What does Spotify pay for one million streams? Ask Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth in 2023 for an increasingly dismal answer.

If you are wondering how much Spotify pays for a million streams, the answer has only gotten worse since we published a comprehensive royalty spreadsheet in 2016. Anyone who has been following the matter for even a year would know that musicians are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to monetary remuneration for the success of their own work on streaming platforms like Spotify.

Spotify has been chastised for a variety of reasons, including the difficulty new musicians face in becoming seen on the platform and the risk of giving preferential treatment to AI-generated music – the list goes on.

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In a new interview (translated by Blabbermouth) with Rock Hard Greece published last week, frontman Dani Filth of metal band Cradle of Filth went so far as to call Spotify’s tactics “the biggest criminals in the world.” Dani Filth spoke with presenter Sakis Fragos on how the music business, especially customers, has been badly impacted by Spotify’s methods and standards.

“It is been deteriorating since (…) I believe 2006 was the year when everything changed for musicians from being — well, not necessarily comfortable; it was never comfortable. But (it) just become a lot harder with the advent of the digital age, with the advent of music streaming sites that do not pay anybody,” Filth said.

“I think we had 25, 26 million plays last year, and I think personally I got about 20 pounds, which is less than an hourly work rate,” Filth continues, referring to Spotify as “the world’s biggest criminals.”
“I think people just have this amazing ability to (believe) that when you have stuff out there, like physical product, you are making a fortune off of it,” he explains. “They do not realize how many people are vying for a piece of the pie — record company, management, accountants, blah blah blah.”

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“And nowadays, the reason people put out limited-edition vinyls and stuff is for collectors — they are the only people who buy it; everyone else just streams it for free.”

Filth also claimed that financial concerns related to “consumer entitlement” are a major reason why many bands are not touring post-pandemic.

“Petrol has risen; tour bus hire has risen.” The expense of living has risen. Yes, it is difficult for bands right now, but it does not help when people have this ingrained belief that “music is something that should be given away for free,” adds Filth. “I do not walk into a store and pick up a pack of bananas and say, ‘Well, these grow on trees, they should be free; I am walking out with these.'”

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“I would be charged with shoplifting.” But it is fine for people to download — even before albums are released, you find fans who say, ‘Oh, I have got a link to it,’ and they put it up, and then any sales you are going to get from people buying it as a surprise are gone because they have already heard it, and they just move on.”

“The music industry is currently on its knees,” he concludes. “Do not get me wrong; I still enjoy making music — I adore it — but the musician nowadays has a million things going against them. It is a difficult time.”

Cradle of Filth signed with Napalm Records last year and joined DevilDriver on the Double Trouble Live tour in March. Trouble and Their Double Lives, their most recent live album, was released in April and includes two new studio tracks, “She is a Fire” and “Demon Prince Regent.”


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