"Artists railing against Spotify is about as helpful as campaigning against the Sony Walkman in the early 80s"

#Money

Mon, Nov 11th, 2013 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

With music artists crying fowl of streaming services like Spotify for the meagre payouts they're receiving, Billy Bragg thinks that the focus should be on labels instead.

"The problem with the business model for streaming is that most artists still have contracts from the analog age, when record companies did all the heavy lifting of physical production and distribution, so only paid artists 8%-15% royalties on average," wrote Bragg in a post on his Facebook page.

"Those rates, carried over to the digital age, explain why artists are getting such paltry sums from Spotify. If the rates were really so bad, the rights holders - the major record companies - would be complaining. The fact that they're continuing to sign up means they must be making good money."

Spotify pays out 70% of its revenues to music rightsholders, and has said that it expects those payments to exceed $500m (£310m) in 2013. How much of that money gets passed on to musicians depends on the terms of their contracts with labels.

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