The vast majority of artists are not really gaining anything from Spotify. The public benefits by virtually endless access to music, but artists don’t.
It seems that artists are split into two categories. The first consists of superstar acts who achieve such a massive number of streams that they aren’t very concerned. The second category hosts every other artist in the world. These artists make so little money from the service that they become apathetic and sort of ignore the whole thing all together.
The thing we’re forgetting is that value is not the same as money. Spotify has 20,000,000+ monthly users. There must be a way for artists to benefit from 20M+ people listening to music constantly.
In its current design, there is a lot of available space on each artist’s single/album page that could be filled with value-adding artist content. Below are some links Spotify could add to benefit artists:
• Mailing List Signup
• Official Website
• Social Media Links
• Merch Store
• Tour Dates
Spotify is an interactive streaming platform, meaning they must negotiate licensing deals in order to have music placed on their service. I haven’t made any calculations here at all, but considering Spotify had a 2011 Net Income of -$59M and 98% of revenue was redirected back to cover licensing costs, perhaps a change in business model is in order. If they were to add these value-adding links, for example, they could then (ideally) include in their licensing deals the ability to take a percentage of merchandise and ticket sales sold from their site. This would increase Spotify’s revenue while adding value to artists.