For a long time, cloud-music streaming services, like Spotify, have provided services that put the user before the artist. What this means is that users on Spotify pay less to use it, but artists also make less from it. Even with advertisements occasionally breaking the chain of free-streaming music, artists don’t make a lot from providing their music to the public through services like Spotify.
This situation has caused some public outcry from many artists, however, early reports indicate that this situation may change next year.
One Fee = Millions of Songs
Artists view the current situation as nearly giving away their music for free. This is because users don’t have to pay the normal price of an album just to listen to it. For about $10 a month ($5 for students, free for the free version), users can listen to any album they want, for as long as they want, at anytime. In other words, for the price of one album, users have access to millions of songs.
As such, the artists don’t make as much money from album sales as they could 10 years ago. Back in November of 2014, Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify’s song database. As she explained then in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently.”
Music Artist Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) on Twitter
This situation may change in early 2016. Due to protests from celebrities and big labels, Spotify will be going through some revisions in their free service. As of right now, without paying for Spotify, you can listen to any album or song you want (on the computer) with the minor distraction of an advertisement occasionally playing in-between songs.
While it is not clear as of yet what exactly these changes will be, free users should expect limited access to Spotify’s immense music database in the near future.
Websites like ModMyi.com have speculated that Spotify might limit the amount of time users can listen to music. Another possible scenario is that artists may be able to decide whether or not users who don’t pay for Spotify can listen to their albums (which would mean you would have to pay for a premium subscription to listen to those artists.)
While it’s still not confirmed what exactly the changes will entail for free users, users who don’t pay for Spotify can expect their music experience to change in the coming year.
Have you got a comment about the way Spotify currently works? Or about what any changes might mean for you as a user or listener? Please leave your thoughts here!