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When it doesn’t pay to play: the musicians left short by streaming

After years in the doldrums, the record industry is back in rude health thanks to the likes of Spotify, but while the major stars are also getting richer, most artists are struggling to make ends meet

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Some 80pc of revenue derived from streaming goes to just 1pc of artists — the likes of Taylor Swift, pictured here, Drake and Ariana Grande

Some 80pc of revenue derived from streaming goes to just 1pc of artists — the likes of Taylor Swift, pictured here, Drake and Ariana Grande

Steve Wall from The Stunning says he pays more for his Spotify subscription than he earns from the streaming giant

Steve Wall from The Stunning says he pays more for his Spotify subscription than he earns from the streaming giant

Daniel Ek, chief executive of Spotify

Daniel Ek, chief executive of Spotify

Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny

Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny

Singer Dermot Kennedy

Singer Dermot Kennedy

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Some 80pc of revenue derived from streaming goes to just 1pc of artists — the likes of Taylor Swift, pictured here, Drake and Ariana Grande

The message is loud and clear. “I don’t want to give my name because I need Spotify and the band needs Spotify and anything that might be seen as a criticism of streaming could go against us. I don’t want to say anything that means we mightn’t get playlisted by them.”

The speaker is the frontman of a well-known Irish band. The group is a household name for anyone interested in homegrown music. They have released several albums, played leading venues such as the Olympia in Dublin and are regulars on the festival circuit. On the face of it, they’re highly successful, enjoying a profile and career that most fledgling bands can only dream of.


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