The Big Short of Streaming

Spotify used the financial model of arbitrage to obtain a cheap if not free product – digital music – and resell it in a new context to realize profit. In other words, Spotify’s profit requires that digital music have no value . Spotify continually talks down the value of music on their platform – they offer it for free; they tell musicians we are lucky to be paid anything for it; they insist that without their service, there is only piracy and zero income. Most tellingly, they invest nothing back into music. Unlike a record label, publisher, or most anyone else in the music industry, Spotify devotes none of its profits to the development of new recordings.