Perusing my way through the social-media world we know as Twitter, I stumbled on an article about Spotify and the music they published last year. This includes not only Dance music, but Pop, Rock, Hip-hop and every other.. and this research was done solely through the statistics available about the Spotify database. The shocking outcome of this survey showed how difficult it is to achieve a decent amount of play these days on the platform.
As the numbers say, around 1.600.00 artists released music throughout the previous year. Yet, almost half of these artists even reached 100 plays or so. Added to this somewhat terrifying fact is that 90 percent of all streamings on this major site correspond to about one percent of the artists. In simple words, ninety-nine percent of the indie artists are sidelined by the headlining ones.
And obviously, this has a direct impact on how much royalty independent artists earn with their project. Even if there are realities such as Bandcamp, which provides 80% of the sales directly to the artists and labels, a safety zone far away from the genocidal cut-throat competition from heavyweights, the situation doesn’t look good, from our perspective.
Streaming revolutioned music. From Compact Discs we transitioned into a phase where digital downloads where the only alternative to piracy, until Spotify changed the rules. But let’s not fall in the same vicious cycle as before, where only a few artists with powerful labels behind their backs were capable to accumulate insane revenues. A different revenue distribution approach is our provocatory suggestion, a solution that rewards medium-sized names: for example, revenue could be distributed in a similar “bracket system” used in taxation. Big names will receive a lower percentage for every stream, based on their “income bracket”.
This solution will encourage minor names to invest on their careers and at the same time will give a shock to certain names at the top that are adopting a static, safe strategy, recycling always the same ideas.
In a sick system where producers are choosing to invest in third-party companies buying playlist placements (or bots) in order to gain some listeners, there is for sure something that need to be changed.