Spotify says it has already paid over $500 million in royalty payments to artists, and will pay more than $1 billion in 2013. This is double what the company’s CEO Daniel Elk predicted in February, and can be taken as a sign that the company is making more money than ever, adding new users who pay for its services.
Yesterday, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke said he’s pulling his music from Spotify because it doesn’t pay enough royalties to artists. “…new artists get paid f*** all with this model,” he said.
Pandora, a rival streaming music site, has been involved in its own scandal over low royalty rates. It published a long blog post saying it pays much better than radio ever did, which isn’t saying much.
Apple recently unveiled iTunes Radio, which is said to pay the labels (and by implication, the artists themselves) handsomely for letting their music steam to Apple’s user base.