“When I began to write this article, I thought it would be a quick one,” writes Jeff Price, the founder of royalty-collecting firm Audiam, in the introduction to ‘The Definitive Guide to Spotify Royalties‘. Spoiler: it was not a quick one.
The report clocks in at 50 pages, and Price thinks that’s a comment in itself on the state of the current streaming ecosystem. “No artist, label, songwriter, distributor or musician should be required to have a depth of knowledge of this complexity to understand a very simple question: ‘How much do I earn when my music streams on Spotify?'” he writes.
“There should be a simple, easy to understand answer. But there’s not. And to be blunt, it’s not really Spotify’s fault, nor is it the music industry’s fault, or the fault of U.S. Copyright laws. But when you put all three of these things together, you get a weird franken-monster royalty schema that has resulted from a new music business model built on consumers paying to have access to music, rather than paying to own it.” We’ll let you dig in to the full report at your leisure: it covers a range of streaming services (not just Spotify) but is focused on the US system specifically.