Artists are losing billions because small businesses use personal Spotify or Apple Music accounts. Artists and record companies lose $2.7 billion in revenue annually because small business owners typically stream music from personal accounts at cafes or barbershops rather than a commercial-use license.
“Personal music services are not designed for business use, which means music makers get less money than they should,” Nielsen said in the report, which was commissioned by Swedish Muzak streamer Soundtrack Your Brand AB.
Nielsen Music interviewed about 5,000 small-business owners in the U.S. U.K., Sweden, Spain, Italy, Germany and France and found that 83 percent of those that play background music incorrectly use personal accounts. Nielsen estimates 21.3 million businesses use consumer services globally, costing artist billions in lower payouts.
A cafe or a shop pays about $35 a month for a commercial license, compared with about $10 for a consumer service.