As concert after concert and tour after tour get canceled, musicians are asking Spotify to triple their royalty payments following the loss of earnings that has arisen through the coronavirus outbreak.
An online petition posted by musician Evan Greer asked Spotify to triple its rates permanently and make a $500,000 donation to the Covid-19 fund of Sweet Relief, a California-based charity that provides financial assistance to musicians and industry workers. However, Spotify seems rather reluctant towards temporarily modifying any of their royalty agreements.
In a recent interview a spokesperson for Spotify stated that: “There’s no question this is a challenging time for our creator community and we are working to assist them through MusiCares’ Covid-19 relief fund to provide much needed assistance.”
The spokesperson also shared that they’d made a portion of their advertising revenue “available for governments and charities to share information about safety during the pandemic.”
And, while Spotify does not specify how much it pays artists, many artists have shared how much they receive over the years, with some reflecting how the figures appear to have decreased over time. Analysts have also calculated it at about $0.00318, meaning that a rights holder would receive $3.18 per 1,000 streams, which when put into perspective is not much when you are an independent artist struggling to generate streams.
This is where Greer’s petition comes into play. His Spotify petition arises as digital streaming, purchasing and merchandising platform Bandcamp has announced it will waive its revenue share for 24 hours on sales from midnight PST on 20 March. Bandcamp offers the transparency in relation to its competitors. This company usually takes 15% of digital sales, 10% of merchandise and charges a monthly fee for premium tier memberships. The digital share drops from 15% to 10% once an artist reaches $5000 in sales.
As the virus crisis escalates, events continue to be cancelled and artists need the revenue from their streams now more than ever. First Coachella gets postponed to October, then SXSW and Glastonbury announced that their 2020 festivals are cancelled. Spotify is one of our nations leading streaming platforms and as such should make the necessary adjustments to ensure the financial well being of it’s artists.