Thom Yorke

Spotify Earnings Surpass iTunes in Europe

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 11.05.14 in News

According to a report (via Techcrunch) by the royalty collection agency Kobalt, Spotify generated 13-percent more revenue for the majority of its clients (including Maroon 5, Dave Grohl and Bob Dylan) than iTunes in the last quarter overseas. As a point of comparison, European iTunes earnings eclipsed Spotify by 32-percent in the same period last year.

“Spotify overtaking iTunes in Europe is an important new milestone in streaming,” Kobalt CEO Willart Ahdritz said in a statement. “The music industry’s infrastructure is failing them, unable to efficiently account for the enormous volumes of data from digital transactions.”

One way labels may be able to rebound from its declining revenue streams is by embracing payout structures in breakout digital services like Soundcloud, which is exactly what Warner Bros. did this week. Then there’s renegade routes like BitTorrent, which became the de facto delivery system for the digital version of Thom Yorke’s new solo album in September.

“I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing,” Yorke said in an interview last year. “I feel that in some ways what’s happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry. Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen. But it’s all about how we change the way we listen to music, it’s all about what happens next in terms of technology, in terms of how people talk to each other about music, and a lot of it could be really fucking bad.”

Taylor Swift knows this; that’s why she used her marquee status to pull her records off Spotify and all but ensure the bar-setting success of her new album 1989.

“We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone,” Spotify wrote in a plea to the pop star. “We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70-percent of our revenue back to the music community.”

They continued, “Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.”