, a popular music streaming service in Europe, is soon to be making its way to computers and mobile devices across America. For those who are unfamiliar, the system works as a totally free (albeit ad supported) streaming model with about ten hours of play a month. Premium options get rid of the ads and add the option of mobile apps and tethered downloads. Many consumers are fist-pumping at the sight of the behemoth opening its doors stateside, but many musicians are fretting, and we don't mean with guitars. Spotify deals with labels and the payout to artists—even like Lady Gaga—are somewhat abysmal.
After Spotify finalized deals with the majors, Billboard reported
a US launch was only a matter of time. Now the Spotify homepage
is offering a potential invite (just submit an email address) for a few lucky Americans to get a sneak peak at the services with a beta service (probably starting in the next couple of weeks). A broader campaign and offering of full services will probably follow in a couple of months.
So why the artist backlash? Well the economics are a bit skewed. A while back it was reported that Lady Gaga only made $167 for a million plays, a painful thought while considering the small numbers involved in the minor leagues. Many attribute the small payout to the labels taking too much of the pie, certainly a factor when considered major vs. independent artists and their compensation. Negotiations have taken a considerable amount of time, suggesting that the labels are trying to squeeze every penny they can out of the streaming service. What else is new?
Think about it while you (possibly) mull over your free trial. Or you could go with an already established service that we're quite fond of...