Spotify is a music streaming service with a market value comfortably measured in the billions. Nevertheless, the company has had to contend with complaining musicians for years. They believe that the royalty system is rotten through and through, and that the company earns its billions by paying artists, who often cannot avoid Spotify, as little as possible in royalties. According to the latest rumors, Spotify is now working on a new royalty system that should send more money to artists.
More money to fewer artists
According to Music Business Worldwide, Spotify’s plan is quite simple. On the one hand, less successful artists are being thrown under the bus, and on the other hand, tougher action is being taken against artists who try to exploit Spotify’s system. In total, Spotify wants to pay out more than one billion dollars extra in royalties with these measures. Firstly, the minimum number of streams a track must have before it is eligible for royalties will increase.
Consider, for example, the successful campaign of American funk band Vulfpeck, who managed to raise almost 20,000 dollars in royalties with their album “Sleepify”. The “record” consisted of nothing more than an audio file with only silence on it. Band leader Jack Stratton declared war on the streaming giant in his own way with the record. For a while it looked like Spotify was not going to pay, but eventually came up with the money. The “album” was eventually pulled from Spotify. That was in 2014. Now nine years later, Spotify is also going to crack down on other variations on this stunt.
A specific example mentioned by Music Business Worldwide is the case of Noisetracks. This often concerns background noise that, like Sleepify, can be turned on before going to sleep. The minimum length for these tracks before they are eligible for royalties will increase. It is not known what the new minimum length will be. Spotify will also take tougher action if it is suspected that listening figures are being artificially inflated.