I’ve just caught up with last Sunday’s Observer, where an article suggested that Spotify are ripping off music makers because they only pay 0.004p per play, whereas Radio 2 pay something like £59.75. One famous musician, and one or two self-serving unknown ones, burbled about how exploitative this was, getting their arithmetic completely wrong. But what pissed me off was the biased reporting.
In particular, qualifiers such as ‘just’ (in relation to Spotify’s payment) and ‘in contrast’ (re the BBC’s) were bandied about as if they added any value or information to the report. In fact, all they added was a slant which doesn’t belong in news reporting.
To be specific, the factual content was that, for a million listens on Spotify, the artist would earn about £4,000 (0.004p per listen), whereas, if a million people happened to be listening to R2 at the time, the artist would earn about £60 (0.000006p per listen). Put this way, Spotify looks like a bloody good deal to me.