Many may things have changed quite profoundly during the 21st century, but one of the biggest shifts is surely with online music streaming, spearheaded, of course, by Spotify. The Swedish company founded by Daniel Ek has massively changed the way we all consume music, with millions of tracks now available at our fingertips.
At Winzum the history of Spotify fascinates us, as you can see here [a history of Spotify]. It is undoubtedly a fantastic platform, however that doesn’t mean it’s all perfect at all. In fact, there are several negative aspects of Spotify, and whilst we still ultimately love it here at Winzum, it’s important to recognise these….
Disappointing streaming revenue
Probably the biggest problem with Spotify is the fact that streaming revenue for artists is absolutely diabolically poor, with the average revenue per stream being an outrageously measly $0.00318. That is about £2.74 per 1000 plays – not exactly enough for musicians to base a living off.
Of course, musicians have rarely made 100% of their income from record sales, however the streaming revolution has resulted in a much greater need for live concert revenue. You can argue that Spotify allows your music to reach a far larger audience, but at what cost?
Spotify is influencing how people write music
On the same subject as the disappointing streaming revenue, the way Spotify works is also increasingly influencing how people write their music. Songs are getting shorter and shorter, for example, and it makes more financial sense for an artist to release a 20 track album of short songs than a 10 track of longer ones.
It’s all because of the necessity to get as many streams in as possible in order to maximise revenue. Even more worryingly, in response to criticism the Spotify founder Daniel Ek suggested that it was down to artists to just produce more music in order to survive – has he ever heard of quality over quantity?
Lots of adverts if you don’t pay for premium
In the very early days of Spotify it was completely free without any need to have a paying subscription, however we’re in a completely different time nowadays. If you don’t pay for a Spotify premium account you can still use the streaming service, however it will be interrupted every few songs by annoying adverts.
Things get even worse if you’re using a mobile device – you cannot even pick a specific song to play! And to top things off you have a maximum of 3 skips every day.
Does Spotify ultimately make music less special?
Something that older people in particular complain about regarding Spotify is the fact that it makes music less special in many ways. Sure, it’s nice having so much at your fingertips all of the time, but it does defeat the whole process of finding a CD or record, sticking it on, and then sitting back and relaxing.
As streaming gets more and more popular you cannot help but think the essential value of music is perhaps decreasing, especially if artists are shifting the way they make their music in order to satisfy streaming revenue demands.