Entertainment

Streaming Music: To Make Money, You Better be a Superstar

In this Sept. 19, 2014 file photo, Taylor Swift arrives at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas. The music streaming service Spotify is no longer offering Swift songs at her request, setting up a battle between the industry's most popular artist and the leading purveyor of a new music distribution system. Spotify, which pulled Swift's songs on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, said that "we hope she'll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone."  (Photo by Andrew Estey/Invision/AP, File)
In this Sept. 19, 2014 file photo, Taylor Swift arrives at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas. The music streaming service Spotify is no longer offering Swift songs at her request, setting up a battle between the industry’s most popular artist and the leading purveyor of a new music distribution system. (Photo by Andrew Estey/Invision/AP, File)

 

VENICE BEACH, Calif. (USA Today) — Pop superstar Taylor Swift has the right idea: Musicians should be better compensated for their online music.

Problem is, she’ll have to find folks willing to pay for digital music in the first place.

The rift between Apple Music and Swift over royalty rights obscured a hard truth about streaming music: Consumers love it, but they don’t want to pay for it.

Spotify, by the far the largest music subscription service, has 20 million paying global subscribers.You would need five times that number of paid subscribers to make streaming music a decent revenue stream for most musicians, say analysts.

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