Spotify Discovery faces harsh criticism from artists for royalty cuts

As a global leader in music streaming, both artists and fans look to Spotify to discover and even start new trends in music and culture.  As the platform looks to continuously evolve and create more opportunities, especially for new and upcoming artists, the streaming giant recently launched Discovery, a tool that is meant to help prioritize and deliver music from artists and labels to potential new fans.

In order for creators to be pushed through the Spotify Discovery platform, they agree to a lower royalty rate for the duration of the campaign.  The team at Spotify explained the full process here:

“In exchange for the promotion, creators agree to a lower ‘promotional’ royalty rate for those streams, where Spotify charges a 30 per cent commission. This rate is only for the duration that selected content has opted into the Discovery feed, and only for the portion of streams that occur within Radio & Autoplay. All other streams of the track in areas outside of Radio & Autoplay remain commission-free,”

While the question of ‘payola’ or other industry practices at play here is one thing, artists are stating that the actual rate taken may end up being closer to 50% of their royalty share and the benefits nowhere near the promised exposure.  Artist Luca Lush took to Twitter to share his thoughts in a short thread that opened with, “The most predatory change to spotify is “Discovery Mode” U can now opt in for a 30% reduced royalty rate for increased “algorithmic exposure” If u dont, less plays vs anyone who has Ideally for spotify, EVERYONE opts in, they take 30% more revenue & no one gets more plays.”

John Michie was no kinder in his assessment when he posted, “Just saying.. I tried discovery mode on spotify… I saw no increase in plays or listeners… likely getting 30% less for pissing around with it though.

While Spotify certainly delivers plenty of unique and engaging updates, time will tell if Discovery mode will continue to exist.

Image Credit: <a href=”;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText”>Thibault Penin</a> on <a href=”;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText”>Unsplash

Avid music fan, and avid music producer! Producer and songwriter for NOHC.

[email protected]