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Music publishers accuse Spotify of running ‘bait and switch subscription scheme’

Spotify has once again incurred the wrath of the music industry. The National Music Publishers Association has called on the Federal Trade Commission to review the streaming service’s addition of audiobook content to all of its paid subscription plans. According to the organization’s Federal Trade Commission Spotify’s recent actions are part of a “scheme to increase profits by deceiving consumers and cheating the music copyright system.”

This requires some backstory. In November 2023, Spotify announced that it would include As part of all its premium subscription plans. A few months later, the company announced , which offers the same amount of listening time for $10 per month. Publisher group claims Spotify It’s based on offering additional audiobook content, with paying customers automatically paying for the service they didn’t choose, with no way to opt out without switching to a free, ad-supported listening experience.

And the extra revenue from higher premium subscription fees may not flow to music composers. According to the FTC complaint, Spotify will lose about $150 million in music royalties in the first year of these new bundled premium plans.

The NMPA letter goes so far as to call the new audiobook-only plan a “scam” that “exists solely for the purpose of allowing Spotify to claim that audiobook content is an important and independently valuable aspect of its “bundled” premium plans because audiobooks The Access plan costs just $1 less than the Premium plan, but has the same audiobook content and music.

At this early stage, it’s hard to say whether this issue will affect Spotify . Artists and publishers alike often criticize the streaming ecosystem as a whole, and Spotify in particular. The creativity behind the music.



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