What happens when a massive corporation like Spotify worth approximately $33.22 billion do when it wants to cut costs? Does it cut how much it pays CEO Daniel Ek, who’s worth $2.8 billion? Nahhh. Or does it scale back operating costs somewhere down the line? Nope.
It does, however, consider making its payouts to artists worse or — in some cases very soon — entirely non-existent.
Billboard reported earlier this week that the company is planning to implement a new payment structure where it will “de-monetize tracks that had previously received 0.5% of Spotify’s royalty pool.” That’s apparently in response to a shitty practice where companies upload snippets of white noise or non-music audio to game Spotify’s payment system and collect royalties on their bullshit uploads. So thanks to frauds using the platform, real artists could end up getting fucked.
Couple that with another report from Music Business Worldwide that notes that major labels like Universal Music Group have been discussing a new artist payment structure with Spotify, and you’ve got a situation where there’s a whole lot of smoke leading to a potentially costly fire.
According to that report, the proposed new system would be more friendly to established artists and labels. Under the structure, a song would have to meet a yearly minimum number of streams before the artist sees any royalties from Spotify. So basically, meet our requirements and you can get paid. Fail to do so and Spotify and record labels scream “sucks to suck, nerd” before kicking said artists right in the ass.
It’s already a well known fact that Spotify pays artists very poorly and has been trying to find ways to pay artists even less in recent months. Couple that with the new ways they try to nickle and dime musicians in the name of boosting exposure, and you’ve got a platform that tries to extract as much as it can out of artists as it can.
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