We love subscription music services. We think they're how we'll all be listening to music in the future. But one of the major unanswered questions for them is how sustainable they are--do the artists get paid enough for them to become the dominant way we get our music? The Black Keys don't list their new albums, saying they lose money by doing so. And David Lowery, lead singer for Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, became just the most recent to claim Spotify, Rdio, and the rest are underpaying artists (or labels). The latest: Evolver.fm has a big piece about the viability of streaming services. Some good information in here! Although I'm still not convinced the current system is a fair one for artists--seems like there are major issues with timeliness of payment and with the cut taken by the labels. Check it out here.
What has this story got to do with Science? ... oh I forgot, this is Pop-SciFi magazine.
I agree that this is not science, but it's an old arguement. Their is a limit to what people will pay for entertainment, and it's probably less than what artists -- even major ones -- would like it to be.
All of these services have to make money. If they are reasonably efficient and making a reasonable profit, then they are not screwing the artists. Unless people are willing to pay more, and they probably aren't.