Spotify fights piracy

Published: February 18, 2016

 photo courtesy of wikimedia commons Apple has introduced its own version of a streaming service in order to counter Spotify. This has led other companies to initiate their own streaming services.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / APPLE has introduced its own version of a streaming service in order to counter Spotify. This has led other companies to initiate their own streaming services.

JORDAN REIS
Staff Writer

In the modern age it is popular to pay the least for everything. The plethora of coupon-sites and deals has made shopping around for the cheapest deals easier than ever.

This is extremely popular when it comes to the music industry. People try and get the most music for the lowest price, which sometimes leads to trouble. Sites for illegal downloads that became prevalent as the internet grew hindered revenue of record companies and their artists.

As time went on sites evolved that allowed for legal and free ways to listen to peoples favorite tunes. Sites such as Pandora and Spotify exploded in popularity in the past five years.

Out of 10 students asked here at The University, all ten have used Spotify at least once, and eight use it on a regular basis.

According to Quartz, Spotify’s founder Daniel Ek, Spotify is saving the music industry. Before the creation of iTunes and other such music downloading platforms, music was bought on albums. CDs came with 10-15 songs and cost around $20 each.

This kept record companies highly profitable because even though people really only liked two to three songs on a given album they were forced to buy the whole thing. This all changed when people could pick and choose single songs to buy. Record labels went from making $20 per transaction to .99 cents. Even though more people were now inclined to buy a given song it did not match up to previous numbers. Not to mention that all this is undermined by illegal downloads. Out of the same 10 students asked about their use of Spotify, six admitted to illegally downloading music.

Jeremy Mammen, a first-year University student said, “I really only legally purchase music for artists I want to support. If I don’t really personally like the artist I’ll just stream it.”

Streaming music seems to be the number one way we spend our money on day-to-day music listening.

According to Nielsen.com, 12 percent of money spent on music went towards streaming sites while only nine percent went to buying albums in 2014. Streaming sites have exploded in popularity and now deter people from illegally obtaining music. According to Spotify’s website, on average a regular user generates $41 a year for artists while someone who pays for songs individually produces $25. The reason for this is that the artist makes money every time a person listens to their song on Spotify rather than just receiving a one-time payment. As well, on a given song around 75 percent of the revenue goes to the artist. Spotify claims that if all the streaming of music from 2014 went through them, they would have made artists around 2.5 times the money. Spotify also claims to have cut piracy of music by around 55 percent in people aged 18-29.

There is evidence to support Ek’s bold claims that Spotify has revolutionized streaming and is saving the music industry. In the end, streaming sites and record companies must work together to save the monetization of music, because if there is not money music, few people will do it and a world without music would be pretty quiet.

Contact the writer: jordan.reis@scranton.edu

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