All About that Bass co-writer made US$5,679 from 178m Spotify streams

24 Sep 2015

Spotify continues to court controversy, with a recent roundtable discussion on copyright revealing that Kevin Kadine, the co-writer of Meghan Trainor’s All About that Bass, received only US$5,679 in royalties for 178m streams of the summer smash.

This means that Kadine received a lowly US$31.90 from Spotify for every 1m streams of All About that Bass.

Part of the reason that figure is so low is because Kadine split the total royalties with Trainor, but the average Spotify royalties cheque comes in at around US$90 per million streams. Still not much to write home about.

Kadine was speaking at a roundtable discussion with members of the US House Judiciary Committee, and was calling for the US government to make changes to pay-per-play legislation relating to songwriters.

As it stands, streaming services do not have to negotiate with songwriters on per-play fees, giving them a certain measure of ‘take it or leave it’ power.

Spotify’s model for paying artists has come under fire before, every time a high profile artist – like Taylor Swift, Neil Young or Prince – pulls their music from the service.

Some argue that the Spotify model may be the best hope young artists have to make an impact in the music business these days, but you have to ask, with royalties this low, do they have any real chance of making a living from their craft?

Speaking at the roundtable, Kadine said: “[All About that Bass] is as big a song as a songwriter can have in their career, and No 1 in 78 countries. But you’re making US$5,600. How do you feed your family?”

Following the roundtable, Pandora – clearly hoping to distance itself from any ill will aimed toward streaming services – announced that its royalty payments were at an all-time high, with this year’s payments amounting to half of the total sent out over the preceding nine years.

Main image via Shutterstock

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic