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Bit of a whinge, this

And now, to make matters far worse, starting in 2024 Spotify will stop paying anything at all for roughly two-thirds of tracks on the platform. That is any track receiving fewer than 1,000 streams over the period of a year. Tracks falling under this arbitrary minimum will continue to accrue royalties – but those royalties will now be redirected upwards, often to bigger artists, rather than to their own rights holders.

OK, but 1,000 streams what are we talking about here?

What it won’t tell either artists or users in Spotify Wrapped is how much money was paid for all that streaming time. Short answer: not enough. If you want to do the maths, the maximum one can possibly earn in Spotify royalties is $0.003 a stream. It doesn’t add up to a living wage for most artists.

Three cents? Seems, umm, entirely reasonable to me actually. You?

Who wants a company – anyone in fact – to be chasing millions of under 3 cents amounts each reporting period? Note that Spotify doesn;t then keep that – it just pays it out to other people instead.

12 thoughts on “Bit of a whinge, this”

  1. $0.003 is a third of a cent.

    And if you can’t set up a cron job to play your own track 3 times over the course of a day, you clearly don’t care enough about being paid.

  2. 0.3 of a cent but for the likes of Damon Krukowski, which sounds like an amalgam of various minor Simpsons characters, it’s still probably too much.

    people had spent enough time on the platform with my old band Galaxie 500 “to walk from the Earth to the moon four times”. My current band, Damon & Naomi, only provided the soundtrack for a comparatively modest trek, “from Berlin to Beijing three times”.

    Arrogant little tosser isn’t he?

  3. BiW: Heh. Bonus points for running it through Tor (or your VPN of choice, randomizing the exit node) to add verisimilitude.

  4. That’s a cut off limit of $3 per track per year. Even with automation Spotify’s costs per track are going to be around that. Simple way to shut up the whingers: charge them $5 per track per year to be listed.

  5. If you missed out on the period from 1955 to 1995, you missed the business. Go make some buggy whips, preach in Latin or try operating a silk stocking factory.

    If I wanted to make money from music, I would get my songs in front of Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Edgar Wright or Sophia Coppola. Let them use the songs for free for the movie (so, you’ve taken away a major pain point for them). Make money on soundtrack sales and then you have an audience for the real money which is gigs and selling out to ad agencies.

    You’re just not going to get anywhere with Spotify because there’s a million people on there. Music production, recording and distribution aren’t scarce. Samplers, multi-track recording is cheap as chips. Every kid can set themselves up with paper round money. Movies are still fairly scarce, though.

  6. If you want to do the maths, the maximum one can possibly earn in Spotify royalties is $0.003 a stream. It doesn’t add up to a living wage for most artists.

    This . . . doesn’t even mean anything. Is the author expecting a ‘living wage’ to be paid out for a single song? Is that their takeaway?

    How many streams do they think a song should have before it ‘provides a living wage’? 1000? 10000? a million?

    Its $30,000/year if that song is streamed a million times – that’s certainly a livable wage.

    10 such songs streamed a hundred thousand times a year gets you that 30k too.

    1000 shitty songs streamed a thousand times a year gets you 30k.

  7. The money’s in performances nowadays anyway.

    Like Youtube videos – you don’t worry about monetizing your channel until you’re already big. Then you rake in the money.

    You do live performances until your big and give the recordings away – *then* you make bank on streaming.

  8. Dave McCabe of the Zutons retired on the proceeds of the Calvin Harris and Amy Winehouse version of “Valerie”…

    Lee Mavers of the La’s has lived off of “There She Goes” for 35 years…

    “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers holds the record for being in the UK charts for the most consecutive weeks…

    Don’t rely on streaming, write decent tunes that stand the test of time…

  9. My ground rent is £1.50 a year. If the land agent wrote to me every year with a bill that would be approaching costing more than the revenue. Long ago I told him not to bother and I just wander over every five years or so when I remember.
    Even then it’s probably approaching a significant fraction of the revenue the ten minutes recording the payment and giving me a receipt.
    And the money just sits in an escrow account as the freeholder hasn’t turned up to collect it in years, and it would cost more than the accumulated balance for the land agent to try and track them down.

    I have multiple fingers crossed that Goves’ proposed reforms will make it easier to extinguish this. Currently, to extinguish a freehold you have to have permission of the freeholder…. which means tracking them down…

  10. Bloke in the Fourth Reich


    Chief rents have turned into something of a business model for scammers in recent years. Apparently there is no obligation to minimise costs to someone you have a beef with in the UK, unlike in the much maligned Napoleonic-code lands.

    So an unpaid chief rent, to a party who you might not know, because they just bought the right without telling you, who doesn’t even have to send you an invoice, much less prove to your satisfaction that they are actually the beneficiary, can end up sticking a lease on your property for thousands of quids of “expenses”, that just happen to be owed to their solicitor of choice, because you didn’t actively find out who you owed your annual thirty shillings to within 40 days of the debt becoming due.

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