It's all in the accounting, or: SPOTIFY ISN'T THE ANSWER

Robert Fripp is a guitarist and founding member of King Crimson. He maintains an online diary. From his diary for September 14, 2009…

“Two King Crimson tracks, provided for a CD release to Universal Music Group (although with reservations & with digital rights withheld) have been provided by UMG to Spotify. Those visitors interested in the music industry’s development of ‘legal downloads’ and new income streams for artists may be interested in the following.

“From a Power Possessor at UMG…

What I understand has happened.. is that in our systems there are two versions of the Anthology. One of these is for physical and has the two King Crimson tracks and one is for Digital which does not have the two King Crimson tracks. What happened was that the person who supplied the album to Spotify supplied the wrong version…

I have had royalties delve into this and they have advised me that “Cat Food” has been streamed 353 times and “Groon” 265 times. This has generated a payment to Island Records from Spotify of £1.61p.

I have been assured that the recordings have been withdrawn from Spotify and steps taken to ensure that this will not arise again.

“£1.61 gross on 618 streams, then reduced from gross to net artist royalty on tracks improperly provided by UMG – a shareholder in Spotify? Is this seriously being presented as a future for the industry?”

More on Spotify and other “music subscription services” at the New York Times.