The Spotify Problem, Solved (In 3 Steps)


Napster, iTunes, Spotify, yadda yadda yadda, let’s skip the history lesson. The great force that is the internet has destroyed the recorded music industry. Or rather, by trying to fight the internet rather than embrace it, we have destroyed it ourselves.

If the problem of the modern music industry doesn’t get solved soon, good music will start disappearing. Artists will be forced to make money in other ways, leaving their music behind in the process. There’s been a lot of talk lately on the problem of Spotify, (with Taylor Swift, Aloe Blacc, and others contributing to the conversation). Everyone is saying the same thing: this needs to change. The thing that isn’t being said? How it should change.

During a recent conversation with my good friends Diego De la Rosa and Andrew Reyes, we discussed the Spotify Problem and how to solve it. And I think we may be on to something.

The Problem

The problem is simple. Musicians aren’t getting paid for their music. The demand for music is stronger than ever, but the current business models are lop-sided in favor of the consumer. We’ve been so desperate to get people to stop pirating music that we’ve set up a place on the internet where they don’t have to. Through Spotify you can listen to nearly every song in recorded history for free (with ads in between every few songs).

But I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing.

Full Disclosure

Don’t close this tab in your browser when you read this: I’m a Spotify Premium subscriber, and I absolutely love it. For consumers, Spotify is fantastic. For $10 a month I have access to almost any song I want, whenever I want, wherever I want. As a consumer of music, this is a fantastic deal. I haven’t bought an album in months, because, why would I if I can listen to it on Spotify?

The math in the Spotify equation is off. It’s a great deal for consumers, and a terrible deal for musicians. Let’s take a look at how we can solve this problem.

Spotify Problem Solved


What You Can Do About It

Okay, so what now? Do you want to support the artists you listen to? Would you pay $10 a month for Spotify VIP? Would you like to help change the music industry for the better? Here’s what you can do:

1. Share This Article

People need to know how Spotify works, and how we can fix it. Share this article through Facebook, Twitter, or your social network of choice. Consumers, Artists, and Spotify Execs all need to know about this issue and start joining the conversation of how to fix it.

2. If You’re An Artist, Pull Your Music From Spotify

In late 2007, the film industry had a very similar problem. Writers weren’t getting paid properly for their Movies and TV shows that were streaming online. So 12,000 writers went on strike. What happened? TV sucked for a while (season 3 of LOST anyone?), but after 4 months, the boycott was over, negotiations started,  and the film industry today is much better off than the music industry.

The only way to change Spotify is to get their attention. Pull your music. It’s not like you’re making money anyway. If everyone does this, it’ll initiate a change in the music industry. In a few months or a year we’ll be much better off, and musicians can get back to doing what they love: making music.

What Do You Think?

Let’s have a conversation. Instead of, “Spotify sucks” let’s talk about how we can fix it. What do you think of this 3 step way to fix Spotify? What ideas do you have? Let’s get this conversation going.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go listen to some Taylor Swift.