I love Spotify. I use it everyday.
But I also witnessed the ubiquitous outcry of anger from the people, and I joined in. I cried out, Spotify isn’t fair to the musicians. Half a penny per stream is not enough.
But now I realize I have no problem with it, as a listener and musician.
I have no problem with Spotify as a music listener because if a musician’s music is on there, that’s his (or his record label’s) choice. That tells me he’s okay with it (and okay with his record label), he’s okay with getting paid close to nothing per stream.
I have no problem with Spotify as a musician because all of my music is already on Soundcloud and Bandcamp — streaming websites. I don’t get paid anything by these websites. I don’t get a paid even half a penny per stream.
The idea of these sites is that letting fans listen to all your music completely will help win them over. (A theory that I plan to challenge — why buy my music if it’s online? i.e. available on laptops and smartphones, and therefore on couches, in cars, and on treadmills).
Spotify is a third medium for me to do this, to allow fans to stream my music in its entirety in hopes of winning them over. Except Spotify pays me — very little, but it’s still cyber change in my cyber pocket.
I’ve received only $0.80 after a few hundred streams, but I’m okay with that for two reasons: (1) that’s better than $0.00, which is what I earn through Bandcamp and Soundcloud streams, and (2) I’m making it more convenient for fans that already use Spotify.
I’m bringing my music directly to them. Why whine about low pay when before I wasn’t getting paid at all? It’s a financial upgrade for me. Small upgrade, but still an upgrade.
That’s why it would make no sense for an artist who has all his music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp to complain about Spotify not paying enough. Spotify is offering, I think, a bigger reach than Bandcamp or Soundcloud. And if a musician doesn’t want people to listen to complete songs without buying his album, he shouldn’t put his music on Spotify.
All these reasons are why I have no problem with Spotify. I love Spotify.