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Spotify’s ‘tip jar’ is a slap in the face for musicians. It should pay them better

spotify’s-‘tip-jar’-is-a-slap-in-the-face-for-musicians.-it-should-pay-them-better

Fans can now donate to their favourite artists via Spotify, but this feature is a tacit admission that the firm undervalues the musicians that make it viable

Wednesday’s announcement by the government’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, that social distancing in the UK could last for the rest of the year is terrible news for anyone bar lavishly wealthy introverts, but professional musicians will be among the most acutely worried.

Decades of technological change have made musicians particularly reliant on live income. Once, you toured to promote album sales on CD, cassette or vinyl; now, streams of your album make you a pittance unless you are extremely popular, and are mainly promotional tool for tours. With venues closed – along with clubs and shops, where your music might have been playing, accruing you a little more royalty cash – a large part of your revenue is gone.

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