Spotify Criticized Over 'Dance Like No One Is Paying' Advert: 'Nobody's Paying? We Musicians Are, With Our Lives'

Spotify has been condemned for its "tone deaf" advert promoting its premium service using the slogan "dance like no one is paying."

The streaming service was criticized by musicians and other people in the music industry for the advert showing how its premium service, which contains no adverts among other features, is free to all users for the first 30 days.

Many critics highlighted the infamously tiny amount of revenue share that artists receive via Spotify. The platform pays artists on average around $0.007 per song stream. A track must be played for at least 30 seconds for it to be considered a stream and qualify for the amount.

"Here's Spotify's new tone-deaf ad campaign," tweeted New York-based singer-songwriter Blake Morgan. "Keep in mind that it takes 380,000 streams a month on Spotify for an artist to earn minimum wage. Meanwhile, the average Spotify employee earns $14,000 a month. Nobody's paying? We musicians are, with our lives."

British artist and former lead singer of the Longpigs, Crispin Hunt, wrote: "Jesus Spotify ad is insulting. Celebrating & encouraging sense of entitlement to free music. Music costs time, devotion, skill, a will to communicate harmony & inve$tment to create. 1 month free is a good offer if it encourages premium users... but this message is crassly mixed."

David Lowery, singer and co-founder of the rock group Cracker, added: "As if none is paying?!?!' that was/is literally true for many indie songwriters."

Music PR Dave O'Grady added: "B******t ad Spotify get a grip on your marketing before it's the death of you."

Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The criticism arrives after Spotify announced it will be seeking money back from publishers it feels it overpaid in 2018. The Swedish company said it made the calculation after the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruled that streaming services such as Spotify and Apple will need to pay artists in the U.S. as much as 44 percent more by 2022.

Spotify claims the ruling did not take into account its offers and bundles, including family packs and student discounts, which mean that publishers actually owe them money from last year.

A spokesperson for Spotify told Music Business Worldwide on June 21: "According to the new CRB regulations, we overpaid most publishers in 2018. While the appeal of the CRB decision is pending, the rates set by the CRB are current law, and we will abide by them—not only for 2018, but also for future years in which the amount paid to publishers is set to increase significantly."

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In this photo illustration, the logo of the Swedish music streaming service Spotify is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on January 06, 2017 in Paris, France. Chesnot/Getty
Spotify Criticized Over 'Dance Like No One Is Paying' Advert: 'Nobody's Paying? We Musicians Are, With Our Lives' | U.S.