The Giant Force of Spotify

Words by Brinsley Chadavenzi

There’s been an ambient acceptance amongst musicians, and users, on the importance of Spotify to music currently. If Spotify were to vanish tomorrow, there would be a crisis in how people would listen to a range of music in a contained platform, in addition to how artists would make revenue.

Spotify works because of centralisation: easy to find most music (past and present) in one single place, can be used easy across laptops, smartphones and various devices, a one off monthly £10 fee to access most music in the world and ultimately provides a user friendly experience. However, consequently as all business models go – as one grows at such a high rate, leaving all other streaming services in the dust, Spotify transforms into a monopoly.

“A monopoly implies an exclusive possession of a market by a supplier of a product or a service for which there is no substitute’. – Brittanica

The danger of this is the quote below:

“In this situation the supplier is able to determine the price of the product without fear of competition from other sources or through substitute products.” – Britannica

Effectively, they can determine the rate of how much they pay artists, thus effecting their livelihood which ironically impacts their creativity (the very thing that Spotify depends on for growing it’s massive catalogue of music). Spotify generates enormities of wealth from the star power catalogues, deals between them and major labels of the music industry, and deals between various other companies. This will persist as along as Spotify’s remains prominent, which it will be, as no other platform has the user accessibility, catalogue and convenience that Spotify does.

Effectively, they can determine the rate of how much they pay artists, thus effecting their livelihood which ironically impacts their creativity (the very thing that Spotify depends on for growing it’s massive catalogue of music). Spotify generates enormities of wealth from the star power catalogues, deals between them and major labels of the music industry, and deals between various other companies. This will persist as along as Spotify’s remains prominent, which it will be, as no other platform has the user accessibility, catalogue and convenience that Spotify does.

Platforms like the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have a life-span until the next wave of tech innovation comes through (similar to the shift of MySpace to Facebook) – but for the music industry, a platform would have to hold that catalogue of the biggest music from the 20th and 21st century as the minimum to be a contender to the throne.

Spotify will not lose out in having a stream equating to a penny/cent, it would mean musicians would be able to make the creation, distribution of music – a full time commitment which would alleviate the stressors of most independent /DIY musicians. Spotify enriches people’s day to day living with music, it should consider enriching the creators of their catalogue too.

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