Sean Parker admits transparency needed in Spotify’s payment system

By | Published on Friday 16 March 2012

Sean Parker

Spotify board member Sean Parker yesterday blamed artists’ record deals for those frequent complaints about low royalty payments being paid by the streaming service (ie the labels were getting OK royalties, but only passing a fraction onto their acts) – though that doesn’t explain why some record labels have also complained about the money they receive.

He also admitted that the streaming firm needed to make it clearer how money is shared out amongst licensees, though of course sharing that kind of information is often blocked by NDAs in licensing deals.

Speaking at SxSW – where he was being interviewed alongside his Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning about a new documentary chronicling the rise and fall of the P2P service – Parker said, according to Wired: “There’s blood in the water for labels. Spotify has to remain neutral; the biggest contribution we can make is transparency”.

He also said that Spotify’s much discussed partnership with Facebook (which it’s assumed Parker had a part in creating, given his links to the social network) wasn’t working out quite as well as he had hoped; well not yet. Although the tie up with the social networking giant has certainly delivered a lot of exposure for the music service, especially in the US, Parker said “there’s too much happening in the Facebook arena, and not enough in Spotify”.

As well as all that, Parker apparently added that he believes that Spotify will overtake iTunes in terms of the revenue it generates for the music industry within two years, which possibly shows him up to be some sort of insane fantasist. Or possibly just someone who won’t let common sense get in the way of a great voxpop.