Spotify is currently the world’s most popular streaming service, with over 155 paid monthly subscribers.
But it has drawn ire for several years for what is largely considered a broken royalty model system for songwriters and labels. As the industry continues to rebound from its Napster-era slump, artists, labels, and musicians continue to voice their frustrations against Spotify, as they feel excluded from the newfound wealth that streaming has yielded.
Nitish Pahwa over at Slate has a great piece called “The Music Industry is Finally Scaring Spotify,” which addresses many of the issues facing Spotify’s royalty model and highlights some unions that are trying to help:
–The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers forced Spotify to more explicitly break down their streaming payouts;
–Secretly Group, a collection of multiple independent record labels that also feature their own publishing and distribution arms;
–Ampled, which brings together “artists, developers, designers, technologists, marketers, and creatives” in a worker-owned system with the goal of making decisions together and supporting creators directly.
These are just a few of the collectives that are trying to get musicians fair compensation in the digital space. As streaming continues to proliferate, it will be interesting to see some of these unions are able to level the playing field.