Spotify launches Loud & Clear platform to clear up frustration & confusion around artist payments
The music streaming giant declined to comment on the recent #JusticeAtSpotify movement which sought higher royalty rates and demanded more transparency around closed-door contacts. It did note, however, that this data-heavy platform had been in the works for some time, and that it believes artists deserve more clarity around how the music streaming economy actually works.
Spotify said the platform was about revealing how the money flows, and aimed to address confusion around payments, which are actually based on stream share. In 2020, Spotify said it had paid over $23 billion to rights holders.
Loud & Clear provides a look at how streaming has changed the earning capacity for some artists, and also gives some bigger-picture statistics. Its revenue generation overview, for example, details that since 2017, the number of artists generating more than US$50,000 per year from the platform is up 80% to over 13,000. Those earning more than US$100,000 is up 85% to nearly 8,000, and those pulling more than US$1 million per annum is up 90% to almost 900. The Loud & Clear platform and this data, it said, showed how artists at different stages of their careers can get the most from Spotify.
It is an interactive tool, a key feature of which is a Q&A section which addresses payments, rates and who’s making what from the streaming economy. Spotify told TMN that artists and rights holders can submit additional questions to have them answered on the platform.
Alicia Sbrugnera, Spotify’s local head of music, said the company is launching Loud & Clear because artists deserve more clarity and transparency. It is musicians’ work that “powers Spotify”, she said, and “sits at the core of our business”.
“So it is only right for artists to be informed on our business model and how it can positively impact their careers,” she explained to TMN.
“I have been at Spotify for six years and in this time, questions about royalties have been in consistent and high demand, and in many ways, we feel we’ve been too quiet on the topic. By transparently providing this data, we hope to increase trust with the creator community. There are important questions that need to be answered and the site will increase transparency by sharing new data and information on the global streaming economy, but also quite significantly, provide a valuable foundation for a constructive conversation at both a local and global level,” she said.
An area of the site where creators can explore how Spotify works for different types of artists
“We see clearly that more local artists than ever before are finding success in the music industry and we’re proud of the role that Spotify has played in enabling that new scale of success. We also acknowledge that we are nowhere near done. We are committed to continue growing the pie so that the dramatic growth in artist earnings that you see on this site can continue and propel even more success in music.”
The platform also has artist profiles, detailing who they are, how streaming has changed things for them, and what the future might look like. There’s also a look at revenue generation over the years, showing how many artists have generated income across recording and publishing for their catalogue.
Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek said Spotify’s ultimate goal is to help musicians make a living.
“It’s something we take seriously every day. Of course not every one of the millions of artists on Spotify have found the same success. That will never be true. Fans will ultimately decide who succeeds and thrives, but our focus remains clear: Continue to create more opportunities for more artists to reach more fans,” he says in a note on the new platform.
“We know we have much more work to do, but we’re confident in what we’ve built and the innovations we continue to deliver for artists and their fans. We’ll continue to empower the most talented artists in the world to turn their passion into a profession, grow the money paid to rights holders, diversify and expand the number of professional artists succeeding, and propel the music industry forward.”