DJ Personally Thanks Spotify After Purchasing His First Home…

 

The following email to Spotify comes from John Silk, aka DJ Scaramanga Silk.  It was sent earlier this week, and shared with Digital Music News.

----- Original Message -----
From: Scaramanga Silk (Comms)
Sent: 07/22/13 02:10 PM
To: support@spotify.com
Subject: Spotify helped me buy my first house

Dear Spotify,

I cannot thank you enough. If it was not for your company, I would not
have been able to just buy my first house!

Now I am fully aware that there is much controversy about the Spotify
business model. It appears to be great for consumers but many
independent artists and smaller record labels do not feel that they
benefit from the service.

Therefore, I hope that my story can be some good PR for you and also
reassuring to artists and labels at the same time.

Having worked in the industry as a DJ, Producer and Songwriter, I have
seen many developments over the years.
As a fan of technology, I was very intrigued by Spotify when it launched. 
For me, it was clear that the best approach was to adopt a
'long tail' model. By this, my focus was to produce a high volume of
releases which would bring in revenue over a sustained time period.
Unlike physical formats, there is no restriction to quantity pressed
and reliance on shops to stock releases.

Therefore, I ensured that any releases that I signed to labels were
represented on Spotify and that I would get my relevant percentage of
stream revenue. By dedicating my time to working on multiple projects
under various pseudonyms (and even as a ghost producer on many
occasions), I have managed to build up a significant portfolio of
releases totalling 157 tracks approximately (at present). These have
been released across a number of labels in a range of genres. Many of
the tracks have been for the independent music sector and have
included remixes, originals, production and writing credits. There
have even been a handful of film scores included. Luckily, many of
these releases have had good marketing exposure which always helps.

So, after several years of adapting to the new digital landscape, I
can confirm that the 'long tail' model can work. I do appreciate that
if an artist or label cannot produce mass volume then they may
struggle to achieve this level of success. Furthermore, it is also
very important that running costs are kept low. If I had to hire a
studio full-time, then this would have been a major impediment.
Fortunately for me, I have been able to establish a studio from DJing
fees. In addition, I do not self release my material anymore. This
means that time / cost / marketing is the responsibility of the label.
However, there is a trade-off to be had here as I get a smaller
percentage share of stream revenue as I am not the sole owner of the
work because the labels take their percentage too. From my
calculations, this solution is the most cost-effective for my
requirements.

Each year, I find that the revenue from streaming is consistent. In
fact, as I release more material, I have also found that revenue on
previous releases has an uplift. This confirms that the 'catalogue
approach' applied to the 'long tail' model is a system that can work
for the modern day musician. The beauty of it all is that there are no
costs involved once a track is created. The labels / distributors
manage the Spotify upload and admin process. I do not have to worry
about test pressings, manufacturing, distribution and delivery of
physical stock for these releases.

Some of the labels that I have signed to do still release vinyl and
CD. They all report that sales are not what they used to be but they
do inform me that they do still have a demand for physical formats.
Personally, I do not use Spotify as a consumer. As a DJ, I need to
have high quality audio (WAV format) and therefore opt for WAV
downloads, CD or vinyl. Also, many of the independent artists and
labels that I support do not have their music on Spotify so I have to
source it elsewhere. Bandcamp has been fantastic for this in recent
years.

So, I recently received my Q2 streaming revenue statements from a
number of labels. As of now, I have earned sufficient income from
Spotify to enable me to buy my first house. This has been a long term
dream of mine and I am delighted to have finally achieved it. Thank
you so much!

You can see a photo of my house here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/u64bgdyr4b3otnd/First-House_July-2013.jpeg

You should pop round for tea sometime.

Best regards,

John Silk
(a.k.a DJ Scaramanga Silk)

www.ScaramangaSi.lk


94 Responses

    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “This is hilariously funny and infinitely sad at the same time.”
      Yeah like, this is how I lost 40 pounds in 3 days while I ate like pig. 🙂

      Reply
    • Tune Hunter
      Tune Hunter

      This fellow most be Mr. Ek’s personal sacker!
      Joseph Goebels or any communist propaganda director did not have such a talent! Apogeum of chutzpah!
      We must built Spotify/Ek monument in the middle of Time Sguare for saving Music Industry and musicians.
      …..all of it stinks, big time!
      Again why all the well paid folks from best schools are blind!

      Reply
      • jk
        jk

        To invoke a Nazi in a discussion like this shows how much people know about history. And spelling, too.
        I wish the DMN site would supervise the comments section as it becomes futile to read in view of such qualified comments.

        Reply
        • tune Hunter
          tune Hunter

          JK I agree and I appologize, but Music Industry has been locked up in Streaming camp with large emount of strange money used for propaganda and forceful entry into the Music Hous.

          Reply
  1. Visitor
    Visitor

    “For me, it was clear that the best approach was to adopt a
    ‘long tail’ model.”
    Unfortunately, the long tail turned out to be a fairy tale for the vast majority of artists.
    “While you can have a Long Tail strategy, you better have a head, because that’s where all the revenue is”
    Google chairman Eric Schmidt
    http://dmnrocks.wpengine.com/permalink/2013/20130722longtail
    And that’s why streaming is going to fail.

    Reply
    • tune Hunter
      tune Hunter

      There is so little logic in Music Industry that you might be right with long dick strategy!
      Radio Industry is bigger than The Music Industry.
      Radio contributes to 70% of discovery.
      Time for RADIO to SCREW Music Industry! Long tail or long dick – I like both!
      Lets talk to radio, Pandora and XM and new Apple Radio and screw Music Industry! We will monetize music thru the radio – if they have no intrest in money we will finish extortion of RADIO and move all of the music to place that pays!
      Time for Discovery Moment Monetization.

      Reply
      • R.P.
        R.P.

        Damn. all of your opnions are like 5 years late, which tells me you are over 40 years old. Probably between 43-46, but hey, we will never know.
        Radio is not bigger than anything right now, although many of the bullshit numbers you will see say so. Ask 10 people you personally know, when was the last time they heard a new song on radio that no one told them about, and you will be surprised. More importantly, ask how many even still listen to radio..
        When the income at terrestrial radio from advertising drops, it means their listernership/audience has done so as well.. pretty logical, no?
        Listen, it worked for this guy and he is happy, he succeeded with his goal. Not every independent act will win like he did, but the reality is that some will.
        For that one lady that died when she fell 4 stories off a building, another survived a 40 story fall off a roof. The point is, every single situation is different.
        The only place that logic does not truly exist, is in your brain.

        Reply
        • Tune Hunter
          Tune Hunter

          Check some Nielsen data!. Streaming with free discovery = death!
          …and there is no good reason to work with streamers under those terms!
          Musicians are the owners and they do not need to enter to psychologically uncomfortable deals!
          Labels are out of ideas and they are doing it against any logic!

          Reply
          • Tune Hunter
            Tune Hunter

            Dear Mr. R.P.
            Just give your car (better one if you have two) and donate it to your neighbor!
            He will give you 25% from advertising income generated by the poster on the door!

            This is your Spotify model. Go for it!

  2. GGG
    GGG

    Scaramanga Silk has 3 songs under his name on Spotify, none of which hit the threshhold to actually show streams. Scaramanga Silk facebook page has 18 likes. Nice try Scaramanga Silk.
    Not Spotify’s fault you suck and nobody wants to listen to your shit music. He should remix Yves tracks and when nobody in the world cares about them they can blame it on streaming cannibalizing sales while they hold each other and weep and think they’re geniuses.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      GGG… you don’t seem to think top 40 artists are entitled to earn an income from their music because it’s too popular, and you don’t seem to think Mr. Nobody is entitled to earn an income from his work because it ain’t popular enough.
      Care to share who’s qualified to make a living from music in your universe?
      You?

      Reply
      • GGG
        GGG

        Uh…when have I ever said anything remotely close to that? Making fun of some top 40 music content and saying it’s stupid and should go away is very different than me saying they can’t or shouldn’t earn money off of it. I even made you a huge list of popular songs that made hundreds of thousands of dollars off Spotify to show they DO earn money.
        Secondly, no, a Mr Nobody is not ENTITLED to earn an income because he has zero fans. There are far too many “musicians” who think the act of creating something entitles them money. Even if every single one of this guys streams was a $20 CD sale he’d still be able to afford only a slightly bigger lego house. Too many people are using streaming as a scapegoat to justify their lack of popularity. Everyone things their some fucking undiscovered genius.
        Anyone is qualified to make money if you actually have fans. Most people don’t and never will. I feel bad when Imagine Dragons can’t even get a million bucks for 100M streams, I don’t feel bad when DJ X or and X collects 12 cents from their mom repeating their song 100 times.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “Uh…when have I ever said anything remotely close to that?”
          I’m too lazy to find it but we know it’s there. 🙂
          “There are far too many “musicians” who think the act of creating something entitles them money.”
          Yes yes yes, I agree. It’s just, you know, you’re a bit hard to please, no?
          And I would really like to hear how medium and lesser known but dedicated and decent acts with decent sized crowds are supposed to make a living and finance their next productions from streaming.
          It just can’t be done.
          So it seems that the surviving acts in your futuristic scenario almost entirely will be those you criticise for selling out.

          Reply
          • GGG
            GGG

            I have made fun of top 40 music plenty under the principle that too much of it is terrible and should go away. That is a vastly different fundamental idea than saying so-and-so should literally not get paid when people buy their music.
            People just need to change their expectations of what a working musician means. And this is not me saying accept it because it will never change, it’s me saying it because it’s reality at least for the moment. You want to be rich? Go into finance. You want to play music for a living, don’t expect anything, and if you start to make it, don’t expect to have a mansion and drive a Ferarri. Be fucking ecstatic if you can make a decent living doing what you love, because the vast majority of human beings in the entire course of human history have not, are not, and will not.
            People also need to change their attitude towards music as a job. Treat it as a job, as in put in your hours and watch your budget and don’t think it’s all girls and drugs, and you’ll be amazed at what can happen. Don’t want to spend 6 figures making a record? Practice, practice, practice before you step foot in the studio. I’ve seen bands cut the vast majority of entire albums in a day or two. Again, not ideal, but necessary at the moment. And if you aren’t good enough to record live that much, well, that’s you’re own fault. Go back to the shed.
            And then it depends what your definition of medium and lesser known is. Grizzly Bear, for example, went on that media blitz about how they make no money being a famous rock band. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like they didn’t lose a substantial amount of money from piracy. However, I was at their MTV(?) sponsored Radio City show, and they didn’t even sell out. There were huge chunks of the top tier open, and they may not have even opened it up. That’s them playing their homebase, where every hipster blogger that called them everything but the second coming of Jesus lives, and they still couldn’t sell 6K tix. Which is a lot, yes, but based on those articles you’d think they could fill up MSG. The point is I think many acts overvalue themselves and justify shortcomings on things that only contribute somewhat because fucking EVERYONE is doing it.
            Another example, I go to a ton of shows at Bowery Ballroom, which holds like 500 people. I’ve seen some bands play there, or know they’ve played there, since the early 00s. If you can’t play to more than 500 people in NYC after years, there’s very high chances you woudn’t be remotely financially set if this was 1998 either. So if you’re a lesser band now, you’d be a lesser band then. It’s still about the same. Fans. Some people just aren’t lucky. That’s ALWAYS been the case in music though, it’s not a new thing.
            I know an artist that raised $85K when she asked for $25K I believe on KS. I know an artist that raised $40K when he asked for $25. How? They have fans that care. Don’t treat your fans like you are above them, and they’ll reward you in many ways, especially financially. Make it about the music. You don’t need laser lights to go on tour; cram in a van and drive. Crash at friends’ houses, stay in shit hotels, eat shit food. When you play bigger venues, get better guarantees. Make sure your tour rider is good enough to sustain some things. Being a musician has never been easy. So this idea that any shlub should be able to shit out a record and make $50K a year is just stupid to me. Are there things that hurt musicians nowadays? Of course. There’s probably about 100 more than help, as well.

          • Marmuro
            Marmuro

            “a Mr Nobody is not ENTITLED to earn an income because he has zero fans.”

            Who the hell are you to even judge about who’s up for and who’s not qualified to succeed in music? This is serious stuff you’re saying… That level of ignorance is a shame for the music industry… I do Digital Content Management for a big label, I’m a musician (one that makes a sweet living out of it) and also I teach at the SAE, so I live and breathe music, unlike you for sure… you have no respect not only for music, but for yourself.
            You have no idea how many ways to make money with music are out there, as much as you expose the absolute truth about streaming (you don’t actually), there are other Sadly, internet gives idiots so much power to speak up that it’s pathetic, you would know!

          • GGG
            GGG

            Uh…did you even read more than 5 words in this post?
            1) HUGE difference between qualified and entitled. You’re qualified if you have fans who give a shit about you. You’re not entitled to be a working musician simply because you make something. You need people who care about it. This is not a new concept, it’s the ONLY concept that’s ever existed in music. If you make a sweet living making music than you’re qualified to make music. However, if you had 18 fans and nobody bought your record and you made 4 cents off Spotify, the problem isn’t Spotify.
            2) Your entire second paragraph is just a trainwreck of stupidity. I’m one of the few people on here who actually bring up this crazy idea about non-album revenue streams and every time I do I get people yelled at for promoting tshirts or something. And what absolute truth was I exposing? Graduate high school, then try arguing with me again.

          • jw
            jw

            It’s great that you’re sticking up for the “little guy” & all, but I think GGG is addressing a real problem, even as belligerent as he tends to be.
            Like GGG suggested, if Spotify was paying out $20 per play this guy STILL wouldn’t be able to buy a house. That COMPLETELY undermines his point. In context, what he’s suggesting is that he deserves some income that he’s obviously not earning. His problem is not Spotify, it’s the lack of demand for his music.
            Maybe he gets paid loads to push play at clubs all over the place & maybe he’s developed a sense of entitlement, but the truth of the matter is that people aren’t interested in his songs, as much as they may enjoy the experience of his djing. That’s about all of the hypothetical empathy I can muster up for this guy.
            Haven’t you seen American Idol? People who suck think they’re amazing. People who can’t hold a tune literally think they’re the next Kelly Clarkson. And it’s unfortunate that they’re finding out that they suck on national television, & it’s pretty shameful of American Idol to broadcast it, but at some point they need a dose of reality, & to some degree they’re bringing it on themselves.
            Scarmanga Silk may be able to make money in music plenty of ways, not the least of which may be djing at clubs. But he shouldn’t be taken seriously when he’s complaining about Spotify’s payouts, satirically or not. It’s bullshit that he’s getting publicity for this stunt.

          • R.P.
            R.P.

            You gentlemen are cynical. First of all because you do not know how much his house even cost to comment, and, secondly, because you don’t know anything much than what he is stated, and you are sitting here debating about it, fueling the very bullshit publicity you are mad he is obtaining.
            nice.

          • jw
            jw

            It’s a lego house. Did you not click through to the photo?
            The letter itself is quite cynical.
            The bullshit publicity is done. Our comments aren’t fueling anything.

          • GGG
            GGG

            R.P.,
            It’s a lego house. Click the link.
            The problem is there’s too many people like this blaming their lack of success on some institutionalized problem as opposed to their, you know, lack of success. I saw this even before Spotify with indie artists and album sales. People acted like piracy was killing their chances of being an artist when they had like 70 Facebook fans and 30 of them were moms, dads and aunts. Everyone’s looking for an excuse instead of realizing they might just suck.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “People acted like piracy was killing their chances of being an artist when they had like 70 Facebook fans”
            Absolutely true!
            While pirates — like you, GGG 🙂 — used that fact to cover up another fact:
            Piracy cut down music sales by more than 50% from 1999-2012.
            Most countries and governments fortunately now agree that we have to stop mainstream piracy.
            But they could have reached that conclusion years before, had you guys not been so busy blaming your victims…

          • Adam
            Adam

            Well unfortunately it actually doesn’t matter that “Piracy cut down music sales by more than 50% from 1999-2012.”
            Why doesn’t it matter? Because the record labels brought this piracy on themsleves. Doesn’t anyone remember WHY napster started??? I think no. Well let me remind you all. Napster was started by a kid in college who was sick of the fact that he owned an MP3 player and had NO LEGAL WAY to fill it up with songs. He couldn’t buy MP3’s. Now let’s ask ourselves why? Was he broke? NO. Was he lazy? NO. Was he incapable of uploading songs from CD to his computer? NO. Oh yeah, it was because all the record labels wanted to pretend that digital would just GO AWAY, all the while, they never released a new format (nice half assed try on the mini discs guys) and they LET THE BUSINESS DIE. It was their call. Now who gives a crap where you lie morally? NOBODY. All that matters is that you cannot go back in time and undo this. Now we have to live with what we’ve got, and GGG pretty much sums it all up perfectly.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “the record labels brought this piracy on themsleves”
            Oh my, another dude blaming the victims.
            What is wrong with you guys…

          • jw
            jw

            Piracy cut down music sales by more than 50% from 1999-2012.
            There were 1.336b purchases of digital singles last year. If a la carte downloading were not possible & consumers had to buy entire albums (i.e. if it was 1999), do you think revenue would be higher or lower today? That is to say… for every consumer who buys a single track instead of a full album, do you think new interest in singles has increased 10 fold?
            Given that you seem to have everything figured out, I would love to know your model for grouping downloads into the following categories…
            1) Would have bought the album, legally downloaded the album
            2) Would have bought the album, illegally downloaded the album or single of interest instead
            3) Would have bought the album, downloaded just the single of interest legally instead
            4) Would not have bought the album, downloaded the album or single of interest illegally
            5) Would not have bought the album, downloaded just the single of interest legally
            6) Downloaded the album or single of interest illegally as a preview, subsequently downloaded the album legally
            7) Downloaded the album or single of interest illegally as a preview, subsequently downloaded the single of interest legally
            8) Downloaded the album or single of interest illegally as a preview, did not subsequently download either legally
            Thanks in advance for your insight on this complicated matter.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Oh give me a fucking break. The music industry could have easily solved this problem years ago if they weren’t content feeling bad for themselves and suing people for stupid amounts of money. They didn’t even try. It shouldn’t have been up to gov’ts, it should have been up to the powers that be in music realizing this was a revolt against fundamental problems people, consumers, were having. Could have attempted legalized p2p, could have built an iTunes store before iTunes, could have attempted streaming years ago, etc. They did none of this. They sat are their collective ass and bitched.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “The music industry could have [blah, blah, blah]”
            And there you go, blaming the victims over and over again…

          • Adam
            Adam

            “And there you go, blaming the victims over and over again…”

            So, visitor, you are saying the victims are the record labels? Who exactly are these “victims?” Maybe artists are victims, but they have many options. Record labels are not victims. They are instead in a hole they dug for themselves, willingly, slowly, and while being paid well for it. Successful bands with great music rise to the top… this argument is not about “taking sides” its about the structure of the entire industry. Nobody has it all figured out but for sure nobody is helping themselves and everybody is expcting somebody to work it out for them, or for things to work themselves out… GGG is pointing out realities and so was I. I’m not placing blame on anyone other than reality, technology, and record labels who ignored their chance to deal with this before the public even saw any of it. They chose to fight it then, and here we are now…

          • GGG
            GGG

            And there you go, being one of these worthless people that would rather feel bad for themselves than try to solve a problem.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            GGG, you just don’t make any sense…
            Why do you keep talking about what the music industry could’ve done when we’re talking about piracy?
            Perhaps we should get one thing straight:
            The music industry is not in any way responsible for any crimes committed against it.
            Blaming the music industry for piracy is like Dubai blaming this Norwegian woman for adultery because she had been raped — don’t know if you saw that story in the news…

          • GGG
            GGG

            It’s not about who started it at this point, it’s about trying to solve the problem. Which is JUST starting now sort of, 15 fucking years later. If you don’t think that’s ridiculous I dunno what to tell you. The music industry hasn’t done shit for themselves, every innovation is from outside.
            They tried the litigious route and what, sued like 5 people for a collective 2 million dollars? ohhh, that’ll show those pirates!! By 1999-2000, the RIAA should have had a team of highly paid computer whizzes/hackers figuring out how and why piracy worked. How to fight it or how to effectively work against it. They would have understood piracy, which is step 1 in fighting everything. You don’t just infect a rat and throw a bunch of random shit at it to find a cure for disease. You understand how the disease works first.
            iTunes should not have been invented outside the industry. That’s the biggest embarassment. They had half a decade to figure that out themselves and failed. I’m not blaming the music industry for the crime, I’m blaming them for having literally 0 foresight.

          • GGG
            GGG

            It’s not about who started it at this point, it’s about trying to solve the problem. Which is JUST starting now sort of, 15 fucking years later. If you don’t think that’s ridiculous I dunno what to tell you. The music industry hasn’t done shit for themselves, every innovation is from outside.
            They tried the litigious route and what, sued like 5 people for a collective 2 million dollars? ohhh, that’ll show those pirates!! By 1999-2000, the RIAA should have had a team of highly paid computer whizzes/hackers figuring out how and why piracy worked. How to fight it or how to effectively work against it. They would have understood piracy, which is step 1 in fighting everything. You don’t just infect a rat and throw a bunch of random shit at it to find a cure for disease. You understand how the disease works first.
            iTunes should not have been invented outside the industry. That’s the biggest embarassment. They had half a decade to figure that out themselves and failed. I’m not blaming the music industry for the crime, I’m blaming them for having literally 0 foresight.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            There’s this chubby guy who loves cheeseburgers and also happens to be skilled in front of a grill… he decides to open a cheeseburger stand, because he feels entitled to do so… are you suggesting that we should turn to him and say: “what the hell are you thinking about… aren’t there enough guys in this business already?” “what makes you think you’ll put Burger King out of business?”
            Same principle… music is so magical because every single human being has an inherent right connected to its spirit to create and enjoy music at will… so if a guy pretends to be a rockstar and digital media allow him to do so by paying and exposing, or by entering a business flow that makes money for other parties, then so be it.
            The Lego house owner is as entitled to create music and to publish it as he wants as much as any of us has a right to write a post in this website.

    • Visitor
      Visitor

      Why on earth does DMN gives this DJ exposure. Better screen such stories Paul.
      It’s funny maybe but that’s about it. Move on people, nothing to read here….

      Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      I am not supportive of anyone remixing/sampling/covering my music. It significantly tends to dilute the original. I need to continue earning a living from my originals.
      Maybe you can manage his career, seeing as you think are a genius artist manager, even though you have no proven clients.

      Reply
      • GGG
        GGG

        Hahaha, I’m 100% positive you will NEVER have to worry about anyone remixing/sampling/covering your music….don’t worry.
        Doesn’t count as earning a living when you gross $500 over years and years and live with your patents…
        Why would I want to manage some hack? If that was my MO I’d have been courting you for months now.

        Reply
        • Yves Villeneuve
          Yves Villeneuve

          You must really think you’re clever. Anyways, I can smell envy hundreds of miles away. You don’t spend most of your time trashing other artists because your “happily apathetic”, your words not mine.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Not to worry, GGG trashes Dr. Luke as well so you’re in incredibly good company!

          • GGG
            GGG

            I actually said Dr Luke was a legitimately awesome musician that whores himself. Depends on which angle you want to look for.
            Oh, you focused on the negative thing I said and ignored everything else? What a surprise.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Oh, you focused on the negative thing I said and ignored everything else?”
            Yes, I react like that when people I respect are harassed.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Saying one thing about someone is harrassment? The entire internet should be arrested then…

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “I look to the future and look for ways to evolve as the industry/culture evolves”
            I’m with you all the way on this.
            It just puzzles me why our angles are so different. I assume we have access to the same information and are capable of processing it.
            So how come I think Spotify will die within 5-7 years while you think it’s the future?
            This is usually where an unexpected third element appears…

          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            He also likes to trash Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber because they have lots of fans. He trashed Dr Luke because he has more fans of the music he hates than the music he loves from this artist/producer. I’m not surprised or worried. His musical critiques matter very little in the larger, real world. This guy is a true loser with a “I am winning” mentality.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Uh…please point out one instance of my trashing those people because they have a lot of fans. I trash them because their music is preventing millions and millions of people from understanding what legitimate musical talent is, as opposed to being a personality created by committee thinking.
            Also, I’ve been pretty self-effacing on here when people ask me what I do or what my level of success is, so not sure I’ve exhibited any “I am winning” mentality besides I can live while working in music. I’ve never said I was particularly successful besides not starving, never said I represented any artists that are particularly “big”, and have never acted like I’m some “genius manager” as you put it before.
            I get by and instead of wishing for a fantastic past that might never come back, I look to the future and look for ways to evolve as the industry/culture evolves. I don’t think that’s genius at all, I think it’s not being a moron.
            But you’re right, my critiques don’t matter, so why do you keep getting so bent out of shape about them?

          • GGG
            GGG

            Probably because you want it to die. And as much as I give you shit, I don’t necessarily blame you, since as a songwriter it is significantly shittier for you than for a band or artist that writes and performs. But unfortunately shit like that happens and you eventually have to diversify. I don’t think I know one songwriter who isn’t also a producer, for example. So they all have various levels of income coming in regardless of royalties.
            I suppose the fundamental reason, though, is I’m more cynical than you about people going back to a pure buy this and it’s mine mentality. On one hand it absolutely sucks that entertainment industries have to bow to consumer entitlement, but it is what it is. Industries and methods of doing things evolve and get fucked over all the time. And I just think we’ve been trying to find a cure for too long now. Streaming is the best possible option that’s come out since Napster. And yes, it can certainly be improved.

          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            It’s nice to see you finally admitting your musical critiques rarely matter. Maybe that’s why I appeared to bent out of shape. Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber are deserving of their musical reputation, according to their tens of millions fans. That’s all that matters and you should stop getting bent out of shape over it. Anything you say will not convert them into haters. You are smaller than an atom.
            I won’t bother with rest of your weasel spins. I am ending this conversation.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Probably because you want it to die.”
            You think I’m making major career choices, such as saying no to streaming, based on hopes and dreams?
            I look at the players — consumers, rightholders, download stores, streaming services, politicians, piracy sites and pirates — and try to analyze how they’re going to interact throughout this decade.
            And the ‘streaming is the future’ idea is built entirely on the assumption that mainstream piracy will survive.
            An assumption I think is wrong. Not because I want it to be wrong but because all facts point in that direction.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Never said they did matter. I’m allowed to have all the opinions I want. And my opinion is that they are all mediocre at best people who hurt our culture by teaching kids all the superficiality is more important than the music for being a musician. And my opinion is based on the fact that you willingly put out that shit music and think you have real talent makes gives my opinion infinitely more weight than anything you say. Just like any sane person would trust Alvin Ailey’s opinion of dance over mine since I know next to nothing about dance.
            And finally, you can just stop bringing up the spin word. I know that “you’re spinning” really means “I have no argument because I’m too dumb and/or wrong.” So you can just leave that out for the time being.

          • GGG
            GGG

            The post above this was responding to Yves, Visitor, this is to you.
            Simply put, yes, you are operating on hopes and dreams. As I showed you in a very quick search, plenty of songs are close to or hitting your streaming threshhold of goodness with a fraction of the users YouTube has. All Spotify needs to do is open up in more countries and those numbers will go through the roof. If piracy slows down it’s not going to be because everyone suddenly decided to be nice. It’s because there will be a cheap, legal alternative. Streaming is that alternative. Your idea that streaming is a result of piracy is correct, but it is also the cure. We needed it because we needed the legal alternative. However, get rid of piracy and streaming and you assumption album sales will shoot back up is complete conjecture.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “If piracy slows down it’s not going to be because everyone suddenly decided to be nice.”
            No, mainstream piracy will die because illegal sites are blocked, banned and choked to death, while new laws and enforcement prevent ordinary people from copying music illegally — just like similar laws and enforcement prevent ordinary people from copying money.
            “However, get rid of piracy and streaming and you assumption album sales will shoot back up is complete conjecture.”
            Wrong.
            History proves that people will pay anything for great new music!
            You could easily charge $10K or $100K or $1M for a song in a post piracy/streaming environment.
            Not that such a level would be desireable. Very few consumers have that amount of cash and most artists prefer a larger audience over a few millionaires.
            But it has worked before and it could work again.
            I think you are too caught up in the present climate to understand how valuable music is to people.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Back to hopes and dreams. You really don’t think the fact that CDs were $15, 18, $20 bucks a pop had anything to do with the invention/popularity of Napster? If people didn’t care, why’d they do it?
            And yes, people will pay for music, like they are now! I have still not yet seen any indication that sales are down post Spotify any more or less than they’ve been down for the past decade. Even you always bring up that sales are up for the first time in however many years. And I’ve brought up numerous stats about singles selling more or the same on avg as pre-Spotify.
            You do this selective reasoning for streaming vs downloading that doesn’t make any sense. That’s why we butt heads so much. Something positive happens and oh it must be despite streaming or streaming is losing, something negative happens that’s been happening for a decade, oh, it must be streaming! (but not youtube of course!)

          • GGG
            GGG

            It won’t matter without numbers to back it up. Like I said in the Thom Yorke article, Eraser is a PERFECT record to use a measurement. He should release his sales figures in a couple months for the last couple years so we can compare pre-Spotify, Spotify and post-Spotify. If there’s no change, your and his argument is completely shut down. If there is, mine is.
            Until then, we’re both just making our presumptions.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Yes GGG, and you have every right to hope that your Spotify dreams will come true.
            But you keep ignoring two indisputable facts:
            1) Spotify will die without artists!
            2) Artists leave Spotify!
            Pulling out is not only the hottest & coolest thing you can do right now, it’s also an easy way to make headlines.
            A good example is BBC today. Miranda Sawyer writes the column Key Changes on BBC’s web site in which she “examines the changing face of pop music and the industry behind it”.
            And BBC’s headline for her story shows where the wind is blowing:
            Why are artists removing their music from Spotify?
            http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130724-thom-yorke-v-spotify-the-fact
            For each new headline the trend gains momentum, and the terrible fact for the streamers is that they can’t do a thing about it, except what they do already: Attack the artists.
            And what do you think that’ll get them?

          • GGG
            GGG

            My response to this is right above, responded to the wrong thing.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            I give up. 🙂
            Not your fault, I reply all over the place to avoid the ‘skinnies’, too…
            Paul, didn’t you once mention a possible solution to these comment issues?

    • tune Hunter
      tune Hunter

      With your data I must apologize for my previous comments.
      My sincere appology!
      Silk guy must be from some goat pasture in Kashmir and he just got his $49 cents house. 10 cents from Spotify for downpayment and 10 year terms for the balance.

      Reply
    • PiratesWinLOL
      PiratesWinLOL

      I agree. Considering his efforts and popularity, he shouldn’t complain about the house he can currently afford. It seems fair enough.
      “He should remix Yves tracks and when nobody in the world cares about them they can blame it on streaming cannibalizing sales while they hold each other and weep and think they’re geniuses.”
      Yeah, they could then continue to troll on the internet together, claiming that the world owe them a real house because they are two very special snowflakes. Alternatively, they could try to get a real job, which they might be more qualified at.

      Reply
    • R.P.
      R.P.

      GGG, you normally say smart shit, but looking at someone’s Facebook likes is a silly metric to even bring up, specifically if he isn’t monetizing from his music on the American market, which most likely, he isn’t.
      Every single person has different taste, for every Justin Bieber song we hate, there are 10 people that love it, so your opinion on his music is simply subjective.
      The Yves remix idea is genius tho.. LMAO

      Reply
      • GGG
        GGG

        I agree it can be very arbitrary, but if he was remotely popular he’d have one. I just googled him, nothing shows anyone cares. He has one SoundCloud remix that broke 600 plays, which is decent, but still nothing to write home about. The rest have like 100 plays.
        He’s a nobody. Thom Yorke matters; random failed DJ X does not.

        Reply
  3. GGG
    GGG

    Not too clever, you’re just too easy. You’re a living, breathing punchline the likes of which I’ve never seen.

    Reply
  4. Baz
    Baz

    GGG and the haters have given up already folks and are missing the point by a country mile as per.
    They can’t even give props for someone digging in and trying, their slapdash amateur crit after hearing a single note of a track then voicing it to their 35 followers on Twitter rather than getting off their arse and doing the dishes or something leaves the amateur therapist in me wishing they’d pop over for a two word diagnoisis SAVE IT –
    Your real time review of the Daft Punk album and your wish to be the first to slate it to provoke some attention…
    THIS is the true enemy of the musician.
    Good on this Silk character for making a very good point with a bit of originality to boot.

    Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      Excellent comment. Persistent vocal haters are insecure and envious of other people’s brilliance seen in everyone else’s hearts and minds.

      Reply
    • Adam
      Adam

      Actually GGG clearly hasn’t given up, and I certainly wouldn’t put him or her in a “hater” column just because GGG is one of the few people on this site firmly routed in reality and who doesn’t just say things that aren’t true. If you guys all took some of those points to heart, you might make more money and be less angry.

      The reality is expectations are way out of place for what musicians think they’ll get both in terms of money and fame, the size of the “pie” of business is too small and the slices keep getting cut in half, so to speak. There is no barrier to entry anymore, and anyone can make a half-assed album and release it online. Any of you out there have real stereo equipment? Because for me, most of this modern music production is such garbage I actually HAVE to listen to it on MP3 or be forced to hear how insignificant it is in the face of people like Michael Jackson, Bill Nelson, The Cure, tons more… So even if the production quality is just a small indicator, its obvious to us how the overall quality of music has declined immensely. How can anyone expect to have a good business model if they can’t even produce a quality sounding album anymore? This problem goes way deeper than distribution, you have to be kidding if you think that streaming is “the future” but you also have to figure out how to stream and be relevant in today’s world. Not easy. But people like GGG are discussing things in a very honest and real way that you all should be more thankful for. This is the kind of reality that musicians need business people for… they may not agree but they have to if they want to move on instead of just moan and complain. Personally I hate nothing more than the idea of “poor me, the musician getting taken advantage of, the world sucks and I’m great…” Guess what? You’re right about one thing… the world sucks! Giving up and accepting reality are VERY different.

      Reply
  5. GGG
    GGG

    I’ve given up? Because I’m open to working with/understanding future methods of making money and reaching fans instead of sitting on my ass yelling at people to buy music? People like you are the problem, not me.
    This letter from an “artist” who is by all accounts so insubstantial as to be even more apt satire than his actual letter, is akin to me being mad at the NBA for not drafting me since I play pickup basketball sometimes.
    Also, is the Daft Punk thing referring to me? Because I never reviewed Daft Punk…

    Reply
  6. David
    David

    Um, has everyone actually clicked on the photo of his ‘first house’?
    It’s a Lego house presumably costing a dollar or two.
    So this looks like an exquisite piece of satire against streaming royalties.

    Reply
    • Tune Hunter
      Tune Hunter

      At some point I did. We need thos funny kindergarden stories.
      Labels are big kindergarden – at this level we might get lucky and get attention! …and we will not see Spotifys of Vevos in the future – we do not need them.

      Reply
  7. DUDE
    DUDE

    I got a chuckle but son’s got ONE not-that-good single — two tracks — up on Spotify. In a genre that has never enjoyed huge record sales at any point in its history and certainly isnt the hot sound now, no less.
    I dunno what he was expecting, but it certainly shouldnt surprise anyone here that hes not making anything in royalties… might wanna do a quick check for context before you run these stories dude cause I highly doubt this guy would be buying a house with his royalties even if every single stream was a physical 12″ sale

    Reply
    • Artist
      Artist

      Butbut.. I followed some 12-year’s YouTube video on how to mix together loops on GarageBand. That means I’m a professional musician and artist that inherently deserves rockstar pay.

      Reply
  8. GGG
    GGG

    GGG basically said everything that needs to be said. Reality rules the business world. Imagination rules the artist’s world. These are hard things to understand at the same time, and why most people aren’t making money in the business. People should be listening to others who agree with GGG and should be acting based on those stated realities. I’ve always posted almost the same exact kinds of statements. This is a comment page – lots of people are getting very butthurt at very honest and good information instead of listening to it, slightly comical to say the least.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Reality rules the business world. Imagination rules the artist’s world.”
      Um yes, and here’s a reality check for you:
      Artists can kill Spotify any day.

      Reply
      • Adam
        Adam

        “Reality rules the business world. Imagination rules the artist’s world.”
        Um yes, and here’s a reality check for you:
        Artists can kill Spotify any day.”

        I dare them to do it. But dream on. You are more an artist, I can tell from your reply 🙂

        Reply
  9. Steve
    Steve

    It had me I have to admit…lol..He had me. It is sad though that artist continue to complain about Spotify. I tried it and I don’t like it as a consumer. I have friends who support it but that is their choice. Me I’m for the artist not the company. Exposure is important though, I think if you are an artist you have to be everywhere your fans are so, to expect any real money from Spotify is like looking for a money tree. It’s more about exposure and marketing then making money on that particular platform.

    Reply

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