Fans Aren’t Going To Pay For Music Anymore. And That’s Ok.

fans-arent-paying_main
 

It’s almost a rite of passage every artist goes through in the modern music industry. The moment he accepts that he will not be able to rely on music sales to sustain his career. That people are not buying music like they used to. And never will again.

Just a few years ago it seemed like every artist was passing around articles chastising fans for illegally downloading music. How it hurts the bands. The producers. The session musicians. The labels (well no fan cares about them). The songwriters. And the industry as a whole. We all remember the “illegally downloading music is the same as stealing a microwave from a store” argument. We all bought it. Well, musicians and the industry that is. Fans? Not so much.

The RIAA sued over 35,000 fans for illegally downloading music back in the mid 2000s. We heard of 12 year olds being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Grandmas whose grandsons downloaded music on their computers were taken to court and forced to go bankrupt. A grandfather actually died while in litigation and the RIAA told his family they had 60 days to grieve and then they better pay up!

Really great way to win over music’s biggest fans. Sue them. That’ll teach em!

But it didn’t. Sales never went back up. And now it’s reported that iTunes song downloads will drop 39% in five years.

Streaming revenue isn’t making up for the loss in sales for musicians.

The jury is still out if it will in the long run. But, unfortunately, unlike sales, streaming revenue requires massive numbers to see significant income.

Previously, if an artist had 10,000 fans, she could rely on $70,000 ($10 album less iTunes 30% cut) in sales when a new album was released. However now, even if each fan listens to her (10 song) album on Spotify 10 times in the first few months (1,000,000 plays – impressive!), that would only earn her about $5,000 (and much much less if those plays were on YouTube). Even if she has 50,000 other fans who listen to the album only twice, that’s just an additional $5,000.

No matter how you slice it, a small to mid level artist is not going to get by with streaming income the way the numbers work out currently. If we were talking about 5 cents a play versus a half a penny, then maybe.

I’ve been a strong supporter of streaming since its inception. I love that it rewards artist for creating great music that fans want to play over and over. There’s much more potential for the long tail. The more someone likes your album, the more she will play it. And you will get paid for every play. Over time, sure, this could earn the artist much MORE money than sales.

+Why Withholding Your Music From Spotify Only Hurts You

Only the artists getting millions of plays are seeing significant, livable income solely from streaming. And most of them are with labels who take the majority (to all) of that income.

+How To Steal An Artist’s Streaming Money In 3 Easy Steps

So what are the solutions?

You could scream about streaming and piracy until you’re red in the face while fans and technology ignore the noise and move forward (this seems like a legitimate solution for quite a few). OR artists could look to diversify their income stream.

Companies are popping up every day that help artists make more money than ever before.

If 1,000 “true fans” previously spent $100 a year on an artist through CD/download sales, concert tickets and t-shirts and earned the artist $100,000 a year, what if, with new models, artists could get their “die hard” fans to spend $500 a year on them? What if it was a sliding scale? 200 fans at $500, 300 fans at $250, 500 fans at $100? Instead of artists earning about $100,000 a year on 1,000 fans, they could earn $225,000.

It may not be that fans didn’t want to spend more than $100 a year on their favorite artist, it’s just that they didn’t have any attractive options to do so.

Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, Indiegogo and Patreon have allowed artists to offer high priced rewards/exclusives to die hard fans. Patreon’s model allows artists to monetize these fans on an ongoing basis. BandPage offers experiences enabling artists to monetize their most die hard fans in creative ways while on tour. BandCamp and Loudr allow fans to ‘name your price’ for lossless (or mp3) downloads. Fanswell allows artists to easily setup house concert tours to make the most money from a small, but dedicated fanbase.

Licensing companies are helping independent artists get high paying syncs on TV and in film and independent admin publishing companies like SongTrust, CD Baby and TuneCore are collecting royalties previously only available to those with publishing deals.

+CD Baby Pro vs. TuneCore Publishing (The Full Report) (Ari’s Take)

YouTube is now offering a tip feature on channel pages and Spotify has integrated merch to artist profiles (without taking a cut).

We have to start embracing alternative monetization opportunities and accept that the traditional way that fans support artists is over.

We need a new mindset. It’s a new era. People ARE valuing artists – but in the way that makes sense to them (not you). What’s wrong with a 23 year old who loves a band paying $250 for a PledgeMusic exclusive, $5 per video released on Patreon, an $18 ticket for their concert, a $25 t-shirt and a backstage “experience” for $50, but never download an album or buy a CD? What’s wrong with that?

The album gets the fan in the door. Gets her hooked. The album is only the introduction. No longer the end game. The album is the gateway. And the album is found on Spotify, YouTube or ThePirateBay with a couple clicks.

And major label artists never made much from album sales anyways.

They always had to rely on alternative sources of income (like touring and merch) to offset what their labels didn’t pay them in royalties. Lyle Lovett admitted that after selling over 4.6 million records he has received $0 in record royalties from his label. But he’s had a very successful career. Why are people silent when record companies (legally) steal from artists, but raise hell when fans do it?

“I’ve never made a dime from a record sale in the history of my record deal. I’ve been very happy with my sales, and certainly my audience has been very supportive. I make a living going out and playing shows.” – Lyle Lovett

So, your options. You can either bitch about the “decline of the music industry”, exclaim that fans aren’t true fans if they don’t pay for recorded music, OR you can get creative, embrace the new technologies that build on the artist-fan relationship, and lead the pack in this beautiful new world full of alternative revenue sources. Your choice.

 

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician and the creator of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

About The Author

Ari Herstand
Writer, Musician, Whiskey Drinker

Ari Herstand has been a DIY musician for over 10 years, has performed over 600 shows around the world and released 4 studio albums and 2 live albums. He has had songs featured on multiple TV shows, commercials and films and has shared the stage with Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Eric Hutchinson, Milk Carton Kids and Ron Pope. He created the music business advice blog, Ari’s Take in the Spring of 2012 to help DIY musicians navigate the independent world of music. Herstand was born and raised in the Midwest and got his start in the Minneapolis music scene. He rose to prominence locally and consistently sold out the 800 capacity Varsity Theater. He became the go-to musician in the scene for music business advice before he moved to Los Angeles in the Summer of 2010. Currently residing in West Hollywood, Herstand still spends a good portion of his time on the road touring. When at home he splits his time writing music, writing articles, writing his book (out November 2016 with Norton Publishing), playing shows at the Hotel Cafe and acting in TV shows (see him in his co-star appearances on Mad Men, 2 Broke Girls, The Fosters, Sam & Cat, Touch and others).

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279 Responses

  1. TuneHunter

    Again and again we have all resources and misused assets to have $100B music industry by 2020.

    We just have to monetize at discovery moment! We can convert Radio and steamers to simple digital music stores providing the best, DJ driven discovery to all brilliant and struggling musicians.

    All we need is NEW FAIR USE ACT or rehabilitation of Google from final stage of adholism!
    Google can solo execute changeover and become $50B hub of new music industry.
    Otherwise we need united lobby effort to put music inside of the walls and finish tech occupation of the business!

    Reply
        • i amnotanonymous...

          old school prehistoric thinking then as far as i can tell…

          always fighting things yet they never actually step up and fight for anything!

          they just little babies sitting in their cribs screaming away and rattling the rails hoping Mommy comes around and pulls her teet out for a little nibble.

          Hey Mommy, don’t forget to change their diapers, they starting to smell real ripe…

          Reply
          • Darlene

            Pretty soon making music and giving it away to people who only want to stream will be as ‘old school’ as getting paid for making music

          • Sakh Mi

            If You Say K, Call them Millenial…thanks for your paycheck, I’m not paying you back.

        • TuneHunter

          You are correct. If you take a closer look at music ID services and fact that we are dealing with virtual and non-material property they are two stages beyond common theft. This’s (business??) model not know until now to mankind! They are beyond common and financially logical prostitution!

          So, as an example. You walking with your girlfriend in the park, passer-by falls in love with your girl, WOW!
          He pools the cellphone shoots a photo and in five seconds he gets her address, phone number and a voucher for all inclusive free of charge use without time limitation! DO YOU LIKE IT? Is it logical?

          In music business is a way of doing business!!! (giving away the goods!) Music ID service is no more than working free, 24/7 PIMP, I repeat P I M P delivering for free the girls you like (read music). In real life both the pimp and girl make money and you are not becoming a slave master and the owner.

          Music is enslaved by society of freeloaders! The only reason this nonsense is self sustaining is the fact that we can have unlimited number of digital copies of the beautiful girl! Crazy! Isn’t it?

          Reply
          • TuneHunter

            I think Larry David in your picture would perfectly understand my point of view!
            Paul, please find virtual sledge hummer that we can use for wakeup call at RIAA and UMG – the biggest contributors to lost music industry!

          • Anonymous

            its actually not a copy and its actually not unlimited…

            it’s a great propaganda play and largely why people like Ari suggest and promote to give up. Of course he may be in bed with people who would benefit from spreading that misinformation or by getting people to follow his advice.

            Gotta be real careful out there…

          • GGG

            How are digital files not unlimited? Without bringing up the destruction of all machinery on earth.

          • Anonymous

            because, its just like a mona lisa replicate coming off the manufacturing line.

            They are only what appears to be a direct copy based on the the technologies ability to interpret the file.

            Each one has different 1’s and 0’s and each ‘copy’ IS stored in another location on the computer, or server.

            Each transmission of the file whether copy or not, moves information down a wire or through the air, its storage, its space, its information.

            Everyone thinks its just an unlimited eternal supply of exact duplicates.

            Anyways i just couldnt care any less any more. There are big high level power players and massive money men far too invested in all of this so it doesnt matter what i think say or do, they will win and get what they want and i will be left out in the cold to starve to death, so i just dont give a fuck about anything anymore…

          • GGG

            I purposely left out the obviously leading word “copy” because I knew you’d be one of these people citing worthless details as reasons. So you still haven’t answered my question; how are digital files not unlimited?

          • Observer

            Of course they are copies.

            Google the phrase: “distinction without a difference”

    • Kent

      He’s right, a new Fair Use Act is needed, otherwise distributors make all the money and not the artists.

      Reply
      • TommyTruck

        Hey Kent . . . .
        The Beatles only made 2 cents / divided by 4 / multiplied by 75% per record. BUT at least they made something.

        Reply
    • Anon

      It is the same cynism these ppl keep on putting out.
      Give up, forget about it, let them steal it.
      Well if one of my workers in a tech company said that, they would be next on the list
      To be fired.
      It is the empty vision of the lazy and unimaginative.
      Now I know you guys are better that because this is an online news paper.

      Reply
    • paul majors

      You are misinformed with regards to the music licensing aspect of your argument. “Sync fees” are never high for indie artists (plus you are using the term incorrectly). They generally come in at $1k all-in (Master and Syncronization). That’s peanits compared to they’ll spend for an AC/DC song ($500k).

      Reply
    • hippydog

      How to fix the music biz

      1.) Stop asking the venues to pay when music plays. Start asking the people who are playing the music in public to pay.. Small distinction I know.. but important.

      2.) Expand the powers of the PROS (Performance Rights Organization), & the Collectives.. Basically, for anything broadcast (Venue, TV, Radio, Streaming, Websites, podcasts, yada yada).. ANYTHING.. It goes thru the PRO’s … The PRO’s then pay the artist/label..

      3.) How do they track who should get paid? ANYONE who wants a license (one off licence for a specific song, or a blanket yearly licence, it doesn’t matter)… Must provide a list of what was played and for how many people, and then pay on the agreed amount (depending on the circumstances)

      Reply
      • TuneHunter

        This is why every tune before public play at Nordstrom or AppleBees or single stream to Pandora (public all over office space) or Spotify should have custom license plate with encoding of precise payouts.

        YouTube could become the coding house delivering tunes to Radio DJs, Starbucks or Spotify then making precise monthly payouts to all participants.
        At ounce Radio and streaming or any place playing music becomes profitable music store.
        All we need is to reduce content on Radio and streaming displays and force Shazams and lyric ID guys to sell only mode.

        THE ONLY LOSER: freeloading deadbeat! ( I know, painful, applies to many)

        Reply
      • Can't Stand Idiots

        >Stop asking the venues to pay when music plays. Start asking the people who are playing the music in public to pay.. Small distinction I know.. but important.<

        The US Supreme Court disagreed with you 97 years ago. If business don't want to pay for music, it's really simple: Don't pay for it. It is the business, club, concert promoter etc. who ultimately benefits – and that is the reason they must pay.

        "Herbert v Shanley" was over a player piano, by the way. No live musicians were involved.

        Reply
        • TuneHunter

          I like you! Can’t stand ignorance at RIAA, labels or nerdy Shazam, Google, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Apple etc. and ETC.

          Old dogs or new nerds, all are blinded by science.

          Internet is made for MUSIC!

          AND it is not to complicated to extract some cash from fellow who likes piece of MUSIC and wants to hear it again at any time in the future!

          Actually it’s very simple. Let’s UNITE and start Discovery Moment Monetization!

          Reply
        • sitewontletmelogin

          Quote “The US Supreme Court disagreed with you 97 years ago.
          and the copyright law has ceased to change at all? I hope that wasnt your point?

          Quote ” If business don’t want to pay for music, it’s really simple: Don’t pay for it. It is the business, club, concert promoter etc. who ultimately benefits – and that is the reason they must pay.”
          The exact same thing could be said for the business or person wanting to broadcast music..
          The REASON they went with the venue is it was easier to track down an address then a broadcaster..
          back then there was only 2 places you could broadcast from.. things are tad different now..

          The law NEEDS to be simplified..

          Quote”Herbert v Shanley” was over a player piano, by the way. No live musicians were involved.”

          interesting, thank you for that..

          Reply
        • sitewontletmelogin

          “Herbert v Shanley”..

          hmmm. just read the crib notes..

          I dont believe it DOES disagree with what I posted..
          if anything it reaffirms it..

          that case was more about charging for admission then anything else..Which then led to what we have now.. Where ANY benefit means that the copyright holder should be paid..
          ” infringes the exclusive right of the owner of the copyright to perform the work publicly “

          Reply
  2. Dave

    I bet Lyle made very large advance sums from his label, however… so large that those advances weren’t recouped via royalties..

    Reply
  3. jw

    What’s interesting, I think, is that, while you’re right that streaming might not currently be very lucrative to the individual artist compared to past models, if Spotify is to be believed, the average Spotify user is worth $41/yr (recorded music revenue) vs $25/yr for everyone else. Only that $41 is spread over many more artists. The average music fan might buy 2 cds per year, which means $12.50 per artist. But the Spotify streamer might listen to dozens of releases over a given year, which means dividing $41 into as little as $1.50 per artist. At scale, those $1.50s add up. But in the meantime, it means it’s easier to get heard, but consequently more difficult to rise above other artists.

    So the reality is not streaming devaluing music, it’s actually creating more revenue & spreading it to more artists. What artists miss are the days of spending concentration, which is to say, “I want all of your monthly music spending to come to me.” So what we’re looking at isn’t a tech industry taking advantage of the artist community, it’s a tech industry democratizing the landscape for the consumer.

    In this environment, the optimistic artist who finds ways to monetize exposure is going to come out on top. It’s easier than it’s ever been to create additional revenue streams besides the sale of recorded music.

    The reality is that, even when streaming breaks into the mainstream, as recorded music revenue returns, it’s going to return disproportionately to the most popular artists. And while payouts to niche artists will certainly increase (both the rate & # of streams), they won’t increase relative to the new number of artists getting exposure through streaming services. And so those niche artists will likely always need to rely on these additional revenue streams. There’s just more artists in the game these days, & total recorded music revenue can only be split so many ways. But with these additional revenue streams, I think we’ll eventually see more artists supporting themselves creating & playing music than ever before.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “I think”

      Like it matters. You’re a criminal who steals from other DMN readers, jw.

      Are you aware that each song you steal is worth $150k?

      Reply
      • jw

        Worth $150,000 to who? To the RIAA so they can pay their lawyers?

        Hypothetically, were I to be sued for my “transgression” & penalized to the fullest extent of the law, the artist in question wouldn’t see one red cent from the decision, & neither would the tons of artists I support by paying a Spotify Premium subscription, buying loads of vinyl, buying t-shirts, contributing to kickstarter campaigns, buying live dvds & boxsets, going to shows, etc.

        So tell me… does that really seem like a viable model for artists to you? Or are you just a huge fan of lawyers?

        Reply
    • David

      Your fallacy (at least the most obvious one) is to compare average revenue from Spotify users with average revenue from the entire population. Since Spotify users are a self-selected and atypical group, with a greater-than-average interest in music, the appropriate comparison would be with non-Spotify users who also have a greater-than-average interest in music. In the past, such people have been willing to spend far more than $41 a year on recorded music. If they switch to Spotify instead, average revenue falls, which is precisely what is happening.

      Reply
      • jw

        “Such people,” David, ARE spending more than $41. $41 is an average, offset by free usage. It’s not anyone’s total expenditure.

        What’s interesting is that 25% of Spotify’s subscribers are premium, & the MIDiA report says that 23% of streaming users used to buy more than 1 album per month, & now no longer do. I think we can say with confidence that these are likely the premium users, as they’ve demonstrated a willingness to pay for music, & would likely listen to enough music to justify full mobile access & ad-free listening. The statement is misleading, however. Because a premium user might spend $120/year on premium streaming, & then they might buy 6 albums per year on top of that, which is indeed less than 1 per month, but could still represent a net growth in spending. Anecdotally, I spent more than $120 on recorded music last month alone. Each year I spend hundreds of dollars on recorded music that I discovered on Spotify.

        Furthermore, you have many music fans who previously pirated music exclusively, or maybe used Grooveshark or some other service with a questionable payout history. And these users are now generating something like $25/ea per year. ($120/yr + $60/yr) / 2 = $90/yr… .25(90) + .75x = $41… x = ~$25.

        I’m sure you’re right in some cases, some users are spending less money on music because of streaming. But there are other cases. And the recorded music industry has been trending downward for years before streaming came into the picture. To scapegoat streaming for a continued contraction is disingenuous.

        Ultimately, Spotify is a business that makes most sense at scale. And it may be responsible for some contraction, I’m not denying that. (When I said earlier that streaming is creating more revenue, I meant in cases where users who weren’t previously contributing to the recorded music economy are now generating revenue. I wasn’t trying to quantify streaming’s overall impact, though I realize it sounds like that.) BUT that contraction, if it exists, can’t be determined on a case-by-case basis, because it’s severely offset by the variety of artists getting exposure on the service. What most people are seeing on a case-by-case basis is REDISTRIBUTION that they’re mistaking for CONTRACTION.

        If you’d like to point out any other issues you have with my comments, I’m more than willing to address them.

        Reply
  4. Anonymous

    “Sue them. That’ll teach em!”

    Yes — it works anywhere else in society.

    You wouldn’t own your car, your house or anything in it without laws and enforcement.

    The truth is not pleasant, especially for dreamers like you, and I know you don’t understand it yet. But you’re not stupid, and you’ll come around.

    Reply
    • im not anonymous

      “Sue them. That’ll teach em!” Yes — it works anywhere else in society.

      You wouldn’t own your car, your house or anything in it without laws and enforcement.

      The truth is not pleasant, especially for dreamers like you, and I know you don’t understand it yet. But you’re not stupid, and you’ll come around.

      hahahahahahaha

      the fact you think you own anything, especially a car and a house, is the funniest thing i’ve heard all week.

      Even when you finally make your last payment, you still don’t really own it per say.

      And now those stuffy white haired conservative people families/legacies/dynasties are on the verge of claiming ownership to one of the last frontiers for them, copyright and intellectual property.

      They want to own everything under the sun and the sun as well and this whole debacle could very well be a plan put in place by them to usurp all us copyright and IP holders and owners thus giving them even more power and control over everything…

      More Laws?? More enforcement?? Laws and enforcement that only benefit them?? No thanks…

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “More Laws?? More enforcement?? Laws and enforcement that only benefit them?? No thanks…”
        ——————————–

        LOLbertarian detected

        Reply
      • shazzle

        Um, isn’t it spelled “per se”? Why do people insist on using phrases or words they either don’t know or can’t be bothered looking up?

        The “you don’t own anything” argument is dumb, by the way and incorrect. Short and sweet – it’s just dumb.

        Copyright is VERY important to the future of the country economically, (who cares about “rich” people owning them – they won’t own them all) and anyone saying otherwise is a fool. France, after the revolution, ended copyright briefly. Know what happened? No one published or sold or printed books. If people like you are going to be in control of “the future” I guess we better get used to watching a lot of cat videos on Youtube or whatever for entertainment.

        Fortunately, you will be in control of nothing.

        Reply
        • Some Nobody

          The property argument isn’t dumb. Eminent domain proves you don’t own land or the buildings on said land if it’s decided that your claim to them matters less than the government’s claim. The same is true for anything else you own. If the government decides your property belongs to them, you can’t fight them. This seizure generally comes from things like delinquent tax debts, but other factors can cause your perceived ‘ownership’ to disappear suddenly. If you do fight them, they will attempt to arrest you. If you resist that, they’ll send men with guns to take you away, and if you attempt to defend your property from those men, they’ll legally be entitled to kill you. It’s not a conspiracy, or any quack theory, it’s just United States law.

          Reply
    • Digital.

      Except, the production cost for car duplication is < 0, duplication and distribution of a digital file is ~0.

      Reply
    • Finnegan Von Kleinenschlaffel

      The difference is that the law is the only option to get your car back, ie to gain the value back. Traditional sales are NOT the only eay for musicians to recoup the value (there are endless examples of indies making good livings today).

      And even if it were a good example? It’s useless. A gold-plated turd. Because we all know what happened when artists sur the only people who can support them (remember when people LIKED Lars Ulrich?)

      But it’s like how the government keeps busting Silk Road, and then Silk Road keeps coming back like a glorious drug-fueled hydra. The new music industry can’t be stopped or sued away.

      Reply
    • ToomyTruck

      There was a lawsuit ! ! ! The Supreme (Lawyers) Court ruled against copyright law with Metalica and Nester. The music industry was crazy putting Metalica before the Supremes. I can just see Clarence Thomas voting for Metalica lol. He did vote for NBC NEWS copyright . . . . Imagine that.

      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    “I make a living going out and playing shows”

    Ah yes, shows and t-shirts.

    Isn’t that just awesome for the writers who actually make the hits people hear.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      re: the poor songwriter

      Just because you want a certain job does not mean that you will forever be entitled to said job. Just ask my friend, the unemployed blacksmith.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Here’s the difference:

        Nobody wants the services that your friend has to offer. If they did, he would have a job.

        Everybody wants the services songwriters have to offer. Millions listen to their songs and love them.

        But criminals, such as jw here in the comment section, steal their property simply because it’s possible to do so without consequences for the moment.

        Result: Songwriters work as slaves for thieves like jw.

        Not because they’re unwanted; not because they’re unpopular, but because thieves are thieves and the law was written in another century.

        Reply
        • GGG

          Ari’s songwriter does get paid…since it’s him. Sorry you’re not good enough to play out but that’s your fault, not the rest of the world’s.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            “Sorry you’re not good enough to play out”

            At least I’m in good company — Beatles, anyone? 🙂

          • GGG

            I mean, 1) They played out multiple times a night for years and 2) yes, let’s based a 2014 music industry on a 1966 industry/economy/culture. We’ll do great!

          • Anonymous

            “They played out multiple times a night for years”

            They made their best songs — and their impact on history — as a non-touring band.

            “let’s base a 2014 music industry on a 1966 industry/economy/culture”

            Nothing has changed here: Non-touring songwriters still write a huge part of the hits everybody loves. You know that.

            So again: Everybody does in fact want the services songwriters have to offer. Millions love their songs.

            But thieves like jw steal their property. And organized crime, Big Tech and the ISPs make billions of dollars in the process.

          • Anonymous

            And let’s not forget who promotes it all………..Tech blogs!

          • GGG

            You’re right, that Ed Sullivan thing wasn’t a big deal. Or that time when they had the top 5 songs in 1964. That wasn’t historic. They were definitely a sleeper band, my bad.

            And yes, clearly it’s the same to be a songwriter now and in 1966 so you shouldn’t diversify yourself. Again, great advice. You seem to be doing very well following it.

          • Anonymous

            “You’re right, that Ed Sullivan thing wasn’t a big deal”

            Beatles was a wonderful pop band when they were touring — but pop turned into art that changed history when they stopped touring and spent their time on writing and recording.

            “And yes, clearly it’s the same to be a songwriter now and in 1966”

            Agree, writing a nice tune is the exact same thing today as it was 1000 years ago. And it will never change.

          • GGG

            Did songwriters 1000 years ago make much money from record sales? Can’t seem to find any Soundscan data…

          • Ben Cook-Feltz

            Okay, Anonymous – shut up. The Beatles made “Revolver” while they were still touring. From the moment they broke, they influenced musical culture incalculably. Seriously. Make a valid argument, but don’t be a fool.

          • GGG

            Well, Anon is certainly correct in that the second half of the Beatles is what it is because of being able to sit in a studio for months on end.

            I just enjoy poking holes in all the other silly things he says.

          • Anonymous

            “The Beatles made “Revolver” while they were still touring”

            Indeed. Now, compare that to the next album. 🙂

            On Revolver, you can hear where they want to go. On Pepper, they arrive!

            On Revolver, you still have fillers all over the place. On Pepper, everything is solid gold!

            Pepper is in many ways the beginning of the modern industry, and it shows what you can achieve when you invest insane amounts of money and time in one record — instead of wasting your time on pointless touring.

          • Anonymous

            “I just enjoy poking holes in all the other silly things he says”

            I know you do, keep up the good work! 🙂

        • Anonymous

          how fucked the world is and those industries to be convinced that one sole flesh human slaving away to survive is the criminal and locking it up and fining or suing them is the answer to something… what a joke…

          The real criminals, the real thieves, the ones where the money is truly being taken from, are the ones yall look up to, the ones yall beg for help, the ones yall think are the ones who will solve the problem…

          Lets make stricter laws, more rules, more fines, and let the real killers and criminals off the hook time and time again.

          Most people steal it because the digital network was poorly created and thought up thus it allows it easily and mostly because cost of living is so high they need to save money as much as possible…

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            “Most people steal it because the digital network was poorly created”

            No, there’s nothing wrong with the internet. Current legislation is outdated, that’s all.

          • Anonymous

            Incorrect and your answer either outs you as someone with an agenda or else completely clueless as to the reality of what is happening.

            The last thing the world needs is more fucking legislation. Same old tired thing over and over again.

          • Anonymous

            “The last thing the world needs is more fucking legislation”

            Easy now, the DMCA is from 1998 🙂 (actually written in 1996) and obviously worthless today.

            The most exciting part of the next version will be Stay Down instead of just Take Down!

          • Anonymous

            “SOPA 2.0?”

            Of course not.

            But I’m sure you agree that SOPA was a very nice initiative. Most do, you know.

            The mistake everybody made back then was to confuse public opinion with a surprisingly small number of tech fanatics, orchestrated by Google and Wikipedia.

            Rest assured, nobody’s going to make that mistake again. 🙂

          • Anonymous

            Well thanks to SOPA, Congress is no longer going to touch a copyright bill that doesn’t meet the technology industry’s full approval.

          • Anonymous

            “thanks to SOPA, Congress is no longer going to touch a copyright bill that doesn’t meet the technology industry’s full approval”

            I don’t agree; this time around they’re definitely listening a lot to rights holders as well as Big Tech.

            Things look pretty good right now, imo. DMCA 2 will affect us all — a lot — and it’s only fair to listen to everybody; web users, content providers and Tech industry.

          • Anonymous

            as well as Big Tech.

            Indeed. That means we’ll get things that the technology industry wants for once. Things you don’t like at all, probably like expanded fair use and reduced copyright durations, and of course, stuff to make it harder to sue a technology company for copyright infringement (so called legal protection for disruptive innovation SV types talk about a lot).

            You’ll get something in return, surely. Probably not get the level of copyright enforcement you want either, of course, because SOPA went too far, and you probably think SOPA didn’t go far enough. One thing I promise you won’t get is a working copyright system. That’s just impossible.

            But keep thinking that running to Mommy Government will save you. 🙂

          • Anonymous

            “One thing I promise you won’t get is a working copyright system”

            Careful with the promises… 🙂 Intellectual Property has never been more important. I can even scan the lock on your door today and upload the file so everybody can print a key.

            We all have to give and take here. There’s no dobut that Big Tech will have to accept Takedown=Staydown.

            Content owners, on the other hand, will almost certainly have to live with reduced copyright durations — probably by several decades — and perhaps expanded fair use as well, as you suggest.

          • Anonymous

            Copyright only works when it is an industrial regulation on businesses that had the means to mass copy things. That’s how it was envisioned that that’s how it was until the emergence of the Internet. Now that the means of mass copying are available to everyone, now copyright is a regulation on the dealings of everyone.

            It can’t be enforced that way. Unless you can turn back time and ensure that the means of mass copying are industrial, you can never have a working copyright system. Problem is a technology is around, it’s hard to make it go away, even if it’s purpose is entirely bad. The nuclear bomb can only be used for mass murder, and literally can end humanity, and yet it still exists.

          • Anonymous

            “Problem is a technology is around”

            No no, technology is not a problem at all.

            We just have to update our laws so they match.

          • Anonymous

            Copyright only works when it is an industrial regulation on businesses that had the means to mass copy things. That’s how it was envisioned that that’s how it was until the emergence of the Internet. Now that the means of mass copying are available to everyone, now copyright is a regulation on the dealings of everyone.

            It can’t be enforced that way. Unless you can turn back time and ensure that the means of mass copying are industrial, you can never have a working copyright system. Problem is a technology is around, it’s hard to make it go away, even if it’s purpose is entirely bad. The nuclear bomb can only be used for mass murder, and literally can end humanity, and yet it still exists.

          • FarePlay

            “Take-down > Stay-down” places the power directly in the hands of the artist and allows pirate sites to exist provided they remove the work of those artists who file a take down notice, one time. I constantly hear all this talk about young bands embracing piracy as a viable path to success; ‘Take-down > Stay-down’ honors the artists right to choose.

            How could anyone be opposed to that?

          • Anonymous

            He’s right. The Internet and computers in general fundamentally do not respect any system which attempts to control the copying of the information. There is literally no instruction to tell a computer to move information, a computer only inherently knows how to make copies of information. Even the so called MOV/LD instruction in all modern processors produces a copy! Copying information is so core to how computers and the Internet work it’s no wonder that copyright has fallen apart.

      • Rosco

        “Just because you want a certain job does not mean that you will forever be entitled to said job. Just ask my friend, the unemployed blacksmith”
        ———————————-

        Stupid comparison. Blacksmiths are unemployed because their services fell out of demand, songwriters are becoming increasingly unemployed because the government (currently) allows their products to be stolen with impunity.

        Reply
  6. FarePlay

    Because Ari, no one should have to invent a work around to get paid. Why should artists and their work be singled out as not worthy of our respect or compensation? Why should you have to rent your prized amp for $60 to pay rent. Why should you have to depend on the generosity of others to make a living?

    Why are you dredging up the failed policy of the RIAA as a justification for bad behavior? Your a musician, how many musicians are afraid to speak out and express their anger at the way they are treated? Not every artist is as resourceful as you, You can write, your smart, you know how to hustle, your a survivor. You have many gifts, some people just know how to sing, play an instrument or write a song.

    And your entire Lyle Lovett story is messed up. The reality is there was a time, I don’t know when it ended, that labels would bankroll tours to sell albums. In 1970 the Allman Brothers played 300 shows on the cheap. In 1971 they recorded a live record with no single and limited airplay and it sold like crazy and made them rich. Hell they could even buy a beautiful carved headstone for Duane and a year later for Barry.

    Years later the Police did the same thing. Good thing they were a 3 piece, they only had a van and no t-shirts to sell. So Ari, don’t get today mixed up with the past, because they aren’t the same.

    Reply
    • GGG

      A label is putting one of my acts on the road in two months. This stuff still happens, you just stand on the sidelines and shout so have no idea. Yes, it requires more work in some ways, and knowing the right people, or hiring someone who knows the right people, but life sucks. Deal with it.

      Reply
        • DNog

          Clearly you are letting it by all your bitter comments. You’re so focused on the first paragraph (a redundant topic at this point) you can’t even think about how to relate the rest of article to your work. You are the minority and whining on the internet isn’t going to change anything. The fact that your name is “Anonymous” on here is just perfect irony to how irrelevant your comments are.

          Reply
          • i amnotanonymous...

            hope yall have some legit tracking algorithms and are posting like this to create some sort of smoke show or to make people think yall are clueless, cause a lot of yall are starting to lump a whole bunch of different anonymous posters as one, and thats not good…

      • FarePlay

        Actually GGG my life is pretty awesome. But I’m from another era, than you are. I have an entirely different belief system and I lived during what is arguably the most creative and fulfilling time for rock, blues, pop, jazz and modern music in general. I saw stuff you can only fantasize about, if you care enough about greatness as you seem to indicate from your posts.

        I feel sorry for your generation. I actually like to pay for music. I’m not a musician and haven’t been in the business for 30 years, so by paying that’s how I feel connected, like I’m contributing to something that means a great deal to me.

        So call me whatever you like. Because I know who I am and I value what I’m doing.

        Reply
          • FarePlay

            Fan of my generation? Hardly. Fan of music created from 1965 to 1985 absolutely. How do I measure greatness after listening to music for 50 years? The stuff that endures the test of time and sounds great today. And U2 is certainly one of those bands simply based on their guitar player and a number of songs that eloquently define a moment in time.

          • Jim Ayenuss

            Yeah and your generation enjoys bending over for corporations, and everyone else gets that except you.

        • jw

          This is hilarious. I mean absolutely side-splitting.

          You’re what, 60-something, Flairpay? And you’re trying to tell US what’s supposed to be musically fulfilling? You feel sorry for US? lol.

          There’s as much great music now as there’s ever been. There’s magic happening night in & night out. The problem is that you’re out of touch. Just because these artists aren’t flying between gigs in helicopters or private jets isn’t some kind of great tragedy. Instead, the great tragedy is artists like Otis Redding, SRV, & Buddy Holly meeting their maker IN those helicopters & private jets.

          No one needs your condescending “get off my lawn” outdated moralisms. Because you can’t hogtie yourself to your morals AND make a profit. No man can serve two masters, they say. So you’ve got no business telling other people how they ought to run their creative enterprise.

          The great music of the ’60s & ’70s isn’t a product of moral character, it’s actually the complete opposite. You think everyone paid to get into Woodstock? You think the difference between now & then was moral character? lmao. It’s access, that’s all.

          You’re viewing the past through rose colored glasses, & you’re completely out of touch with what’s happening here & now. You don’t know who the great artists existing right now are. You don’t know where the great shows are played. You’re not in those circles. So who are you to tell us you feel sorry for us? You have no idea.

          Reply
          • Esol Esek

            I’m not a boomer but a Gen Xer that recognizes the greatness of the music of the 50s -70s, as well as some stuff before and after, even music from 2000-2005 SOAD and others, makes the music of today look like the wet nurse child’s play that is. The 80s were considerend horrific at the time, but the awful top sounds better these days (at least its polished) and the underground was never to be matched again. THe underground then became the mainstream with Nirvana etc, and devolved into some bad, but still fun and competent bands into the late 90s. The Clear Channel took over and cleaned house and we entered a war which means only trash would be sold. Then millenials came along, and I’ll give you this, you are picking funk, underground 80s electronic as influences, and nothing wrong with that. Your advecntures are more humorous than competitive (at all) to the originals. Even Daft Punk’s Get Lucky had to have a 70s veteran playing bass on it to get over. Your forays into 60s folk have been nothing short of atrocities, one after another, from the Black Keys, to DUmford and Sons, and on and on and on. Neil Young and Bod Dylan you ain’t never gonna be.

            I can’t believe how horrific some of the spinners at college radio are as well. It’s like you’re all figuring out the classics, and elevating pure garbage like Beck to huge heights. Meanwhile, it’s one bad folk retread garbage band after another on the men with no balls side. There are women doing some interesting things apart from the abominations of cutesy girls selling their bodies, and electronic music is interesting (though it still suffers from a desperate lack of songwriting chops evidenced everywhere in this generation). Try harder at songwriting, so it doesn’t sound like you’re recording the first thing you wrote. Gee, I’m so sensitive.

            You’re just WRONG if you think today’s music is as good. There are occasional good songs, but I’ve never seen a generation produce so much garbage that couldn’t stick in the below top 40 market. You guys think picking up a guitar makes you good. Its literally hilarious to listen to the bad attempts at folk, punk, although none of you have the guts to take on a Black Sabbath or Metallica because you’d get laughed off the planet.
            THat said, there are a couple attempts to rock, but not many. At least those guys have nuts.

            Everyone-gets-a-trophy raising doesn’t generate good musicians, but i have hope for the next younger generation, because they are growing up in some hard times, and it will show in their music as they blow generation millenial hack off the stage.

        • Anonymous

          Nope, your parents are the “greatest generation”. It’s well known that Baby Boomers are the worst generation, and the cause of most of the world’s problems.

          Reply
          • GGG

            Including creating the generation of kids he pities/hates so much. Awkward…..

          • Anonymous

            Greatest Generation also birthed the Baby Boomers. But he didn’t say Greatest Generation was perfect. 🙂

        • Anonymous

          Sorry for us? I feel sorry for you. We are young. We can have sex without penis medicine. We are beautiful, handsome. Naturally. It sucks getting old. Your physical and mental capacities start to diminish as you age. Your yearly statistical chance of death goes way way up.

          Sure, we all get old. But I rather stay young forever then be an old man who feels the need to lecture youngins.

          As Steve Jobs famously said, the fact that old people die, while tragic, is one of the greatest gifts to human progress.

          Reply
          • Rhea Litea

            Steve Jobs was a billionaire in his 20s, with arrogance to match. You’re not. The great thing about watching youth is knowing despite their advantages that you don’t miss (other than picking up their young women) is you know most of them are going to drive off the same cliffs you did, all jacked up on ignorance and arrogance. Being young is frequently a tremendous pain in the ass.

            In regards to music, the jury is back. Generation Millenial is the LEAST successful musical generation ever. The only pioneering thing that has happened is on the electronic side (and it was a big one). Everything else is a bad shadow or at best, a semi-competent success, at mimicking the creative work of the past. I’ve never seen a group of people have a harder time being original.

            You may be nicer people, less racist, and more health conscious, but you are giant spoiled musical hacks, and its mostly because you are too lazy to really investigate what came before so you don’t release pathetic retreads. Beyond that, you also seem to have a problem with cutting loose for real. I don’t seen anyone near an Iggy Pop, Hendrix, Joe Strummer, Johnny Rotten. Noone with the sarcastic creativity (and real guitar and vox chops) of a Kurt Cobain. Sometimes it sounds like you were raised on sailboats and actually want to remake the music of Bread and Seals and Crofts. You suck, period. Your time is already gone. Post millenials are already here in two years. So you already blew it.

    • Anonymous

      “Why should artists and their work be singled out as not worthy of our respect or compensation?”

      I’m not sure Ari really wants that. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room:

      Fear!

      We all know that you, FarePlay, have the guts to stand up against abuse. Respect! But the rest of us are indeed anonymous cowards, as Paul so eloquently put it elsewhere today.

      And we’re cowards for 3 reasons: Ulrich, Allen and Kiss.

      Which is ridiculous. I mean, what can the pirates do? Stop buying our songs? 🙂

      Fact is they can’t do a thing. Ulrich, Allen and Kiss are doing just fine. So there’s no need to fear the fans in the real world. It’s all in our heads.

      But many artists still go totally Ari when they’re invited to discuss piracy in public. I’ve seen it so often, even the most convinced piracy opponents turn into sharing sheeps.

      And I think that’s the problem with Ari.

      It is, of course, also entirely possible that he’s just another jerk who feels entitled to tell criminals like jw that it’s OK to steal my property.

      But I seriously doubt that.

      Reply
      • There is+something...

        Then why not start using your real name, dear Anonymous ?

        The best and maybe only way to stop piracy is in fact streaming. But you hate it. You can’t face the reality and you’re bitter because of that. Calling people criminal will not change anything. People don’t care what you think.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “Calling people criminal will not change anything”

          Not sure what you mean. I’m just stating the facts — jw is indeed a criminal, and the world is losing billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs every year because of criminals like him, according to UNESCO.

          “People don’t care what you think.”

          Yes, they do. Not because I’m an artist — we’re not more important than anybody else — but because global economy today is based on Intellectual Property.

          A lot of people, including most politicians, care a lot about that. And they care a lot about jobs.

          That’s why everybody wants to protect IP now. And that’s why a lot of work is being done right now to update the current laws in the US and EU.

          Reply
          • jw

            It’s common knowledge that the UNESCO report is horse shit.

            And I’m no more a criminal than 90% of the rest of DMN commenters, & most artists.

            Part of the problem with your argument is false binaries. You see people as criminals or contributors. Contributors or artists. Good or bad. But the reality is that if you somehow magically got rid of all of the “pirates,” you’d get rid of half of the music industry itself, & nearly all paying customers. In fact, some of the biggest spenders. (Baby with the bath water & all that.)

            I think it’s very telling that you’re willing to sacrifice all of the positive contributions I make to the recorded music industry as a consumer over just $10 of digital downloads. You know as well as anyone else that, were there a court decision against me, no artist would see any of that money. And yet you would consider it a victory. Why? Because you have no concerned with net profit or net loss. When it comes down to it, you’re not interested in maximizing revenue for artists. You’re, instead, more interested in having your biases confirmed. You’re making a subjective moral argument, not an economic argument. Not a local or reasonable argument. You’re in Flairplay’s camp, treating music ownership like some sort of religion. It’s all dogma, & it plays out at the expense of both artists & consumers.

      • FarePlay

        Thank you for the support, I wish I deserved it. I’m just a guy who grew up with music from the time I was 15. I was extremely fortunate to be in the right place at the right time(s); NYC > Boston > SF > LA. My first song with my first love was “Do You Believe in Magic” you know, “you can’t tell a stranger about rock and roll”. In some ways that song has defined my relationship with music and represents the joy I’ve received from music all my life.

        If I was a musician and said something about being upset because my fans weren’t willing to pay for my songs and got the kind of nasty, personal attacks I see on my friends sites, I’m not sure I would have the courage to speak out. These young men on here, so certain in their beliefs, defending the status quo and attacking anyone who would question the system are 180 degrees from where I grew up. Yes, streaming is the status quo and don’t delude yourselves or try and convince us that things are better now. Adapt was not in our vocabulary.

        I don’t fault you for trying to make the best of a shitty situation, but don’t throw bricks at me when I’m just pointing out the inequalities of being an artist in America.

        Reply
        • There is something...

          The issue I have is that it’s been over 15 years that we listen the same “it’s unfair, we have to stop piracy, put those fans in jail”… and absolutely nothing changed. Because people complain all the time but can’t find a real, workable, solution. So, I’m f%&+ing tired of listening to same complain again, and again, and again… Juste calling people “criminal” will not change a single things, because those “criminals” are in fact in the majority as we, creative people, are a minority.

          Also I need to point out something: when I was kid, we didn’t have internet, torrents and P2P. But we would gladly copy a CD to our friends. In the eyes of the law, this is copyright infringement and that would me us “criminals” in the eyes of guys like Anonymous. So where do you draw the line ? I can tell you that without friends giving me copy of their CD on tape, I wouldn’t have known many artists I followed, bought albums from or went to their live shows.

          Reply
          • FarePlay

            Let’s clear away some of this dead wood and mis-direction, NOW.

            That’s not where I stand on piracy at all, but yes time to put an end to the charade. I have no interest in criminalizing the users. I have no problem with fans making a few CDs for their friends. I do have a problem with individuals who chronically upload music and films to pirate sites

            And I have a serious problem with for-profit, criminal, online businesses that use the copyrighted work of others without permission or compensation and profit from that business. I think they should go to jail and pay heavy fines.

            The DMCA is a total joke, it needs to be changed. FarePlay will be supporting a “take-down, stay down” change to the current legislation. It will be our main focus for Copyright Revision with the Congressional Subcommittee on Copyright. Our proposed change will require the copyright holder to file ONE take down notice with each offender; still a daunting task.

            Once the notice is filed, the notified site is then RESPONSIBLE for using identification software to keep the identified infringing content off their site. If they do not comply they will be notified that they are out of compliance and the clock will start running for legal action.

            Will this end piracy? No way. Will it cut down on the number of infringing sites and create real world consequences for the offenders, absolutely. Will it relieve artists of filing endless, costly take down notices? Yes.

            The internet is the ultimate test for personal integrity and as 3D printing technology matures we will face even more serious challenges for working class individuals.

            Yes, it is a tragedy that piracy has been so ineffectively addressed for 15 years and is a major contributor to the devaluation of art around the world.

          • jw

            It’s never been more clear that your ideas don’t come from a genuine interest in artists maximizing revenue, they come from revisionism & outdated, subjective, moralist platitudes.

          • FarePlay

            Well, I always knew, now I know. Did you work for uTorrnet too? Always good to know who you’re dealing with.

          • jw

            I’m actually the head of the illuminati. You have no idea how far the conspiracy goes.

          • Anonymous

            There’s people still out there that fall for all that b.s.??

            Wow man people will believe just about anything other then the truth and the reality…

          • Liza Dawn

            Who gives anything to know what you are the head of? Grow up.

          • Anonymous

            It wouldn’t be so bad if his ideas made any fucking sense. His ideas for anti-piracy is like a space program saying “we should eliminate gravity in the Kennedy Space Center Area”. Yeah sounds fucking awesome for space travel, but there is no explanation or hint of how it could happen.

            I’ve asked him time and time again to elaborate on his ideas, but he never answers. Of course, the real answer is it’s impossible to implement “staydown” in any realistic manner. If it’s going to be passed as a bill, they might as well add the “Pi is exactly 3.2” bill to it and make it the “We Are Idiots Omnibus Bill of 2015”.

          • Anonymous

            “it’s impossible to implement “staydown” in any realistic manner”

            No no, it’s very easy! Just look at child abuse: Google claimed for years it couldn’t take child porn down permanently — but what happened?

            Child care & parents’ organizations happened! They kept attacking Google, and suddenly Google realized that it was wrong — or at least risky — to make money from child porn. Today, they take the crap down and it stays down!

            And that’s what they’re going to do with pirated songs and movies as well after the next version of DMCA.

          • Anonymous

            Google also says it fights piracy. You don’t believe that though, do you?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t believe anything Google says.

            But they did solve their part of the online child abuse problem.

            And they’ll be forced to solve their part of the piracy problem, too.

          • Anonymous

            I hope you realize that doesn’t exactly help your argument.

          • Staydown doesn't pass the smell test

            FarePlay, before you keep repeating this “takedown-staydown” stuff, can you explain how it would work? How would you deal with trancoding and client-side encryption (which modern cloud services take advantage of extensively)?

            Since you want to take down all copies of a song on a cloud service, if I upload my iTunes bought music to a cloud service, would it be taken down if someone issues a takedown request? So there is no way to store legitimate stuff on a cloud service anymore?

          • Anonymous

            “FarePlay, before you keep repeating this “takedown-staydown” stuff”

            Because it’s the future, but I think you know that already.

            Don’t worry, all the details will be sorted out along the way. All you have to understand is that Takedown-Staydown is very easy to implement: Google made it work with child porn in a matter of days — after repeating for years why it couldn’t be done — and it’s going to make it work with music and movies, too.

          • Anonymous

            The details are what is important. It’s what makes the difference between something that is effective and something that is not. If you can’t explain the details, you have no real idea what you are doing.

          • Anonymous

            “The details are what is important”

            No no, what’s important is the goal.

            First, we need to know where we’re going — then we’ll draw the map.

            You can’t start with the details. That’s the mistake Google made when they said they couldn’t remove child porn links permanently. It would, for instance, require manual work — heaven forbid it. 🙂

            But once they set their goal — to remove child porn links from Google Search permanently — they managed to solve the problem in a few days.

            And they’re going to solve the piracy problem the same way.

          • Anonymous

            Google also says they also prolifically fight piracy. As long as Google says they are doing something, it ought to be be enough.

          • FarePlay

            The content id software to support stay-down has been around for years. My Space experimented with it in 2007.

          • Anonymous

            ContentID only works if the service knows the nature of the file, which is not the case with cloud storage that uses client side encryption, a common vector of illegal filesharing. There is many legitimate reasons (ironically, intellectual property protection is one of them!) to not allow a cloud service or other 3rd party to read into the nature of what is being stored.

          • profile disappeared AGAIN

            QUOTE ““take-down, stay down””

            if it will ever go thru, NOW is the the time to push it..

            With the internet providers pushing to take away net neutrality they should automatically be told that if it goes thru (multi-tiered speeds) then the IP’s guys lose the right to say they are not ‘broadcasters’ of pirated content.

            IE: you cant have your cake and eat it too..
            If an IP wants to choose what content goes to the public, that makes them a broadcaster.. and logically they have NO reason not to also control the pirated content also going over their networks..

            just sayin

          • Jacob

            What about a “leave up, but toss me a piece of that pie because that’s fair” policy at the artist’s request?

        • GGG

          Oh give me a break. We’re the status quo? We’re the ones out every day finding new ways to make money, which you then shit on because it’s not the “traditional” way. You know, the “traditional” way that’s barely even existed in a useful form for a century. Hell, Anonymous up there even said selling $50K work of merch is worse than selling $50K of music just because. What a stupid way to look at things. People, FANS, are giving you money, so who gives a shit where it comes from?

          But yes, you’re soo brave with your grand plan to basically tell people to buy music again. It’s been working out great for the last decade, right?

          Reply
          • GGG

            You say that as an insult, but sure, I basically am. I push my acts on people, make them money, make money for myself.

            You do none of those things. You bring literally 0 value to musicians or the music industry, yet talk like you have a clue.

          • Anonymous

            “You bring literally 0 value to musicians or the music industry”

            You’re not an idiot, GGG — don’t act like one.

      • i amnotanonymous...

        if you seriously think sole punks like JW are who are stealing the property and costing you money, you are so blind it isn’t even funny!

        Those who own most of the property in the World, and the right winger conservative types, through a history of CONQUERING, are upset and bitter that they are non creative people who basically own none of the Copyright and Intellectual Property out there, meaning they dont make the lions share of money from it, and they ARE in the midst of a MASSIVE propaganda campaign to Usurp(meaning ILLEGALLY) all of us out of one of that few things we can actually fucking own.

        At least that’s how i’m reading everything right now.

        They tug on the dreams of socialists and freetards to do their dirty work mostly for free for them, they are very smart people. Its scary out there…

        And in the process of doing as such, they have DUPED a ton of people into thinking they need more laws and more enforcement and more legislation.

        Its 3 card monte boys, classic red herring trojan horse garbage, either way they get what they want, and either way, we are FULLY FUCKED AGAIN!!!

        done with it all, have fun…

        Reply
    • Dude

      It also sucks to be a tobacco farmer these days… or a coal miner…. and I reckon times are hard for dirigible pilots …… Advancement in technology creates change… society adjusts. It’s evolution. Gone are the days of the one hit wonder that sells a billion albums and retires happily ever after… Here are the days when some doofus becomes an internet sensation over a silly youtube video going viral and parlays it into a career. It’s a wash… Play because you love to play… if you can make money at it, consider yourself lucky.

      Reply
  7. Casey

    If Spotify can reach the $0.01 average payout services like Rhapsody have traditionally paid, we would be looking at twice the amount of revenue (going by your examples.) I don’t think that is an unachievable goal. The key is converting more free subscribers into paying subscribers and increasing the ad revenue for remaining free subscribers..

    Reply
    • GGG

      And marketing. Spotify continues to have the most useless marketing/PR team in the history of companies with that type of funding.

      Reply
  8. Roger T

    The ones who get screwed, though, are the introverts that love creating fantastic intricate music but who don’t like playing live. Think of Mike Oldfield doing all the instruments on Tubular Bells, orchestrating it all out and playing all the parts himself, but the idea of touring freaked him out and made him go into hiding. The modern equivalent of a guy like that doesn’t have a prayer. And that’s a shame, because those are the guys that I think make the most interesting music.

    Reply
    • K-A

      And the funny thing is that Mike Oldfield never made any money off Tubular Bells at that time either, because his deal with Branson’s Virgin Records was so horrendously bad. He had a breakdown and went to live on an island [Ibiza I think]. Not a bad idea, really. There’s hardly any money in anything creative anymore. It’s a pay-to-play vanity publishing model now.

      Reply
  9. Perhaps

    If fans don’t want to pay for the artist’s work, as it is directly administered from them in whatever format…

    One day, artists will stop bothering to make music for the public; then there will be less of it…one day the kid in the garage band will stop bothering to play music, and there will be no music coming again.

    And we will then return to as it was in the mid-1800s.

    Watch the sun set everybody!

    Reply
  10. Duke

    I’m sitting here laughing my ass of reading this. Ok so,
    1-to make a real album with real musicians and engineers who can turn your work into the magic that many artists were able to take advantage of in the past requires money. Where does that money come from. Great music whether it be rock,pop,RnB , country were given great emotion by using real professionals to either make the track or add the magic at certain parts. That cost money.
    2- how van an artist have a long career with your formula. Are these so called fans going to support you for 20 years?
    3-there are so many holes in this article I’ll let others pick out the rest
    Duke

    Reply
  11. Jeremy Wray

    I would change the sentence:

    “Companies are popping up every day that help artists make more money than ever before.”

    To:

    “Companies are popping up every day that make money by making artists think they can make more money than ever before.

    Reply
  12. In the Biz

    How much is 20 secs of a single listen worth? How much is a passive listen worth? I just streamed the entire new Robert Plant LP on NPR’s site. Was I listening? Not really. It was playing in the background while I was working. Will I buy it? Nope. Not interested. Not engaged enough. Will I see him in concert? Nope. Will I share the hookup with my social networking crowd? Already did. So, how much should he have been paid for my inattention? Just curious.

    Reply
  13. Willis

    I go to work in an office for 40+ hours per week and don’t get paid…and that’s OK. Really?

    Reply
    • i amnotanonymous...

      Yup, and those are getting harder and harder to find and hold onto…

      I’m basically days away from putting a bullet in my brain simply because i cannot survive in these jurisdictions, there’s no legal money to be made anywhere anymore unless you have the right qualifications, experience, education and important some system piece of paper that you have to pay $50-100K for unless you born rich…

      Im a straight A student, just pumping out results constantly, all my customers have always loved me, but because of the way things are im as close as ive ever been to having to lay my flesh vessel down due to inability to maintain it within these monetary based jurisdictions and systems…

      Reply
  14. abbo

    Just reading through these comments makes me think no one still has any idea what the answer is.

    I try and steer clear of the clutter of opinions online about this subject usually but everyone standing from their own corner shouting at others in theirs usually doesn’t result in either side changing their opinion or help matters.

    I don’t think we are even close to resolving this issue yet.

    I’m just glad you are all passionate about music still.

    Much love all, abbo.

    Reply
  15. i am+not+anonymous...

    You could scream about streaming and piracy until you’re red in the face while fans and technology ignore the noise and move forward (this seems like a legitimate solution for quite a few). OR artists could look to diversify their income stream.

    OR artists could put down the guitar and pick up a gun and run up on all these people and demand fair treatment and compensation else dummy the fuck out of them…

    This is my life, if that means someone who stands in the way of me reproducing or surviving has to eat a bullet, well then so be it, cause as far as i can tell, our esteemed leaders and overlords, protectors and those that make the laws, are the worst most brutal killers around, publicly for real they are, so if its legal for them it must be legal for me…

    That’s why its like fuck it, wheres the money at wheres the girls at, everyone else is on their own…

    peace

    Reply
  16. i amnotanonymous...

    dont worry, my life sucks big ass donkey dick, im like will ferrel in that movie where he was streaking naked down the street, thats me!

    cause i thought all these people actually wanted peave, freedom and revolution, so i stepped up and said lets do this, and everyone just stayed seated and laughed at me…

    So yalls dupe job worked, yall are just selling the thing to people, no problemo, and im the butt of all the jokes around, so thats fine…

    Hopefully theres an afterlife or that place up there actually goes on after you die, then shit will be real legit…

    Reply
  17. DNog

    You’re clearly in it for the artistic element haha.
    Oops, *were* I should’ve said. You’ve moved on to get your mountains of cash, hustle, and hoes elsewhere.
    Play on playa.

    Reply
    • im not+anonymous

      ive been art and commerce since the get go, theres no selling out going on here, its been the same thing from day 1 for me…

      As Zappa said, Art is making something then selling it.

      My mainstream commercial stuff and my more artsy type stuff are kind of the same thing really…

      Reproduction and Survival are the humans core purposes here, what is hard wired into our DNA, so obviously Chips and Chicks will be my constant main focus.

      🙂

      Reply
  18. Igor

    “And major label artists never made much from album sales anyways.” As much as Ari wants to hate on major labels, this is simply not true. Yes, many artists never recouped their advance, yes the labels made the lion’s share of income, and yes they charged many expenses against income. However historically they also invested a great deal of money into developing artists careers.

    Reply
  19. Chris H

    I’m tired of this giving up attitude. Ari wants me to pretend in an NSA world that absolutely NOTHING can be done about piracy, simply because there isn’t the collective will to stand up for our rights the way we should be. How Google and other major search engines for example are not being publicly shamed by artists is beyond me, just as quick example. It’s not difficult for them to not link to pirate sites, but they pretend it’s hard and we in the music business community don’t call them on it.

    The solution is for us to beg for patronage from an audience we haven’t had the chance to build yet, or if by some stroke of luck, you have some credibility to cash in, you should start cutting your fans lawns and hanging out having coffee talking about the good old days. That nobody calls out this lunacy for it is, is the saddest thing of all.

    These low expectations are what you get when nobody wants to fight for it anymore. Blame video games and lack of house party gigs as reasons why you aren’t making it, while ignoring the obvious is getting old.

    Reply
  20. Mike

    Wait, isn’t the whole point music? In truth all the rest sounds like a derailment from what an artist should be concentrating on, the heart of it all – which is MUSIC. Also if Lyle Lovett didn’t receive any royalties it’s because they were applied against large advances which is MONEY. Honestly a tshirt and concert come and go, the focus of all this discussion is MUSIC

    Reply
  21. Jim

    If we (artists) could work around the record industry and make them obsolete, deal directly with online suppliers and radio stations. Then we could broker our own deals. Music would become more localized and the cream would float to the top. Music should not be decided upon by the suits at [insert major label here]. Let great musicians become the stars and let them get paid what the deserve. Big fish in a little pond is better than an big fish in a school of big fishes trying to figure out why the pond is getting smaller.

    Reply
  22. Cardinal Bass

    I’d like to draw a similarity here, just to make a point…

    If you’re going to buy a car, you do your research. ‘How fast can it go’, ‘what features come with it’, ‘cost’ and ‘average monthly maintenance costs’ are typical, salient points to understand. If you don’t like any/some/all of what you learn, you don’t buy it.

    If you’re going to choose a career, then understanding what your potential earnings could be would be important (with considerations on industry, geography, and skill-level/education). Based on that, you can determine if you can sustain a comfortable lifestyle – aka ‘a living’.

    So, being practical, and removing the rose-colored glasses of paparazzi, screaming fans, videos and halls-of-fame, why are musicians upset when they can’t make ‘a living’ playing music?

    FYI, I chose not to pursue music as a career years ago, and stayed in the I.T. industry (HS diploma, some MS certs). Now-a-days, I play in a cover band on weekends (2-3x a month) and enjoy the small portion of the music industry with my friends and family. I live a good life.

    Reply
  23. M Owen Santy

    It’s not that bad… really!

    It is still entirely possible to make a living on music – but it takes hard work (and more of it) and realistic expectations, which many younger musicians just don;t get after hearing of decades of industry excess, million-dollar deals and the assumption of “getting rich”.

    The fact is that there is no “label” for most of us anymore, and that means no tour support, no crazy fronting of recording costs, no Publicist… etc. You have to do it yourself. The beauty is that the artist has control over his image & art and if he aims to make a decent living instead of swinging for the bleachers (and more often than not – striking out) his/her chances are good that with time and effort it can be accomplished.

    I’m bone tired about listening to others lament about the dead & gone business model. Embrace the new day and work to produce.

    Reply
  24. Thedenmaster

    I hate to say it but the folks who see past the smoke and mirrors are telling the truth.

    Google, Cisco, you tube, Apple almost every IT company makes money from people stealing. Faster modems, bigger hard drives. What do you think people, are putting on the hard drives? Data? Music and videos.

    This means that their lobbyist in DC will make damn sure that no legal changes are made to suddenly put them on the hook.. They know exactly what’s going on. Bring back Lars from Metallica. We need help.

    Reply
    • GGG

      Good thing we’re moving to cloud storage. No hard drives for 40K songs needed.

      Also, faster modems aren’t a result of piracy demands, get real. It’s the natural flow of tech growth, or if you really need a scapegoat, it’s so everyone can watch porn faster.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        right, cloud storage, so instead of me using a fucking harddrive, some company that pillages and rapes for data and information for huge profits that i never ever see a fucking tiny fraction of will instead use their own physical on the ground harddrive to store shit for me?

        What a fucking super scam…

        Ill store my own shit on my own harddrive any day before using the cloud thank you very much!!!

        Reply
        • GGG

          Well, seems like you should move into the woods and live off the land, since it’s a lose-lose for you.

          Reply
      • Anonymous

        Ah, you ARE our local Google representative!

        And you’re so right, let’s stick to the old models — they work so well for us.

        Nobody needs new anti-piracy technology and laws.

        Reply
          • Anonymous

            “Though one day I hope to work for Google or a company like it

            Try the Pirate Bay.

  25. Anon

    Never give in to this none sense because the concept of commerce was force down the tech industry.PPL in music have past that stage.

    Reply
  26. Rosco

    This article was chock-full of the usual Silicon Valley bullshit we’ve been hearing for over a decade now. “Give up on ever having enforcible property rights, artists. The sooner you realize you’re second class citizens the faster you’ll be able to collect donations!!” Fuck off.

    Ari should go work at Google. He’d fit right in.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      How dare you wish such evil on Ari, like free gourmet food, and endless assortment of benefits, a high end six figure salary, and highest job satisfaction of any corporation in the world.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “highest job satisfaction of any corporation in the world”

        Hm, is that why they quit or end up dead on heroin in the company of hired hookers?

        Reply
      • Rosco

        “How dare you wish such evil on Ari, like free gourmet food, and endless assortment of benefits, a high end six figure salary, and highest job satisfaction of any corporation in the world.”
        —————————————————–

        Google is indeed a pretty cushy gig for shameless philistines willing to exploit anyone for a dollar. If you hate artists and love the NSA I can’t think of a better company to work for.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “If you hate artists and love the NSA I can’t think of a better company to work for.”

          Haha, true!

          Reply
          • Fareplay

            Didn’t you know that the NSA gets all their information from Google’s analytics.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah I’m sure that’s it. Not that you pretty much have to be a top tier computer scientist, and even then it’s no guarantee of a job offer.

          Reply
  27. mickhale

    As always, these articles and solutions speak to a small fraction of the actual music industry, bands and artists still young enough to have the stamina and looks to build an audience from the coffee house up. The solutions totally ignore the other 80% of the music industry: film composers, TV composers, song writers, lyricists, session players, studio owners and employees, live concert promotors and employees, mixers, engineers, professors, publishers, unions, all of this gutted by the petty larceny of music.

    So yes, music sales are gone, but understand the solutions and suggestions only apply to a narrow sample of what constitutes the music industry. It used to be you could take your shot at being a star and if that failed there were myriad avenues to build a career from. No more. Those of us left built their careers long ago in another era.

    Reply
  28. DIY & Lovin It

    LOL. Well thank god I don’t listen to naysayers . So happy so many have given up. Leaves more room for the rest of us 🙂

    Reply
  29. Colin

    At some point, musicians will realize that making music is not a career and stop trying. When the supply diminishes, will things change back? Probably not because most modern pop music can be created by some producer with a computer generating fake sounds. Add a barbie doll and you have a hit.

    Reply
  30. the voice of reason

    um…there’s a thing call a job….quit whining. i’ve been a pro player for over 30 years, the well ran dry, i went and got a job. F-your integrity. I like to eat and have a house and a car…

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “If the biggest act in the world can’t sell music”

      But it can! It just sold an album to Apple for millions of dollars!

      A year ago, Samsung paid $5m for 1m copies of Jay-Z’s new album. Apple tops that now: 500m copies!!!

      Just goes to show how extremely valuable music is today!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        How much did Apple pay for it? I see no verified numbers? Is it like the Super Bowl?

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          Here’s what we know: You don’t sell 500m U2 copies for less than 1m Jay-Z copies. 🙂

          We need to start a new conversation:

          Why is music so extremely valuable to Big Tech today — and how do we monetize that fact?

          Reply
  31. Versus

    No. Completely defeatist argument.

    People can learn to pay again.

    Laws against piracy can be properly, fairly, and consistently enforced.
    Fines levied can be used to compensate musicians for the losses.

    Better pay-outs from streaming services can be achieved.

    Reply
  32. PriMarkMus

    “What’s wrong with a 23 year old who loves a band paying $250 for a PledgeMusic exclusive, $5 per video released on Patreon, an $18 ticket for their concert, a $25 t-shirt and a backstage “experience” for $50 …”

    Sounds like a “capital” idea, actually.

    Reply
    • FarePlay

      Can you name another industry, beside religion, that depends on the gifts of others to stay in business?

      Reply
          • Anonymous

            “Can you name another industry, beside religion, that depends on the gifts of others to stay in business, besides those that depend on gifts from others to stay in business?”

      • There is+something...

        In fact medical research depends a lot on “gifts”. And we literally speak here about saving peoples life.

        Reply
        • FarePlay

          I said depend on donations, not add to the immense funding that pharma gets from the VC community and tax breaks from thew government.

          You gotta be kidding.

          Reply
        • Bob

          Medical research, pharma research, etc. are not a good analogy to music sales because one is ‘research’ while the other is ‘production’.

          Medical research corresponds more closely to the songwriting stage before producing a record. People donate $$ to medical research in hopes it leads to the invetion of some valuable product. And the people doing that research make decent salaries from that $$ while they’re doing the research. But once that product has been created, it’s patented, and sold. And anyone caught making illegal copies, or stealing valid copies, is dealt with swiftly and severely. When’s the last time anyone walked into a pharmacy and walked out wit a bottle of pills without paying, and expected to do so with impunity?

          Now, if people want to start donating millions of dollars to provide songwriters a decent salary so they can do basic songwriting research for a living, I bet songwriters woud be cool with that.

          Reply
      • wallow-T

        The original design and build-out of the Internet was generally done on a gift economy basis. I’m not referring to the World Wide Web, but the earlier and lower-level stuff which got all the different computers talking to each other, plus the user applications (and content) up through the first WWW version. Employers largely donated time of their people to work on this funky project with no visible dollar return. The core protocols and standards were gifted for everyone to use; that was a requirement if everyone’s computer was to talk to everyone else’s computer.

        Tim Berners-Lee did not patent his creation of the World Wide Web protocols, that was a huge gift right there.

        Reply
        • Fareplay

          Unrelated example. The web developers chose to donate their time, the musicians only do this because they are forced to. But as a milennial I get that your mind computes this way, it is part of your reality distortion field.

          This is fascinating, who else has an analogy? Bonehead, your toast already.

          Reply
  33. chippie

    Ari, excellent article. You’re spot-on, as usual. While perhaps never becoming famous, you’ll continue making a good living by thinking outside the box in this new musical world order. Meanwhile, the petty retards in this comments section are too busy fucking this and that (my, don’t the retards just love the f-word) to hustle, work smart and get their careers in gear.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “An excellent article”…for burgeoning technotopians and snake oil charlatans.

      You’d have to be a complete idiot to think this article was “spot-on” about anything.

      Reply
  34. Richard Homawoo

    Impressive article. I got a lot of ideas from this single article. The way we adapt to market trends will determine whether we lose or win.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  35. Anonymous

    Meanwhile, in the real world:

    Music is extremely valuable! 🙂

    Apple just paid millions for U2s new album — like Samsung paid millions for Jay-Zs album in 2013 — and a new trade report now shows that the Music Industry added no less than £3.8bn to the UK economy in 2013!

    Great to see that the haters were wrong. Musis is not free, it’s not cheap, and you should definitely not give it away!

    Reply
  36. Bobby

    So what are the solutions? Develop technology that prevents “fans” from stealing from artists.

    Is it right when the record companies steal from artists? No.
    Is it right when tech business steals from artists? No.
    And it is now right when fans steal from artists? No.

    If I went to a “fan’s” house and took 1/3 of the food he eats in a day in front of his eyes, how would he feel? Or if I took 1/3 of his “toys”, like his TV and his computer, and money from him, how would he feel?

    Stealing isn’t right.

    Secondly, with U2’s current disaster, it doesn’t look like giving music away creates any respect whatsoever for an artist. I really enjoyed listening to Radiohead until their music was free. I haven’t downloaded any of the free music, but I paid for OK Computer, and I will pay for it again. I spend about $20/mo at iTunes to support the artists who play the music that I love. And I’m the one who’s not in step with the times. I also lead a team of web developers that build web services online. We live on the bleeding edge of technology. That’s how I make money

    What’s wrong with the music industry? Why are we taking this stance that it’s OK for fans to steal?

    Reply
  37. FarePlay

    Always hated the headline of this article. Time for musicians and songwriters to stand up and stop bending over.

    “Up to 15 percent of the music that Sirius XM plays is from before 1972. It paid recording royalties last year equivalent to about 9 percent of its $3.8 billion in revenue.” Ben Sisario, NYT

    So, time for Pandora, Spotify, et al to stop blaming the cost of copyright for their troubles and start selling subscriptions and advertising, like Sirius XM. Man Up, Pay Up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/24/business/media/sirius-xm-loses-suit-on-royalties-for-oldies.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140923&nlid=47357167&amp;

    Reply
  38. Nancy Hollo

    That’s sad, when the music becomes the hook to get fans to spend money. What if the music industry has to lay down and die and let the musicians come down off their pedestals and get back on the front porch? Get a day job! When will music stop being a spectator sport or a competitive game and get back into people’s hearts and souls? How much longer do we have to put up with the “idol” paradigm? The rock star in the spotlight surrounded by adoring fans is even how Christian church services play out. It’s been a moneymaker, but things are changing! It’s the music lovers time now, not the money makers.

    Reply
  39. Lefty Green

    The music “industry” has managed to pull the rug from under the indie artists who create content. They use all of the content in a format where they control the purse-strings, owning the streaming format and paying almost nothing for it, but still rakin’ in larger than life profits. It only took a decade for industry moguls to regain their control, and once again are the gate-keepers for artistic and financial success.

    One of the comments in the article stated: “And major label artists never made much from album sales anyways.” But the Beatles never toured past 65 and continued to become multi-millionaires; so what’s with that.

    The “decline of the music industry”, is also a canard. There is more money being made that ever. It’s all digital; no pressing of recorded materials, no distribution costs… it’s all “passive income” but the creators of content get pennies, subsidizing their art with day jobs, while the rip off owners of the streaming apparatus are makin’ millions.

    To make matters worse… artists are expected to start pumpin’ out merchandise to make up for their losses to the industry shareholders. It’s the American dream… artists are asleep while someone else is pickin’ their pockets.

    Reply
  40. rikki

    Thats exactly what U2 wants more packed stadiums at $1million per show!

    I make a living going out and playing shows.” – Lyle Lovett

    Reply
  41. Anonymous

    Or you could put it like, “Musicians Aren’t Going To Release (New Good) Music Anymore. And That’s Ok.”

    Reply
  42. FarePlay

    john Friday, October 3, 2014

    ok so i put my bands best of album on a free torrent bundle. one song was available without giving an email, whole album was available for just entering your email. of 1000 “downloads” only 10 percent entered the email to get the full thing. Granted Thom Yorke was directing his loyal fans to the site, but still this 1 million number is highly suspect.

    Reply

    FarePlay Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    John, what you just said confirms what I’ve been thinking about lately. An occurrence that flies in the face of current beliefs.

    You put your band’s best material out there and only 10% cared enough to give you an e-mail address to get the rest.

    The damage created by piracy is far worse than we have imagined and the Spotify model takes us further down that dark hole.

    The entire belief that free is/was a great strategy for getting heard and promoting a band simply doesn’t fly; people don’t value music because the marketplace is telling them that music has no value.

    I had this realization with the U2 free record. I’m a fan, I like their music, but there was no immediacy to listen to it. In fact I heard it for the first time a few days ago, even though I downloaded it the day it became available.

    I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me and then it just dawned on me. It’s like a kid who gets a brand new car for graduation and never takes care of it and before too long it is just a dirty, funky piece of metal. When it’s free you have no skin in the game. That’s why going to concerts and better yet festivals are what kids want. It’s more about the party than the music. It’s more about a cell phone picture than being locked on the music.

    Most of you commenters under thirty will not get this, it is your known. You grew up in a world of free and it doesn’t mean shit to you.

    Reply
  43. Satin Beige

    Excellent article!!!! Made me SO Happy reading this! The way forward is to embrace change rather than fight it.

    Reply
  44. Dub Gabriel

    The solution option is idiotic, Ya, a smaller number of hard core fans ca support a artist, but to expect fans to spend $500 a year every year just won’t happen. The whole digital music system was and always has been to support the player (iphone) or now the new player is the services (Spotishit). At the end of the day, this is why digital as a medium to support the arts will never work. Digital is set up to be disposable and lacks the engagement with fans.

    Reply
  45. firebackrecords

    It seems like there is no one service that will work 100% for a music artist. Maybe artists need to use a combination of services such as, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes and Indiegogo. To sell, promote and fund their projects.

    Reply
  46. Ian Cross

    It makes me so mad when I see articles like this. This dude completely ignores all the data we are looking at. Even the title is wrong. If people are paying for music subscription services, they are buying music. The music business might not be healthy at the moment but that is all going to change in the next few years.

    This is really wonky (and long) but here are the numbers:

    First of all streaming is growing by leap and bounds.

    According to a midyear report from the Recording Industry Assn. of America, music streaming revenues have grown by 28% since mid-2013, to $859 million by the middle of this year. Since the cost of a streaming subscription, at roughly $120 a year, is more than the average consumer spent on music, even at the industry’s peak (before the internet savaged sales) this could help the recorded music industry stem its shrinking revenues as soon as next year, and then return to growth.

    Credit Suisse earlier this year forecast that global streaming-music subscriptions would rise from less than 20 million currently to almost 150 million by 2025.

    Spotify increased its revenues 73.6 percent last year, revenues grew $395.4 million in 2013 compared to $299.4 million in 2012.

    Here’s another fact. People who stream, buy:

    A new study released by the Country Music Association suggests that adults 18-plus are far more likely to buy music after being exposed to it on YouTube, Spotify and other streaming services than listeners who hear a song for the first time on AM/FM radio.

    The study, which focused on consumers who remembered hearing a new track in the previous seven days, asked where they heard the music, if it was by an artist they were already familiar with, and how they responded to the most recent new song they heard.
    Some 69 percent took some action, whether that meant searching for further information, playing it for a friend or making a purchase. Invariably, users who discovered the song online were more likely to respond. Half who listened on a streaming app did further research — such as hitting Shazam to identify the artist, or Googling the lyrics. That figure is triple the 17 percent of radio listeners who conducted follow-up research.

    More importantly for labels and artists, fans who streamed a new song were three times as likely to buy it than listeners who were exposed to it on radio. Some 25 percent of respondents purchased a new piece of material after hearing it for the first time online, while only 8 percent of radio listeners bought it.

    Consuming music through apps is, of course, easier (and safer) than buying music while listening to the radio in a car. But that’s not the only thing driving the disparity.

    “A lot of the streaming users are very heavy music enthusiasts, so they do want to have a collection of music and they are buying the music,” says CMA senior director market research Karen Stump. “Obviously it’s not 50 percent, like we’d all like it to be, but compared to other discovery platforms, it is definitely a significant player to driving purchase conversion.”

    Spotify vs. Terrestrial radio. Spotify actually pays more.

    Spotify royalties exceed those paid by terrestrial radio in the U.S. and the U.K. That’s the conclusion of David Touve, an Assistant Professor of Business at Washington & Lee University who has long studied the music industry.

    Per-listener, a spin on terrestrial radio ranges from $0.000186 to $0.000372 in the U.S. A typical Spotify payout of $0.007 cents per stream (an estimate based on Billboard sources and media reports) is many times greater (i’m no mathematician) than $0.000186 and $0.000372.

    Radio royalties may seem relatively large because people tend not to think of them in terms of revenue generated for transmitting a song to an individual listener. A single spin on terrestrial radio is heard by a large audience, and the performance royalties paid by a station is a function of its revenue. In contrast, payouts by on-demand services such as Spotify are reported as a per-play royalty. Thus, radio royalties seem big because many people are listening while on-demand royalties seem small because only one person is listening.

    In other words, on-demand streaming generates more royalties for each time a single person hears a song. The biggest difference between radio and on-demand is the size of the audience. Radio royalties feel bigger because so many people listen to radio. And on-demand royalties feel small because so few people use services like Spotify.

    While the payouts on Spotify seem very low you have to understand that will all change in the next 5-10 years. In a big way.

    Say you are an artist, your song got ten million streams on Spotify. At .007 cents per stream your song generates a measly $70,000 dollars. Not great, I admit. Fast forward 5-8 years. An important statistic is where most people listen to music. It’s in their cars. Ford is the first company to offer Spotify streaming. Once every car rolls out with streaming services(built in to the price point) these kids brought up on streaming youtube will sign right up.

    Now there are 100 million paid Spotify subscribers. With ten million subscribers you had ten million streams so basic math shows with 100 million customers you are getting 100 million streams. That’s $700,000 dollars. Better than 70,000 but it still doesn’t seem like a lot of money for 100 million plays, right? However, Clavin Harris’ song “Summer” (a top ten hit worldwide) got 160 million spins with 10 million subscribers. At 100 million subscribers that’s now 1.6 billion streams!! All of a sudden those 7 tenths of a penny are adding up pretty good. Those thousands are now millions of dollars. That’s one song from one source.

    I know a lot of people think Spotify should pay a higher rate but they are already paying out 70 percent of their revenues. That’s a lot for any company. Who are they paying that 70 percent to? The same old greedy record companies.

    The big takeaway is Artists have to start negotiating higher splits for streaming before they even sign a record deal. Your music is your gold. There will be the next John Lennon who will decide “I’m not signing that deal.” He or she will say “You want my music, I need better splits.” That will then become the industry standard. I very much look forward to that day.

    Reply
  47. JaWa

    Ok, so musicians don’t make money of music sales anymore, why does google or spotify get to? Their businesses models are being supported by investors who will make money. The developers and marketers and everyone else at these companies are making money off of musicians and other creatives. That’s the rub… either no one makes money off of the backs of artists, or everybody involved gets something fair. Investors are squeezing everyone to make more money and pay people less. Anyone see some of the pay checks those sony managers are getting? Come on, where’s your anger?

    Reply
  48. John Dugdale

    New artists coming along today have never experienced the “traditional” method which artists monetized their music. It is these artists that are looking for more creative ways to earn a fair revenue from the efforts they put in. It is a balance from promoting themselves, often for very little or nothing in terms of money – just to get themselves heard with the hope of increasing their fan base. In return if they can receive a fair price for streaming, receive donations and exposure they can grow organically. New artists of today have to look at creative ways, becoming more well known an earning. Technology is very competitive and alone can not change the way people find things for free – building a strong fan base, a brand and loyalty is what is key. I urge you to look at MeWe Music – this platform from what I have read is trying to do exactly this. mewemusic.com

    Reply
    • Esol Esek

      What part of fair price streaming does not exist do you not understand? STREAMING IS SIGNING YOUR MUSIC AWAY IN PERPETUITY PERIOD!

      Reply
  49. Justin

    I just want to say, I’m really truly disgusted with the greedy of humanity and music “fans”.

    I am a popular, well known songwriter. For obvious reasons I don’t want to reveal who I really am. I see my songs getting played a tremendous amount of times daily on Soundcloud. Some people have listened to my songs over 200 times… And almost none of these selfish, greedy fans of mine – who number in the many thousands – have ever supported my music in the way that truly matters – with contributing money. I’m broke, and desperate, and a popular songwriter. Everyone wants to spend money on themselves, and no one wants to spend money on great bands that are contributing great music to their lives. It’s truly revolting and disgusting how greedy humanity is. Nothing will teach you how greedy humanity is like writing songs a lot of people love. The thing is, these music “fans” who listen to songs by artists they like over and over again for free, have no idea how much hate the artist they’re listening to has for them. The artist can obviously never admit it… But it’s true… Speaking for all the popular songwriters, for all the popular bands who see their music getting played hundreds or thousands of times a day… Speaking for all of them to all your music “fans” who listen to music for free and never support the artist you’re listening to financially… We hate you, we hate you for being greedy to an extent that’s impossible to believe… We hate you, and the only way we can tell our “fans” that, is by being anonymous.

    Reply
    • The Sad Musician

      So sorry that you hate your fans. I don’t think they all understand what they are doing to the artist n songwriters. I really don’t think they all really pay attention. They feel that you all most have so much money and that you’re doing well, I wish they can realize this soon for everyones sake. Please don’t hate, be disappointed, hate is so strong. But I really do understand. Hope things workout soon n that everyone gets what they want.

      Peace,
      The Sad Musician

      Reply
    • Esol Esek

      Hating fans is pointless and stupid. Money is being made off of music, writing, photography, and video, but the only people making the money are the Googles and the other megageek jerk wads making money off of streaming. Now even Beatport is doing it for christs sake.

      The only solution is via the courts, along the lines of Irving Azoff, and for all musicians starting out NOT to license their material to these people, and build a following the same old way, playing live and getting on college radio. Its the only way.

      Reply
  50. nana

    I appreciate what you have to say and Thank you for your insight on this situation. I for one am starting my own Independent recording company. As a musician myself I needed to know how I will get my music out there n be sold without having a major label. These tidbits are very helpful to me. Thank you

    Reply
  51. Entertainers Plus

    Just an idea –
    If some investor/mentor of music, or some group such as the International Music Awards Group – could start a server such as YouTube with a paid membership offering stipends to members worldwide – for music videos or music playback only**. Kind of an elitist club or lottery music channel. Those who join can vote on their fav vids*, and the more the vid wins votes, they earn. The voter him/herself is monetized somewhat,*** too. Advertisers of course would be a source of revenues also. I think it could work – thereby many YT video creators will drift away to join such a network so they have a chance to earn. And quite possibly the suppliers of these music videos will only offer quality viewing because they have to “join” also. An ebay of videoland so-to-speak?
    Go ahead someone, take my idea and run with it! If I could, I would!
    *(allowing one vote per person) **(using a code to prevent downloads/ piracy – it’s out there and available)
    ***payment per vote

    Reply
  52. getrealpeople

    Really, the only people making money are the distributors; songs uploaded in this mundane pool of shit of so called songwriters are exploited, fed out to nobody, and all of you egomaniacs need to wake up to the fact that digital distribution is designed to exploit your base needs of being famous. You exploit yourselves – make a website, a single download link of your own, watch as nobody but your mother downloads your songs.. blame the world.. pay a distributor to qualify your ego… see that nobody buys your songs… then, please, wake up!! It’s just exploitation of your creative narcissism… and YOU all support it because you’re morons!
    Pathetic.

    Reply
  53. Me2

    Think about it this way,

    Once an ad is placed over a video or song, there is money involved.

    Even if the end viewer or listener isn’t paying any money, he or she is still spending time and attention. ie mostly putting up with the ad or waiting to click through.

    So really, it isn’t free anymore at all. I’ts big bucks actually!

    Who gets to keep whatever monies from the advertiser is an entirely different argument. Maybe the viewers should get paid some too.

    Hope this helps.

    Reply
  54. Noel Troy

    There are 2 problems struggling musicians face:
    1) How to get exposure when some 200 million songs stand between you and music fans.
    2) Even if you wrangle past the 200M song roadblock and somehow get exposure, how can you make sales?

    Solution:
    a) A crowd filter is needed to clear the roadblock, removing the lesser songs
    b) The crowd filter must (without bias) also elevate the truly great songs, and generate song sales.

    Keeping songs anonymous so that ratings are impartial ensures no bias. A fair, equal opportunity pathway to Mass Exposure …if your song is good enough to clear the filters.
    Keeping songs anonymous also means when a reviewer loves a song clip, they have no choice but buy the song …if they want to hear the whole song & discover the artist.

    This is what isongu.com is all about: A fair path to meaningful exposure (song sales). And fair compensation of artists.

    Reply
  55. Anonymous

    I think more to the point is that a lot of virtually unknown artists think that because they are putting music online, somebody will want to buy it. Not so. Historically, ‘risk purchasers’ have always been in a minority. People can listen in on your music, and maybe not like it enough to buy it.
    As for major artists, they’ve made their millions so it doesn’t matter to them if only a quarter of their audience buys their music as compared to say, 15 years ago.
    If you are serious about making a living from being a musician, then you have to do the things that all real musicians do – get out there and play. Make it a job that you have to work hard at. If you are someone who never leaves your bedroom and lives in a fantasy world, forget it – nobody is ever going to be interested in your music.

    Reply
  56. william

    It seems as if most people here don’t realize, like our government doesn’t, that all laws are subject to what the majority of penniless people do, not the other way around. I swear, I think the baby boomers actually believe that my generation fails to see the connection between paying per album and artists making a living. We do see that correlation, thanks very much.

    Reply
  57. Cashish

    I just stopped releasing music. I like my music better than anything out there, so do the many who have heard it. I’ll continue to make better and better music until I die and then it will be incinerated along with my body. The clowns that write articles on here make it seem like artists have tons of cash and time stashed away somewhere with which to make videos, pay for all the equipment, cover our overhead with limitless day jobs, and then just “give it away for free because that makes die hard fans like you more!”

    I couldn’t care less anymore. My music is now for me. If you stop paying a farmer to produce crops, do you still expect bushels of food at harvest time? That’s a growing trend as well by the way, I know many farmers who have just stopped producing for the masses because the masses have gotten so lazy in America and everyone is on the dole from the government who pays pennies on the dollar for the equivalent return.

    If you want people to continue to produce their wares, pay for them. Otherwise enjoy an endless stream of duplicated pop “artists” that sound like Michael Jackson and Madonna circa 1984. Everyone would rather go communist anyway so enjoy the ride, guaranteed to be as fruitless as it was for The Soviet Union circa 1984.

    Reply
  58. Boo

    Artists drop their labels.

    Develop own money management skills.

    Problem solved.

    Reply
  59. Andres

    The real problem is that crappy commercial music won the darwinian race for survival and the virtuous and special music is extinguished except in youtube videos as relics from the past – to never be produced again. Who would think that the marxist agenda and soul-less pop likes of j-lo and pitbull would team up to destroy art and culture.

    Reply
  60. Peterboy

    “this beautiful new world full of alternative revenue sources”

    What? I don’t know what this means. I could drive a taxi. [revenue source]
    I could tend bar. [revenue source]
    I could paint houses. [revenue source]
    Yeah. It’s definitely a world of alternative revenue sources.

    If you’re really an artist, you’ll find “alternative revenue sources” to support your art and craft without relying upon doubtful and nebulous pipe dreams of “making it” in the music industry. For instance… You could make more money making flies for fly fishermen. (a very fine art) But in the Pop music industry, it never really was about the music. It was always (and this is what always sold) about how cool you were.

    More importantly, The “artists” or performers who’s pictures were on the front page of Rolling Stone and Teen Idle and a hundred Pop Music publications were promoted by entrepreneurs who were well connected in the entertainment industry and who’s last names were usually Cohen, Cline, Ross, Goldberg or Fitch. And usually from the same management and law firm of the same name…

    If you didn’t have a Jewish manager back in the day, (or even today for that matter) you were shit out of luck because they made the industry what it was. Not! What it is today. It was never, ever about the product. It was always about the salesman’s talent and how he managed networks.

    Reply
  61. Weirwolfe

    I give my music away for free. I’ve also done the distro thing with CDBaby. I’ve sold about 15 copies, digital and physicalof my last album. I have a Bandcamp page. I’ve done all the promo myself and received a few favourable and not so favourable reviews from credible Metal sites. I won’t lie and say I’m only doing it for the art. I’d love to break even at least. Recording is expensive. Maybe some little kid sitting in his bedroom right now playing on his/her computer will come up with a way of preventing illegal downloading in the future. But is that really the problem? Steams on Spotify etc should be minimum a buck at least. The genuine music fan will always pay for their tunes. Maybe if artists started boycotting streaming sites that pay pittance and form some sort of trade union to protect their craft and integrity the state of play might change. One can only dream.

    Reply
  62. Danny

    You’re talking about music all the time only as profitable industry, for many of us, it’s an art. So, we couldn’t f((((in care less for how much greedy people will earn. I buy my music, paying for each track $2.99 if it’s very new, and 1.99 after that. I keep it far away from iShit, iTunes, iApple, and all other iiiii software. It’s mine forever.

    “What’s wrong with a 23 year old who loves a band paying $250 for a PledgeMusic exclusive, $5 per video released on Patreon, an $18 ticket for their concert, a $25 t-shirt and a backstage “experience” for $50, but never download an album or buy a CD? What’s wrong with that?”
    You make me puke, that is what’s wrong. it’s obvious that music is last on your mind, t-shirt ? Really, lighter for $10, $200 shoes, you got perfume too? How much

    It’s only a two words: media whores

    Reply
  63. markey

    Listen, as a former employee of At&t, let me tell you what the future is. Youre right, the industry “walked away” from suing, and youtube stopped ripping down songs for copyright issues, unlees youre that crybaby prince.
    the reason? they are all paying for rights to play music.
    2. computers that used to be fully scalable, turned to laptops which were not, and turned to pads which have even LESS options. Due to phone popularity, COMPUTERS and tablets have “apps” (nothing but another word for programs, but due to human mental conditioning from at&t, you now dont mind if they crash, or ask for personal info) You also do not upload much with a phone or tablet but things filmed with the phone or tablet. But your bran new music video? or a movie? the phones and tablet “apps” are slowly ripping that from you as an option. Starting with the phone industry refusal to embrace “flash”.the most popular video playback program in the world. Yet totally embracing youtube’s player. then Google purchased youtube. thank you at&t.
    3. Google, now in full control, started using “algorithms” to say what is a “view” and what isnt. And froze views on people they suspected as “paying for hits”. I for one didnt even know how to do that, and had my videos frozen, and actually REVERSED in hits. that was 2009. Miraculously, others that are corporate backs, were getting millions of hits, despite the fact that google isnt even seen all over the world, nor is youtube. AND other countries only have access to the net in certain areas , times and building. Google now allows you to pay THEM to get more hits, assuring front page views on youtube. But have you noticed there are ZERO local videos getting front page status any more? thats because youtube panders to Jimmy kimmel and taylor swift, who pay giant money to them to be on the front page and magically have more hits than there are humans in the united states and several other countries combined! (keep in mind, google now claims every view is only counted ONCE by the same computer. regardless of how many times you view the video)

    4.AT&T dropped any concern at all for telephones years ago, when AT&T became at&t (owner SBC kept the name AT&T and dropped it to lower case) they created Uverse, a terrible attempt at tv, over out of date phone lines, and it only works well if youre very close to the main boxes so your signal doesnt have to travel far on those old phone wires to your home. they actually have Internet based phone service (voip). And the platform is actually Microsoft, who contracted with at&t to hand them “uverse” under a different name. But it was Microsoft tv, in england originally. A
    5. At&t and comcast (a former ma bell company themselves), pushed the president to hurl everyone off rabbit ears tv, into the clutches of THEM, and dish companies, which at&t was part of. they were hooked with dish network, but parted ways, and used directv for those that couldnt get Uverse due to distance. THEN at&t purchased Directv. Now people truly are getting cable from Ma bell again, just under a different name. Despite the fact that phones are run over the internet, and therefore should be as free to use as the cable is, which is ALSO internet based, at&t sets a $30 a month price. (in other words, your cable doesnt know the difference in a digital pack that is sending you a tv picture, or a phone signal or an internet signal. You dont pay for sertain amounts of use on the internet on your computer do you? no. HENCE THE NEED TO DROP PEOPLE FROM USING THEM, and go to a venue where you in fact DO expect to pay inch by inch for internet access…CELL PHONES. the computers now look more like cell phones in the way they are used. SOON YOU WILL NOT MIND PAYING FOR INTERNET ACCESS AGAIN ON A COMPUTER BY THE AMOUNT OF DATA USE. because the generation accepting it woulnd have been primed by at&t via PHONE behaviors.)youre paying 30 a month for a phone thats hooked to your internet. that would be like paying 30 dollars a month for use of a Mouse on a computer. or 30 dollars extra for a certain channel. OH WAIT, they already have you thinking THAT is ok, dont they? then lets move on.

    6. THE MUSIC INDUSTRY is getting paid by people watching the videos, listening on pandora, and other places like soundcloud. THEN IN TURN PAYS ARTIST EVEN LESS THAN THEY EVER HAVE. hence taylor swift’s bitching and moaning about apple. BUT NON LABEL ARTISTS get paid far more than taylor will. If she were a real musician, she’d have made and recorded the music HERSELF, and ALL the proceeds come to HER. not split by producers, writers, artists, execs, managers, etc. HOWEVER THERE IS A MAJOR PROBLEM NOW. these local people STILL have the ability to UPLOAD content at all. HOW CAN THE CORPORATIONS BLOCK YOU AND I FROM UPLOADING AT ALL and gaining a following? how do they get the population to simply NEVER SEE you and I?

    7. THE FUTURE: MAKE NO MISTAKE, this is about to happen. Cable tv, is going away. They will provide NOTHIN but internet, and you will use a dongle, stuck in your smart tv. Like roku is doing. COMPAST and AT&T will say “we can increase download speed by no longer providing tv content down that pipe, and just offer access with these players” At least thats what they will tell YOU! Uverse for example, is ACTUALLY 56 download speed, but it is provisioned for the “television” portion. And your computer? the section off 3, 6, 12 speeds for that. ALSO, upload speeds? have not improved and they will not either. WHY should they increase the speed of UPLOADING if they can just make it so all you upload is pictures and CELL PHONE videos of your mom at the birthday party?
    THEY WILL LOBBY TO BLOCK US ALL FROM UPLOADING ANY CONTENT AT ALL. they will hide this behind a lie. A false flag, a red herring. they will say, “look at how terrorists are able to organize, or mass shooters can upload videos!! look at the bullying going on!! Perhaps we should have the FCC regulate uploading! So then you will have to have a LICENSE to upload, just like you have to have a LICENSE to broadcast on normal tv.

    THEY WILL THROW A BONE at us, to save the facebook uploading type things. But uploading music? GONE!

    then they will say that will stops piracy. they will say that the death of people uploading will end movie pirate sites as well. AND AMERICA WILL EMBRACE IT BECAUSE IT WILL BE HIDDEN BEHIND PROTECTING AMERICA from terrorist!!! BAD OLE TERRORISTS who organize online. they already are talking about that crap. the funny thing is…How can ANYONE do ANYTHING on the net when the net is brought to you by american companies, and on the government’s platform? HOW can bin ladin or ANYONE ELSE use a cell phone to upload when all the technology is on american networks, at some point and ALL phone technology has to pay at&t in order to operate because they hold the patent? at&t is not america. they are global.
    You mean to tell me, a terrorist can upload without the company supplying the signal knowing it? really!? You really think they are that inept?

    BY REQUIRING A LICENCE TO UPLOAD, they will say to the minorities and poor, “we have freed up bandwidth, and can provide you internet in those remote areas!! oh happy day!!” and people will bless them.

    EVERY political leader will jump on board. AND the people wont care that they dont have upload content because this is a talentless generation, that do more YOUTUBE WATCHING than YOUTUBE ADDING.
    THE INTERNET IS ABOUT TO BECOME TV. you think the entertainment industry is going to just walk away and let locals get paid? We are in the early stages of modern tv, like in the past…when locals could get on tv or radio with ease…like BOZO the clown or sherri lewis and her puppet lamb chop, without having to have Millions of dolllars.

    Reply
  64. jako

    Up to now: music = money.

    From now on increasingly: music ≠ money.

    That is as simple as that and people will have to embrace it. The roots are taking hold again and the nature takes its place back. Money is nothing. It’s an illusion.

    Reply
  65. musicrulez

    I’ve never blamed the fans for any of what’s changed in the music biz. I also believe that if you are helping a musican in being heard you should receive your cut. But, that’s just not the case anymore . For all the music creators out there… Go out and get a job so you can make a decent living, if you aren’t making music anymore , then no one will be able to steal or live off your works legally. Go to work collect your pay and be done with it. Eventually you’ll learn to see that you can still have fun creating music without sharing it with anyone. Fuck everyone else, no one will be there for you now, so let them live on listening to all the old tunes, we owe them nothing. Then when they are all sick of the old tunes, they can just listen to ’em again and again. Never give in. Yes, it sucks to leave the fans without, but at the same time, they did leave us without (again not their fault.). We can just figure out another way for them to get it straight from the musician utilizing new technologies available to us for them, and respectively pay only the ones who provide us with this new path. In the end, it could prove to be more beneficial to us musicians and our fans. Good luck to all you struggling musicians out there!!!

    Reply
  66. Leon Rosen

    Your idea is that we artists should rely on

    A. The wealthy.

    B. to donate like we’re a charity.

    Instead of

    C. The purpose of a lock is to keep honest people honest. They will scream and cry, but anti piracy will eventually be enforcable. Not today, but eventually. I spent 13000 dollars on my current EP. I saved for a year. Got in a motorcycle accident and didn’t ever repair it, because if I did: no album. My fans don’t have 250 to spend on an artist. They are not wealthy either.

    This is not an issue of art. This is an issue of labor, and of the creation and enforcement of labor laws. your idea of inevitability is silly, and weak. Yes, right now its how it is. But beating a “hey its okay, we can beg for a living!” is not a legitimate methodology.

    Reply
  67. JOE SILVA

    this is like saying ok you have a job lets say manager of a company and suddenly some one believes your job should be for free so they tell you ok its ok now you can earn alternatively in other ways now you can clean the bathroom, drive the company trucks and do all sort of stuff because no one want to pay you anymore,

    to believe every indie and upcoming artist have access to alot of fans and money to invest in t shirts and stuff is crazy most struggle to buy the gear they need to put a decent record out and with alot of effort and probably working 2 shifts including some burger king jobs, just to hear from people that they think all that effort should be free.

    Not every musician is a major musician with tons of fans and tons of money if you dont support those indie artist you may end up not helping the next big thing in whatever music style you like, so at the end you will support those big stars in old labels and thats exactly why music industri started to decline and why to be indie became popular because people wanted new exciting music not offered in major labels and labels where fucking artists not paying welll and charging too much to constumers

    now is easy to support indie by buying the album(directly or by bandcamp etc) that cost them so many hours and so much effort to make so they can probably take the time to do a second one and then start to gather some crowd, other wise never will happen because they have to work in mcdonalds again or take a full time job in other stuff, not good for industry not good for people who wants new exciting music.

    gear to produce a decent album is not cheap, you can argue some steal software but not all and also there is plenty of time and hard work years of study behind it you name it, musicians are people same as you and same you feel you should be paid because you go to work every day same thing for them music doens male itself .

    Reply
  68. Tim

    The record companies are the ones crying because downloading makes them irrelevant. This is good. All they ever did was steal.

    People cry today you can break out in the music industry. Yet ifyou are any good you can put yourself on youtube and have instant access to people worldwide. If you are good people will notice. Another win for “artists”.

    The only real problem I see for starting acts is live shows. The dank smelly venues with rude doormen turn audiences off big time.

    Reply
  69. Rumple4Skin

    I solved the issue entirely as an artist that creates a multitude of music that I spend thousands of hours on along with tens of thousand of dollars in equipment costs, lost opportunity expenses, etc etc.

    I simply refuse to release any more music, period. I create it for me now and it remains on my studio system completely offline. I am determined to take it to my cremation with me on my solid state array. I figured if it’s not worth anything to anyone else while I’m alive then it can’t possibly be worth anything when I’m gone.

    I’ve also decided to start taking food from local farmers while they’re sleeping and “sharing” it, I figure since this is the model you all agreed upon I might as well capitalize on it myself.

    I figure at some point when the world gets tired of hearing Lady Gaga, Madonna and Gangnam style for the ten millionth time they may start to value the hard work and dedication poured into a craft that has now lost its soul thanks to an ignorant public.

    Reply
  70. LP

    I really don’t get why most of you are pissed off about the online platforms to distribute your music! I think you need to give yourselves a fucking shake to be honest.

    You are not entitled to praise, support and rewards because you make music. Take yourself off your pedestal and god tinted glasses and realise you are no different than the consumer of your music.

    Nobody gives a fuck about you and your life because they don’t know who you are and have not had anything from you that makes them feel like you give a fuck about them. The online platforms ARE YOUR OPPORTUNITY to show who you are and connect to your listener to show you give a fuck about them. If you don’t give a fuck about your listener then why are you making music in the first place?

    For self interest: It’s a hobby.
    To make money: Get a job or start a business that pays money
    To get famous: Hire a therapist to help you build self worth
    To enrich others lives: Make incredible music that speaks to the heart, work hard at your craft, release your music into the world and get people on your mailing list. Have a website that’s all about them, talk to them, send them more free things…keep showing them you fucking care.

    Build your audience first, show them you care more than anyone else, create a sense of belonging for them, give them things for free and every now and again sell them something awesome that can change their lives for the better.

    The secret to your success is in the ability of how many people you can enrich with your gift.

    Reply
  71. butcher

    This isn’t exactly the golden age of music. In fact it’s absolutely pathetic! Musicians should be thanking Spotify and Pandora for playing their crap because if it wasn’t free, anybody with an ounce of taste wouldn’t buy it! It actually comes in handy when the powers that be relentlessly try to tell us who is popular in music. Go to Spotify, pull it up, play it, and realize it’s just another pile of steamy corporate crap! I could go on, but let’s look at some facts at what constitutes as a quality musician(s). That’s right, going right for the seventies. Which in most peoples recollection serves as the last time music was actually made! Led Zeppelin wrote 1,2,3,4 Sticks, Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti inside 5yrs. Pink Floyd wrote Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall inside 5yrs. Bob Marley wrote all of his albums in the 70’s (except Confrontation ’83), Not the 70’s but worth noting Jimi Hendrix whole career only spanned 3yrs. He wrote Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland in less than 2yrs. (Almost impossibly impressive), meanwhile David Bowie was changing music forever in the early seventies with Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Station to Station, Low, Heroes etc… from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke probably one of the most influential and gifted musicians ever. Steely Dan wrote Can’t buy a Thrill, Countdown to Ecstacy ,Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied, The Royal Scam, Aja and Gaucho all in the 70’s. There is really so many examples of great music in the 70’s (Yes I know I missed quite a few of your favorites) that if you actually sit back (headphones recommended) and listen to some of these albums it really makes you wonder who or what is responsible for the death of music. There just isn’t music or musicians like that anymore and it seems there never will be. I personally blame technology. Computers and cellphones especially. People were different and there wasn’t such a ridiculous front of self importance. Can you imagine trying to get Jerry Garcia off his cellphone, while Bob Weir is updating his Facebook status and Micky Hart is giving live Twitter updates in the studio during tracks for American Beauty? Times were better then. The band was all together partying and creating with an undivided attention to their music and each other. Technology has destroyed so much about people being people and musicians are no exception. There is this idea that companies like Apple want to push on you (saving the world one overpriced cellphone at a time) claiming that they are bringing the world together and everyone closer and connected, but the reality is people couldn’t be more detached if they tried. I recently went to Thanksgiving with my wife to her parents house. We were all sitting outside on the patio and every single person had there face buried in their phone as if that’s where life exists. Not talking to each other,asking how things are going or any kind of topic at all. I looked at my wife and it was just me and her, just like home. Maybe there’s nothing to talk about and actually being in front of someone just isn’t necessary anymore. What’s to talk about when you text each other constantly. When’s the last time you’ve actually had something to talk about when you see someone you know? I used to remember coming home and having so much to talk about and actually missing someone. I used to catch up with a few guys I know, get some beers, smoke some weed and go play some music in an old garage behind my friends house. (I played a mean bass back then lol!) People would stop by and hang out and we were all happy to see each other. Plenty to talk about, plenty of fun to be had and not a cellphone in sight (for at least another decade). It’s not like that anymore, people aren’t like that anymore and musicians won’t be like that ever again!!!!

    Reply
  72. Mark

    What utter shit. The band I ‘m to have an income stream of around $2500 a month from sales – not a great deal (and divided by 4 band mambers) but we were on a tiny independent label run by friends. Now that income stream has dropped to around $20 a month for around 4000 plays on spotify . But that’s ok we can always get our superfans to shell out a thousand dollars for a beautifully presented heavyweight vinyl box set and of course,we can get these made up out of our $20 per month income stream on spotify.

    Reply
  73. Mark

    What utter shit. The band I ‘m in used to have an income stream of around $2500 a month from sales – not a great deal (and divided by 4 band mambers) but we were on a tiny independent label run by friends. We were investing that money in recording and equipment. Now that income stream has dropped to around $20 a month for around 4000 plays on spotify . But that’s ok we can always get our superfans to shell out a thousand dollars for a beautifully presented heavyweight vinyl box set and of course,we can get these made up out of our $20 per month income stream on spotify.

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  74. Xaviersx

    Times and attitudes have changed on the value of ‘the album’, the studios and the culture of music. If nothing else, these industries have said time and time again, as the purchaser, you still own nothing but a rental and they control the distribution, which led to a souring of the consumer side of the well. Online radio was the next logical step for getting to the masses, but along the way, many have run afoul of licensing and money, and killing them only fracturing the audience they gained. Music tv shows were a last gasp at making music a cultural thing, but it comes off more gimmick, not a career builder and not an artist revenue maker. I’m not sure where commercial music goes from here, besides the business to business licensing deals (commercials, movies, tv, etc.). I know I don’t care to discover new music, just maintain my decades old collections . . . the thrill is gone.

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  75. Jason

    I can get as far as them calling themselves ‘fans’. But any of them who illegally download music and who call themselves ‘supporters’ are without a clue and beyond hope.

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  76. Rory

    Speaking as a musician and writer IT”S NOT O.K.! What’s the difference if I make a dinning room table and chair set and want to sell it at a store and record music and want to sell it on a website. In both endeavors I will spend time and money. I have heard the argument that people taking music for free isn’t like walking into a grocery store, taking a box of Poptarts of the shelf and leaving the store without paying. Yes, it’s the same damn thing! We musicians do indeed enjoy what we do but many other people who enjoy their jobs get compensated as well. What real justification could anyone have to say musicians are the exception to that rule? I don’t have a problem with people listening to our music repeatedly but I feel once it goes into their computer and they didn’t pay for it, it’s the same as if they walked into that furniture store and took the table and chair I made and wasn’t paid for.

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