“Since its launch in 2001, Rhapsody has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties that have been paid out to record labels, music publishers and their representatives,” he writes. “Royalties have been the company’s greatest cost since launch. We trust that this royalty revenue is flowing to artists, writers and the other creative folks responsible for the music we proudly distribute via Rhapsody.” The word ‘trust’ is perhaps the key word in that last sentence. Irwin takes a dig at rivals – “We have seen some of the artist income numbers being reported, and we agree, they seem awfully small – particularly those cited as generated by some of the free services” – but warns that streaming services should not be judged on their per-stream payouts. “If an artist sells a download, they may get a bigger cut, but they only are paid once.”

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