Others note that in negotiations on reimbursement rates, the major labels took a stake in Spotify. This has led some to question the contracts — since the numbers are private and the money is reimbursed through the labels (who have had a notorious reputation for "cheating" artists).

"I'm sympathetic to the fact that there's a longstanding distrust between artists and the labels on these things . . . but I think the economics are fair, and they're going to see that the second we scale to the levels we expect to," Doshi says. "Apple battled this among the artist community when it first launched. You saw a lot of people holding their records off of iTunes. As they scaled and made clear there was a real revenue source there, artists started to buy in."

Considering the way things have gone during the past decade, can you blame artists for being skeptical? As Cracker's David Lowery charged in his reply to NPR intern Emily White's now-famous blog post about her generation's general unwillingness to pay for music, artists feel their work's been devalued by fans who don't want to pay for it. The problem with Lowery's gripe is the horse already has fled the barn and is racing to a "wish you were here" place.

New Times photo illustration

"Whether artists like it or not, selling records is not going to be the revenue stream that it once was," says Chuckie Duff, founder of local record label Common Wall Media. "Personally, I love [Spotify]. I never thought I would be into a streaming service, because I prefer to own music . . . but, really, it's just been a great way to listen to stuff that I might not normally listen to. And [eventually] I will buy it — most of the time."

At this point, it's too early to hate Spotify, because there's no telling how its streaming service will play out in a digital marketplace that changes so quickly. (MySpace, anybody?) There's still a long road ahead. Former Atlantic exec Goldberg says that in the first six months of this year, 60 percent of all albums sold were still purchased in physical media.

"There's a big gap in behavior between early and late adapters. So these things happen in waves. But, clearly, it's the harbinger of the future on some level," he says. "There have certainly been harder times. Up until the 20th century, there weren't any records at all — there was only the [concert] business. Music has been around a lot longer than recordings have been, but if you work with and love music and musicians, then you have to figure out how they can make a living."

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6 comments
Hekate
Hekate

I've used this service going on a year now and it saddens me to see a divide between it and artists. With the ever-evolving ways we access music there needs to be a happy medium for fans and artists. I want artists to make money, but more importantly I want them to make good music, not 1 good song per album which is very common these days. You have artists releasing albums once a year, and quite frankly that's too much. I'm an avid music lover but often spending my money on an album I've not gotten a chance to preview is a risk. Many artists need to produce better material that is worthy of buying a whole album.  I got tired of buyers remorse after buying CDs, and welcomed iTunes, and now Spotify. I go on Spotify to discover artists, and albums I've overlooked in the past. If it's good, I go on and buy it at Amazon or iTunes, I can't tell you how much stuff I've bought since using Spotify, it's to the point were I need to budget my music spending LOL. Sometimes I listen to albums I own just because I'm on my laptop and want a light program that doesn't eat of my computer's battery life up like iTunes. People like Maynard shouldn't worry about Spotify, his fans are going to go on an buy his albums. It's the Goytes and the Lana Del Rays that should be more concerned. 

mcdisease
mcdisease

Tool isn't even available on Spotify. A Perfect Circle is available. He should probably call Virgin Records and find out where his coffee money went. 

Nicholas Gonzalez
Nicholas Gonzalez

Love it. Musicians need to stop crying and use this technology to their advantage, cause its not going anywhere.

amy0
amy0

Maybe Maynard needs to quit being such a tool and create music people actually want to hear (and wine people actually want to drink).  Has been non-factor says what?

pennyformythoughts
pennyformythoughts

 @amy0 $0.0117.  That's what an artist gets paid when their song is streamed through spotify.  Relevance of Maynard aside, that's a joke.

 
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