If a song is streamed on Spotify, the company has three entities to pay:
1. The sound recording copyright owner, which is usually the record label. In many cases, this payment is made via an aggregator like IODA, The Orchard, Tunecore or CD Baby.
2. The song publisher
3. The performance rights organization, which then pays the songwriter
Ooh, where's the musician/recording artist on this list? They're not on it, because they are not paid directly by Spotify. There are at least three versions of how money flows from Spotify to a musician/band:
1. Unsigned/independent musician, using Tunecore as its aggregator: Spotify > Tunecore > musician
2. Musician signed to an indie label: Spotify > IODA/Orchard > indie label > musician
3. Musician signed to a major label: Spotify > major label > musician
Add into this the time lag between streams and payments being filtered down the food chain, and you can see why "I don't know" might be the answer that is most appropriate in this instance.
Throughout his fprty year career in the music business, FourFront Media & Music's Christopher Knab has shared his experience at many industry conventions and conferences, including the New Music Seminar and the Northwest Area Music Business Conference.
Knab was owner of a San Francisco music store, co-owner of the 415 Records label, and station manager at KCMU Radio in Seattle.
He currently provides a unique consultation and education service for independent musicians and record labels. His new book is entitled "Music Is Your Business".
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