The problem I have with the idea artists and companies have about artists getting paid “fairly” is… If you’re going to make it as an artist I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a streaming service to support a family, pay bills, buy a home, or much of anything else. To me it’s always seemed like a supplemental thing, to the real artists who make their money by selling music (and not just digital, intangible copies on iTunes) and touring, putting on concerts.
People that expect a streaming service to be a main source of income are being unrealistic.
They’re either misunderstanding what success is and what it takes in that context, or they’re over-estimating the role streaming services have in the music industry as it currently exists (and as it will probably evolve into). Imo anyways. Services like those, while free, are always going to be a cesspool of advertisements. The “free” music comes at a price (e.g. commercials every 3 to 10 songs, and maybe more as time goes on), and people will still pay to avoid that.
Probably for the foreseeable future too.
Granted, not that many people buy CD’s anymore, but people *do* still buy them, whether you can put out CD’s as a band or musician is still a better measure of success than being on Spotify or any other streaming service, and even if we’re only talking iTunes sales… free streaming is just not going to replace paying for a specific song or set of songs that you can have as your own.
You might be an artist if you’ve got something you can stream via one of the services out there, but that alone shouldn’t be used as a measuring stick. The truth is, you just don’t have to be that successful to have your music on Spotify. It means nothing. And it’s not where real artists, even in this day and age, make their real money. That’s in the album sales and the concerts.