Spotify Has Paid Out $40 Billion to the Music Industry – So Why Is No One Happy? | PRO Insight

Maybe the industry should take a closer look at Apple, which set the rules of the game for digital music two decades ago

Spotify recently trumpeted that it has paid out nearly $40 billion to music rights holders since its launch in 2006, an impressive-sounding number. But few in the industry were impressed. Artists certainly weren’t. 

In its most recent earnings report, the music streaming leader celebrated its $3.4 billion in fourth-quarter 2022 revenue and 205 million paid subscribers, representing a free-to-paid subscriber conversion rate of 42% that’s the envy of the entertainment business. That didn’t please investors, either. Spotify’s stock price is about a third of what it was just two years ago.

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Peter Csathy

Peter Csathy is a WrapPRO contributor writing about the intersection between tech and entertainment/media. He's chairman of Creative Media (, a boutique media, entertainment and tech business advisory and legal services firm. His monthly “Fearless Media” newsletter ( covers the future of entertainment, media and tech; and his weekly “AI & NFT Legal Update” newsletter ( covers the AI and Web3/NFT ecosystems. You can also listen to his “Fearless Media” podcast ( and follow him on Twitter @pcsathy.