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Billy Pouch

Document Type

Restricted CORE Hall of Fame Paper

Publication Date



[Abstract] Online streaming services can be very useful for discovering new music and winning over new fans; however, music streaming websites are a danger to cannibalize the industry, as they increasingly forsake independent artists, cut corners on royalties, and lead to music piracy, serving an injustice to people trying to make a living for their art. Music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music have seized the music industry in their grip, quickly replacing the popularity of physical music sales. These streaming sites have attracted considerable controversy with artists, with a handful of mainstream artists refusing to license their music to these services for the abysmally low amount of payment they recieve for worldwide hits (in order to obtain the U.S. average monthly minimum wage, an artist must have over 800,000 plays a month on Spotify). Aloe Blacc, who was a co writer and performer on Avicii’s smash hit “Wake Me Up,” received less than $4,000 from Spotify for the song, which quickly became Spotify’s most played song in history after it was released in 2013. In addition, music streaming services are found to have a positive correlation to music piracy, and are increasingly skewed towards major labels. Music streaming services should not be forbidden, as the benefits of discovery and exposure cannot be denied; however, royalty payments need to be enforced on a much stricter standard, so that an artist with a song that touches millions makes more than minimum wage.