Spotify Controversy

There is a big debate/controversy going on in the music world right now in regards to streaming services, and specifically Spotify.

For anyone who is a Spotify user, you know that there are certain artists who have not joined the Spotify universe. Like with Itunes, and other streaming services, some artists have not yet released their catalogs to the Spotify universe. However, for me, the sheer amount of music that is available on Spotify is more than enough to make it worthwhile for me to pay the $9.99 a month for Spotify Premium.

I had also read several articles about the ongoing war in the music industry between flat-fee streaming services like Pandora and Spotify and artist who claim their music is not being valued at the price that it should, and that they can’t make a living off of it.  Streaming services have argued back that the format gives a wider exposure for artists, both big and small.

Then last month, Taylor Swift announced that she was pulling her entire catalog from Spotify, because streaming services basically de-value musical art to a point that it is unconscionable.  Taylor wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about the subject, basically defending the rights of artists who make far less income than she from the abuse of Spotify.

Then Aloe Blacc wrote similar piece arguing for proper monetary value for songwriting in Wired Magazine.

On the other side, several artists wrote pieces about how Spotify has helped their band or career.

Then the Spotify founder fired back at Taylor, defending the streaming service.

Aside from the fact that I am incredibly bummed that “Shake It Off” is no longer in my morning playlist, I am very interested in this new war in the music industry. I hate the idea of supporting an unjust corporation in the musical equivalent of a corporation using sweat shops. But I really do so love my Spotify!

Similar to the now oh-so-long-ago controversies around Napster and even how Itunes values music, if nothing else, it will be really interesting to see what the conclusion is of this battle between Spotify and music artists.

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