Actually, Spotify Does Pay Artists
After Universal Music Group, the largest record label in the industry, took all their artists' music off TikTok after failure to reach an agreement on AI usage of their artists and safety...people are now more than ever looking into how artists are treated on platforms where their music is the main focus. For TikTok, it's detrimental- they tried to punish UMG, and now they're paying the price.
At the 2024 Grammy Awards this Sunday, there were tons of controversial moments: should Taylor have brought Lana Del Rey onstage, should this person have won, what was that person wearing? But one of the more subtle digs was taken by host Trevor Noah, who commented on the UMG-TikTok battle by including another well-known streaming platform,
"Shame on you, TikTok, for ripping off artists. How dare you do that? That’s Spotify’s job!”
Without artists and their music, there would be no streaming platform to be had...and Spotify knows that, which is why they've been tracking their royalty payments to the music industry though their Loud & Clear report. The Loud & Clear report comes out every March and shows exactly how Spotify pays it back. According to their site,
"Nearly 70% of that revenue is paid back as royalties to rights holders, who then pay the artists and songwriters, based on the agreed terms."
This means that whatever Spotify is making from these artists and labels, and their music, they're making sure it gets back to them. It should be a mutually beneficial experience: one where both the artist and their representation trust that their work will be valued and protected (and thus, properly compensated), and where the platform also gains traffic from an artist's fans.
Today, Spotify announced that they've paid labels over $9 billion to give us a glimpse of their Loud & Clear report. In an exclusive statement to Popdust, a Spotify spokesperson states,
"Spotify paid record labels and publishers – which represent artists and songwriters – more money than ever in 2023: $9B+. That figure has nearly tripled over the past six years, and represents a big part of the $48B+ Spotify has paid since its founding."