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Introducing ‘Spotify for Artists,’ as Written by Angry Artists…

Spotify is now spending millions on an ‘artist outreach’ campaign designed to combat a string of defecting artists and mounting bad press.  But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to work.  Just this morning, an unidentified group of artists created a spoofed version of Spotify’s artist outreach site (which is on spotifyartists.com).  The hacked version, called ‘Spotify for Artists,’ lives on spotifyforartists.com.

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Comments (32)
  1. Anonymous

    Well, I don’t think this is particularly funny — or funny at all.

    But it’s probably just the ouverture to a larger protest campaign like the one that hit Pandora.

    After all, Spotify’s latest ‘explanations’ are the same type of condescending behaviour that made Pandora the laughing stock among musicians all over the world.


    Reply
    1. visitor

      Meh… Sounds like Pandora’s “Sign this letter we’re here to help you” campaign…


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Exactly what I meant — sorry, if it came out wrong.


        Reply
    2. Stephen Aristei

      I am always disappointed and sad when I see comments that are supposed to be “meaningful”,”rally” support or engage a debate, yet for some reason the author does not have enough “courage” in his/her convictions to sign the page or stand behind the statement. No revolution or major social change has ever occurred without “revolutionaries”! Convicted individuals wiling to stand in support of their beliefs. Isn’t this how we as a people and industry always get out selves into trouble….Can you imagine how substantial and valuable the “Declaration Of Independence” would have been had it had been signed by “Anonymous”?


      Reply
      1. k won

        haha


        Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Not much humor there…. if you’re a musician


    Reply
  3. jw

    It’s one thing for fast food workers to strike for better wages. McDonalds probably has some extra cash laying around. But Spotify isn’t profitable. lol. Where do they expect all of this cash to come from? Can any artist really explain how the value is being created to justify these demands?

    To any reasonable person, these seem like very childish demands.

    Supposing a living wage is $12k, & that there’s ~3.5 musicians per “artist,” & supposing (just for the sake of argument) that the avg artist has 20 songs on Spotify, that puts 24m users on the hook for supporting 3.5m musicians, which means each person who listens to Spotify is on the hook for ~$145/mo if everyone is to make a “living wage.”

    Artists’ contracts don’t reflect the new digital economy, & contracts need to be rewritten. But that’s not Spotify’s responsibility. Artists are going to have to renegotiate with labels, or they’re going to need to bring it to court.

    And selling music, lol. And artists keeping 95%. lol.

    I’m convinced that Spotify will prove to be very good for artists. That will require contracts between artists & labels renegotiated. And it will require Spotify’s listenership to grow exponentially. But it will get there despite these kinds of absurd arguments.


    Reply
    1. Casey

      Indeed. Spotify’s not profitable, so where is this money supposed to come from? I suppose Spotify could raise the price of Premium and Unlimited. But it is way too early in the game to be raising rates. They would simply price themselves out of business.


      Reply
    2. dp

      Fantastic. A voice of reason. Thank you.


      Reply
  4. Jeff Robinson

    Black comedy and painfully true. But when does it REALLY start?


    Reply
    1. Bandit

      “starting tomorrow”


      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    95% for music sales. So the the truth of what artists really want comes out. A rate at which Spotify would actually lose money on selling air. This is supposed to be a joke but it really isn’t funny. No wonder no one takes artists seriously.


    Reply
    1. smg77

      It’s depressing how many people in the music industry think that if they get rid of digital music consumers will just happily go back to paying $16 for CDs.


      Reply
    2. Stephen Aristei

      I am always disappointed and sad when I see comments that are supposed to be “meaningful”,”rally” support or engage a debate, yet for some reason the author does not have enough “courage” in his/her convictions to sign the page or stand behind the statement. No revolution or major social change has ever occurred without “revolutionaries”! Convicted individuals wiling to stand in support of their beliefs. Isn’t this how we as a people and industry always get out selves into trouble….Can you imagine how substantial and valuable the “Declaration Of Independence” would have been had it had been signed by “Anonymous”?


      Reply
    3. Anonymous

      “A rate at which Spotify would actually lose money on selling air”

      That’s not a problem. Here’s how it works:

      1) Spotify needs artists.
      2) Artists don’t need Spotify.

      Spotify was a direct reaction to mainstream piracy. Remove mainstream piracy, and Spotify is dead.


      Reply
  6. GGG

    I’ve gotten even more than 95% plenty of times for my artists. Though, I’ve found selling self-copied CDs from a trunk/suitcase isn’t the most efficient means of distribution in the digital age.


    Reply
  7. Ms. Poon

    Amazing to see folks here calling starving artists selfish because they don’t want to give their only assets away for free to profiting technologists. Guys like Westergren and Ek and Parker are not rich because they’re smart – they are rich because they are ethically bankrupt.

    That said, the spotifyforartists.com site is not functioning at this time.


    Reply
    1. jw

      I’m not calling them selfish as much as I’m just saying they aren’t acting as if they have any business sense whatsoever, because they don’t. Because they’re artists. If they had business sense, they probably wouldn’t be artists.

      Ek made his first $2m writing analytics software for a swedish ad network. He’s pretty brilliant. And there’s nothing unethical about that. He put that cash back into Spotify in order to solve a problem that he saw, which was online piracy. And in Sweden at the time piracy was a huge problem. But solving this problem, in addition to the software itself, requires scale. You couldn’t qualify your claims about Ek’s ethics if you tried. And that’s the point. You’re trying to make it an “us versus them” thing, I’m only trying to make it a “reality versus fantasy” thing.

      Many outspoken artists who have a problem with Spotify just don’t understand scale. Their expectations need to be realigned. If they got to just dream up whatever they wanted to paid, regardless of concepts like supply & demand & value creation, regardless of advertisers’ or consumers’ willingness or reluctance to spend money, when streaming becomes mainstream, the tiniest indie bands would be flying private jets between gigs.

      Quite simply, you can’t start a company with the “living wages” of a million artists on your shoulder, independent of value being created. That’s just absurd. Artists are essentially saying, “How about a few more truckloads of venture capital? Why don’t you guys syphon some more of those silicon valley dollars into our pockets?”

      I understand where the artists are coming from, but Spotify is not to blame for their difficulties. And Spotify’s payout rates are fair.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “Spotify’s payout rates are fair”

        That’s for artists to decide.


        Reply
        1. jw

          lmao. Yeah, right. What a stupid response.

          If it’s up to artists to decide, that looks like Spotify & Pandora being run out of business & THEN were are we? The consequences of higher payout rates are one of the following: dramatically & prematurely reducing users’ access to free streaming, ensuring that a healthy streaming economy will never develop, having Spotify payout more than 70% of their revenue to artists when they’re already making no profit, prohibiting success in key initiatives like marketing, localized ad sales & international expansion, charging more for premium subscriptions, which would prohibit subscription growth & force more users back to the free tier, or demand more investment capital, putting more pressure on Spotify to go public to return profits to investors. Money doesn’t come out of thin air. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Spotify doesn’t have some kind of money printing machine locked away in a closet somewhere.

          Honest to God, I would love to hear one single artist lobbying for higher rates make a SOUND ARGUMENT that makes business sense & presents a sustainable solution to the issues they have with the current system(s).

          And, again, I’m empathetic to artists. I support artists. I buy music. Just two days ago, two John Paul Keith records, Shintaro Sakamoto’s How To Live, & reissues by Townes Van Zandt & Otis Clay came in the mail. I understand how hard it is to be a musician right now, but it has ALWAYS been hard to be a musician, & if things are going to get better, it’s not going to happen by squeezing services like Spotify until they pop. This isn’t subjective. This isn’t became I’m on one team & not the other. This is just a simple truth. Spotify’s audience is a very small portion of the music listening public, & this assumption that they should already be shipping out boatloads of cash to artists is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s shortsighted, it has no concern for sustainability, growth, or the longterm health of the industry, & it’s the artists attempting to shoot themselves in the foot. SURE, EVERYONE WANTS MORE MONEY. I want more money. (I’ll also take a chocolate cake & a low milage 2001 Ferrari 456GTA.) But you have to balance that with an interest in the longterm health of the streaming industry. And that’s not being accounted for. It’s just not.

          This isn’t about any “us versus them” scenario. It’s about reality versus fantasy. It’s about short term self-interest versus plugging a hole in a sinking ship & setting the stage for a healthier future.


          Reply
          1. jw

            And for clarification, I’m just talking about the squeaky wheel artists.

            There are certainly many artists with great business sense, or at least with handers with great business sense. Many of whom are doing quite well right now & don’t have to raise cain about Spotify’s payouts.


            Reply
            1. Bandit

              How much are “handers” these days?


              Reply
              1. jw

                *handlers. Obv.


                Reply
      2. Local Talent Buyer

        Hope no one ever asks me to work for 5% commission… LOL.


        Reply
      3. Danwriter

        Scale is hard to achieve without profits. Amazon is one of the few to pull off that trick — it has been profitless since mid-2010, yet it continues to expand its scale into new markets, like education, in the process getting investors to go along. In their case, the stock price is the proxy for profitability, just as venture capital is for Spotify. But that can’t last forever. And Amazon is selling products for which there appears to be steadier demand than there is for what constitutes the nebulous universe of music. Spotify might seem to appear to be tossing some life preservers to music artsts. Unfortunately, the life preservers are still atached to a slowly sinking (for now) ship.


        Reply
  8. KnobTwiddler

    Spotify = unprofitable – yes, but the Daniel Ek’s of the world have managed to extract millions upon millions of dollars while everyone else waits for enough ‘volume’ to make money. I think that is what bothers most musicians. They understand the ‘starve til you succeed’ proposition of a life in music better than most. If Daniel Ek took zero profits until the service was viable there would be an argument that he’s a great guy just trying to ‘solve a problem he saw’ – but that all falls apart when you look at the payouts for the top compared to the payouts for the bottom.

    The longer Spotify exists without making blue-collar artists any real money while the corporate payouts continue unabated – the more Ek’s legacy as an opportunistic dickhead will be cemented in not only the hearts and minds of artists globally, but in the annals of history as well.


    Reply
    1. jw

      Where is this money that the executives are making? Show me some evidence of that.

      Sean Parker has only invested money INTO Spotify. Daniel Ek invested pretty much all of his wealth INTO Spotify, & he’s not taking some absurd salary as the CEO.

      The number that gets thrown around, $600m or whatever his wealth supposedly is, is tied up in the valuation of the company.


      Reply
  9. Stephen Aristei

    I am always disappointed and sad when I see comments that are supposed to be “meaningful”,”rally” support or engage a debate, yet for some reason the author does not have enough “courage” in his/her convictions to sign the page or stand behind the statement. No revolution or major social change has ever occurred without “revolutionaries”! Convicted individuals wiling to stand in support of their beliefs. Isn’t this how we as a people and industry always get out selves into trouble….Can you imagine how substantial and valuable the “Declaration Of Independence” would have been had it had been signed by “Anonymous”?


    Reply
  10. Us

    Spotify isn’t profitable? Says who? It’s millionaire owner?


    Reply
    1. jw

      Ek had made millions before Spotify, & is not pulling some insane salary from Spotify. That’s just an assumption on your part. His wealth is tied up in the valuation of the company. Do some research.


      Reply
  11. scientific universal noncommercial

    In all honesty, when morning cartoons head out the door, slammed in the back with technology, my comedy resides on DMN. It’s really funny to see you all moan and groan about issues that have a voice, yet, all this energy could be concentrated on global positivity. All y’all that hopped on the negative bandwagon, just got served with some chuck wagon. n’joy :)


    Reply
  12. Tom Green

    *sigh*

    Look – in the days of limited product available, it costing a whole lot of cash to make, and limited promo channels – and no computer games (now worth more than both music and films combined) or internet … charging the kind of profit margin you could charge on an hour’s worth of recorded music, as ‘entertainment’ … was possible. And it allowed a few artists – like me – to make a living off the back of around 10,000 sales of a home produced ‘DIY” CD, every couple of years.

    ALL OF THAT IS GONE.

    It’s gone partly because of piracy, but just as much because there are now almost no limits to new entrants adding to the supply of music – endlessly – a lot of them touting it for free. It’s gone because there are now many more ways for consumers to entertain themselves, rather than spend their money on your music. It’s gone because of supply & demand – basic market forces. When supply VASTLY exceeds demand – as now- the price of any product will drop like a stone.

    No, it’s not nice, this reality stuff, is it ?

    Spotify simply reflects the market. Recordings – especially as digital files – are basically worth f*** all, now. Get used to it, or get out of the market. It’s jammed with enough crap music already.


    Reply

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