Since their humble beginnings, music streaming services have met their fair share of criticisms, namely by artists who attest that they receive little royalty payment when their music is streamed via the service, however a recent audit of Spotify suggests that there’s more than one problem hurting artists.
A French music trade body by the name of SNEP recently requested figures from Spotify, and what they found was quite shocking, confirming that some streamed artists earned unbelievably small percentages in comparison to other players in the equation such as major labels, as Digital Music News reports.
The SNEP examined the monthly subscription price of €9.99 and what sections this payment trickles through to, making claim that the artist receives a whopping total of only €0.68cents of the entire subscription fee as opposed to labels pocketing €4.56. The French group break their royalty results into the following five sections:
Producteurs (Labels) = 45.6%
Plateformes (Streaming Platform) = 20.8%
Etat (Tax) = 16.7%
Auteurs, compositeurs, editeurs (Authors, Composers, Publishers) = 10.0%
Artistes interprètes (Artist) = 6.8%
This graph displays a more simplified royalty rate summary for Spotify France:
Of course, the likes of Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and the ilk are not entirely to blame, remembering that pay-out rates are agreed upon by music publishers, performance collectives, copyright boards and record labels, which is probably why each of these fare better than the artist themselves who are almost squeezed out of the equation entirely.
In viewing these disappointing subscription fee figures payments alongside a case of 2014 which saw Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ net a measly $2,700 in royalties after a staggering 43 million Pandora streams there’s a strong argument that major labels, the very people that are supposed to look after their artists, are inking deals with streaming services to ensure they receive a healthy cut of royalty payments, suggesting that the likes of Spotify are not entirely to blame in the streaming service game.