Lars was right...

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
You didn't address mine - how are emerging artists able to make a living, even though they can access cheap distribution?
Why have the leading pirates joined the board of streaming companies?
Is the market broken or not?
If the 'market decides' that means music is like KFC. Markets follow popular money makers, not artistic integrity.
At no point was I discussing streaming though. You've taken what I've said about digital sales and twisted it into something completely different. I was not even discussing streaming other than to point out that it took off in about 2009. Digital music sales to download to your hard drive started in earnest in 2003. With the traditional distribution model, albeit with Apple's store front. So until we go down the route of discussing artistic integrity, how do you account for the record labels' collective failure to notice the technological possibilities of online distribution from approximately 1995 to 2003?

So you've ignored my point, decided to make another one (that is valid) but then ask that I answer your point when you won't do the same for mine?

Chris, I don't dislike you mate and I respect your outlook and experience but it's very hard to engage in a debate with you when you just ignore what I'm saying and try to steer the debate towards unrelated points.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Sigh....
As I keep saying - digital downloads are a somewhat unpopular blip in the digital music space. It is ALL about streaming now - and the crucial discussion about streaming rates and how that impacts musicians is 100% about piracy. You can't ignore that can you?
You want to know about the gap between mp3's and Spotify/Apple Music.
You say the labels were caught with their trousers down. What about musicians? The labels HAVEN'T lost out. I don't really care about the major labels.
When people were pirating mp3's what did you expect individual musicians to do about it. Build their own streaming service? I certainly didn't have that skill, or the money to do it. You could offer people your own mp3 off your own website, but then one or two people would buy it, then someone would upload it to Pirate Bay and that was the end of your income for your work.
You say Napster took it to the labels. But I was doing dance music at the time. I recorded my own tracks, then had them pressed into 12" singles and stores in London would sell them. That's how dance music mostly worked - independent individuals making the records and selling them themselves. After Napster, someone would buy a popular dance 12", upload it and everyone else would get it for free. So the majority of indie musicians, making music with their own time and money were screwed by Parker and Napster too.
According to Forbes Sean Parker has a net worth of $2.8 billion. Daniel Ek - $1.7 Billion.
The debate is not about whether streaming is bad, it's fine. It's about fair pay and a fair slice of the money for the people doing most of the work and taking most of the financial risk.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
So until we go down the route of discussing artistic integrity, how do you account for the record labels' collective failure to notice the technological possibilities of online distribution from approximately 1995 to 2003?
I don't. The record companies don't reflect the entire music community - the musicians.
MP3's really didn't start spreading until 1997, Napster came along in 1999.
I'm not dodging your question. It is kind of irrelevant. The only people who could globally adopt mp3 and build an online retail space were the labels or a tech company.
Hard for labels in competition with each other to get together to embrace a new technology that incidentally delivered a poor quality product compared to CD. Sure, they screwed up, but there was nothing artists and individual musicians could do about it. And while artists have continued to suffer lower income, the labels have leveraged a financial win for themselves.
But the MAIN thing is that when mp3 opened up the ability to share music without buying it, self releasing, or small independent artists were impacted the hardest. Tech savvy youngsters were more interested in innovative, niche music than the top 20. So that's what initially got shared the most. Until it became a free for all and many music fans of all tastes started to download free copies of all kinds of music.
I don't want to feel you are diverting the discussion away from the hardship both piracy and Spotify have visited on most musicians, just by repeatedly bringing it back to a failure of foresight over a few years by record labels. We are a community of musicians, not a community of record label execs.
 

someguy01

Platinum Member
These days most streaming users aren't exposed to music they don't know.
Spotify creates a playlist for every user called "release radar" that is based on your listening choices and it contains only new music. Mine has loaded all sorts of small groups and relative unknowns that simply share the genres I regularly listen to. It has introduced me to all sorts of music.
I don't have to search for that playlist either, it's directly on the home page.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Spotify creates a playlist for every user called "release radar" that is based on your listening choices and it contains only new music. Mine has loaded all sorts of small groups and relative unknowns that simply share the genres I regularly listen to. It has introduced me to all sorts of music.
I don't have to search for that playlist either, it's directly on the home page.
This is something I was alluding to earlier in the thread and I might be somewhat deviating from your own point in your post, but humour me regardless 😂

Generally only artists with a large following will be automatically chosen to appear on people’s release radar or other playlist.

Of course putting your eggs in one basket and relying on being heard from streaming providers is a loosing game, but the game isn’t as clear cut as it appears for your average musicians.

Of course this has always been the case when it was Radio/MTV….etc

Also this

 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Spotify creates a playlist for every user called "release radar" that is based on your listening choices and it contains only new music.
No (as above) Spotify's own playlists are like gold dust to artists, extremely difficult to get on and often make or break a release.
The whole popular playlist thing is rampant with private playlist owners asking for money to list you.
The fact you don't know the artists on your release radar doesn't mean they are 'under the radar', it means they are trending hard on the platform, that's exactly WHAT the Spotify algorithm does. It identifies with new tracks that lots of people are listening to, and pushes those tracks out to anyone that is interested in that genre.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
I agree with Juniper, streaming is really a dream factory for losers, and the winners take all.
Nearly 80% of artists on Spotify have fewer than 50 monthly listeners - remembering it takes 1 million streams every month to achieve the annual average wage in the UK.

Quote:
just 1.73 million artists on Spotify currently have more than 50monthly listeners.
As previously noted (again, thanks to the updated Loud & Clear site), there are around8 million artists with music on Spotify in total today.
So it’s a simple mathematical maneuver to conclude that just 21.6% of artists on Spotify today – around 1.7 million of them – have a monthly audience on the platform greater than 50 people.
Or, yup, to put it another way: Nearly 80% (78.4%) of artists on Spotify today – around 6.3 million of them – have a monthly audience on the platform smaller than 50 people.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
I agree with Juniper, streaming is really a dream factory for losers, and the winners take all.
Nearly 80% of artists on Spotify have fewer than 50 monthly listeners - remembering it takes 1 million streams every month to achieve the annual average wage in the UK.

Quote:
just 1.73 million artists on Spotify currently have more than 50monthly listeners.
As previously noted (again, thanks to the updated Loud & Clear site), there are around8 million artists with music on Spotify in total today.
So it’s a simple mathematical maneuver to conclude that just 21.6% of artists on Spotify today – around 1.7 million of them – have a monthly audience on the platform greater than 50 people.
Or, yup, to put it another way: Nearly 80% (78.4%) of artists on Spotify today – around 6.3 million of them – have a monthly audience on the platform smaller than 50 people.
so at the end of the day... why bother?
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Well yeah.
Because everyone thinks they are different - THEY are going to blow up.
I always tell people to use Bandcamp. People buy your product and pay you directly on Bandcamp. For about two years, since the beginning of the pandemic, Bandcamp has been doing fee free Friday (once a month), which is putting all the money in the artist's pocket. Good for them.
Spotify is OK as a place to point people towards, if you want to showcase your music and it's a widely used app. It's a terrible place to be discovered and it basically pays the majority of artists diddly squat.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Honestly, I put one of my albums on bandcamp for free download back in 2011. I never bother to go to that site for music. I don't even remember my username and password to get it.
 

someguy01

Platinum Member
I got it now. Streaming = evil. Cool.
I don't own an iPod. I don't own a CD player. I don't own a Walkman or cassette player. I have a cheap phone with limited storage.
Do tell me what I'm supposed to be doing to support every little person out there with an album. Just buy media that I can't listen to? Maybe go out and buy a device I don't want or need and buy mp3s on a whim?
I await your solution to my evil streaming habit.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
so at the end of the day... why bother?
Exactly.
Long gone are the days of making BANK being a songwriter or musician signing a contract.
Having a YouTube channel & small bar following seems to be all the bulk of players & writers get. The rest are "featured" artists pushed by record companies for as long as they can.
Then the next big things comes along & you're set out to pasture.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Exactly.
Long gone are the days of making BANK being a songwriter or musician signing a contract.
Having a YouTube channel & small bar following seems to be all the bulk of players & writers get. The rest are "featured" artists pushed by record companies for as long as they can.
Then the next big things comes along & you're set out to pasture.
"featured artists"

you mean... industry plants?

 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Do tell me what I'm supposed to be doing to support every little person out there with an album. Just buy media that I can't listen to?
Jeez-louise - you can purchase digital downloads from places like Bandcamp. There are a few streaming platforms that pay artists better (Resonate). You can play artists music streamed off Bandcamp too.
I recently bought a brand new (great sounding) CD player for $400.
 

Donkey Boy

Active Member
Buying an Album and rolling a joint on it while you listen to it seems so simple in comparison to all this overcomplication..you tube has a how play a vinyl record .. I can't believe it.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
I think the 'industry plant' is less about giving careers to family members, friends in high places etc...
It is much more about giving mainstream 'manufactured' artists the veneer of being independent, against the mainstream.
Just like boutique beer brands owned by Budweiser, the music industry has created a lot of 'left field' independent off shoots that are just a front.
Mainstream artists release videos shot with a hand held, pro-sumer aesthetic, mainstream artists are pushed heavily on Youtube and Tik-Tok.
people will tell you this or that artist 'made it' while being DIY and screwing the system, but when you drill down it is plain to see they've had big business and millions of dollars behind them from early on.
They are still talented artists, but they aren't products of DIY independence.
 
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