Why would anyone bother making music in this day and age? Whilst I’m not saying that money should be the sole driver for producers, singers and the rest, getting paid for your work is certainly a helpful motivation elsewhere in life. Would you expect the binman to collect your rubbish for free?
It might be an odd thing for a blog about dance music and the culture to say, because without any music, none of it would exist. And it’s precisely that central fact which means the music makers should be paid properly for their work – and also why Spotify and Daniel Ek drive me absolutely mad with their refusal to do so.
Last week, the website was sending all its artists their glossy Spotify Wrapped graphics for the year, telling them how many streams they’d got, how many countries they had listeners from and so forth. What they didn’t mention was how much they pay out for those streams – and even millions of them can now be meaningless.
A Welsh songwriter called The Anchoress was in the news a few days ago after revealing she earned nothing from an album despite it having 750,000 streams. And she shared news of a band called NZCA Lines who had 2.1 million streams…
Another artist with more than twice the streams I have shared this yesterday if you also want to see how this can shake down to performance royalties for @NZCALINES 2.1M streams: pic.twitter.com/AlK9o3kbtM— The Anchoress (@The_Anchoress) December 7, 2021
Looking at the statement which accompanies the graphic, it looks to me like they received a total of £93.63 from Spotify. For 2 million streams.
In the meantime, the four men in the picture at the top of this post – Daniel Ek of Spotify, Rob Stringer of Sony Music, Stephen Cooper of Warner and Lucian Grainge of Universal are collectively worth over £3½billion. Says it all, really…