Utter, utter garbage. Please do not waste your time reading this.
> Spotify’s founder, Daniel Ek, made his initial fortune. At 23, he was the CEO of uTorrent, a pirate platform that became BitTorrent (arguably the largest rights-infringing platform in the world). He and their developers then used identical rights-infringing software in order to build his new golden goose: Spotify.
This is misleading, as BitTorrent Inc purchased uTorrent in 2006 to replace their own BitTorrent client. But uTorrent was just one client for this "pirate platform".
> Meanwhile, Spotify pockets 30% of all the revenue they collect––and they don’t make anything.
I suppose he has no issue with labels then?
> Spotify’s in trouble because Spotify doesn’t know what their product is.
> “No no…sorry,” I said, shaking my head in disbelief. “Your product isn’t ‘Spotify.’” He continued to stare at me. I said, “Sir, your product is music.”
What a muppet, going from "Spotify doesn't make anything!" to "Spotify's product is music".
This is especially dumb because it's like saying "supermarkets don't make any food, they just sell it!".
This article sounds almost childish.
Spotify (the app) is Spotify's (company) product.
Music is the musician's product.
Spotify's (the company) product (the app) is a music delivery system.
People who have a Spotify (the app) account are Spotify's users.
People who listen to music are the artist's listeners.
Someone signed in to Spotify but who never played anything is a user but not a listener.
Someone listening to a song being played on Spotify but without a spotify user account is a listener but not a user.
Going to a meeting and being pedantic about such details shows nothing but your own lack of understanding. And to be honest, a complete lack of maturity as well.
>“And by the way,” I added, “Stop calling your subscribers ‘users.’ They’re not ‘users,’ they’re listeners––our listeners in fact. You’re the ‘user.’ You’re using our music to monetize our listeners for your profit.” He looked at me as if I’d just shot Santa Claus in the face. “No, man! You’re wrong!” He was sweating now, and the dozen or so musicians who’d gathered around us began heckling him. He shouted, “Spotify is our product! You don’t get it at all!” He stormed off.
Then all of the very famous musicians in the room walked up to me and said "Wow, Blake! You sure did show that nasty Spotify executive!" They began to shower me with praise and small tokens of affection. Everyone was in awe of my wit.
Beyonce said "Blake - those words you've said were the most beautiful that I've ever heard. Will you write the lyrics for my next album?" And I said, "Beyonce - I'm honored. Ordinarily, I would say no, but because #IRespectMusic so much, I can't refuse this opportunity."
Next, Tegan and Sara came up to me. "Wow, Blake," said Tegan. "That was so amazing. I can't believe how brave you are." Sara chimed in "and handsome!", giggling. We made small talk for a few minutes, before they had to run to a recording session - but first, they surreptitiously slipped me their numbers.
By the time I was done talking with Tegan and Sara, most of the other famous musicians had already thanked me and left. I turned to finally leave the building, when I saw one last hooded straggler, standing in the corner. Suddenly, he looked up at me. "Tupac?!" I said. Indeed, it was Makaveli the Don himself. He looked deep into my soul and said: "Blake... God isn't finished with you yet." Then he smiled, a mysterious smile, and faded away, just like Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope.
And that was the day that I, Blake Morgan, saved music.
It seems this sort of debate goes on continuously with ideologues.
> Spotify doesn't make anything
> Your product is music
are flat wrong. Spotify, the company, makes Spotify, the music distribution service. Music is their deliverable.
Of course it's true that Spotify would be nowhere if musicians weren't making music, just as it's true that musician's would be nowhere if instrument-makers didn't make instruments.
Spotify, the product, is a mechanism that allows for (perhaps too) user-friendly music consumption. Artists, through whatever means, enter into music arrangements that allows Spotify to be able to do so. The relationship may or may not be predatory. Salaries at Spotify may or may not be inflated. Regardless, those are valid critiques -- but assertions that Spotify doesn't make anything, or doesn't know what their product even is are wrong, and reveal an inability to understand that different parts of an ecosystem make up the whole thing.
> What I don’t love is how little musicians get paid for all that streaming. It’s not fair––not even close. What’s more, middle-class music makers are the ones who are hit hardest, whose businesses are threatened, and whose families are put at risk.
I question this. I know Taylor Swift and Jay-Z hate Spotify, but I know some of my favorite indie bands love it -- going so far as to release their new music on Spotify before anywhere else. For small, independent artists the ease of distribution and massive exposure well outweigh the lack of royalties. I think it's classic a long-tail distribution and the people exploiting the head are the ones complaining the loudest.
I find it surprising that Spotify isn't pursuing its own label. Netflix proves that if your biggest risk factor is other's companies content, you have to move to host your own content before the competition wisens up.
> “Wait,” I said, “Listen, it’s music. Your product is music. The reason I know that is because if we went out into the street right now and asked a thousand people what Starbucks’ ‘product’ is, they’d all say coffee. Not a single person would say ‘Starbucks’ product is Starbucks.’ Right?”
I whole-heartedly disagree with this. Sure, people might say coffee, but Starbucks' product is really the whole package. The store design, atmosphere, music, employees, drink names, drink combos.. these were all essential in Starbucks' rise. You aren't just buying coffee at Starbucks, you are buying the experience of Starbucks, therefore, that is the product.
> Meanwhile, Spotify pockets 30% of all the revenue they collect––and they don’t make anything
I think this demonstrates that the author has a very narrow understanding of what it takes to build a music app with 140M+ active users.
Sure, they could pay artists more and it's legitimate to have that talk, but taking it to such extremes makes no sense.
Why bring up that uTorrent technology was part of Spotify? Clearly guilt by association and a bit of ad hominem on Daniel Ek. Had really hard to take the article seriously after that.
Spotify and power dynamics in the music industry is fascinating, but there has to be better treatments in the topic. Any tips?
Is this meant to be satire cause I can't understand the OP's logic at all?
While it might 380,000 streams to make 1 year at Minimum Wage, per the OP's logic, one can say they get paid for 3 minutes worth of work (or the average length per song).
> This was the year people started to connect the dots about how Spotify’s founder, Daniel Ek, made his initial fortune. At 23, he was the CEO of uTorrent, a pirate platform that became BitTorrent (arguably the largest rights-infringing platform in the world). He and their developers then used identical rights-infringing software in order to build his new golden goose: Spotify.
Holy hell that's a lot of bad history. Bittorrent existed far before uTorrent was a thing. What are the dots that people connected? A quick glance at his Wikipedia article?
This bloke is fatally and arrogantly wrong! Spotify's product is not the music, it is the product of the musicians! As a musician he should know this fundamental fact very well like alphabet - especially when thinking about his copyright. When I buy a Sony Walkman from Amazon that is not the product of Amazon - if we want to stick to the stupid analogy stream started by the author at Starbucks. The Spotify's product is the delivery system and that's it! Which is very important! I listen to music for many decades now, I love music and to date Spotify is the best form to carry it out and unleash the experience. Much less bound by physical medium and the unavoidable maintenance cost and effort. It is allowing us to use existing generic infrastructure (computer or other gadgets, internet) and access virtually infinite amount of products. The same is not true for vinyl, CD, not even right managed files which all need to be bought, stored and delivered to the right special gadgets. From a fragmented set of stores in various ways. Need to go and buy manually again, and again - I bought so many music repeatedly just because the media got outdated or lost that it is unfair towards me, the listener. The Spotify form of delivery is something important for listeners, the end clients of the musicians, musicians should be much more respectful what is good for their audience. Without proper delivery methods their music was lost in the space!
If he is dissatisfied I urge the author to do better! For all of us!
I feel for musicians, but to say that Spotify does not make anything is BS.
I started listening to _more_ music on Spotify. This by itself does not necessarily pays more to the musicians that I used to listen to, compared to buying their CDs and tracks piecemeal. But I started to listen to two orders of magnitude more artists than before. I may not spend more on music, but my money are now spread over a longer tail.
What Spotify makes is a distribution and discovery product that - by itself - creates a huge value for me.
As far as whether or not Spotify is good to musicians, or takes too big of a cut, or distributes revenue fairly, I don't know. It's certainly possible that there's a better payment structure that would be better for musicians that results in no difference to the consumer.
But as a long-time paying user of Spotify I disagree with the premise of the article: Spotify is the product, the music is not.
For a fixed amount of money each month I can just play almost any song, whenever I want, regardless of whether I even know I want to, with zero friction. I don't have to decide whether or not a song is worth the money, I don't have to decide exactly which songs I will play, I can have shared playlists with friends where we can listen to music from our various overlapping tastes.
The extensive collection of music is a key aspect of the platform, but short of a massive dropoff in what's available, if an album isn't on Spotify the most likely outcome isn't that I'll go somewhere else to listen to the album, it's that I'll just listen to something else on Spotify.
The product, besides co-opting the artists' music, is playing a centralized kingmaker, from whom artists or their labels can purchase influence. Now it's starting to go beyond music though.
I've begun to notice politics creeping in to their "overview" page as well and do not like this one bit. Music (like sports, before ESPN) was/is a form of escapism and putting a 'support DACA' themed playlist on the front page damages the brand, unless they dynamically start to offer playlists targeted to your personal political beliefs, a terrible idea and one that is incompatible with Spotify's publically progressive culture.
I love Spotify. For me its a music discovery service. I dont care if you call me a user or a listener, all I know is that last year I listened to 1800+ artiste/bands. A few years ago I was stuck listening to the same 20-30 bands that I knew about or someone recommended. I now know about artists (possibly OP is one of them) that I would have never come across otherwise. I think that is their product and they do a pretty great job of it.
Horse shit. Fatally flawed article. But I see the comments pretty much have that covered.
I wonder where the other 70% is..
I wonder where the collective of artist streaming sites are..
I wonder who's making stuff..
I. Just. Wonder.
What did I just read?
This feels like a "that happened" post:
> He looked at me as if I’d just shot Santa Claus in the face.
> “No, man! You’re wrong!” He was sweating now, and the dozen or so musicians who’d gathered around us began heckling him. He shouted, “Spotify is our product! You don’t get it at all!” He stormed off.
Why was this article taken down by HuffPo?
>music is your product
And podcasts are what..?