Spotify a loss for musicians?

spotifylogoRecently a new service has emerged from a swedish company Spotify. They offer a gigantic music library available for streaming, a brilliant idea at first and we at Gramtone got on the bus. Through our distributor Phonofile in Norway, we are avaliable on Spotify since last week. Our three releases The Modesty, Tree full of people and PAN are all available. Our coming releases Ralph and Kallocain wants to be published too.

But when talking about the economy, the terms are not particilarly ok for the musicians. First, the income generally is modest, where enormous amounts of artists will share a fairy small cake of money from ads and some paying for subscriptions. Then Spotify shares it 50/50. After that the distributor get 20% and the rest goes into the record company. Since Gramtone has a philosophy of high percentage to our bands, 80-90% of our income, they will get what they can. But as our distributor explained a bit ironically:
“…which will come down to about 0,000000001 euro per play”.
So if an atist is played about one billion times, the will get one euro from Spotify. A revolution? No, but hopefully a complement.

An other thought: Will streaming services really benefit music in the long term? The huge amounts of small labels and independent bands will be forced to work with the few, huge companies that can afford this kind of technology. Now when web publishing is cheap, one can set up their own webshop and work directly with the audience without middlemen, this kind of service maybe puts a gigantic middleman to separate this direct contact. But I might be wrong. It would be cool to hear about Spotifys strategies. I will call them. I also have a few more subjects to talk with them about.

This article (in swedish though) tells about recent development. As usual, the comments are very interesting:

Edit 8/8 2009: Read the post after our first report from our distributor “Spotify money report”:


5 Responses to “Spotify a loss for musicians?”

  1. 1 joebuck March 20, 2009 at 11:28 am

    The income per play sounds a bit too low, but one has to compare it to regular radio. How much money would you get from one song being played on radio with 10.000 people listening? That’s the number that should be compared to 10.000 listens in Spotify. In that regards, the artists already popular will have an advantage when it comes to reach more listens in Spotify.

    The key for small labels will be to reach an audience and to start seeing Spotify as a perfect promotion platform. I still think Spotify is better than regular radio to promote smaller artists. Spotify users can include their favourite bands in playlists and share them all over the web or post about albums on their blogs (like I do on Spotinews).

    So instead of p3 or Rix choosing just the top 50 or 100 songs of the moment, a regular user can become a dj and promote rare stuff. I know all this involves a huge change in how to use the web, but in the long run I’m sure it’s going to end well for everyone involved.

  2. 2 yastory March 20, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    No. It is much better if artists use the Internet to further direct relations with their audience.

  1. 1 Topics about Religion » Spotify a loss for musicians? Trackback on March 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm
  2. 2 Spotify money report « Gramtone’s Weblog Trackback on August 8, 2009 at 7:13 am
  3. 3 Spotify och pengarna « Gramtone’s Weblog Trackback on August 13, 2009 at 9:02 am

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Gramtone är musikutgivare och bas för ett gäng musiker och låtskrivare, baserade i Norrköping. Vi äger bolaget och studion tillsammans, folk med olika bakgrund och olika smak. Två dussin är vi, som ställer allt vi äger i ett rum och säger: varsågoda. Ett kollektiv av individualister har vi kallats, och varför inte: Grammisar har vunnits, stipendier har fåtts, medan somliga är kända för helt andra saker. Alla spelar roll, men inte nödvändigtvis rock. En driver ett enmansprojekt, en annan är med i fem band samtidigt. Några är runt 20, några har fyllt 50. En fick pris för årets bästa museum. Någon ligger bakom Softubes banbrytande pluggar och någon har fått utmärkelse för, hör och häpna, bästa fotbollslåt.

Gramtone satsar på en liten, spännande utgivning av ostyrig, vacker musik. Lyssna där du vill, vi finns i alla de vedertagna kanalerna. Vissa spelar live, andra spelar in. Några älskar att skriva låtar, andra spelar gitarr så fingrarna blöder. Gramtone är en plattform som används av varje band och artist som det passar dem bäst. Ibland är vi en lekplats, ibland kreativt nav, affärsyta eller en trampolin för musikkarriärer. Vi blir planterade och uppodlade av varandra, och vi gillar't. Vi tycker att musik gör tillvaron större och vill man att något ska finnas, då ska man också skapa det. Tre dussin utgivningar hittills, och mycket på gång. Titta in, lyssna in, och häng med.


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