Spotify’s billionaire CEO to musicians: work harder


Despite the economic ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Spotify continues to thrive. The streaming service revealed its latest quarterly financial results, reporting 138 million subscribers and 299 million monthly active users, adding 13 million respectively in Q2. The value of the company’s shares has also reached all-time highs amid the current financial crisis, reaching US $ 50 billion. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (net worth $ 4.5 billion) joined Music ally for a recent interview to talk about the success of the company and its plans for the future.

The business model on which streaming services are based has been criticized by artists around the world, especially songwriters. The biggest artists backed by the main tag system dominate these streaming services, especially on Spotify. They take priority on company-curated playlists, while smaller indie artists must find creative ways to get their music discovered without falling victim to the algorithm. Royalties on Spotify operate in a “pro-rata” format. Each song’s earnings are based on how much that song is played, but in comparison to the streaming service’s most popular tracks. “It is clear that the pro-rata model favors the few top artists who get the most [plays]», Shared Digital Media Finland with Rolling stone in 2018.

“Even today in our market there are literally millions and millions of artists. What tends to be reported are people who are unhappy, but very rarely we see anyone talking about… In all of existence [of Spotify] I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single artist say, ‘I’m happy with all the money I get from streaming,’ ”Ek told Music ally. “By saying this publicly. In private [musicians] have done it several times, but in public they are not encouraged to do so. But unequivocally, according to the data, there are more and more artists capable of making a living from streaming revenue per se.

Ek continued, “There is a narrative error here, combined with the fact that obviously some artists who did well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every. three to four. years and I think that will be enough.

Daniel Ek does have a way to fix the problem though, and that doesn’t include providing an additional financial assistant to artists through an increase in royalty rates. “The artists of today who do it realize that it’s about creating an ongoing engagement with their fans. It’s about getting the job done, telling stories around the album, and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with your fans. Translation: never stop making music.

“There are two different trends here that deserve to be distinguished. We realize that many artists are impacted in the short term by COVID and its impact on the live industry. As you very well know, a large part of the income that artists receive today [pre-COVID-19] comes from tours and shows. A lot of artists are struggling because of this, ”said Ek.

Other platforms like Bandcamp have since made changes during COVID-19 to help artists currently miss the benefits of touring and the festival circuit, extending its Bandcamp Friday initiative until the end of the year. The website forgoes its share of the revenue giving all the profits to the artists. The Bandcamp community spent 15 times the normal amount during those days. Ultimately, Ek wants you to believe it’s up to musicians to record more, work harder, and keep pulling on those collective bootstraps until they can start touring again. Until then, he says, “I really feel that those who don’t do well at streaming are mostly people who want to release music like it used to be. ”

In the meantime, you can discover a number of promising artists who deserve additional feeds through our latest installment of our SONS HYPEBEAST playlist below.


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