I want to talk to you today about Spotify. Recently, they removed a bunch of AI-generated accounts from their platform due to fraudulent subscription listens. I’ve seen some concerns from authors on my Facebook stream about this, with some hoping that Amazon and Kindle Unlimited will follow suit.
First, I want to acknowledge any fears or concerns you may have. Uncertainty like this can create a sense of threat to your ability to control your life and your current security, and I understand that. However, it’s important to remember the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Let me set the stage so you understand all the players involved regarding Spotify and the AI generated music that was deleted. Boomy is a AI music generator music, and it’s been around since 2019. About 7% of accounts associated with Boomy Music were shut down, while 93% were fine. The issue, specifically in this case, was with people using AI and bots to generate false traffic or fraudulent subscription listens to Spotify.
Lucian Grange, the CEO of Universal Music Group, is one of Spotify’s largest shareholders and has strong opinions on how streaming services should pay. He has talked about it in articles and letters to shareholders, and he represents a lot of artists. When Spotify negotiated deals with big publishers in the early 2000s, they agreed to reduce what they would get paid on publishing for a stake in Spotify. This means that Lucian Grange is on one side as a supplier to Spotify, but he’s also an owner and investor in the company. This creates some interesting incentives and dynamics.
The focus on this fraud came in so quickly because more and more big publishers, such as Sony and Universal, are making more and more money from streaming due to the way the royalty system works. When that pool of royalties is gained, and people are taking money out of that, Universal sees that as money coming out of their pocket. This is similar to indie authors in the Kindle Unlimited program and their concerns about scams and black hat tactics.
As your career progresses, continue to focus on your audience and the relationship you have with them. The quality and content of your books and your relationships with your fans are what will create value and a recurring revenue stream throughout your career. The pace of change is only going to increase, so it’s important to focus on what you can control and change. The quality and content of your books and your relationships with your fans are two things that you can have 100% control over. When you focus on those two things, everything else will fall into place.