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MMF and FAC officially welcome Spotify Artists

By | Published on Thursday 5 December 2013

Spotify Artists

So, has the Spotify Artists project, code named internally at the streaming music company Shut The Fuck Up Thom*, placated those in the artist and management community that have expressed concern in recent months about the digital firm’s business model and the royalties it pays out to creators and rights owners?

Well, reps for the Music Managers’ Forum and Featured Artists Coalition yesterday gave the thumbs up to Spotify’s previously reported new artist-focused website – which offers the wider music community more clarity on how Spotify rates work, provides artists with access to listening data, and promises everyone that ticketing and merch sell-through is definitely high up the agenda.

Though MMF Chair Brian Message, despite managing Spotify-critic-in-chief Thom Yorke’s band Radiohead, has always been a fan of the streaming service. And plenty of people in the artist community have spoken out in support of the company in the past, even if their remarks don’t usually get the same level of coverage as the Spotify detractors. So official MMF and FAC backing doesn’t necessarily mean Yorke et al are now on side.

But either way, Message told CMU yesterday: “[Spotify Artists] is a huge step down the road towards the transparency we have been calling for in the digital market. It has been enlightening to work with Spotify to deliver this. The streaming model is growing and generating significant income”.

Meanwhile the Featured Artists Coalition’s co-CEO and Marillion member Mark Kelly said: “Streaming services have been restricted in sharing this data with artists in the past which has meant that many artists have been critical without fully understanding how streaming works and pays out. This is a big step in the right direction which will hopefully lead to a more informed discussion about streaming and what it means for artists”.

And his fellow FAC chief Crispin Hunt, the one time Longpig and prolific pop songwriter, added: “This is just the kind of information artists needed from Spotify. It will better enable the FAC to help creators negotiate a commensurate share of future income from all streaming services. We look forward to continuing our conversations with Spotify to create further clarity”.

*This isn’t actually true, but I bet that’s what they were thinking.