The debate continues over Spotify being "broken" and Startup Musician have laid out a pretty convincing fix. Is it time to ditch "freeloading" fans?
Most recently, Taylor Swift took centre stage in the discussion around Spotify's model when she removed all of her music from the streaming service. Being at odds with free streaming resulted in her much publicised shunning of Spotify, first seen with her refusal to make 2012's Red available to stream on release, and now with the noticable absence of 1989 from the platform altogether (apart from Spotify's touching assurance that they're "working on it"). Swift tells the Wall Street Journal:
It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.
Swift is not the first to point to Spotify's freemium model being the root cause of low artist payouts. But, according to Spotify founder Daniel Ek, that free music for fans equates to artists not getting paid is a myth. He writes in a recent blog post:
Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. Free music is supported by ads, and we pay for every play.
With rights holders reportedly considering a demand of time limitations on free accounts (to encourage users to upgrade to a premium paid account) as a bargaining chip in their 2015 renewal talks, it remains to be seen if Spotify will stick to their guns, or re-evalutate a model that's been key to the growth of their userbase.
This week, Startup Musician tackled the problem with a pretty convincing 3-step solution doing just that. Check out the plan below: