06:14 PM on 11/14/12
They are still making more money than they do from piracy or traditional radio play...
So they got 6000 plays on Spotify in a quarter and made the $10 - or a single user's subscription. Now how much does a user listen to in a quarter? One 12 song album a day seems reasonable. For 120 days that's 1440 plays, meaning a quarter of Spotify's subscriber income would be going towards royalties. Keep in mind there is also salaries (good developers don't come cheap) and servers (everything gets streamed) to pay for as well. So that 25% doesn't seem too unreasonable. Without increasing the subscriber price, I can't see how they would be able to pay more in royalties.
People just need to realize that your Spotify/Rdio/MOG subscription *shouldn't* be your end all of music listening. Use them to discover bands so you don't need to pay $10 to listen to an album you hate but still can discover new music then support the bands you like by going to shows, buying merch, and maybe even getting albums. (Jason's donate approach would also work, but I think pride would get in the way for most bands. I mean, you see bands super reluctant to ask for money even in cases where their van dies or they get robbed.)
My current support philosophy has been to pay for an Rdio subscription and get the good stuff on vinyl (in addition to catching tours of course). That way I support the bands I like, if something happens to Rdio or my internet I still have the music I like, and vinyl is pretty cool looking to boot. Obviously this doesn't work perfectly - there is some stuff I can't find on vinyl and its also easy to get lazy and listen to an album a lot without buying it ("I'll just get it next time they roll through town so I don't need to pay for shipping" you say), but for the most part I think it works.