Gin Wigmore has a love-hate relationship with streaming music. With Spotify. The New Zealander with the mighty voice is, like so many other recording artists, frustrated by the peanuts which rain down from the world’s leading streaming service. Or let’s call it muffins.
When we chatted some months ago from her U.S. base, Wigmore didn’t hide her frustration with the cash-flow situation. Her interviewer, one of the scores of millions of Spotify subscribers, had paid a small fee to consume a smorgasbord of music. Gin’s music. “Oh, for free? Thanks,” she said with a laugh. On the royalties that flow down, “I couldn’t afford a muffin a month on that,” she admitted. “It’s pretty rough.”
Wigmore has the record biz on her side. The IFPI’s CEO Frances Moore has talked about the “enormous anomaly,” the disparity between the explosion of music consumption across myriad services and the revenues returned to creators and content investors. The “value gap” is at the top of the stack of industry issues right now.
Spotify is something of an easy target. It’s the biggest of its kind, the most popular player in a sector driving growth in the global recorded music biz. How big? The company announced in March it had reached 50 million subscribers, and its user base tops 140 million (the majority on the free tier). Its name is part of the vernacular; Spotify has become the default for all-you-can-eat streaming.