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article imageOp-Ed: Spotty music streaming site Spotify launches in Australia

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By Paul Wallis     May 22, 2012 in Entertainment
Sydney - Swedish Spotify.com is a site which allows you to stream music ad-free. It pays a small amount of royalties to the record companies, and artists are the last thing on anyone’s minds. The launch of Spotify has Australian musicians very annoyed.
According to ABC Australia:
Spotify pays record labels when it streams their music, but overseas some big names in music have decided it is not enough to make it worthwhile for them to support the service.
Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney told WGRD radio in the US he thinks Shawn Parker - a board member of Spotify - is an "arsehole".
Parker is also the man who founded Napster, which used to be the biggest illegal music site on the internet.
Carney joins a growing list of artists like Adele and the Beatles who have given Spotify the finger.
"The guy has $2.5 billion he made stealing royalties from artists," Carney said.
"We can't make money from it, if it was fair to the artists we would be involved in it, but it's not."
You can see why Australia's eternally struggling musicians aren't pleased.
Now the real Peasants R Us sales spiel- Spotify pays about .03 of a cent per play. That is literally 3 hundredths of a cent. Start buying your Ferrari now. Given the sort of hysteria and psychotic lawsuits that sharing a few files causes in the industry, this is virtual charity. Artists aren’t likely to make much on a million plays.
I’d never heard of Spotify, and as it turns out didn’t want to, but I can’t honestly say I’m surprised. The music industry spends most of its time making life as tough as possible for musicians, and this is just the latest haemorrhoid. The music industry has also been promoting total frauds as international superstars for decades (check it out, you so-called “music journalists”), is famous for money laundering and its links with organised crime. So dealing musicians out of any sort of payment is hardly a new thing. It’s easy to do, if you know how.
Obviously, there had to be some sort of fun things going on with a company which can miraculously access 15 million songs for almost nothing, so I did some basic research and came up with some interesting information almost instantly:
1. Multiple complaints about not being able to access Spotify accounts.
2. Multiple “we’re not a scam” posts on forums from people who apparently didn’t even read the original posts by those complaining.
3. Malware installed which affects Windows systems.
…And you can get all of this for your very own, lucky listeners. If I’ve got this right, you pay $5 for your Spotify subscription, or what Spotify pays the record companies for 15,000 plays. If you search Spotify+scam on Google, you get 1.29 million hits
Charity begins where?
There’s another side to this issue- Why are the record companies, who get an average of about 2000 times more (7c) for basic royalties on broadcast, playing along with a penny pincher like Spotify? These bastards don’t breathe unless they get paid, and paid well, for it.
In fairness, the 15 million songs Spotify streams may include a lot of old catalogues. Given the resistance of major copyright owners and current artists, I’d say that Spotify is simply cashing in on a combination of greed and artists with pre-existing recorded materials who can’t argue or don’t know how to argue.
Spotify claims to be a good venue for promotion, if nothing much else, for independent musicians. Hard to see that, in such a huge pool of tracks. “New artists” as a category usually doesn’t do much but create surface ripples even on top sites, and if not delivering cash in the very high maintenance process of making music, Spotify doesn’t look too crash hot as a viable option.
If you want to be charitable, be charitable to yourself, if you’re a musician. As a matter of fact, you can put your music up for sale at a reasonable price just about anywhere. iTunes, 7digital UK and others are reputable companies that pay actual money to musicians, not lip service insults. Forget Spotify, focus on paying propositions.
Also remember that as a copyright owner you do have rights. Adele and the Beatles are simply flexing their copyright muscles properly. Sweden is a signatory to international copyright conventions. Spotify is not above the law.
Verdict: Spotify is just another musician-hating, legalistic, free lunch site for corporates. Avoid like a disease.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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