The decision of Coldplay along with Tom Waits and Adele to pull their music from Spotify is an interesting one.

The argument is that the royalty rate paid by Spotify is so bad it’s a waste of time being there. Every time you as a fan listen to a track on Spotify the amount of money the musician gets is so laughable that it’s hardly worth noticing; and whilst these multi million selling acts are not too short of a bob or two there is a feeling that Spotify should be paying more.

Tom Waits, Adele and Coldplay pull their music off Spotify
Tom Waits, Adele and Coldplay pull their music off Spotify

Spotify themselves, recently valued at a billion dollars is one of those strange Internet beasts – hip, well know and widely subscribed to but not easy to make money out of. The Internet changed everything and has oddly created this mass human endeavour where no-one makes any money – a mythical world of tapping away to the hum of technology without anyone making any money.

Spotify, which was once hailed as the saviours from the pirates, has landed somewhere in-between, a place where you can listen to legit music with a tiny royalty going to the artist… it’s a sort of future but if any record label had dared to offer a similar sort of deal a couple of decades ago it would have been told to get fucked!

What do you think? Is Spotify the saviour of the music industry, or a place for an artist to get heard or the latest evil cigar smoking bad guy ripping of the sweating musician!?

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. I like Spotify. I’ve discovered some good bands on it. More than i have from the radio in recent years.

    Adele and Coldplay are average coffee table his-and-hers music. Tom Waits, in my humble opinion, is and has always been over rated pish.

    No big loss for me but this could start a trend with the money grabbing bastards out there.

    Fuck them!

    The next few months might be interesting.

    • Money grabbing?!?! You’ve read the article then?

      Spotify needs to change it’s payment plan. If it’s full of mediocre unsigned bands-£35 deal with CDBABY gets your album on there- then it will become an untrusted site.

  2. I personally think, unless the internet is completely locked down and regulated via ISP’s (which is possible, but is a long way off and key influencers within the government and ISP’s will have to pull their fingers out – look at South Korea who have a great model and infrastructure to regulate on-line media), then the golden age of musicians begin paid for the sale of their recordings is pretty much gone. The new approach is a complete 360 model where the music is dished out practically free via reputable sources such as Spotify as an advertisement for the band. Then revenue generated via live shows, competitions, merchandise, endorsements, sponsors etc. The focus needs to shift collectively. Spotify is great because no matter how little it currently pays to artists, it re-activates the mindset to the masses that music should not be free and is a product like any other that should be paid for and not stolen. However on the other side of the coin, how many of us have come across new bands and music via a ‘shared MP3’ for free, and then ended up buying that bands album, paying for a live ticket, buying the DVD, being influenced by their sponsors etc. Perhaps musical recordings really should be seen as something to add to a bands ‘advertising budget’ instead of the revenue generating commodity it was deemed to be.

    Coldplay and Adelle pulling out of Spotify? That’s one less place where their music will be heard, one less medium where new fans will develop. One word is probably ‘greedy’ as they are both already huge money making machines. Perhaps this is a classic example of how the people at the top of today’s music industry are still totally incapable of change in the face of piracy and the internet, which will over time bury them and make way for the new generation music industry leaders.

    p.s. really liking the site btw.

    • Have you ever heard of a software company that goes by the name of Microsoft? They produced PC-DOS for IBM from a template that was originally regarded as nothing more than code written on a sheet of paper(worthless…). Well, MS-DOS, a spin-off from PC-DOS, was produced for proprietary purposes(with IBM’s consent). Now Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steven Ballmer and a host of other MS corporation executives former/present, are all billionaires. Are you trying to tell me that the same does not apply for a musician’s work? Spotify may be promoting starving artists, but Spotify is apparently the ONLY beneficiary.

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