Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: How Spotify Saved the Music Industry (But Not Necessarily Musicians)

  1. #1

    How Spotify Saved the Music Industry (But Not Necessarily Musicians)

    Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, was interviewed on Freakenomics a couple of weeks ago. There were a few critical comments posted as well. The model along with who gains starts at 18:00.

    Two quotes:

    Ek: I think we are in the process of creating a more fair and equal music industry than it’s ever been in the past.

    Ek: So the way I think about our mission is to inspire human creativity by enabling a million artists to be able to live off of their art and a billion people to be able to enjoy and be inspired by it.

    http://freakonomics.com/podcast/spotify/

  2. #2
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fluffy Cloud
    Posts
    3,184
    Quote Originally Posted by yamishogun View Post
    Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, was interviewed on Freakenomics a couple of weeks ago. There were a few critical comments posted as well. The model along with who gains starts at 18:00.

    Two quotes:

    Ek: I think we are in the process of creating a more fair and equal music industry than it’s ever been in the past.

    Ek: So the way I think about our mission is to inspire human creativity by enabling a million artists to be able to live off of their art and a billion people to be able to enjoy and be inspired by it.

    http://freakonomics.com/podcast/spotify/
    EK keeps speaking about greater money for artists and equitable distribution for years now,and it keeps not arriving and it never, ever will, based on their model, which they won’t do anything about since it makes THEM a fortune.

    IMO.
    Last edited by Steve F.; 04-21-2019 at 02:10 PM.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    This space for rent: Well established location. Perfect opportunity for an up and coming smart-ass to benefit from our years of provocation!

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  3. #3
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    1,004
    For several decades, musicians have been getting a shorter and shorter end of the stick. Back in the late 60s/early 70s, it was possible for The Beatles to quit touring and only record, and Anthony Philips to make a living only selling records, after leaving Genesis due to stage fright. Fast forward a couple of decades, touring became the main source of income for musicians. After the labels starting taking a piece of touring income, merchandise sales became the primary income. Now record companies are taking a piece of merchandise sales.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  4. #4
    It’s a little disingenuous to put up The Beatles as a group that survived without touring income, when they were probably the biggest selling band in the world, at a time when sales were enormous.

    Spotify and its streaming kin are a blight upon the music industry, I do not understand why so many artists allow their music to be “sold” in this way, they are self-harming by doing so.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    EK keeps speaking about greater money for artists and equitable distribution for years now,and it keeps not arriving and it never, ever will, based on their model, which they won’t do anything about since it makes THEM a fortune.

    IMO.
    And mine.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunlight Caller View Post
    It’s a little disingenuous to put up The Beatles as a group that survived without touring income, when they were probably the biggest selling band in the world, at a time when sales were enormous.
    Ok. Steely Dan. Big, but not Beatles big....especially when the stopped touring after 1974.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  7. #7
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The Past
    Posts
    1,843
    From the "more things change......" department:

    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter Thompson
    Hell, they ain't even old-timey ! - Homer Stokes

  8. #8
    You can play as a single musician and make about 50-100 bucks a week playing your own original music. That's about as good as I see it getting at this point. It makes no sense at all to record and release your own music, because you will lose about $1200 bucks in manufacturing. If you play out, you may get some of it back through sales and basic gig pay, but that $1200 cuts into your income pretty heavily. Better just to play out -IMO. There is a chance to build a following locally, and you may eventually do better over time, but releasing music before you have an audience is for most people (not all) a loser. I'm Just getting started with a live show, and I am just barely covering my expenses. But that's better than I was doing as a non-performing musician. I do have an old 2005 CD that I can sell, but that hasn't had too much success so far. I have about 400 units remaining and that inventory will last me for the rest of my life at this rate. But...It seems that There is a community that will support local original musicians. but I need to keep expectations low - at least for now. I have a friend who was just playing at open mic's and from that got invited to play at the Dallas House of Blues. So it can happen, just need to have the right things happen. Not much has happened since then for her and the gig was pretty much a bust, but still, it was a pretty cool opportunity. Just recording and sticking your music on a website is what I would call a high risk low return strategy. Of course, some people here say they do OK with it, but I think that's an exception. Better to be a performing musician in my opinion. At least you can afford to buy strings and the odd diet coke, because although the original live music scene is a tough one, there aren't that many people doing it these days. For me it beats lamenting how horrible the music industry is.

    Spotify may be a place where you can drop your music, but its something I think you need to be careful about. As soon as you show any signs of success there, chances are it will somehow not turn out in your favor.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  9. #9
    LinkMan Chain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Townsville, Australia
    Posts
    144
    Spotify is the death of the music industry
    “Pleasure and pain can be experienced simultaneously,” she said, gently massaging my back as we listened to her Coldplay CD.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chain View Post
    Spotify is the death of the music industry
    Hardly. I think that started with illegal downloading. Spotify at least enabled artists to earn some money, from an audience that didn't buy records or CD's.
    Music industry is changing
    First artist worked for the church, or nobleman, who paid them.
    Later artists tried to earn their money by selling sheet-music and performing as independent people
    Then records came in the equation, either to make some extra bucks, or to bring the artist to the attention of the audience
    Later on, concerts became a way to promote records, with the money being earned by the recordsales and not by concerts
    Now concerts are the way artists have to earn their money, while recordings in every way are mainly ment to promote concerts (live-recordings serving as a kind of memory of the concert)

  11. #11
    What Spotify has definitely done is kill the music radio industry - at least in the U.S. The only music stations that seem to make money at all are "classic hits" (used to be called "oldies") and urban/hip hop.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  12. #12
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Crimea River
    Posts
    6,060
    Hey Yodelgoat, is anything from your 2005 CD on the web, where it can be previewed?

  13. #13
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Crimea River
    Posts
    6,060
    Btw, that pretty much sums up the state of the music industry: Musicians used to be able to afford coke. Now they can afford Diet Coke.

  14. #14
    Member Jay.Dee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Barcelona
    Posts
    347
    Maybe Spotify saved the pop music industry, but it did not save me. File sharing never hurt me. My sales revenue didn’t go down until streaming cannibalized it. “Never pay for music again” was Spotify’s launch slogan and they’ve made it true. There is no going back now...

    -- Zoe Keating
    https://twitter.com/zoecello/status/1119798669342060549

  15. #15
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    1,004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunlight Caller View Post
    It’s a little disingenuous to put up The Beatles as a group that survived without touring income, when they were probably the biggest selling band in the world, at a time when sales were enormous.
    But not ANT, my second example.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    EK keeps speaking about greater money for artists and equitable distribution for years now,and it keeps not arriving and it never, ever will, based on their model, which they won’t do anything about since it makes THEM a fortune.

    IMO.
    Absolutely. Talk is cheap: Spotify is cheaper.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Hardly. I think that started with illegal downloading.
    I agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Spotify at least enabled artists to earn some money, from an audience that didn't buy records or CD's.
    Well, if you saw how much some surprisingly name artists, for example, in the jazz world are "making" from Spotify, you'd realize "earn some money" is a very significant exaggeration (I'm talking about quarterly royalty checks of less than $1).
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Music industry is changing
    That it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    First artist worked for the church, or nobleman, who paid them.
    Later artists tried to earn their money by selling sheet-music and performing as independent people
    Then records came in the equation, either to make some extra bucks, or to bring the artist to the attention of the audience
    Later on, concerts became a way to promote records, with the money being earned by the recordsales and not by concerts
    Now concerts are the way artists have to earn their money, while recordings in every way are mainly ment to promote concerts (live-recordings serving as a kind of memory of the concert)
    This is all true....the only argument being that, for the vast majority of musicians, they're not making much money, if any, from live performance...for most artists, the operative phrase is: pay to play.

    It's one of the reasons I stopped gigging. Now, with CFS, gigging is out of the question as I'd be flattened by the time I'd set up, let along play two or three sets and then having to tear down, as the days of getting multiple nights in a club or, even, multiple nights over multiple weeks (as happened with me back in the '90s, where we got a house gig at a club for four months! Play four nights a week, as we did, for four months, and you can't help but get better as a player and as a band).

    But beyond that, having grown up in an environment when, even at my level, I could actually make enough money to live (not a great living, but possible), these days if you get paid it barely (if at all) covers your expenses - getting to/from the gig and PA rental (since most clubs I've played at don't have their own). In most cases it was a losing proposition and, while I LOVED gigging (far more than working in a studio, of which I did my fair share), that it has gone from meagre living, but living nevertheless, to you paying to play? Sorry, but even if I were sick I'd not likely be doing it, because my time and, even at my level, contributions had/have value.

    And why is it pay to play? Well, while not the entire reason, one big one was this: We'd go to a club we'd played at regularly, only to be told they were cutting our two-night pay in half. Why? "Because," as they would tell us, "there are college kids out there who are happy to play for nothing, just to be able to go out and play to their friends.

    Sometimes free can be ok (though it's still a bit dicey), as it can lead to other paying gigs (like my writing at All About Jazz)...but in something like 35+ years of gigging, by the time pay to play was in full swing I never once played a gig that led to a better paying one.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    You can play as a single musician and make about 50-100 bucks a week playing your own original music. That's about as good as I see it getting at this point.
    Which is, frankly, pathetic when you consider that when I was playing in a touring band for two years in the mid-'70s, we were making $3500/week in a club and $1500/night in high schools.

    We had expenses, so it was not a huge income...but it WAS a livable one, especially if you gigged as much as we did (about 40-45 weeks/year).

    Now, if $100 is the max the average musician can make gigging, it's just plain depressing.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    I agree.

    Well, if you saw how much some surprisingly name artists, for example, in the jazz world are "making" from Spotify, you'd realize "earn some money" is a very significant exaggeration (I'm talking about quarterly royalty checks of less than $1).

    That it is.

    This is all true....the only argument being that, for the vast majority of musicians, they're not making much money, if any, from live performance...for most artists, the operative phrase is: pay to play.

    It's one of the reasons I stopped gigging. Now, with CFS, gigging is out of the question as I'd be flattened by the time I'd set up, let along play two or three sets and then having to tear down, as the days of getting multiple nights in a club or, even, multiple nights over multiple weeks (as happened with me back in the '90s, where we got a house gig at a club for four months! Play four nights a week, as we did, for four months, and you can't help but get better as a player and as a band).

    But beyond that, having grown up in an environment when, even at my level, I could actually make enough money to live (not a great living, but possible), these days if you get paid it barely (if at all) covers your expenses - getting to/from the gig and PA rental (since most clubs I've played at don't have their own). In most cases it was a losing proposition and, while I LOVED gigging (far more than working in a studio, of which I did my fair share), that it has gone from meagre living, but living nevertheless, to you paying to play? Sorry, but even if I were sick I'd not likely be doing it, because my time and, even at my level, contributions had/have value.

    And why is it pay to play? Well, while not the entire reason, one big one was this: We'd go to a club we'd played at regularly, only to be told they were cutting our two-night pay in half. Why? "Because," as they would tell us, "there are college kids out there who are happy to play for nothing, just to be able to go out and play to their friends.

    Sometimes free can be ok (though it's still a bit dicey), as it can lead to other paying gigs (like my writing at All About Jazz)...but in something like 35+ years of gigging, by the time pay to play was in full swing I never once played a gig that led to a better paying one.
    I think you are right on all points. Not being paid has been a problem much longer. I remember musicians complaining about playing in television-shows and not being paid, because it could be seen as a form of promotion, something I read about in a musicians magazine for a very long time and I doubt this has changed.

    The classical musicians I know seem to earn their money mainly with teaching.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    I think you are right on all points. Not being paid has been a problem much longer. I remember musicians complaining about playing in television-shows and not being paid, because it could be seen as a form of promotion, something I read about in a musicians magazine for a very long time and I doubt this has changed.

    The classical musicians I know seem to earn their money mainly with teaching.
    In my experience TV usually is the ONLY medium that pays well. performing rights organizations monitor television far better than radio and live (which they also monitor to some degree). I made a very good living indeed writing music for TV. Although the landscape has changed radically (music supervisors and music consultants rule and few people get a series anymore, rather they get cues put on through boutique libraries), I still get some decent royalty checks.
    You are right though, teaching is the main source of income for a lot of musicians these days, a fact that seems ironic given the HUGE appetite media has for music, and people have for media.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    You can play as a single musician and make about 50-100 bucks a week playing your own original music. That's about as good as I see it getting at this point.
    wow! That sucks. Around here most people play for 150+/gig. It sucks compared to how it used to be, but the enterprising can eke out a decent living.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by fictionmusic View Post
    In my experience TV usually is the ONLY medium that pays well. performing rights organizations monitor television far better than radio and live (which they also monitor to some degree). I made a very good living indeed writing music for TV. Although the landscape has changed radically (music supervisors and music consultants rule and few people get a series anymore, rather they get cues put on through boutique libraries), I still get some decent royalty checks.
    You are right though, teaching is the main source of income for a lot of musicians these days, a fact that seems ironic given the HUGE appetite media has for music, and people have for media.
    But that is writing for TV. That is more or less the same as writing music for film.

    I ment artists that are invited to play in some non-musical television-shows, as a kind of musical intermezzo.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    But that is writing for TV. That is more or less the same as writing music for film.

    I ment artists that are invited to play in some non-musical television-shows, as a kind of musical intermezzo.

    Ahh yes. I would have thought that they would be protected by unions and such, but now that you mention it, I remember playing for CITY-TV in Toronto and I can't remember being paid either.

  24. #24
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    1,004
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    The classical musicians I know seem to earn their money mainly with teaching.
    That's how most composers have made a living since the mid 19th century. Composing has been a side gig ever since.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    The classical musicians I know seem to earn their money mainly with teaching.
    Well, that's as it is today. There was a time when being a member of a military band (in my case I'm referring to the Canadian forces bands that no longer exist as full-time entities) or a symphony orchestra could actually be those musicians' full-time jobs...and a pretty darn decent income it was, too.

    Speaking from my own experience working with a number of musicians who were members of symphony orchestras or military bands, from the late '70s to late '80s I did a fair bit of gigging in weekend wedding bands for supplemental income (which also paid pretty darn well, back when musicians unions had the clout to ensure there were proper contracts and that they were enforced, rather than ultimately being worth less than the paper on which they were printed), and most folks in those part-time bands were members of the local Canadian Forces band, which was their full-time job until it was dismantled as a full-time entity around the early '90s, as I recall. At that point, most of them were forced to expand their hours/week teaching - until then acting, as was the case with those wedding bands, as part-time supplements rather than full-time gigs/primary sources of income.

    The bottom line is that there was a time when musicians had many options when it came to generating enough revenue to make music their full-time career (and the most successful were those who were diversified). Over the past quarter century we've seen an erosion of pretty much all of those options, leaving teaching as the one remaining, reliable source...and "reliable" being relative, since with everything else being eroded, competition for teaching jobs increased as income from teaching decreased (unless you were fortunate enough to land a university/college gig, and even so, unless you were either a professor or were a musician with enough "name" clout to be able to demand a higher rate).

    So, it's not just streaming, it's not just gigging, it's that, over time, virtually every potential source of income has been eroded for musicians trying to make a living. In fact, every time one avenue declined and musicians were forced to adapt by moving into another you could almost be guaranteed that those alternatives would ultimately declined as well.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •