The reason why spotify > soundcloud are many. Primarely because soundcloud tried to be something, that they weren't, while forgetting to develop a payment model per stream for indie artists (which musicoin does)...a topic i could ramble for hours about...soundcloud is not only unattractive for the listener, it is also not attractive for the artist.
Right now nobody has to take the hurdle. It will - however - be interesting, as soon as some sort of marketpalce is going to be established. There are plenty of ideas on how to get the ball rolling on this, here are a few:
https://forum.musicoin.org/topic/5/playlists-private-streams << ability for listeners to earn coins for playlist curation
https://forum.musicoin.org/topic/107/social-listener-leaderboard-by-system-of-quest << Quests for listening to music with coin reward
https://forum.musicoin.org/topic/80/marketplace-for-musicians < < marketplace, selling merchandising, tickets, 2nd hand studio stuff, buying from instrument/equipment manufacturers/retailers etc. pp.
https://forum.musicoin.org/topic/44/buy-download-own-music << being able to own and download music, includes also a cap per track/listener.
And on top of that: Direct ability to buy musicoin was requested somewhere.
So the more functions are offered, the more the page is going to be attractive for people to invest some money to get involved.
This is all based on direct interections. Like I said previously: If some advertisment banners are there on the website...that is fine, if that helps the site, but adverstising on the back of the musician sucks. Like "you have to listen to advert to earn a coin to be able to listen to music" this is just a bad idea for this. This is not spotify.
I don't see why that is "punishing" small artists, if the artist gets paid the amount of plays. . Getting paid per play is exactly that: Fair. What you try to highlight with "IN RELATION TO" is not really clear to me.
What would not be fair is, to put advertising on the back of small artists (if you still stand by this idea). Because then the listener - if he even would listen and not horde the coins - would spend his coin on the known artist and not the small (people won't discover stuff, if they have to spend something for it). And what would be even less fair is to put everything inbetween the small artist and being discovered, like soundcloud and spotify do.
So if you don't do a platform like spotify, you don't need to mimic spotify. Freemium/Premium sucks.
tl,dr: Even though Spotify is successful for many reasons, half of the stuff going on on spotify is bollocks and I'd love to see only the good stuff from them on this platform. Advertising is none of them. But rather emphasize on true value to get here for the listeners. Aka. Merch, Tickets, etc.