Last Year, We Pulled Our Entire Catalog from Spotify. Now, We’re Back In

Does this mean the holdouts are reconsidering?

On Monday, Century Media Group decided to rejoin Spotify, in the biggest fashion imaginable.  That is, their entire repertoire is now getting re-uploaded into the service, across all territories, including all content from sublabels like InsideOut Music, Superball Music, and People Like You Records.  All of which means more metal for Spotify listeners, but more symbolically, a huge reversal from a smaller indie group that was feeling bilked.

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August 9th, 2011: “Century Media: Why We’re Pulling Out Of Spotify Immediately…

Why the change of heart? In correspondence with Digital Music News on Monday morning, the group pointed to heavy pressure from fans as the reason for rejoining.

“After the initial decision to pull the Century Media catalog from Spotify, label execs were impressed by the resulting debate, especially the messages and comments by the thousands of fans who weighed in on the issue. Fan sentiment and continued discussions with Spotify have resulted in the label reversing its initial decision.”

Which is interesting, because last year, the driving reason for the pullout was poor payouts to artists.  Suggesting that fans win once again.  By stark contrast, here’s what the label told us in early August of 2011.

“Physical sales are dropping drastically in all countries where Spotify is active. Artists are depending on their income from selling music and it is our job to support them to do so. Since the artists need to sell their music to continue their creativity, Spotify is a problem for them. This is about survival, nothing less, and it is time that fans and consumers realize that for artists it is essential to sell music to keep their heads above water.

…and on the topic of consumer education, this:

“Obviously, it is ultimately up to the music fan and consumer how they access their music, whether it is buying, streaming or stealing. There needs to be awareness, though, that how you will consume your music has direct consequences for the artists, who we are all trying to support.”

 

28 Responses

  1. @mattadownes

    Physical sales are dropping drastically in all countries where Spotify is active.

    Are physical sales decreasing less in countries where Spotify isn’t?

  2. FarePlay

    Okay music makers, time to get real about your future. At what point, if ever, do you stand up for your rights and care enough about your future to not act out of fear?

    When are you going to be prepared to take the short term pain, knowing that if you don’t, you will have no discernable economic future? Let’s be honest guys, you let a small, nasty band of profiteers and self-serving revolutionaries keep you in hiding for a decade.

    Now you’re going to roll over and make a terrible deal and allow Spotify and it’s Napster Cronies call the tune? Look at the numbers guys, they’re terrible. Do you really want to do business with these guys?

    Will Buckley, founder, FarePlay

    • Oops!

      Hey Will,

      Tried to get to your site, but figured this might be a good place to relay this message.

      This site is currently unavailable.

      If you are the owner of this site, please contact us at 1-480-505-8855 at your earliest convenience.

      I know, it’s hard to put the word out and keep the lights on at the same time…

      Best of luck

      • FarePlay

        Thanks Oops,

        So true and I do honestly appreciate your support and insight. Got involved with supporting artists and the survival of music, film, etc., etc. back in January 2011.

        Along the way I’ve had the good fortune to meet up with like minded individuals and no longer feel just like a lone voice in the wilderness.

        I’ve met a lot of good people right here on Paul’s Blog and will continue slugging away for as long as it takes.

        Because everyone deserves to be paid fairly for their work, even those who are priviledged to be doing what they love.

        Will Buckley, founder, FarePlay

        http://www.facebook.com/FarePlay

        • Minneapolis songwriter

          But Will,

          The actual music is only about 1/3 of what creates a purchase.

          The other two equally critical factors are:

          2) How extensively the track is well-MARKETED so that people can NOTICE it among 1,000,000 other tracks that are available on any given day.

          3) What the singer/band looks like and how attractive they are to the listener (and attractiveness is not just looks, but their “tribal affiliation” as well.)

          ———-

          #2 costs money and time. It’s what the record labels have done for the big acts.

          #3 Is not always in your control. YOu are who you are.

  3. Yves Villeneuve

    They might have been offered a sweet royalty deal from Spotify to come back into the fold and give some other excuse.

    This might be the path to take for influential labels and artists to get better stream deals.

    As for me, I am still not interested in supplying to stream services, regardless of offers. Read: streaming equals bad business model.

    • While we're on the topic of ba

      Says the artist that does not perform live, or seek any other revenue other than digital downloads.

      • Yves Villeneuve

        My only music-related merchandise is recorded music sold in non-physical format. This will never change.

        As stated at my websites, musically, I only have time for writing and recording music.

        Best wishes.

        • Visitor

          I think you mean:

          Writing, recording music, and viciously commenting on blogs.

          Best of luck.

          • Yves Villeneuve

            Commenting on blogs, music or not, is business/philosophical related.

          • Yves Villeneuve

            I am not in the concert or acting business.

            Best of luck.

        • Retspih

          Whatever man. I’m so much more protective than you. I’m the best musician you’ll never hear. My music is only heard by private VIPs, and they have to pay hundreds of dollars for the right. Try pirating my music. Just try. You can’t. That’s the way _I_ make music, and screw you for thinking you are better than me. You are not.

    • seaurch

      I guess for anyone who can’t get more than a few hundred listens or anyone who has a terrible contract with their label it’s a bad business model. For any band with a fanbase, though, it’s a pretty good deal. Certainly more than most bands ever got selling CDs (read: nothing).

      • Yves Villeneuve

        This is why it is a bad business model:

        1- Caps revenues from individuals who normally spend more than the value of a subscription.

        2- Excludes revenues from individuals who normally do not spend the value of a subscription.

        Has nothing to do with the size of fan base.

  4. Visitor

    That’s what I find magical about Spotify. So much whining about royalties from artists and labels, but when it comes down to it, they refuse to be shown the door. Even The Black Keys who talked a bunch of shit about Spotify still pretty much has all their music on the site. It’s a “do as I say, not as I do” sort of bullshit.

    • FarePlay

      There is nothing magical about Spotify. They’re a predatory merchant that will, in all likelyhood, finesse their way into an IPO and then proceed to never live up to their financial projections.

      The big losers will be the musicians.

  5. ItsDaBusiness

    Yes it’s all just bend over and take it!

    No wonder we are in such a mess.

    Oh well, might as well sign up to give our music away for free.

  6. Michael

    Riiiight, I’m sure it is the artists interests you are worried about…

    What I think is they hate to join Spotify because they know people like Mac Miller can put their shit on Spotify and iTunes without a record label to get them those huge contracts… and then they can cut the record label out of the deal.

    Also – not really big news, they have very few decent bands, even for people who listen to a lot of metal.

  7. Minneapolis songwriter

    With so many people creating tracks that are “good enough” for the masses today, a really CONVENIENT high-quality streaming service will get tons of listeners.

    And the services will get enough people willing to “work for free, as a hobby that they will have PLENTY of music. More music than anyone has enough time to listen to.

    Another point…the actual music is only about 1/3 of what creates a purchase.

    The other two equally critical factors are:

    2) How extensively the track is well-MARKETED so that people can NOTICE it among 1,000,000 other tracks that are available on any given day.

    3) What the singer/band looks like and how attractive they are to the listener (and attractiveness is not just looks, but their “tribal affiliation” as well.)

    And,

    #2 costs money and time. It’s what the record labels have done for the big acts.

    #3 Is not always in your control. You are who you are.

  8. Johnny Pierre

    It’s BS…artists deserve true compensation; not some crumb thrown from the table.