Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 129 total)
  • Streaming guilt. What to do?
  • Premier Icon lucasshmucas
    Full Member

    So I just read this article about the major record labels operating like cartels.

    Guy Garvey speaks

    I’ve been aware for some time about bands receiving a pittance from Spotify, but I’ve chosen to ignore it because Spotify is just so damn convenient and has helped me discover loads of music that I otherwise had no idea about. It’s also enabled me to get rid of all those CDs cluttering up the house.

    But, I don’t think I can continue to turn a blind eye as its not fair on the artists, so what to do? Do I start buying CDs or LPs again so that artists get more of the money, even if it means clutter? Are there any streaming services that are fairer? Do I continue to turn a blind eye and hope that the situation gets better? Or maybe just stop listening to music altogether?

    Anyone else felt similarly conflicted?

    Premier Icon yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    Bandcamp is better for the artists

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Full Member

    I have never ‘indulged’ in Spotify due to their lack of support of artists (they are too parasitical for my taste) but recently have ended up buying too much via amazon so I’m not exactly blameless.

    I always reckoned that if you don’t support artists you like and enjoy then they won’t be able to keep producing stuff for you to listen to.

    Recently I have ended up buying a couple DDL/physical product for Fiona Apple and Gillian Welch (at a fair uplift) directly from their own websites (and from the states!). I reckon this is probably the best support they can get…

    I’d also have bought DDL from Maria Jose Llergo if such an option was available (instead of YouTubing it whenever I want to listen…)

    Premier Icon twistedpencil
    Full Member

    I’ve stayed clear of streaming services so far, mainly because I like having an album to look at.  However I’m coming around to downloads as the environmental impact from vinyl is pretty big.  The issue i now have is finding high quality downloads to buy. Everything looks to be available as mp3 but not FLAC or WAV.

    Places like bandcamp and bleep are good but not all artists are covered. Having difficulty tracking down new releases in better formats is frustrating and I end up back with vinyl or a cd to rip myself.

    I think the record industry has decided that streaming is the way forward and some labels don’t bother with high quality downloads.  This has led me to believe that I’m in the minority of wanting to buy high quality downloads so there isn’t a market for lots of artists.

    Luckily most of the stuff I like is on bleep or bandcamp, however there are a lot of albums not available like this, even physical releases seem to be forgotten, which will push me towards streaming…

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Full Member

    I’ve fallen into the trap of Spotify being the convenient choice. I only really use it walking to work, but would love an alternative.

    Even if it meant starting to buy/download most of the stuff I listen too.

    What’s the best way of doing things? Is there a good, easy to use player that would be able to take advantage of my downloads?

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    I use spotify but still buy cd’s from artists I like, although many of my current favs are now dead so I dont worry about them

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Hmm. I now listen to approximately 100x more music than I otherwise would, if I had to buy CDs, as do my wife and eldest daughter.

    I suspect that the total sum going to artists from our bank account might actually be higher now.

    Premier Icon trumpton
    Free Member

    I still buy a few cd’s. Best thing to do after the plague is go to events or gigs.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Full Member

    Yeah to be fair, I have a lot of CDs I’ve bought over the years and been to plenty of gigs.

    Never hurts to discover Spotify alternatives. I miss the iPod days! 🙂

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    Hmm. I now listen to approximately 100x more music than I otherwise would, if I had to buy CDs, as do my wife and eldest daughter.

    I suspect that the total sum going to artists from our bank account might actually be higher now.

    well if you’re not paying £100x more then you can see how the issue with streaming services paying artists arises.

    the problem the music industry has with digital distribution is they resisted the move to digital for too long. Devices were being sold with the capacity to hold 1000s, 10,000s, 100,000s of songs and there was no legitimate way to put music on them so the default way to do that was through piracy.

    that means the established value of a digital copy of musical recording is ‘£zero’

    companies like Spotify can only sell their service if they offer access to a massive music library for a modest sum so that to customer the cost per song still feels like zero. What customers feel like they are buying is the ability to listen to free music whilst paying not to hear adverts.

    Premier Icon timc
    Free Member

    As a (objective) Record label employee I know only too well both sides of the coin. I often find these articles really poorly researched or explained, So many circumstances & very little context delivered.

    What I would say is if you wish to support an artist to a greater length, buy a live ticket, cd, T-Shirt, some even have gofundme or donation type accounts! don’t feel guilty about using a streaming service.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Another one who avoided Spotify for ages but now uses it all the time. For the price I get so much music that it’s so much better than buying physical CD’s for me. It also means I’ve discovered lots of smaller artists, some of who I’ve seen live as they are touring. Hopefully that balances out the low pay per play.

    The only way I can think of that artists could get more money for each play would be if they upped the subscription price as the current £9.99 just seems far too low personally. They could easily double it without too much backlash but then they have the issue of others undercutting them. It’s a tough one to solve.

    Premier Icon b230ftw
    Full Member

    Have taken advantage of everyone’s rabid desire for the streaming craze and managed to buy pretty much any album I want for a pittance 2nd hand. I’ve had people give me their CDs as they couldn’t be bothered selling them.

    Premier Icon timc
    Free Member

    maccruiskeen

    the problem the music industry has with digital distribution is they resisted the move to digital for too long. Devices were being sold with the capacity to hold 1000s, 10,000s, 100,000s of songs and there was no legitimate way to put music on them so the default way to do that was through piracy.

    that means the established value of a digital copy of musical recording is ‘£zero’

    Worth mentioning the tech industry & music Industry are not the same thing, unless you’re apple of course

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    buying a couple DDL/physical product for Fiona Apple

    Winner! Much underrated over here.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Full Member

    Have taken advantage of everyone’s rabid desire for the streaming craze and managed to buy pretty much any album I want for a pittance 2nd hand. I’ve had people give me their CDs as they couldn’t be bothered selling them.

    So the artist makes less from you than they do from a streaming service! I am listening to artists I would never just buy a CD on spec from so they are getting revenue from me (albeit a very small amount) they would not otherwise do so.

    If it is an album I particularly like though I usually end up buying the vinyl if available and again, I would not have even considered their work in the first place if it were not for hearing it via a streaming service first (Tidal and Qobuz for me).

    Premier Icon andylc
    Free Member

    The problem isn’t us using Spotify, it’s them and others treating artists unfairly. But how this can change I don’t know. Bit like asking Tescos to pay their suppliers more. They can get away with it, so they don’t, and we still shop there because most of us don’t have the time and money to get everything from small ethical sources. Or like asking Amazon and Google to pay some tax every now and then.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    Income for artists from streaming is pathetic.

    Premier Icon johnners
    Free Member

    I looked at this about a year ago and IIRC Tidal paid 3x as much as Spotify and Apple about 2x, though things may have changed since then. If you want to support an artist there’s just no substitute for going to gigs or buying downloads or physical product, preferably from their own site if there is one. Of course that won’t come close to the convenience of having a massive music library on tap and on a whim, which is why I use Tidal.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I think artist’s expectations have been set unrealistically high by the 80s where you became a millionaire overnight from a hit single. The fact artists no longer make a fortune from recorded music isn’t a bad thing in itself (IMO). The landscape has shifted and they now make most of their money from touring. Ok, mid-CV when you can’t tour they’re not going to be making fortunes, but then these aren’t normal times.

    Spotify isn’t profitable, so I’m not sure where the artists expect the extra money to come from?

    https://www.lovemoney.com/gallerylist/82445/spotify-conquered-music-industry-no-profit-streaming

    Even if you doubled Spotify’s monthly sub, it’s not going to make a big difference to artists, but would probably push a load more users back to just pirating everything – which is free….

    Premier Icon trumpton
    Free Member

    I often still use youtube even if I have the album as I cannot be bovered to dig it out though.

    Premier Icon yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    As above – live tickets/merch at shows is the best way to give money to a band. I’ll normally see about 50+ gigs a year, though generally at the local band/small national touring level.

    2020 ain’t been that good for going to see bands though…

    Premier Icon johnners
    Free Member

    The fact artists no longer make a fortune from recorded music isn’t a bad thing in itself

    Some do, but only the really big ones. Ed Sheeran has made over $9m from just one track. It’s been streamed over 2bn times. In the rare cases like that income from a streaming service vastly exceed what he could have hoped to get from selling downloads or CDs/albums simply because they’d have been one-off instances rather than someone playing it from Spotify every morning of their commute.

    Premier Icon timc
    Free Member

    slowoldman

    Income for artists from streaming is pathetic.

    Thats not fair, its rubbish.

    sadly zero context attached by the BBC’s article.

    Ill play devils advocate to add some context, just because no one really knows.

    Are those streams from the UK or say ‘Turkey’ where streams have less value. Why mention monthly listeners when you aren’t paid for that figure. 5 or 6 million streams? which is it? ad funded or premium tier streams? they have different values, How many contributors / performers are on the record, the label credits suggest lots of other performers on the tracks all taking a share, not a solo performer, so what is her split? And then you have the various labels to which the music is released? so various deals & royalty rates!?

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I only listen to music via Spotify now, have no need / desire for any physical media. I think artists just need to adapt to the changing world, people now stream and they need to come to terms with it (or take up another profession).

    Premier Icon trumpton
    Free Member

    It’s probably quite hard to buy cd devices now. Many artists only do downloads.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Footflaps +1

    They need to consider the streaming service as a promotion channel for other product.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Footflaps +1

    They need to consider the streaming service as a promotion channel for other product.

    That’s an appalling attitude, if I may say so.

    Give away their core product for “exposure”? While techies and lawyers get rich off their work?

    I don’t use music streaming services and it would be pathetic for me to judge people who do, but it is annoying to hear that kind of Tory guff spouted by people who just want all the music for cheap.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    Mmmm that’s a bit harsh IMHO.
    I’m not saying I don’t buy the other products, indeed I do buy merch and gig tickets when I can. I just think that there has been a shift in what the main revenue earning part of the music business is.

    Premier Icon wordnumb
    Free Member

    Chakaping sed> That’s an appalling attitude, if I may say so.

    Yup, well said.
    Oldtennisshoes, that’s not harsh at all.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    I’d like to join chakaping’s angry mob – not cool footflaps/oldtennisshoes!

    The live gigs thing works for some people (not now obviously) but some artists are not suited to being live acts, can’t tour for family/health reasons, etc etc etc – so they should just quit? The only artists that should exist are ones that can put on a good show and sell t-shirts? Hmmmm…

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Full Member

    Use spotify to find music you like then either buy CDs direct from them or via whichever service they offer e.g. bandcamp.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Unfair to single you out, sorry. Just an attitude I see a fair bit and which bothers me.

    I write things for a living and there’s an industry joke about cheeky people asking you to supply work for “exposure”.

    Hopefully not many fall for it, yet some people seem to think musicians should actually do that.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    With a Spotify family sub I spend more than I’ve done on music since I was a teenager.
    Technology has ripped many business models apart and helped establish and reinvent many more. If Spotify can be a promotional channel, services like Patreon can be used to engage with and sell added value product to fans who want more.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Technology has ripped many business models apart and helped establish and reinvent many more.

    Yep, otherwise we’d be arguing on threads about supporting our local candlestick makers etc….

    I don’t remember any of chakaping’s angry mob sticking up for them when their time came 😉

    Premier Icon jimfrandisco
    Free Member

    Isn’t the problem the record companies though? I assume that if something is on spotify the label have agreed to do T&Cs?
    FOr the companies to agree to that they must be making more money than they would through physical sales – I assume much less money per band/artist but a lot more plays of other stuff that evens it out, otherwise they would pull the plug on it.
    Is it just a case of the labels not looking after the artists?
    Genuinely asking as have no idea how it works for streaming.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I suspect there’s no that much money in streaming or as much as the artists think they’re worth.

    They can (and some do) always form their own record companies if they don’t like the big boys. Spotify will stream them regardless.

    Premier Icon trumpton
    Free Member

    Spotify are quite generous but the record label keeps most of the revenue leaving the artist with next to nothing.

    Premier Icon sillyoldman
    Full Member

    I like CDs. Never really done the streaming thing.
    Bought a few CDs via Bandcamp as it gets more money to the band/artist, but generally use Monorail in Glasgow as it’s worth supporting.

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