(Credit: sgcdesignco)

Spotify launches pay transparency website 'Loud & Clear'

Spotify has launched a new website, Loud & Clear, which aims to provide greater transparency regarding the payments that artists receive from the streaming service. 

On March the 15th protests are were stages outside of Spotify offices all around the world, with artists and music lovers alike joining to demand ‘Justice At Spotify’. The protests furthered an ongoing debate regarding what some deem to be unfair overheads claimed by the service, which limits artists income. Spotify launched around 14 years ago and since then has changed the world of music.

The new site provides a public face for Spotify’s in-house data relating to streams are determined and compensated thereafter. In a statement regarding the website launch, Spotify announced: “Artists deserve clarity about the economics of music streaming. This site aims to increase transparency by sharing new data on the global streaming economy and breaking down the royalty system, the players, and the process.”

The video statement goes on to explain the cash flow process from Spotify to the music rights holders, “Whilst Spotify has different agreements with each of these rights holders, in general,” it explains, “We pay them roughly two-thirds of every dollar we make from music.”

This policy meant that the streaming giant disseminated more than €21billion to the various music rights holders that it deals with. 870 artists received the lion-share of this €21billion, generating over $1million USD from streams each. 

Speaking to Pitchfork, Spotify’s vice president Charlie Hallman, further explained the implications of the data presented on Loud & Clear, stating: “If you look at those graphs of how artists of different earning thresholds have grown over the past four years, what you clearly see is that Spotify has invested in a more engaging consumer experience: having better programming, launching in new countries, all the things we do to invest in our business—they grow the pie for everybody.”

Later adding, “We’re constantly testing to see what is the revenue-maximising price for [any given] market because if we can find the revenue-maximising price, that’s best for Spotify and it’s best for all artists. When we grow our revenues, artists’ revenues grow. When we make our programming better, more artists can fit in and have a chance to grow an audience.”

Several artists, however, did not welcome the new website launched by the streaming service. American singer-songwriter Zola Jesus, took to Twitter to declare, “The real problem is that Spotify cannot actually operate at profit by paying artists fairly and they’re too cucked to just admit what we all know – they’re robbing us.”

From a consumer point of view, many would argue that the service provided offers an unrivalled way to listen to and explore music, for a reasonable fee in difficult economic times for everyone. 

The debate between artists and those that make money from them is not a new one, it had been an ever-present sticking point in pop-culture, and it would appear that Loud & Clear, whilst offering a more transparent platform, does little to silence it. 

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