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- Posted on Dec 14th 2011 11:45AM by Theo Spielberg
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"[Streaming services] are becoming more popular, but it still isn't at a point where you're able to replace royalties from record sales with the royalties from streams," drummer Patrick Carney told VH1.
As Spotify currently operates, it takes about 64 streams to equal one 99-cent iTunes purchase, according to a recent Billboard study. Even users who pay for the service with unlimited or premium accounts are still only making up for a fraction of the potential revenue an artist could be pulling in.
"For a band that makes a living selling music, it's not at a point where it's feasible for us," Carney continued.
The Keys have made their previous releases -- as well as singer Dan Auerbach's solo outing, 'Keep it Hid' -- available on Spotify, and Carney hinted that after the initial sales push, listeners might see 'El Camino' show up, too. The album sold 206,000 units in it's first week and debuted at the #2 spot on the Billboard 200 charts, giving the band both their best single-week sales and the highest chart performance of their careers.
Several other artists have sounded off about streaming services hurting the music industry. Since Spotify launched in the United States in July, Adele, Coldplay, Tom Waits, Kanye West/Jay-Z and a host of other spotlighted artists have kept their latest releases off the service.
Mike Skinner of The Streets applauded this practice, tweeting, "I'm saying that because of adele, coldplay black keys etc going into next year people are going to think about not allowing streams."
Despite its shortcomings, Spotify has made concerted efforts to create a forum for music via social media -- hence their partnership with Facebook -- and foster live music, as evidenced by the free shows they sponsored at Mercury Lounge in New York City over the summer.
So while Spotify is making music more accessible than it has ever been, it is also eating into the paychecks received by the people who make that music. What do you think -- is Spotify awesome or terrible? Sound off in the comments section.