Everyone, including us, has been loving Spotify since it made its U.S. debut. Well, not everyone… Though news leaked yesterday, Century Media Records confirmed today that they’ll be pulling their repertoire from the European music service. This also includes the catalogs of Century Media’s associated labels, such as associated labels InsideOut Music, Superballmusic, Ain’t no Grave Records, Hollywood Waste and People Like You.
In response to their decision, Century Media released the following statement:
“While everyone at the label group believes in the ever changing possibilities of new technology and new ways of bringing music to the fans, Century Media is also of the opinion that Spotify in its present shape and form isn’t the way forward. The income streams to the artists are affected massively and therefore that accelerates the downward spiral, which eventually will lead to artists not being able to record music the way it should be recorded. Ultimately, in some cases, it will completely kill a lot of smaller bands that are already struggling to make ends meet.
At the same time Century Media also believes that Spotify is a great tool to discover new music and is in the process of reintroducing their bands to Spotify by way of putting up samplers of the artists. This way, fans can still discover the great music released by the label.
Physical sales are dropping drastically in all countries where Spotify is active. Artists are depending on their income from selling music and it is our job to support them to do so. Since the artists need to sell their music to continue their creativity, Spotify is a problem for them. This is about survival, nothing less and it is time that fans and consumers realize that for artists it is essential to sell music to keep their heads above water.
Obviously it is ultimately up to the music fan and consumer, how they access their music, whether it is buying, streaming or stealing. There needs to be awareness though, that how you will consume your music has direct consequences for the artists, who we are all trying to support.”
While Century Media’s concern is amicable, they also are somewhat forgetting the bigger picture. Thanks to illegal downloading, bands are forced to look towards other avenues, such as tours and merchandising, to make a profit. It’s not a pleasing fact, but it’s the truth. So Spotify may not be helping physical copies, but it does help expose bands to a larger audience.
And Spotify is certainly a tool bands want to have on their side, seeing how well it’s been doing. According to Digital Music News, Spotify has amassed 1.4 million American users, 175,000 of whom are premium subscribers. Considering that it’s only been less than a month since it’s U.S. debut and has only been working on an invite-only basis, these are pretty impressive numbers. Sure, it might not help labels make up their losses in album sales (which obviously doesn’t make labels like Century Media happy), but the industry needs any help it can get.