Upon writing an English paper about a problem with the music industry, I chose to write about streaming services and their impact. So, I figure, I should share what I learned about it. I should preface this with the fact that I myself use Spotify. I am not saying that you should stop using any of these services. I am simply giving some insight as to how these streaming application affect artist. So, after reading this, you can then make a decision for yourself. So while it is tempting to just post my paper, I will give you an abridged version.
For the most part I will be talking about Spotify, simply because there is the most readily available information on it, being the most popular streaming platform. So, the basic gist of Spotify’s artist payment service, is this. The rich artist continue to make money, and all other artist make little to no money. That is it. That is the problem. This is obviously a simplification of Spotify’s system, but for the most part very few artists make money from Spotify. After payment to distribution and record companies artist take home about $0.001 per stream. This is very little money and what makes this system so detrimental, is that most people use Spotify as their only music listening application. Therefore the things that artist can actually make money from, like records and digital downloads are not being bought. Spotify uses about 70% of thier music to pay for royalties to play the songs. However, much of that goes to the large artist and whatever is left gets divvied up to the smaller artist royalties. That leaves very little money left for the thousands of other artists, and the larger artist continue to make money.
Again, if you cannot live without Spotify, then continue to use it. However, try to do things like attending live shows or buying records from the record label. By doing those things you can still support the artist, which is especially important to smaller artist.