Spotify Says Any Report About Limiting Free Is “Totally False”

spotifyfree

Yesterday, multiple sources informed Digital Music News that Spotify was being pressured to curtail its free, ad-supported access tier to just three months.  This morning, Spotify issued a sharp and succinct response to that report:

“It’s totally false. The model is working.”

Earlier, Spotify noted that the flow from free to paid was progressing successfully, and was good for this industry.  “Any content you restrict on your free service is going to be all over those places where no one pays for content – like piracy,” said Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s global head of communications and public policy.

“We believe that our free tier is a critical element to driving subscriber growth, and, frankly, we’re so committed to the freemium model because we agree so much with the labels that subscribers are key to bringing the industry back to health – and we need the free ‘funnel’ to drive subscription.”

Spotify’s strong stance contrasts sharply with sources to Digital Music News, who are standing by their claims.  Meanwhile, public statements from extremely powerful licensors to Spotify continue to point to a bloody battlefield ahead.  “Basically, I equate ‘free’ with the decline of the music business,” Sony Music Entertainment chairman and CEO Doug Morris declared in March of this year. “Why should anyone pay for anything if they can get it for free? In certain instances, it’s worth a discussion.”

“But in general, free is death.”

 

34 Responses

    • Anonymous

      digital services do not pay artists, just like record stores do not pay artists (and never have). what you are looking for is for artists to have better contracts with their labels

      Reply
      • DavidB

        Labels can’t pay artists more than they get themselves. Labels only get about a tenth of a cent per ‘free’ stream. Giving artists a bigger share of that is still going to be peanuts.

        As to Spotify’s claims, if by the ‘flow from free to paid was progressing successfully’ they mean that the conversion rate has improved, let’s see the data.

        Reply
        • superduper

          That may be true. Everyone is saying how all the ‘greedy labels’ won’t fork over more money to artists, yet what about the record label’s predicament? Not to say that they are in dire straits (even though they actually MAY be in trouble if you think about it), but within the streaming model how can people assume that they can afford to pay more to artists? To me, it seems like one big narrative spin along the lines of the classic lines of ‘record companies are evil corporations ripping off artists’, and to me that is not credible enough because I have heard it many times before and I think it is too simplistic. To me, there is something strange about the whole ‘record companies should stop hogging all the money pay more to artists’ thing. Does anybody stop to consider that there may not be any significant money to be made in streaming and that is why it is happening?

          Reply
    • noah

      Artists should make their releases more appealing to own physical copies of or tour more if they want more money. They don’t need to be millionaires to make good music

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        That’s a fantasy, de-bunked time and time again by real artists like Zoe Keating and Pomplamoose. The numbers just don’t add up, even for established artists with traction that can draw crowds in multiple cities.

        Reply
  1. small labe1

    Yeah , Spotify… we’ve heard the “or else they’ll pirate it” line for years now. Guess what, you end up essentially being the pirate. I don’t do business with pirates, so fugoft Spotify..

    I’m staunch antipirate, and I’d rather have people pirate the music than let you leech off the adrev from “legal” piracy. Yeah Spotify, and don’t give me the line, “what about YouTube”?? … We’re talking to you, not ScrewTube, they’ll get dealt with .. don’t you worry your pretty little head… I’m sure the ‘pretending to be concerned’ act is exhausting, so you can give up that charade ..we aren’t buying it.

    Reply
    • Aggro much?

      A lot of misplaced aggression here. You’re right, spotify underpays its artists. But how much worse is this than napster? Pirate bay? At least theres somewhat of a pay out. If you have such a problem with Spotify’s model, then don’t upload your music there.

      Reply
  2. small labe1

    hey Spotify… we’ve heard the “or else they’ll pirate it” line for years now. Guess what, you end up essentially being the pirate. I don’t do business with pirates, so fugoft Spotify..

    I’m staunch antipirate, and I’d rather have people pirate the music than let you leech off the adrev from “legal” piracy. Yeah Spotify, and don’t give me the line, “what about YouTube”?? … We’re talking to you, not ScrewTube, they’ll get dealt with .. don’t you worry your pretty little head… I’m sure the ‘pretending to be concerned’ act is exhausting, so you can give up that charade ..we just aren’t buying it.

    Reply
  3. anon

    Yes, record labels never gave anybody a free LP or CD in an effort to create a higher volume of gross income down the line….

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    A funnel to MUCHO music disposal! Lets convert it funnel to your REAR END.

    What model is working? They do not have any MODEL!

    Ek and Parker are just two arrogant thugs who managed to walk in to labels operated by group of OVERPAID AND CLUELESS PUUSSY-CATS!

    Where are the stockholders? I understand corporate idiots. What about Blavatnik!

    Reply
  5. FarePlay

    Let’s just do away with this line of reasoning and deal with online piracy. Take down STAY DOWN. Now. Protect artists and their work, not piracy.

    Reply
  6. FarePlay

    If people aren’t willing to pay, do you really have a business?

    Reply
  7. superduper

    I think even paid is not a good business model either. I just don’t like the new model at its very core.

    Reply
  8. Name2

    Music business not happy, from the honchos to the hipsters.

    Film at 11.

    Reply
      • Name2

        It’s still up there, so I guess you’re pulling my leg here with your written response, which is no biggie.

        The question still stands, though: Is DMN really this tone-deaf?

        Reply
  9. Ryan

    So the whole article was false? And it’s back to being how it actually is, where they pay the label and then then the artist gets paid?

    Reply
  10. Ryan

    So the whole article was fake? And it’s back to being how it actually is, where they pay the label and then then the artist gets paid?

    Reply

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