Earlier this week, STHoldings, a music distributor specializing in “dubstep, drum & bass, techno, grime, wonky, uk funky, bass music” pulled 234 of its 238 labels from Spotify. The decision was based on a research study that Digital Music News reported on, concluding, “Spotify and similar access models are discouraging other forms of music purchasing.” Yikes, damning.
Of course, Spotify called the study and the article bogus, pointing out that Spotify had only been around for a few days in the U.S. when the study was carried out. A Spotify spokesperson also told MusicAlly that nowhere on the research questionnaire was Spotify mentioned specifically.
Still, while perhaps it’s not the most significant loss Spotify could incur—it retains partnerships with big wigs Universal, Sony Music, EMI, Warner Music and Merlin—some are saying the dropped labels identified a major problem with the music service: If you’re a little guy, Spotify could be hurting rather than helping your paycheck. Music Week summed up this position by pointing out these tweets from indie label Tri-Angle Records: