Spotify has been holding a series of events in the US this week to court musicians who may have reservations about streaming music. But CEO Daniel Ek got some direct feedback during his appearance at a Vanity Fair tech conference yesterday, when musician Jimmy Buffett asked a question from the audience. “Do you see any time in the future where we might see a raise directly from you as opposed to going through the bullshit you have to go through to deal with a label these days?” asked Buffett. “How the stream of revenue gets to the artist, particularly young struggling artists, it’s really hard for that to actually happen in real life if you’re a young artist. So I’d hope that all the music service groups would kind of look at that. It’s one thing when it goes to the record label. Most of it doesn’t get to the artist, which would be nice.” And Ek’s response? “I agree.” But Ek also argued that Spotify’s moves to transparency: showing how many streams songs have had, and publishing its payouts formula on the Spotify Artists site, have prodded labels towards changes in the way they pay artists. “Because of how we published that, it started creating a dialogue between the artists and the industry, and as a side consequences, as streaming became such a massive part of the revenues, labels seemed to change how they started paying out to artists… instead of once a year, they started paying out much more frequent.”

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