I’m really tired of artists bitching about how little they make from streaming their music on sites like Rdio, Spotify, Deezer and all the rest of them. Comparing payment for streams to royalties from music sales is a total apples-and-oranges situation. Quartz attempts to explain the goofiness of this debate.
The standard music superstar critique of services like Pandora and Spotify (there have been a lot of them lately) goes something like this: My song was played millions of times on [insert service here] and all I got was a lousy few dollars.
For specific examples see: Pharrell Williams, Aloe Blacc (the singer on Aviici’s “Wake Me Up,” the most streamed song on Spotify) and um, Bette Midler.
Taylor Swift didn’t get into this level of detail when she criticized (and then withdrew her back catalog from) Spotify last year. Neither did Jay Z when he launched his competitor to Spotify last month. But their concerns about streaming are broadly similar, and have fed into the narrative that digital music services are shortchanging artists by paying minuscule amounts in royalties for huge numbers of track spins.