It’s no secret that it’s difficult for musicians to make a living solely from streaming platforms such as Spotify. TCEO Daniel Ek has a solution to that, however — he says artists should release music more frequently in order to gain more financial success from the service.
“This is something that’s been near and dear to us for some time: it’s in our company mission to enable more artists to live off their art, and it’s really coming through in the numbers,” Ek told Music Ally. “More and more artists are breaking through in a big way, being impactful and creating new fan relationships.”
While Spotify experienced growth in its listener and subscriber count during the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of artists’ income is from touring. So for them to rely on album sales and streams — which don’t have a high artist payout — means many of them are struggling quite a bit.
“Even today on our marketplace, there’s literally millions and millions of artists. What tends to be reported are the people that are unhappy, but we very rarely see anyone who’s talking about… In the entire existence [of Spotify] I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single artist saying ‘I’m happy with all the money I’m getting from streaming,” the CEO explained.
“Stating that publicly. In private they have done that many times, but in public they have no incentive to do it. But unequivocally, from the data, there are more and more artists that are able to live off streaming income in itself,” he continued.
“There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.”
Ek believes that the artists who aren’t happy with the way they are being compensated from streaming services are relying on old music industry methods, which aren’t exactly sufficient in today’s music business climate.
“The artists today that are making it realize that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putti ng the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans,” he added.
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