Some of you guys might recall that in 2014, musician Taylor Swift removed her music from Spotify. According to a statement Swift made back then, it was simply due to royalty issues in which she felt that musicians in the industry weren’t being paid fairly by streaming companies such as Spotify.
Swift had also taken issue with Apple Music, but a change of heart by Apple saw Swift’s latest album being made available for streaming on their newly launched platform, which some might describe as a win. That being said it seems that Spotify has decided that maybe something needs to be done about the royalty issues in the music industry and have announced their plan to help fix it.
According to a post on Spotify’s website, “Today we are excited to announce that Spotify will invest in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem.” The company cites the complexity of the music industry as being one of the reasons why it is hard to identify who exactly owns the rights to the songs, and who royalties should be paid out to.
For example looking at a song itself, there are many parties that need to be paid. You have the songwriter, sometimes you might have the lyricist, sometimes if there are sampled sounds/loops you’ll have to pay the original creator as well, and then you’ve got the artist, the publisher who owns the song, and then you have the record labels. So yes indeed the industry is a bit complex to navigate when it comes to deciding who to pay, and this is a problem Spotify hopes to correct.