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Spotify and the White Noise Controversy

Spotify is facing a dilemma: how to deal with the growing popularity of white noise podcasts on its platform. White noise podcasts are audio files that consist of soothing sounds, such as rain, ocean waves, or fan noises, that help people relax, sleep, or focus. White noise might help your baby sleep. They are also a lucrative business for some podcasters, who can earn millions of dollars from Spotify’s royalty payments.

- Based on an article by Stuart Dredge on Musically (August 18, 2023)

But not everyone is happy with this situation. Some music industry insiders claim that white noise podcasts are exploiting Spotify’s system and taking money away from artists and labels. The revenue model in use shares the revenues according to the ratio of streams played that month. Example: If Sony artists generated 15% of all streams, they will get 15% of the portion Spotify gives to distributors (around 70% of its revenues).

White noise is now taking a bigger part of the pie, reducing the % music distributors used to get.

They argue that white noise podcasts are not music, and therefore should not be eligible for the same payouts as music streams. They also accuse some white noise podcasters of using bots or fake accounts to inflate their streams and manipulate the charts.

Spotify, on the other hand, has defended its policy of treating all audio content equally, regardless of genre or format. It says that white noise podcasts are a legitimate form of content that serve a specific audience and demand. It also denies that white noise podcasts have any significant impact on its overall payouts or charts.

According to Bloomberg, at least, which reported on “Spotify’s $38 million white-noise problem” yesterday "An internal document shows that white noise podcasts account for 3 million daily consumption hours on the platform. (...) Spotify’s challenge with white noise podcasts mirrors a similar conversation happening in the music world. Universal Music Group’s CEO Lucian Grainge and Warner Music’s CEO Robert Kyncl have both voiced their displeasure at the fact that songs filled with noise are paid out of the same royalty pool shared by their superstars."

In this article, we delve deeper into the white noise controversy and examine its implications for Spotify and the music industry. We look at the data and the arguments from both sides, and try to answer some of the key questions, such as:

  • How popular are white noise podcasts on Spotify?

  • How much money do white noise podcasters make from Spotify?

  • How do white noise podcasts affect Spotify’s payouts and charts?

  • How does Spotify detect and prevent fraud and manipulation?

  • How does Spotify balance its interests and responsibilities as a platform for both music and podcasts?

  • How does Spotify compare to other streaming services in terms of white noise content?

If you are interested in the intersection of music, podcasts, and streaming, you will find this article insightful and informative. Read on to learn more about Spotify and the white noise controversy!


Summary by The New Bing AI


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