Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is it better for the artist if a music fanatic streams rather than buys?

I was listening to a song on Spotify, and I was curious how much the particular artist would make from my streaming.

As it turns out, this very topic was discussed by The Next Web and other publications a few months ago. The answer? For Spotify, less than a cent per stream.

The Next Web and others characterized this as a terrible state of affairs.

But is it? Not always.

The song that I was listening to on Spotify was the Wolfsheim song "I Don't Love You Anymore." I do not own this particular song, but I purchased the Wolfsheim song "Once in a Lifetime" from Amazon a few months ago, paying about a dollar for it. A portion of that dollar went to Wolfsheim (and presumably they had to split it in half). I have listened to "Once in a Lifetime" numerous times since on my phone and on my computer, and Wolfsheim will never get another penny from me for that song.

But for "I Don't Love You Anymore," I am not paying anything - but Spotify is. Of course, I have to listen to Flo from Progressive every once in a while, but after I hear some more Wolfsheim I feel better.

I happen to like the song "I Don't Love You Anymore," so I'm listening to it a lot. Here are my last.fm statistics for the song; most if not all of the 2012 plays which are from plays on Spotify.

As you can see, if Wolfsheim gets around a penny per play, they've made a lot more from my streams of the song than they would have made if I had bought it in the first place.

Food for thought.

P.S. If you're not signed up with Spotify, you can probably find the Wolfsheim song on YouTube, although YouTube didn't pay a lot in 2009, and they still apparently pay less than Spotify.


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