Underground dance music is growing once again, says Spotify – so will Daniel Ek use that as his latest excuse not to pay out more money?

Believe it or not, but Spotify publishes some extremely interesting articles occasionally. You might already know that a few weeks ago, International Music Summit published a report saying that dance music shrank by over 50% last year. Hardly surprising given huge swathes of the industry were effectively closed.

My relationship with Spotify is mixed. On the one hand, I absolutely love the technology behind it – being able to listen to almost anything you want, wherever you want, whenever you want is a brilliant idea. On the other hand, I hate the fact they think it’s okay to pay artists and labels horrifically poor levels of money for the use of the music that allows Spotify to exist.

Amidst other things, Spotify believe there will be a resurgence in “underground and bedroom productions” this year. This isn’t a surprise in itself – with clubs reopening, there’s going to be more motivation for producers. Dance music is made for playing in clubs, after all.

But Spotify is not the sort of company to make any statement for no reason. And I can’t help but suspect this is laying the foundations for later on, when producers making these songs start gaining lots of traction on streaming but end up making little to no money off them. Those grumbles will come, and guess what Spotify’s response will be?

It’ll be along the lines “well, it cost you next to nothing to make those records, so what are you complaining about?”. Which is exactly the same line they used years ago when the last generation complained. As the French say “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”