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Spotify's Holistic Approach to Contributions to the Canadian Broadcasting System

30/11/2023

Spotify's Presentation at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on November 29, 2023 Nathan Wiszniak:

Spotify's mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity - by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.

This mission directly supports the government's goals in the updated Broadcasting Act. We work everyday to increase the discoverability of Canadian and Indigenous content, both at home and abroad.

With our remarks we want to touch on three critical issues in this proceeding.

First, we believe imposing initial base contributions on platforms before defining critical elements of the broadcast policy is premature, and risks overlooking the many ways that Spotify already contributes to and supports Canadian and Indigenous artists.

Further, it is incumbent on the Commission to consider the significant portion of revenues streaming services immediately distribute back to the music ecosystem as royalty payments.

And finally, the Commission should take into consideration the delicate economics of the music streaming business model and not impose blunt financial obligations.

A regulatory framework that does not adequately consider these factors could jeopardize our nine years of tailored investments and impact Spotify's ability to continue to support artists and discoverability in ways that makes sense for the modern streaming age.

I'd like to start with a short introduction of Spotify because it underscores our commitment to the music industry.

Spotify was launched in Sweden at a time when the music industry was in deep decline due to piracy. The view of Spotify's founder was that if you are going to get people to start paying for music again, you have to make it a better experience. 17 years later, streaming is driving record revenues into the music industry and more artists are sharing in that success than ever before.

Spotify launched in Canada in 2014 with this same commitment. Today, Spotify's 150-strong Canadian team's mission remains to grow the stage for Canadian and Indigenous talent through playlisting, marketing campaigns, partnerships, and training that empowers artists, writers, and podcasters to organically grow their audience.

We are proud of the success of the Canadian music ecosystem we have helped build. Thanks to the payments of streaming services, the record labels and artists of Canada's recorded music industry earned nearly 80% of their revenue from streaming last year, driving robust growth of 8%.

Unlike traditional radio, interactive streaming has made space for new talent. Every week 83 times the number of unique Canadian tracks are listened to on Spotify in Canada compared to radio, creating more opportunities for diverse voices to be discovered.

Spotify puts significant effort into showcasing and supporting Canada's diverse, multilingual and multicultural society.

Our editorial team curates playlists with deep experience in and passion for different cultures and musical genres. Spotify Canada programs over 100 editorial playlists with our popular local flagship playlists programming 100% Canadian and Indigenous artists.

Moreover, Spotify empowers creators and their teams with tools for success, including data analytics, educational resources, expression formats, and promotional tools to make the most impact on and off platform.

Combined with special partnerships and tailored campaigns, Spotify is helping Canadian and Indigenous artists from diverse genres and backgrounds to reach listeners at home and around the globe. To highlight a few key examples mentioned in our written submissions:

We elevate voices from marginalized communities including Canadian women, Black, and 2SLGBTQI+ creators through specialized programs combining editorial, spotlighting and advertising. EQUAL for example is Spotify's program fostering equity for women in music. It's an always-on commitment to support, elevate and celebrate women through editorial, partnerships and community events. We collaborate with organizations such as Women In Music Canada, Honey Jam and the Canadian Country Music Association's EQUAL mixer community event.

Spotify's Indigenous playlist curated on a monthly basis by Indigenous artists offers a unique platform to showcase Canada's rich diversity of Indigenous talent and storytelling. Our relationship and ongoing dialogue with the Indigenous Music Alliance and Indigenous Music Office has played a key role in helping us identify artists to support, educate and promote.

Through promotion of Spotify Canada's Rap qu b and Les Nouveaux Classiques playlists, French-Canadian artists have grown audiences and careers at home and abroad without the aid of any radio play. Today on Spotify, seven out of the top 10 most streamed French-Canadian artists are independent French-Canadian rappers. Only two of those artists appear on French- Canadian radio charts. Additionally, 2023 marked the second year of Spotify's partnership with les Francos de Montr al, the festival's first ever partnership with a streaming service.

These unique and tailored investments are paying off for artists.

We invest in Canada's cultural sector and ensure the discoverability of diverse voices because it is our core mission. However, we are concerned that the introduction of initial base contributions could damage the progressive work that we have been doing for almost a decade.

We believe that the Commission is moving too quickly without key pieces of the puzzle, including foundational elements like how Canadian and Indigenous content is defined and the best tools to support Canadian music and audio content.

Without a more holistic picture, it is i
LINK: https://newsroom.spotify.com/2023-11-30/spotifys-holistic-approach-to-...
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