is stealing are for three reasons.
One, free music for fans means artists don’t get paid. Before Spotify there were only two types of streaming services, paid for and free. The paid model did not work because users would prefer to not pay for music and would rather listen to it pirated. The free version did not took off because it was too close for it to being pirated despite the artist and label do not get paid. Spotify’s competition is youtube, radio, and privacy. Something that they all have in common is free. But with the model created by Spotify, they now have more than 50 million users and 12.5 million are subscribing to pay $120 per year. Is this good? Yes! That is three times as much than the consumer average then the past.
The second myth is Spotify pays, but it pays so little per play nobody could ever earn a living from it. False, if you compare it to listeners on radio, Spotify comes out on top.“The Spotify equivalent of ten plays on that radio station – once a day for a week and a half – would be worth thirty to forty thousand dollars.”
The third myth is Spotify hurts sales, both download and physical. In 2014 downloads in Canada dropped, and Spotify was not even on their market. Plus people are choosing streaming over downloading. Artists complain because they do sale millions of copies a year. It is hard to say it, but that might not be happening again. That was before the whole shift in the music industry.
The music industry is shifting, but doing nothing will only make things worst. While total revenues in buying, or downloading physical or digital, streaming continues to rise. Spotify is doing a good job paying the artists and labels for audience to listen to free music. Otherwise this would just be another pirated site. Spotify took the first step into a better future where audience pay for free music and Spotify distributes to the label and most importantly, the artist.