When did cover songs become annoying marketing ploys?
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- There are about 600 versions of Adele's Oscar-winning song "Skyfall" on the Spotify subscription music service. Not one of them features Adele.
Adele's label, XL Recordings, keeps her music off of all-you-can-listen subscription plans until download sales peter out. In the meantime, copycat artists fill the void, racking up royalty revenue, often before customers realize they've been listening to someone else.
Alice Bonde Nissen found that out the hard way. She once paid 99 Krone ($17) a month for Spotify's premium service in Denmark. Bonde found a version of "Skyfall" and mistakenly clicked on a "follow" button to become a fan of GMPresents and Jocelyn Scofield, the name for a cover-song specialist with some 4,600 Spotify followers. Scofield, who didn't respond to a message seeking comment for this story, has the most listened-to cover of "Skyfall" on the service.
"When I found out ... that I couldn't find the original `Skyfall' (and some other hits) I decided to quit Spotify," Nissen says.
Thousands of cover songs crowd digital music services such as Spotify and Rhapsody and listeners are getting annoyed. The phenomenon threatens the growth of these services -which have millions of paying subscribers- and could hold back the tepid recovery of a music industry still reeling from the decline of the CD.