Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has pulled the music of his latest band Atoms for Peace from Spotify, accusing the streaming service paying musicians too little.
New artists “will no[t] get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it,” Yorke told his 400,000-odd Twitter followers.
That’s unwelcome PR for Spotify, the Swedish start-up that seemed to be getting the music industry onside with streaming, rather than downloads, as a viable model for serving up music to fans. Given that the service fails to make a profit even at current royalty rates, is its model in question?
Spotify’s international expansion after launching in the US last year is reflected in big leaps in both revenues and losses for 2011. The digital music service’s annual report, recently filed in Luxembourg, showed its revenues more than doubled from €73.9m in 2010 to €187.8m. But at the same time, losses grew by 59 per cent to €45.4m last year.
Spotify, the music streaming service, has followed rivals MOG and Rdio and finally released an iPad app, but it’s been worth the wait.
The app features fast switching between different tracks, almost full-screen album art and intuitive navigation for swiping through information about artists and opening panes on similar artists.
Spotify is to open its doors in Germany this week in the digital music service’s biggest launch since coming to the US last year.
It is the latest example of a digital music firm growing its global footprint as record labels become increasingly bullish on subscription services.
It is a measure of how far streaming digital music services have come that Daniel Ek, co-founder of Spotify, could be feted by a room full of music industry lawyers during Grammy Awards week.
Ek, the keynote speaker at the Entertainment Law Initiative event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, hinted at the industry’s initial resistance when he pointed out that he had started Spotify in 2006 and it had taken him two years to launch in Europe and a full five years before it hit the US market last July.
No wonder the record labels are sounding much more positive about music subscription services. Spotify is starting to reap the benefits of its oft-doubted “freemium” business model.
After hitting 2.5m subscribers in November, the Anglo-Swedish digital music service has now reached 3m, with more than 20 per cent of its active user base paying every month to banish advertisements or listen on smartphones.
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Microsoft is planning an iPad version of its popular Office software suite, The Daily reports.The product is set to cost around $10 – about the same price Apple charges for its Pages, Numbers and Keynote products.
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Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – saw $816m spent online sales, according to research and monitoring group Comscore, making it the heaviest online spending day so far in 2011 and representing a 26% increase against Black Friday 2010. Thanksgiving Day, achieved a 18% increase to $479m, Comscore reports.