Is Spotify Good or Evil?

With over 50 million users across the globe, Spotify is the leader of all of the online music streaming services. Spotify has had an increase in profits but has also had an increase in loss. The New York Times reported that Spotify earned $1.3 Billion dollars in 2014, a 45% increase from the previous year.

Spoify logoBut along with the increase in revenue Spotify also lost a total of $197 million dollars, more than the $68 million that they had lost the year before. Spotify blamed the loss of revenue on the employee hiring that they had done that year stating that they had hired 958 new employees.

As the leading music streaming site it is important for Spotify to have popular artists so that they can increase the number of paid subscribers to help increase their revenue. The only issue is that Spotify pays artists .00068 cents per stream. While plays keep adding up it can lead up to quite a large sum of money but not as much money as if people had actually bought the music.

Time Magazine reported on how much the top songs were making. Calvin Harris’ song “Summer” made a total of $1.7 million dollars in 2014. It had a total of 203 million streams throughout the year. While to the common person that seems like a lot of money, artists have a completely different opinion.

Last November Taylor Swift made a giant splash right before her 1989 album release. Taylor Swift decided to take her music off of Spotify, saying:

“I felt like I was saying to my fans, ‘If you create music someday, if you create a painting someday, someone can just walk into a museum, take it off the wall, rip off a corner off it, and it’s theirs now and they don’t have to pay for it.’ I didn’t like the perception that it was putting forth. And so I decided to change the way I was doing things.”

taylor swift and spotifyTaylor Swift has a respectable opinion on it. Swift didn’t like her music being on Spotify because, “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music.” Most people would agree with her, but some people would think that having her fans enjoy her music is better than her getting compensated for it.

Pirating has become such an issue with music over the past few years. Having your music on Spotify creates a little bit of revenue and it is better than receiving nothing for your music at all.

Even though Spotify may not be beneficial to mainstream artists it is however extremely beneficial for underground and local artists. It is really easy for underground and local music to be spread around. Artists can put their music up for free and can be spread across by word of mouth. People can suggest a band and tell their friends that they are on Spotify and then that person can just whip out their phone and find them in the blink of an eye.

There are pros and cons of Spotify. A con would be that mainstream artists do not feel like they are being compensated. A pro is that it can be beneficial to not very well known artists. Maybe Spotify will increase the amount of money for ad free streaming to try and keep the popular artists there or maybe they will find something else. Will Spotify stay the top streaming site over the next couple of years?

Daniel Hampe

5 thoughts on “Is Spotify Good or Evil?

  1. I don’t know if it will stay the top streaming site due to the rise of other services like Tidal which offer different sound qualities which targets different consumers and provides a large number of songs that you can access online/offline. If more artists like Taylor Swift decide to come together to boycott Spotify, it’s pretty clear that their music streaming business will not be sustainable.

  2. I’m not sure if Spotify will stay at the top streaming site on the next couple of years. However, it is one of the famous online streaming music and because of their services they allow people to get to know more music and also artist that aren’t well known yet to become well known. For instance, there is a lot of competition for streaming music online for Spotify like Pandora. And at the end, its going to depends on how well their services are for their audience that will allow them to keep being at the top of it.

  3. My biggest problem with Spotify is that I feel like I don’t own any of the music I listen to. With CDs, tapes, or vinyl, you have something concrete that you can give to someone or hang on to. Even with iTunes you have a file on your computer that won’t go away if Apple were to suddenly go out of business. With Spotify or other streaming services, there is no way to “insure” your music. If you stop using the service or it goes out of business, you lose everything. This definitely keeps me from switching exclusively to streaming.

  4. Spotify is dominating right now it seems, but I like what Olivia was saying about physical copies and I think that’s an important thing to consider. There really isn’t a feeling like going out and buying a CD, and playing it in the car on the ride home. Even though those times seem to have come and gone for the most part the idea that a “physical” iTunes library still carries some of those values. I had never thought of Spotify going out of business and taking all my playlists with it, and that’s scary to think about.

  5. Spotify I feel like will be a thing for quite sometime. I don’t think it will ever go away because when its stocks fall, a larger company, music or not, will purchase it and make it way better. They need investors or other companies support to fund them to pay artist more. I agree it gives the unknown a voice and the superstars more fame, but the pay off of each stream does need to be increased. This is the same with purchasing songs from iTunes. A very small percentage of that $1.29 goes to the artist, producers, writers and record label. In the long run, I feel Spotify is here to stay, but not on its own.

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