Written by: Paul Resnikoff Digital Music News
(2) Streaming services claim that artists are making money off of streaming, which has generated massive distrust and anger among artists.
(3) As a result of (1) and (2), artists often get pissed off at streaming services, and sometimes publish their abysmal royalties on sites like Digital Music News.
(4) As a result of (3), streaming services counter that the leaked royalties are miscalculated and inaccurate, which makes artists even more pissed off.
(5) Streaming services like Spotify claim that someday in the near future, artists will make money off of streaming services. In fact, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says that artists will be making a decent, living wage off of streaming in just a few years.
(6) There is very little evidence to suggest that (5) will ever happen for artists.
(8) Still, streaming services like Spotify claim that labels pay their artists, which everyone knows is… well…
(9) Major label artists contracts typically ensure that streaming royalties will never, ever be paid to artists.
(10) Major label licensing partners now demand large percentages in the streaming services they license, like Beats Music. But artists are virtually guaranteed to make nothing off of these massive equity payouts when an IPO or sale occurs.
(11) Arguably worse is SoundCloud, one of the largest audio streaming services on the planet that hasn’t been paying artists a dime.
(12) And when SoundCloud finally agreed to make licensing deals in July, they focused only on the biggest artists and major labels. Which means, most artists still won’t be getting paid by SoundCloud.
(14) Artists suffer: according to data compiled by Audiam, streaming services have failed to pay $100 million to artists over the past 12 years.
(15) Labels suffer from incomplete or incorrect play data, which would make things complicated if they decided to pay their artists.
(16) Songs are often written by multiple authors that aren’t all registered properly, which compounds the difficulty of this problem.
(17) Funds for smaller artists and writers that aren’t counted properly are ultimately paid out to the wrong party, typically a larger rights owner like a major label.
(19) This hostility is evident in lots of lying:
“You cannot devalue music. It’s impossible.”
Tim Quirk, Google Play
“Artists Will Make a Decent Living Off Streaming In Just a Few Years”
Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO
“Not one artist can tell us that streaming music is actually detrimental to the overall bottom line for the artist.”
Spotify Account Manager of Label Relations Katie Schlosser
(21) Artists generally have no idea what they should be getting paid by services like Spotify.
(22) Compounding the problem, services like Spotify refuse to open their books to artists and rights owners that demand it. This is essentially the opposite of transparency.