A New York Times op-ed published Monday argued that the streaming service Spotify should become a subscription service and, if it can’t, could become a music-on-demand platform.
The op-er, written by Daniel Drezner, an associate professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and published in The Atlantic, argues that Spotify should be a platform for independent artists to share music, as well as the first platform for artists to pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to a catalog of their own songs.
The argument is similar to that made by other independent artists, who have recently begun to demand an independent digital platform that is more like a pay-what-you-want service rather than a paid subscription.
“The best thing Spotify could do is take its music and put it in a curated catalog,” Drezners argument reads.
“This will make it easy for musicians to promote their work and make money from that work.
It will give indie artists access to the largest audience of any music service.”
The argument, however, ignores the fact that Spotify has made its catalogs extremely limited in scope and content.
For example, Spotify’s catalog contains about 3.7 million songs, which are generally categorized as being in the category of “independent,” but it doesn’t include any recordings from the likes of Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Beyoncé.
Spotify’s platform is meant to be an extension of music services like Pandora and Spotify Premium, but its catalog isn’t particularly curated or even curated at all.
And while Spotify’s app currently only allows streaming to about 300,000 songs, Dreznners argument neglects to note that Spotify’s service is set to be expanded to 1.3 million songs by the end of the year.
Spotify currently only has a small portion of its catalog accessible through its app, and it isn’t clear whether the platform will ever expand to all of its songs, even as the service expands.
“For a company that’s only around 200 million users, Spotify is doing an amazing job with their catalog,” David Zwiebel, Spotify vice president of product and media strategy, said in a statement on Monday.
“We hope that it will continue to grow and expand.”
Spotify is currently available in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and France.
Dreznick argues that the current music catalog Spotify has at its disposal is inadequate, because it is not designed to allow artists to freely distribute their work on the platform.
“Spotify has a catalogue of music that’s designed to be a tool for artists and not a tool of a service that’s meant to help them monetize their music,” he writes.
“As music industry leaders, we have to take responsibility for our role in the future.
And it’s clear that Spotify will have to start working to improve its catalog in the coming months, if we want to see an alternative to Spotify as a streaming service.”
Spotify, as you might guess, isn’t interested in changing its catalog.
Instead, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said last week that he believes that it is too soon to make any changes to the service.
The streaming service has been facing backlash from artists and critics in recent months for its music catalog.
In June, the company faced an uproar after it launched a new version of its music-streaming app, called Tidal, that was meant to provide a more streamlined interface for users to listen to songs.
But the new app also introduced a feature called “tidal playlists,” which let users download individual tracks from other Spotify users to their own device.
The new feature was criticized by some artists and musicians, who accused the service of taking money from its members and turning a blind eye to the abuse of its platform.
But Spotify defended the move by saying that it was only a placeholder for the launch of a new service that will “provide even better user experience.”
The new service, which was launched earlier this month, is still not available in the United States, but it is available in more than 100 countries.
In its statement on Sunday, Spotify said that the company is working with artists to “improve our catalog to better reflect the range of music we offer and the people who have created the music.”
The company said it is also working with musicians to develop “music discovery features.”
Drezns op-ing comes a few weeks after it was reported that Spotify was preparing to launch its own streaming music service.
Earlier this year, Spotify announced plans to invest in the development of a streaming music app called iHeartRadio, but the service has not yet been launched.