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I Love Spotify, I Hate Spotify

May 21, 2015

written by Robert Johns

Confused yet?

When I first heard that Spotify was coming to the U.S. in 2011, I was thrilled - finally, I can listen to music at no cost and it’s legal! It was a sigh of relief because I could finally put my Napster days behind me. Spotify is great - you get to listen to all your favorite music without paying a dime (or breaking any laws) and all you have to do is listen to the occasional advertisement.

Sounds like a win-win, right? I thought so, until I saw how little artists make from services like Spotify. Artists ARE ok with it in the sense that you aren’t stealing their product. But when it comes to the financials, Spotify pays fractions of pennies to most artists. In fact, Spotify pays so little that many artists are removing their music from the service - Taylor Swift being the most recent high-profile star to do so. In order to better illustrate what I mean, take a look at this infographic.

Crazy, right? In order to make minimum wage from Spotify plays, you need to have play counts with the likes of Justin Bieber.

So what’s the point? Spotify is generally not good for bands/artists/musicians. Personally, I’ve decided to use Spotify strictly as a music discovery tool. If friends tell me about a new artist or I hear something on the radio, I’ll check it out on Spotify. If I like it enough to keep listening, I’ll buy it. Why? Because I want to support the artists that I enjoy and give them resources to keep creating music. The music industry can seem like a lucrative business, and for a select few it is. But I’ve seen first-hand that for many artists, there’s just not a whole lot of money to be made, even for ones that are getting radio play and gigging regularly.

So consider using Spotify to discover new music and then help support the artists you like by purchasing their albums in stores or on iTunes (or even better, at their merch tables) - I’m sure they’d appreciate it!

How do you use Spotify or other streaming services? Do you pay for premium options? How do you discover new music? Let us know – hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!