Taylor Swift “doesn’t need” streaming royalties, former Spotify boss says
- Former Spotify boss Jim Anderson said the platform was designed to distribute music, not pay artists.
- “I think Taylor Swift doesn’t need 0.00001 more stream,” Anderson told singer Ashley Jana.
- The average rate per Apple Music play is $ 0.01. On Spotify, it takes around 250 streams to make $ 1.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
A former Spotify boss who is credited with helping create the Swedish music streaming platform said Spotify was never designed to pay artists.
“Spotify was created to solve a problem,” Jim Anderson, who also co-founded About.com, said at a 2019 music industry conference in New York City, according to a recently released recording from the event. “The problem was this: piracy and distribution of music. The problem was to distribute the music of the artists. The problem was not paying people money.
—Z (@djboothEIC) July 6, 2021
Anderson’s comments were recorded by singer-songwriter Ashley Jana, who only shared the recording this week for fear of retaliation from the music industry, according to Digital Music News.
The comments now made public follow growing pressure for music streaming platforms to increase royalties, or the amount artists are paid per stream. “The artists are really broke,” Jana told Anderson at the 2019 event. “We don’t make money with streams.”
Anderson used Taylor Swift, a long-time advocate for new musicians, as an example, saying she “didn’t need” an increase in streaming royalties.
Swift has been advocating for change in the music streaming industry since 2014, when she published an essay for the Wall Street Journal claiming that “music shouldn’t be free.” That same year, Swift withdrew her album “1989” from Spotify.
In response to recent pressure, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek launched the Loud and Clear company initiative to “shed light on the complicated economics of music streaming.”
In April, Apple Music said its streaming royalties paid double what Spotify paid, although the rate is calculated on a stream-sharing basis, not per stream, making the two rates difficult to compare with. precision.
Ek wrote that one of Spotify’s goals is to help artists earn a living by creating opportunities for more musicians to reach more listeners, saying fans ultimately determine the financial fate of musicians. .
The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) organized international protests against Spotify in March. The company did not meet union demands such as the royalty rate of one cent per stream.
—Union of Allied Musicians and Workers (@UMAW_) March 18, 2021
“The company systematically blames others for the systems it has built itself and from which it has created its nearly $ 70 billion valuation,” UMAW said on Twitter this March.
In an interview with The Verge, Ek said that Spotify’s future depends on multiple streams of revenue, which in turn will allow creators to best decide how to monetize their fan base.
“What we’ve realized is that we’re not that kind of little Swedish startup anymore,” Ek told The Verge. “We’re actually a very, very important platform for a lot of these audio creators.”
Spotify declined Business Insider’s request for comment.