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Spotify has become world-renowned music streaming app with over 406 million active users and 106 million paying subscribers as of December 2021. Spotify had revenue of $9.668 billion for the fiscal year of 2021. According to Variety, “The platform rose from 7% of the U.S. market in 2010 to a whopping 83% by the end of 2020 — and recorded-music revenues saw their fifth consecutive year of growth, topping $12.2 billion, per the RIAA. It’s no understatement to say that streaming saved the record-ed-music business and that global market leader Spotify led the charge toward the stability and growth that the industry enjoys today.” Spotify’s popularity the past few years has grown substantially further emphasized by Spotify’s revenue in 2021 and its position in the industry.

On March 1st, 2022 over 100 songwriters took to the streets of Los Angeles to fight for what they rightfully deserve. This protest was planned by the 100 Percenters to fight for the songwriters that receive 0.003% of a penny per stream according to OkayPlayer. Kennedi Lykken, a songwriter, spoke up saying that her last royalty check totaled only $432, as highlighted in The Los Angeles Times. She has worked on tracks for Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande and Britney Spears and won a Grammy Award. Her impressive record calls for more than minimal royalties. Spotify has been notorious for treating artists poorly in the past. Claimed by Tiffany Red, who has written for Zendaya and Jeniffer Hudson, “People will say, ‘Oh, you’re a ghostwriter.’ I’m not a ghost, I’m a person.” Tiffany helped to find the nonprofit, 100 Percenters,  in 2020 to push back against what she and her fellow protesters believe is a disproportionately low payment rate for songwriters. Her passion for reform is evident and captured well in The Los Angeles Times. Another songwriter, Kaydence Tice, spoke up at the protest to share her story. Tice worked with Beyonce to co-write “Black Parade.” According to Tice, who should be at the pinnacle of her career, she can barely pay rent. There were many other artists with similar stories whose success has not been compensated or acknowledged by Spotify, a platform meant to celebrate the talent of these artists. A powerful statement made by singer-songwriter Heather Bright, “You can feel the oppression and the disrespect when you’re in rooms with people who have million-dollar homes while I have nothing.” Her statement speaks echos as many singer-songwriters feel dehumanizied by a large industry such as Spotify. The question remains what the future will bring for these individuals. Will singer-songwriters ever get the justice they deserve?

Grace is a Sophomore at Providence College, studying Finance. She has always enjoyed writing in her free time and reading books especially mystery and romance novels. Also in her free time she loves spending time with friends, staying active, and going on adventures.
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