Spotify must now show songwriters the respect they deserve – or risk a backlash

Spotify is saving the record business. There really isn’t much of a debate anymore.

According to our forecasts, Daniel Ek’s company will generate around $5bn this year and pay over $3bn of it back out to music rights-holders.

It will do so by monetizing less than 1% of the world’s population via subscription – leaving an overwhelming expanse of potential growth for its core business.

Yet there are still some choppy waters to navigate for Spotify, which lost the best part of $600m last year.

That’s especially true when it comes to a crucial faction of the music business: songwriters.

There’s one particular area in which, for my mind, Spotify has directly and deeply failed them: the continued non-appearance of any credits for composers on its service.

In the nine years since Spotify launched, we’ve seen a string of stunning technological feats – from its ability to serve pinpoint personalized playlists like Discover Weekly to its industry-changing muscle in handpicking, and then breaking, fresh talent worldwide.

Yet try to ascertain who writes Elton John’s lyrics, or the momentousness of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s contribution to Motown, or the fingerprints of Max Martin on an array of pop smashes… and you’ll fail.

For all of the brilliant things Spotify has – and continues – to bring to the world of music, this, frankly, remains a shabby source of shame.

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