In an age where it has never been easier for any artist to be able to blow up from seemingly out of nowhere thanks to platforms such as TikTok and Soundcloud, Spotify has released a new feature allowing artists to take a lower royalty on their song in exchange for promotion from Spotify. In other words, Spotify is trying to finesse all independent artists.
It has been no secret that the music industry is riddled with shady people and deals that are done behind closed doors that are aimed at keeping the big music labels and organizations on top of the industry while they rake in all the fruits of the artist’s labor. Spotify is now making it blatantly obvious that this is what their intentions are after announcing their new service.
The problem with this new service is that nothing is guaranteed in terms of how the artist’s music will be played because the artist would be gambling on their song being streamed through Spotify’s autoplay feature or through radio sessions which I would have to say aren’t popular features on the platform.
Another issue that arises with this service is that no artist is exempt from it meaning a label giant like Atlantic Records can take this risk because they don’t necessarily need all of the profits from their songs because they are more than likely to have successful releases due to the teams that are involved at labels. The everyday independent artist doesn’t have that freedom to throw away a percentage of their royalties from streams which are already miniscule to begin with, at an average of $0.004 per stream.
Remember when I said earlier that the music industry can be shady? Spotify is no different because they weren’t even transparent about how much smaller the cut the artist would be receiving in exchange for Spotify’s help in promoting their music.
Artists typically make the most money by performing on tour or through selling merchandise, but independent artists usually don’t have this luxury as it’s harder to book tours for smaller names and even harder for them to be successful so they really rely on the revenue they receive from streams on YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, etc. That’s what makes this new service from Spotify so insane to me because they know this too, they just don’t care. What I don’t think they expected was for the general public to call them out for the service which a great number of people on social media and other various news organizations have.
This newest service from Spotify is predatory in every sense of the word, as they look to capitalize on the hopes and dreams of these smaller artists, hoping to catch a buzz anyway they can, even if it means losing out on a significant amount of their revenue and knowing that nothing is guaranteed from Spotify. Your song may never blow up and their pockets will only continue to get bigger.
Artists need to start being respected for their art and they should be compensated as such without having to compromise their livelihoods in hopes of securing the ultimate dream career.