But this time, the attention isn’t in the form of a pitchfork-waving mob. David Harrell of indie band The Layaways is causing ripples with a new blog post outlining his band’s Spotify royalties over the last three years, via distributor CD Baby.
The key figures: between August 2009 and March 2011, the band’s average per-stream payout for Spotify was 0.2865 cents. Now, for August 2009 to June 2012, it’s 0.46623 cents, with the band’s most recent payouts reaching 0.8246668 cents.
Pretty positive growth, as Spotify has grown its number of paying subscribers from 1m in March 2011 to 4m by July 2012.
As ever, the key caveat is that these are just per-stream payouts. Artists whose songs aren’t played much will still see negligible Spotify payouts, while those who are hugely popular will see significant revenues. And the overall volume, and ratio of premium to free streams, is changing over time.
In short, conclusions drawn a year or two ago about Spotify being bad for artists are looking hasty, especially with evidence of cannibalisation of download sales still proving elusive for critics of the company, and the streaming model in general. That said, proof that Spotify can turn a profit and build a sustainable business in the long-term is equally elusive for now too.
Now, if only Lady Gaga could post HER latest payout figures…