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Is Spotify Ripping Off Artists?

Is Spotify Ripping Off Artists?

Spotify has been accused of ripping off artists, following claims that the website pays only £100 for every million plays.

The website which was launched by Daniel Elk last year, has seen phenomenal growth, with 300,000 paying customers and over 7 million using its free music streaming service.

However, questions have been raised following the revalation that Lady Gaga was paid only £108 for the million plays of her popular track "Poker Face."

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca) has urged Spotify to clarify its licensing deals which remain unclear to many artists.

Patrick Rackow, Bascas Chairman stated: "At the moment, the amounts of money that are actually being received are tiny. That might be because there is no money there.

"But there is no clear trail that can be established so that the songwriter can trace back what they ought to have got. These things are behind a blanket of secrecy, and that is extremely worrying."

He went on to argue that this lack of clarity creates fear and suspiscion. "I think it harms Spotify, it harms the writers' perception of Spotify and this is a service they want to support."

Spotify has not disclosed the details of its deals with labels and publishers. However

Senior Vice-President Paul Brown did say that "significant revenues" were being passed onto artists and songwriters.

"Of course artists should be compensated fairly for their work and amazing creativity and we hope that the revenues we are generating and sharing are finding their way to them, as they should," he said.

It still remains unclear whether Spotify have signed on to the minimum rate of 0.085p per stream set by the regulators, PRS for Music which collects royalties on behalf of writers, publishers and composers.

In the last year, Bob Dylan has taken a great deal of his work off the service and so far The Beatles have also declined to be featured.


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