Musicians and songwriters have been very critical of Spotify and similar music-streaming platforms for years, criticizing the paltry amount of money they pay out to artists, but one band finally turned Spotify's more plays = more pay business model on its head.
HACK THE PLANET!
Back in March a Los Angeles band called Vulfpeck posted their new record, Sleepify, onto Spotify—the album is completely silent, and they asked fans to stream it while they slept. Spotify only pays an average of $0.007 per play (you're welcome for that 70 cents from that day I listened to "Always Be My Baby" over and over and over again, Mariah Carey), but that can all add up even when you have a small, dedicated fan base "listening" to your "songs" for hours every night. According to Vulfpeck, the band accumulated about $20,000 from the nightly streams.
In response to Spotify removing Sleepify, Vulfpeck has since put up a new three "song" EP called Official Statement. The first track, "#Hurt," is a tongue-in-cheek explanation of what happened to Sleepify:
About five minutes ago I received an email from Spotify and I read it and, ummm, now I'm talking to you about that e-mail. It was three paragraphs and the gist of it, while they enjoyed Sleepify and thought it was clever, it violated their terms of content. They're asking me to take down Sleepify from their service and I'm scared and I'm a little bit chilly, I'm hurt and confused... So I don't know what's gonna happen with it, it's very uncertain at the moment, and in light of that certainty I wanna take a 30 second silence to ponder the uncertainty.
The next song, "#Reflect," is, as promised, 30 seconds of silence. I've listened to it 10 times already and I will keep listening to it this afternoon (when I'm not listening to "Always Be My Baby," obviously). According to Spotify, "#Reflect" already has nearly 67,000 plays. Assuming they're getting that $0.007 a play, that's made 'em over $450.
More power to you, Vulfpeck. I hope that check's in the mail.