MÖTLEY CRÜE and SIXX: A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx has weighed in on the ongoing debate surrounding Taylor Swift decision to pull her music from Spotify, saying that the singer’s back catalog of music is available on YouTube, where she is “making even less money” than she is through the popular streaming service.
Earlier in the month, Swift declined to release her new album, “1989”, to Spotify, which has both free and paid tiers, insisting that she wanted access to her music to be restricted to Spotify‘s paid version, which provides higher royalty rates. Her record label, Big Machine, opted to release the album only as MP3 download and compact disc and is limiting access to her catalog to premium streaming subscribers.
Writing on his Facebook page, Sixx addressed the controversy, saying: “I’d like to talk about the pink elephant in the room for a minute.
“A lot of artists are talking about Spotify right now and some might say it’s because they have new albums out. It could also be considered a good marketing tool, because, to be honest with you, it gets picked up a lot in the press.”
He continued: “Just to be clear, I too have a new album out and a new video for SIXX: A.M.
“Any smart artist should know how to use the Internet just like Bono, Taylor Swift and Dave Grohl are right now, but that being said, the pink elephant in the room is that YouTube is playing all of their music and they aren’t getting paid for it. They are making even less money from YouTube than Spotify, so let’s not just target Spotify here.
“A big unaddressed issue (and more important, in my opinion) is that artists aren’t getting paid because of a term called ‘breakage.’ That’s where the record companies have equity or take advances from the different streaming companies and never recoup them. Thus never paying the Bonos, Taylors, Daves and many, many, more. These artists should really be talking about that. But I think they may not know, or are afraid that their labels (or distribution companies) won’t promote them if the tell that ‘dirty little secret.’
“Also what are we doing to help new artists? We were all new artists once too.
“We’ve been around long enough that we should be addressing these issues to help new artists; exposing the things that are more than just roadblocks, the things that are actually sinkholes.
“I don’t understand why the press never writes about it, but hopefully they will start talking about breakage and how new artists can get more exposure.
“We have the power as the artists to raise awareness and change the future of the music business.
“Let’s use our brains to not only promote our music, but to address the pink elephant in the room…”
The most popular subscription service, Spotify reportedly has around 40 million users, a fourth of whom pay for monthly plans while the rest get advertising along with their music.
Spotify pays artists and labels based on the number of streams they generate. The per-stream payout for a song streamed on the service is reportedly between 0.006 cents and 0.0084 cents.