By all rights, Spotify should have been declared bankrupt and closed down years ago. If it operated in any other sector of the economy, it would have done. The company doesn’t like to talk about this, but it has never made a profit even once during its entire 15 years in existence.
If this had occurred in a large company elsewhere, you can be absolutely assured the authorities would have been combing through everything to find out why.
The streaming giant is constantly under a certain amount of pressure to actually make some profit by its long-suffering investors. The pressure goes up and down over time, and currently seems to be on the rise.
Last week, Spotify revealed they were trialling a new plan, where users would pay 99p per month and get to listen to as much as they wanted. The downside? You’d still have to listen to adverts between songs, something removed from the £9.99 plan.
And now, they’ve decided to start charging the artists and labels who allow the site to exist. A new feature called Campaigns is currenly in Beta mode. I haven’t been allowed in, but someone who has got in touch with me. This person was incandescent. There’s no other way to put it. Rest assured that a large number of swear words were coined in the direction of Spotify themselves and boss Daniel “Mr Burns” Ek…
Using the Campaigns feature, artists would have to pay Spotify to show their own followers that they’ve just put out some new music. I kid you not. Such a policy might work for the majors – who, in many cases, have control over their artist’s Spotify accounts – who know they’ll be making their money back easily.
For everyone else? This just looks like a kick in the teeth.
Once you’ve paid, your song is promoted to your fans. And each time one of those fans subsequently clicks on the promotional link generated by Spotify, the artist has to pay Spotify again! This money is required upfront, not billed afterwards. This effectively means that the artist has to stick money in an account with the site which gets deducted afterwards. No money in the pot equals no promotion via the site.
It’s really no wonder that Pete Townshend once called Daniel Ek “a f***ing crook”, is it?
Thanks to Fourth Strike Records for initially making me aware of this story.