Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Spotify simultaneously incredibly generous, unbelievably mean

Brilliant news, everybody: Spotify are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into rights' holders pockets:

According to Spotify, its new site is designed to provide additional insight into its operation through the use of data and business analysis. As part of that, Spotify said on Monday that it has issued $1 billion in royalties since its inception in 2009. At this time last year, its total royalty payout was at $500 million, meaning during 2013 alone, Spotify has coughed up $500 million in royalties.

On its new Web site, Spotify also tries to make the case that it's exceedingly generous with artists. The company claims to pay nearly 70 percent of its revenue in royalties, adding that "we believe that this is the fair approach to take."
That's excellent, right? Especially since a lot of that cash would never have been handed over in the past, as people would have been simply sucking the tunes off the internet.

I'll go and make dip. We'll have dip and pie to celebrate, right?

Hang on... you look quite glum, Music Week:
As part of a new site specificially built for artists, the company reveals that it has recently paid out an average of $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream to rightsholders.

That figure is presumably a mix of streams on its premium service (thought to be around $0.01 per stream) and its ad-supported free service.
Maybe no pie, then.

Of course, much of this money will, anyone, end up in the key-locking cashbox of labels rather than going towards artist's desire to purchase food and soap.

Spotify reckons that its royalties are roughly double those of YouTube, and more than treble those of Pandora, on a like-for-like basis; it also suggests that a "niche indie album" could earn about three thousand dollars a year. This obviously raises a question of what they consider a niche indie album to be - to me, that sounds like something in the area of a death metal band covering Trembling Blue Stars, but I suspect they could be thinking of something a bit more Primitives-sized.

It's not terrible money, but you really wouldn't be giving up the day job on this alone.