Someone just told me to check out a band. I’m going to withhold their name because this isn’t meant to shame them – as there are many more just like them. Their music is fantastic (and have celebrity support). They have less than 2,000 Facebook Likes and only 3 reviews and 14 ratings on iTunes. A relatively new band. They’re a buzz band of NYC right now and just landed a major tour supporting a huge artist.
So, naturally, I went to Spotify to check them out. They had two songs there. Both excellent. I figured these were the first singles for their upcoming album. I listened to the songs and then visited their website. It listed they had a new album available – that was released 4 months ago! If they were utilizing the windowing method, this was one Sistine chapel sized window!
I liked the music. But I check out new bands every day and the ones I really like I add them to a Spotify playlist and listen many more times. I’m not going to pony up $10 for 15 new bands’ albums every month.
Spotify is not just a promotional tool.
Everyone will understand this eventually. It is the new way to consume full albums and songs.
Artists using Spotify as a promotional tool are missing out on attracting the die hard fans. The fans that don’t use iTunes anymore, but will buy your vinyl and t-shirt at your concert. The fans that will support your PledgeMusic campaign. The fans that will share your YouTube video to their Facebook page. The fans that will ‘name their price’ on BandCamp and pay you double the ‘normal’ price (this band is also not on BandCamp).
Let’s not forget that Lorde rose to prominence because “Royals” was included on Sean Parker’s Hipster International playlist on Spotify.
Forcing fans to use one platform to consume music is arrogant and destructive.
Pulling music from Spotify and forcing people to download removes choice. It encourages piracy or worse, apathy. Spotify, like iTunes when it first launched, gives people a quick and easy way to legally consume music (and get artists paid).
Stop bitching about low ‘per-stream’ rates. They will increase the more users sign up. Remember, the music industry is not a one-for-one model. Never was. Never will be.
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based DIY Musician and the creator of Ari’s Take. His record release show is Saturday, March 29th at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Get tickets here. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake
Photo adapted from Rambojun Iphoneography with the Creative Commons Use license.