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  • julianneregan

30 / November / 2023 Sp*tify

It's the time of year when artists share their 'wrapped' from Spotify. 'Spotify Wrapped' gaslights the artist.

It's important to me that you know that anything on Spotify bearing my name has not been uploaded by me. It's largely back catalogue owned by Universal, alongside bits and bobs where I'm a 'featured' artist and have no say in whether or not that gets uploaded. It's the featured artist part that I get my 'wrapped' for, not the back catalogue.
Let me share that with you here. The numbers are truly nothing to write home about.

Incidentally, I'm sure that the back catalogue stuff has far more impressive figures but I've no access to that.

The 'wrapped' video Spotify gives the artist access to is at best patronising, and at worst it's gaslighting. We're meant to feel grateful for and proud of all our streams. Gaslighting a go-go.

But what do those streams convert to, in financial terms? I'll use the example of my band All About Eve's biggest hit, 'Martha's Harbour'. Let me explain the breakdown so the figures make more sense.

Although I co-wrote the song with Tim Bricheno, my royalty share on this song is 16.66%. In a three musketeers gesture, back in the day when we were all good friends, Tim and I shared the writing credit with Andy Cousin, even though he hadn't written or played on the song. Socialism in action. So there you have the writers' cut of 50%, divided by three. 16.66% x 3 = 49.99% and the publisher (which was originally BMG, then the back catalogue was taken on by EMI) gets the rest 50.01% - So that's the maths.

For 32,295 streams of this song, I earned £2.21 from UK plays, the UK being the band's most 'successful' territory.
Even if I were to have this 'wrapped' I wouldn't feel the least bit proud or grateful. Yes the money is handy, for sure, but it could and should be so much more.
So when you see artists sharing their streams all over social media, why not ask them what they earned? Well, the reason why not to is that it'd be a little rude and quite nosy, but it may be a wake-up call for them. As we're all being gaslit, you may be doing everyone a favour.

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