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Spotify Executive Says Artist Streaming Royalties Aren’t “Fair”

Lady Gaga's former manager Troy Carter said he thinks the music industry's value chain is broken.
Photo of Troy Carter via Wikimedia Commons

Troy Carter, the Global Head of Creator Services at Spotify, said yesterday that he doesn't think artists are paid enough royalties by streaming services.

As Variety reports, the statement was made during a keynote interview at the Music Business 2017 Convention currently ongoing in Nashville, Tennessee. The conversation revolved largely around Spotify's plan to develop its artists, using data such as fan gender, age, location, and listening habits to book tours and maximize revenue.

At one point, keynote moderator Nate Lau asked Carter, who previously managed artists such as Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor, if he thought streaming royalties were fair from an artist manager's point of view.

"I would say no," replied Carter, "but I would also say the value chain's broken. And I think what needs to happen is we need to reconfigure the entire value chain."

As Billboard notes, Carter also pointed out that the old system divvied out equal payments to all songwriters on a record, regardless if their contribution was a hit song or merely just album-filler. "Is it also fair that if Max Martin wrote the hit on a record, that the person who wrote the worst song on the record is under the same rate as Max, essentially?" said Carter. "…The hit songs really really matter and you've got every single producer and writer on the album trying to make that hit. But I do it's really about rethinking the value chain."