The NYT might have tried to find someone who could have made this point in a Room for Debate segment on Spotify and streaming music more generally. The question being posed is whether these services help or hurt musicians and recording artists.

As several of the comments indicate, most musicians are finding it increasingly difficult to earn any substantial amount of money from their recordings. While some blame Spotify and other streaming services, because of the difficulty of enforcing copyrights in the Internet Age without repressive laws, it is unlikely that these services make much difference in the amount of money available to recording artists. Without streaming services there would simply be more use of unauthorized copies, from which the artist gets zero. They may sell a few more downloads, but the net is unlikely to be very different.

The most logical path going forward is to develop an alternative mechanism for paying recording artists that gives the money upfront and takes advantage of the Internet, rather than trying to bottle it up. My preferred mechanism is a system of individual vouchers, under which people would effectively have a refundable tax credit of some size (e.g $75) to pay to support musicians, writers, movie makers etc. All the work these people produced would then be freely available without copyright protection.

By making it an individual voucher we wouldn't have to fight over the people that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or National Endowment for the Arts or equivalent government agencies were opting to support. People would be able to make this judgement for themselves as they did when they paid for copyright protected work.