While Spotify has been criticized for not paying musicians a fair share of their income, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) has organized protests outside its offices in New York’s World Trade Center. Several protesters carried signs and played instruments at the demonstration. The most well-known protester asked Spotify to pay musicians one penny for every stream they generate.
UMAW supports controversial issues outside of the music space
The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) is a union that supports working musicians. The union was created at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to help musicians in the music industry. Its members also support various social and political issues. These issues include the abolition of ICE, breaking down borders and freeing those who are incarcerated.
The organization is currently exploring multiple alternatives. The group has interviewed Chicago musicians and producers and has used open-source code to make a music streaming website. The members also surveyed the city’s musicians to gather feedback. Ultimately, the organization is planning to pitch its idea to the local public library.
Spotify was among the biggest music platforms, but UMAW is protesting over the pay and conditions it pays to artists. Spotify has also refused to negotiate a better payout rate with its artists. Apple and Google have also declined to meet with UMAW representatives. While streaming is not a problem per se, the current payment model is unsustainable and threatens to make the music industry wither on the vine.
The Justice At Spotify campaign aims to bring attention to this problem by focusing on the oversimplified aspect of the penny-a-stream. Despite Spotify’s stance on the issue, forcing it to reform would only change how other streaming services, like Apple Music and Amazon Music, behave. However, the campaign has a certain vibrancy, which is a key factor for success. Its subvenue meetings were quick and punchy, but sometimes devolved into meandering riffs.
Silverstein Properties is leasing office space for Spotify in the World Trade Center. The company signed a lease for 378,000 square feet at the building in early 2017, and in July exercised its option to take an additional 100,000 square feet. This expansion will allow the company to have more space, as well as accommodate its growing team. Spotify also has a team for product and software engineering, label and artist relations, original content creation, marketing, legal, and sales.
The move will enable Spotify to grow its U.S. presence and add approximately 1,000 jobs to its Manhattan office. The company currently has offices in Midtown South, but will expand to its new headquarters in 4 World Trade Center, occupying nearly 400,000 square feet. The company is subleasing the entire 26th and 27th floors of the 72-story building.
Spotify joins an increasing number of media companies in the WTC. Other tenants include Conde Nast, Time Inc., and Silverstein Properties, which estimates that more than 700 companies have relocated to the area over the last decade. Spotify is also the latest company to move to Lower Manhattan, making it the ideal spot for media companies.
The project involved several parties, including Larry Silverstein, the billionaire CEO of Silverstein Properties. It involved a variety of stakeholders, including the World Trade Center’s developer, Mark Carey. The episode also featured Dara McQuillan, the chief marketing officer at Silverstein Properties.
Silverstein Properties is a proud supporter of the arts and is actively involved in numerous projects. In addition to the World Trade Gallery, Silverstein Properties has completed a $50 million renovation of the historic Bankers Club building. The third floor of this building is filled with murals. In addition, Silverstein also founded the Silver Arts Projects, which supports emerging artists and offers premier studio space on the 28th floor of 4 World Trade Center.
As the World Trade Center complex is nearly finished, the market is seeing a rebound. Lower Manhattan is seeing its strongest quarterly growth in seven years, and the 3 World Trade Center has a vacancy rate of more than eleven percent. As the recovery continues, there is a chance that tenant demand will pick up.