We should stop using the term ‘fake artists’ for this week’s big Spotify debate.
‘Pseudonymous artists’ is a more-accurate description of what’s happening with songwriters and producers releasing tracks under a variety of artist names, which then get featured on some of Spotify’s big ‘mood’ playlists.
Yesterday’s development, a day after we suggested this debate is part of a wider blurring of the boundaries between the worlds of production music and consumer streaming services, was the news that production-library Epidemic Sound is involved.
MBW confirmed that Epidemic is supplying a number of songs to Spotify.
“It is correct that some of the composers on your list work with Epidemic Sound. The music that they produce was not commissioned by Spotify and these are certainly not ‘fake artists’ – that term is offensive,” Epidemic’s CEO Oscar Höglund told the industry publication.
“12 months ago we started to distribute some of our music via Spotify. This is a great platform for composers as it increases their income and gives them the recognition they deserve. The tracks are of a very high quality, and as a result, are picked up by the curators at Spotify for their playlists.”
Höglund also told The Verge, which has been doing its own digging, that “we share revenue from Spotify 50/50 with our composers”.
What is that revenue and how does it compare to the royalties paid to traditional labels, publishers and collecting societies? Expect this to be a topic for debate in the days to come.