Music streaming

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It's certainly saying something when artists are afraid to speak out in case the streaming platform bins them off because of it.
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Little bit of maths for you to try
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I can't work out how to get my minutes. But I own (as in have bought a physical copy of) approx 90% of my top hundred songs of the year...

But then I suppose I'm not the average Spotify user ;D
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Yeah, it's fair to say that without Spotify there's a lot of cool stuff I would have otherwise been more cautious about, and in cases where something merits a purchase (physical or digital) then I do give it a purchase. Credit where it's due - it does serve a role in helping music more available and discoverable

It's also fair to say that without Spotify there's a lot of dross that I might have spent my money on, and that money is now going to something more worthwhile. I guess the record industry really doesn't like that part of it.
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markfiend wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 10:41
This is an illustration of the problem:

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alanm wrote:
30 Nov 2020, 12:26
Bandcamp is great, I recommend supporting artists you like on that platform - if you can find them. Which is the problem with Bandcamp - there is a load of dross on there to sort through looking for the gems.
Totally. I can’t understand why every band, label or not, doesn’t have a Bandcamp page. It’s direct to consumer business model that negates the need of a distribution deal. Maybe, we’ll look at that deeper in a second. But I don’t look at Bandcamp as a way to browse any more than I do YouTube. I search for videos, and YT makes recommendations. I don’t just randomly wander the endless aisles of video. Can you imagine? Bandcamp is the same. I like and follow stuff, Bandcamp makes recommendations via email. Also I hear music on the radio and go search them out. If they have a Bandcamp page I follow, like, subscribe, smash buttons all that s**t. If every artist had a page we’d all be able to find and support the artists directly.

Now let’s look at why artists still need (they don’t) record label deals. In the past to make a record you needed (other than songs) a ton of money to get into studio that had enough decent equipment to record your music. You needed an engineer who knew enough about the hardware tools to get the best out of it and make your music sound great (Damage Done...cough). Once it was recorded in s very expensive studio on very expensive equipment by a man with a lofty hourly rate, you had to fork out more money, lots of it, to get it pressed on vinyl, let’s say 100,000 copies. With those mountains of plastic discs you then had to get all of that product into a dozen record shops in every town in the country. Then you had to promote that record, with marketing campaignsn carboard endczp displays, posters, flyers, press ads....Then you had to get interviews with the music rags lined up and get some radio AirPlay and maybe a live session or interview.

All of this s**t was handled by a record company, and quite rightly they were entitled to a fair share. They fronted very large sums of cash, even for the s**t lowest riskiest artist, and need to make that money back. Because, and here’s the point, they are a business. They are in this TO MAKE MONEY. No other reason. They not give a flying f**k about music or artists or creativity. None of it. They are large corporations, vertically integrated, with the sole intention of making as much profit returned on their investment. That’s it. That’s the only equation at play.

But hey, fast forward a decade or three and let’s ask, out of all those services, what does an artist these days need a contract with a label for. They don’t IMO. But the crux comes down to distribution. It always has, but with the democratization of tools and services, it’s the one thing, the only thing that might still hold an independent artist back.

Studio time? Don’t need it. A pro recording studio with a large expensive console, hardware effects processors, compressors, eq, tape machines, have for all intents and purposes been replaced by digital tools, especially for the indie artist. These tools are invariably a fraction of the cost of their hardware counterparts. And take up a fraction of the space. Which is how Billie Eyelash (^) can produce a blockbusting album in her brothers bedroom.

Okay so the tools are affordable and take up no real estate, but what about the expertise to run them? True, it’s not a no-brainer. You need to learn and understand what each link in the chain does. In times past these engineers, producers and mastering experts were like gods. You couldn’t get access to the Neve console at Abbey Road or wherever unless you were a know entity. And without access how could you get experience. The age old closed loop. But now there wealth of learning material online is jaw dropping. There’s an abundance of writing, producing, engineering, mixing, mastering courses available, many of which I’ve taken. Learning now has never been easier.

Okay so I’ve got some tools, I’ve learned to use them, I’ve honed my craft, I’ve recorded, mixed and mastered an album of material. Now what. I can’t afford to press a dozen albums, let alone 100,000. Don’t need to, at first at least. I don’t have the numbers (I’m far to lazy to go look them up) but I reckon the vast majority of music product consumed today is digital. Who buys CDs or vinyl anymore? Old farts like me maybe, affecionados, collectors. Most casual music fans find it so much easier to download from any number of sources. If an indie artist wants to press a short run of CDs there is CDBaby. Even a short run of vinyl for hardcore fans as a premium product, that not too expensive although the album artwork design and production is more involved and costly than that of a CD.

So I’ve got an album recorded, I’ve finished the production, I got a box of CDs pressed and I’ve got a dozen digital files ready to upload. As has been mentioned Bandcamp should be the first stop. Then where? DistroKid can get the material onto Spotify and iTunes etc. But this is the area where labels still hold the advantage. Distribution.

These guys have been the gatekeepers and tastemakers for decades. And it’s been because of distribution. Controlling Who hears what has been the name of the game and it still is. Although Radio has been surplanted with streaming services the business is the same. Payola and promotion and incentive. Labels have the contacts. Who you know is money. Who you can schmooze and wine and dine. And bribe. That part of the music industry has not changed much.

But the winds of change do blow. Soft at first but they’ll get harder. It’s not easy and far from a no brainer, but savvy artists can and do promote themselves on social media and get noticed enough to sustain a livelihood. Once that nut can be cracked, any need for a traditional record label contract is truly a thing of the past. For a band like the Sisters, maybe not for Taylor Swift. But f**k her. I’m not interested in pop stars. There’s a lot of snake oil in the world of social media training. The tools have been learned. The technical side has been learned. The production has been learned. Once a really fail proof model for learning marketing and distribution at scale emerges - and it may already be out there, I just may not have seen it - then I really believe an independent artist will not need to be beholden to a record company or the streaming services algorithm to sustain a livelihood.

The tools are there; instagram, YouTube, Bandcamp, mail chimp, distrokid, wordpress, Facebook, obs, twitch, etc etc etc. I don’t see how an indie band, especially one with an established following already to spend money, can fail to generate enough revenue on their own that would be less than the pennies they get from a traditional record deal.
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Great post ! , I use bandcamp a lot as it's great for checking out bands your curious about , I do generally get the bands I like lp's or cd's though but can't remember the last time I went in a record store .
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Bandcamp is cool. I keep away from spotify and stuff like that.
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Meanwhile im over here still buying CDs and ripping them on my pc :innocent: :innocent:
:twisted: One more band Rejected :twisted:
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If you want to help an artist these days (yours truly included)...

Find them on SPOTIFY. Listen to them... like what you hear? Find out if they have a BANDCAMP page and buy from there, please.
BANDCAMP is THE platform that really does care about its artists, they are really ridiculously higher in revenue than all these online streaming services.
On top of that, durig Covid-19, Badcamp frequently does fee-waiving Fridays, where ALL of the sales goes to the artists and Bandcamp doesn't take a nickle off for services provided.
That's how it should be done. Also, special editions of CD, vinyl and cassette as well as merch are usually being sold through Bandcamp, so you get some exclusives!

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Izzy HaveMercy wrote:
07 Dec 2020, 10:13

On top of that, durig Covid-19, Badcamp frequently does fee-waiving Fridays, where ALL of the sales goes to the artists and Bandcamp doesn't take a nickle off for services provided.
That's how it should be done. Also, special editions of CD, vinyl and cassette as well as merch are usually being sold through Bandcamp, so you get some exclusives!

IZ.
I hope they continue that initiative into 2021. It's a smart move & will grow their user base so that everyone wins
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Nyth Grandbeard wrote:
06 Dec 2020, 23:05
Meanwhile im over here still buying CDs and ripping them on my pc :innocent: :innocent:
Yeah don’t misunderstand me I agree. I do this too. I’ll buy a CD where the option is available so I always have the ‘master’ if the R.I.P. ever gets lost/corrupt

I think we’re in the minority though
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I still mostly buy CD's and rip them on the PC too, for my own use, of course.

My 'Apple whore' sons do laugh at this 'history lesson in action' though.
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Swinnow wrote:
07 Dec 2020, 22:28
I still mostly buy CD's and rip them on the PC too, for my own use, of course.

My 'Apple whore' sons do laugh at this 'history lesson in action' though.
Nevermind them... my youngest is very intrigued in me making mixtapes again and putting them in my cassette walkman anno 2020 ;D She even knows what the pencil is for! :D

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Swinnow wrote:
07 Dec 2020, 22:28
I still mostly buy CD's and rip them on the PC too, for my own use, of course.

My 'Apple whore' sons do laugh at this 'history lesson in action' though.
HahHa okay boomer 😆
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"This is an evolving situation. It is being well-governed by a market that is efficient and nimble and it doesn't need any change", Said Tony Harlow, chief executive of Warner Music UK Who also just so happens to be the person that makes the most money from it.
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How many of you use Spotify?

Don’t!

Spotify is not in the music business. They don’t care about bands, or fans of bands. They dress up their product to look like “unlimited music for fans of music”

But really what its bottom line is

Data

Spotify is owned by Facebook who’s business model is owning every bit of data about you so they can sell advertising. Nothing more. Spotify is a consumer profiling data acquisition platform that just happens to be built around music. It perpetuates the current myth that music is a commodity to be exploited rather than enjoyed. I’ve heard people say they own all the records they listen to on Spotify, or but albums they heard on Spotify, but that really isn’t the point. That’s just playing into their hands. Artists, and even labels, are a loss leader for a Facebook product. If Spotify can not, and is designed not, to ever make a profit - because that’s not its business model - then how ever are artists going to profit from it?
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@DJElectricDaddy All fair points &, ideally, to stop using spotify would be one way to hurt them.
But it's sadly a more complex problem & has been made all the more visible due to the fact touring has completely dried up as a source of revenue for artists. Especially the emerging, small acts looking to find an audience/ fanbase to grow.
Boycotting the streaming service would also deprive them of the paltry scraps that are tossed their way completely. Is earning just enough to buy a loaf of bread from tens of thousands of streams better than earning nothing at all?
It's right that someone providing a service should be paid for that service. But it's also right that the product that the service relies on for its beer money is paid for too. Fairly.
The issue isn't the service itself per se. But the model it uses.
In all honesty, music has been an exploitable commodity for decades & record execs have long been making piles of cash off artists on the premise that they should be getting the lion's share for developing them.
I don't see a lot of that "development" on spotify & I certainly don't see much in the way of promotion. The only promotion I see appears to be coming from artists who share play lists of other artists they happen to like & are listening to. And still the creators only get a sliver of the revenue from that stream.
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alanm
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There is definitely a conversation to be had about the streaming business model and the future of the music industry, but
DJElectricDaddy wrote:
07 Feb 2021, 21:07
Spotify is owned by Facebook
This is not true, they are owned by holding company "Spotify Tech AB" (NYSE: SPOT). Major shareholders do not include Facebook.
There may still be some data sharing^H^H^H^Htrading going on between the two, especially is you use "Log In With Facebook" on Spotify.
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