Re: I'm with Ms. Swift
"Odd, I don't recall Spotify and their ilk being particularly generous with the ol' moolah either, and their free ('ad-supported') offer was no three-month lure either. They're also famous for not paying much, (if anything), to the artists; it's the publishers who get the dosh."
How much a particular distribution partner pays is a different issue, but in terms of Spotify not paying artists the response is kinda "Well no s***!".
Unless the artist is a true 'indie' (rather than the genre of music that's somehow gained that title in recent times) then surely that's one of the things that the labels and publishers do? It's down to the agreements between the artist and their publisher as to how much the artist is paid. The chain is customer > retailer/distributor > publisher/label > artist & associates.
Which is all pretty much the same chain as it in any industry: the money starts at the punter's end and after everyone's had their cut it ends up at the producer of the raw material. Or do you think farmers are paid directly for the carrots you buy and then give a cut of that back to the supermarket...?