[EDIT – this post is a couple of years out of date – for a more recent appraisal of where I stand with Spotify, see Why I’ve Taken My Music Off Spotify]
There were a few articles kicking around yesterday touting a figure that ‘Lady Gaga earned $167 from Spotify for over a million plays’ - I think the story originated on TorrentFreak.
Perhaps not surprisingly the writers at TorrentFreak aren’t too au fait with the way that payment systems work for artists. The figure quoted is a publishing royalty – it’s from STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society). It doesn’t reflect payments due to the performer direct from Spotify (outlined in somewhat confusing detail in this Guardian article) which, according to the CEO of We7, are roughly ten times the PRS-collected royalty payment. It’s this figure that may or may not have been negotiated downwards by Spotify with the major labels – the labels have pretty much no say over the rates that the PRS set (other than through lobbying). [Read more →]