Jimmy Buffett, the hoary South Florida singer-songwriter, put the chief executive of music streaming service Spotify on the spot Wednesday, demanding more money for musicians.
Spotify, with 10 million subscribers, charges $10 a month for unlimited streaming access to millions of songs from record labels, large and small. The company pays for streaming rights for each song based mainly on how many Spotify users click on it. Ek said it deals with some artists directly, bypassing the music industry, but those deals are relatively few. Buffett was suggesting that if the labels won't pay the artists more, Spotify ought to.
The labels inititally resisted MTV, he said, eliminated singles to force album sales, and “wouldn’t let file-sharing happen, so there was no way to get music online.” Then they introduced CDs, which inadvertantly “opened the gates to file-sharing,” and now are being dragged reluctantly into subscription streaming.