Many music industry insiders look to streaming services like Spotify which is the latest trend in music publishing. Despite being an overall unprofitable service in terms of paying the artist, Spotify makes the most of its revenues from subscriptions and its subscriptions worldwide just hit 50 million subscribers. This puts Spotify ahead of all of its rivals including Google, SoundCloud, and Apple Music keeping it as the world’s largest paid music streaming service.
Is this good news or bad? Well, for Spotify, it’s great news. Numbers in late 2015 was at 30 million subscribers and by September, 2016 it was 40 million and now in early 2017 growth continues to heighten to 50 million subscribers. Spotify’s closest rival is Apple which only has 20 million subscribers in comparison.
If you are looking to get into the corporate side of music, business is good and these numbers are very impressive. Streaming overall helped worldwide music sales to grow by approximately 7 percent in 2016 which is its fastest growth rate in nearly 20 years. From a dollar amount, the music industry was estimated by media research firm Midia to total $16.1 billion in global record sales in 2016 and streaming accounted for $5.4 billion of that. So business-wise it is very promising and for anyone who is a fan of Spotify, this is all helping the service continue to grow its customer base and begin to filter out deals with major record labels, something that it has and continues to struggle with.
If you are an artist or a musician looking to make money from music, you may want to hold off on celebrating. Spotify are still paying its artists pennies. Though the music industry overall is growing, the dollar amount that is being paid directly to the artist continues to shrink year after year and this trend has by no means stopped.
The entire game has changed in regards to Spotify. It is now the artist’s job to go out and use services like Spotify to build their audiences and to generate interest in their work. Through building a fan base, that can then be monetized at a later date. Simply put though, in process of building one’s audience through Spotify, the pay is little to none which once again puts developing artists at a disadvantage.
If you are lucky enough to get a team around you, this is the way to build your brand and build your audience. Teaming up with an independent record label comes with many benefits, this being the most prominent one.
Spotify is not the end of the music industry but it marks another key event in the shifting of the industry from artists and musicians to an increasingly corporate, general world where corporations are making the most money. As an artist, these tools and resources are available to build from. Though you won’t ever get rich from it, teaming with the right record label or the right team combined with Spotify and other services can help you gain your audience and build your brand internationally.