There are were and are a lot of discussions about Spotify not paying fair the artists for the number of streams that their creations get in the music streaming network. Now, to be honest, I don’t know if Spotify is fair or not, there’s plenty of pro articles as well as against this topic, but that’s besides the point.
Let’s say that Spotify doesn’t pay fair, let’s just assume that this is the uncontestable truth. Ok?
What can the artists do? Should only the artists do something? Or maybe also the consumers should do something? Based on our hypothesis above, I would say both.
But is the consumer likely to ditch Spotify in a sign of protest? I mean in mass, in large numbers, in such a way that it makes a difference and proves a point. If you think about it, Spotify comes and gives you access to pretty much any music ever released, anytime you want it, however you want it and the punchline, somewhat for “free”. And if you used to use piracy to get your music, it removes even the guilt of doing something illegal (for those who even felt it). If you’re really into it, here, unlimited access for almost nothing.
Let’s make another assumption, what if the consumer doesn’t do anything? I mean, more and more users go to Spotify, pay the fee or don’t pay the fee, but they get to listen the music. And say, “hey, nice piano man, cool music you have, I won’t buy your album, I’ll stream it from Spotify and maybe drop by your concerts sometimes”.
The only alternative I see is for the artists to come up with an alternative. Let’s face it, most of the big labels will stick with Spotify and in the end the discussion here is not really about the big names in music, but about the smaller ones.
I find it pointless for the artists to simply stick to the old ways of doing business (mostly offline) while mumbling threat words at Spotify that it doesn’t pay them or not even loading their music there. There are alternatives that catch up, my favourite: BandCamp. The artist gets paid directly, while BC gets a flat fee.
But even if you don’t like any of the alternatives on the market, build your own corner where you stream your music and people can pay and get access to it NOW, technology has become very cheap and let’s face it, you probably won’t have million of listeners. (I hope you do!)