Artists believe that Spotify completely destroys album sales.
Artists will generally make more money from selling an album, physically or digitally, than they will from streaming their music.
Artists’ songs have to rack up about million streams on the service to actually make them proper money.
A per-stream play in Spotify pays between $0.00121 and $0.00653, depending on whether the song is streamed in the ad-supported version or premium. So, to actually earn a decent amount of money from Spotify, an artist’s song has to rack up a serious number of streams, which is usually only possible for major artists.
Like Ed Sheeran, for example, whose song Thinking Out Loud got 500 million streams on the platform.
Artists believe that Spotify devalues music.
Music fans are able to listen to the entire catalogue of their favorite artists for free in Spotify’s ad-supported version, which gives little incentive for them to pay. This is the main issue that many artists currently have with Spotify: they simply don’t like giving their music away for free. Taylor Swift famously pulled her music from Spotify, along with Adele and several others, based on the feeling that their art is valuable and that free streaming devalues that art.
Spotify is paying out 70% of their revenue back to the music industry, but artists are typically not seeing this value.
The streaming service has repeatedly stated that they are pouring 70% of their revenue back into the music industry, which I don’t doubt is true. But, artists are claiming that they are not seeing this, which frequently is caused by major labels taking a large chunk of the revenue and giving the artists a tiny share (if anything at all). Regardless of whether it’s justified or not, a lot of that hatred gets misdirected to Spotify.
There are other streaming services with greater benefits.
There’s a reason why artists complain about streaming services, but don’t say anything about YouTube. The reason is simple: artists need YouTube. The service has over one billion active users and acts as a platform for worldwide exposure. Not only that, but YouTube allows artists to easily share their videos with their fans.
Another factor is video. Simply, audio coupled with video has a greater impact on fans than just simply the audio. Combining a great song with great visuals can really magnify a song’s success, and artists know this all too well. Last year Spotify, announced the addition of videos and podcasts to their service, but still, though YouTube remains the secure default for video. And given huge YouTube numbers and overlapping fanbases, the question arises: if artists distribute their music through YouTube, do they need Spotify?