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Spotify launched a new website on Thursday addressing questions about how it pays royalties but has failed to reduce anger from artists struggling to survive during the broadcast.
“Artists deserve clarity about the music streaming economy,” Spotify said on its new site Loud & Clear, adding that it aims to “make public by sharing new information in the global broadcast economy and dismantling the royal system, actors, and processes”.
It said 13,400 artists produced $ 50,000 or more from its program last year, while 7,800 produced more than $ 100,000.
But it added: “Spotify does not pay artists or songwriters directly. Instead, Spotify pays copyright holders … If the money leaves Spotify, the amount of artist or songwriter is paid depends on their agreement with the right holders.”
Indeed, artists who sign on major labels will typically take only 20% of this revenue and may be required to separate the rest between band members and management.
That means most of those 13,400 artists are likely to earn about $ 10,000 a year – and only then have they paid off their initial debts on labels.
A recent study by France’s Central National de la Musique found that 10 percent of the total revenue from Spotify and Deezer was produced by 10 megastars.
Artists around the world have been in the spotlight over the past few months as labels announce the profits recorded in the broadcast, while all but the top artists are struggling to make money.
There have been protests outside Spotify offices in several cities around the world on Monday as part of the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers’ Justice campaign in Spotify campaign.
“Spotify has failed to meet any of our demands. The company has always removed the blame for some of the programs it has created, and where it has set itself an estimated $ 70 billion,” the union said in a statement sent to US music magazine Pitchfork.
Campaigns seek information on Spotify’s major labels, and whether it costs money to do other things, such as listing certain songs.
The company’s new site backtracked against the demand for each radio station, indicating that there are now more than 550,000 tracks with more than a million streams. Instead, it supports payments to the artist’s total share.
Spotify also said it was reluctant to adopt a “user-centric” model, where monthly subscribers’ fees – usually about $ 10 – go to broadcasters only, not to one of the world’s largest pots.
“We are determined to switch to a user-friendly model if that is what artists, songwriters and rights holders want to do,” she said. “However, Spotify cannot make this decision on their own – it requires extensive industry coordination to make this change work.”
Research has shown that the model used by users can make little difference to low-level artists, but campaigners say this is better than nothing, will encourage greater investment in niche genres, and is much better. They blamed the big labels for blocking the flow.
Soundcloud became the first streaming service to introduce “user-centric” payments this month, but only for the 100,000 independent artists who make money directly from their site.