Sorry, Streaming Isn’t Saving the Music Industry In 2014…

According the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), overall recording sales dropped 5% during the first half of this year, despite double-digit gains in streaming revenues.

The situation looks like this:

I. Streaming is booming…

(first-half 2014)

streamingincreases2

 

II. Everything else is basically collapsing…

(first-half 2014)

streamingincreases2

87 Responses

  1. The Truth

    “But…but when streaming figures out how to monetize, it’ll be huge!!!”

    Ha! Stupid people…

    Reply
    • Cord Pereira

      I agree. Streaming networks are selling SPAM ads. Give the labels and artists the ability to sell their own sponsorships around their music – like a pro sports team. Then it’s a premium. Huge.

      Reply
      • There is something...

        I think that U2 with Apple and Jay-Z with Samsung already “sold” their own sponsorship quite well…

        Reply
      • Remi Swierczek

        Discovery Moment Monetization!

        Mega stars can and will effortlessly out-lobby Google adholism! We just need new fair use act!

        Next day Radio, including Pandora & XM, all of the streaming, including the Spotify or any elevator can become a music store.

        $100 billion dollar music industry can be created before 2020.

        Reply
          • Remi Swierczek

            Shaman would not be able to collect all fresh tunes in to the servers and process that data without permission of the owner. No problem to sell it with PROFIT for the finical gain of Shaman and the owner.

            As we are Shaman at the request of the freeloader scrolls thru other folks private property and gives him the name of the tune and the name of the creator.

            THIS DATA IN THE ERA OF INTERNET EQUALS FULL OWNERSHIP OF SOMEONES PRIVATE PROPERTY.

            CRIMINAL EVENT! Only one out of 20 IDs goes to iTunes or Amazon $1.29 deal listed by Shaman.

            My proposal: if you like someones goods and if you want to enjoy those goods again on your terms at any time in the future PAY JUST 39¢ NOW! ($110B industry at current streaming / play levels if one out of 200 tunes ads to the playlist)

            Don’t like it wait until Radio, Spoofy or anyone else plays it again – FOR FREE! EJOY THE MOMENT!!!

          • do the math brah...

            Here’s what Subscription Models look like in the USA right now:

            Premium Cable = 52m
            Netflix = 32m
            Sirius XM = 26.3m
            Spotify = 10m

            And somehow Spotify is going to grow to 80m at $10 a head in the next three years? Really? Seriously? It’s just math Brah…

          • Remi Swierczek

            80M @$10= (e q u a l s) just ONE BILLION DOLLARS /YEAR

            …..we are INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1999 equals today $56 billion dollars after inflation adjustment.

          • math boys

            80m @ $10 a month is only paying out $7 (70% of gross, remember). Soooo 80m paid at $10 a month only equals $5.6b to rights holders. The current business is hovering at $7b annually. So even if Spotify could build and sustain 80m subscribers at $10 a month, that’s still a NET LOSS of $1.4b from where we are now… youch.

          • jw

            Your math is off. You only accounted for 10 months. The number you’re looking for is $6.72b.

            And if you have 80m subscribers, you’re going to have at least 30% of tacked on as ad revenue. So you’re looking at something a lot closer to $9b with 80m subscribers. And that’s actually a very healthy number, all things considered. The ’90s aren’t ever coming back. $14b is never coming back. Things are too different. Kids spend their cash on phones & apps & all sorts of things that didn’t exist to compete with music back then.

            Obviously 80m isn’t going to happen any time soon, but as we get closer, as streaming overtakes iTunes as the dominant distribution retailer, Spotify will probably shell out big money for exclusives (i.e. U2/Apple, Jay A/Samsung) that will spur the mainstream adoption that everyone is looking for. I don’t think that iTunes really got any adoption from the U2 deal (because the format is on it’s way out), but the upside to Spotify having a 30 day exclusive on a Beyonce record could be huge. The timing would be just right.

          • jw

            Also, it’s projected that there will be 220m smartphone users in the US by 2018. I don’t think 1/3 of that for premium streaming subscriptions is ridiculous to shoot for, even if it takes until 2020 or so.

          • Sorry JW...

            Sorry JW… you think that Spotify will get 80m subscribers by when? Again here are the current subscription numbers from the mature services in USA right now:

            Premium Cable = 52m
            Netflix = 32m
            Sirius XM = 26.3m
            Spotify = 10m

            And you think Spotify can grow 800%, with churn, at $10 a month and maintain that? That’s just silly.

          • jw

            Sure, why not?

            You have to consider that premium cable services multiple members of a household. Netflix, too. Music is very different, it’s personal. And maybe Spotify will ultimately adopt a family subscription model… I actually think that’s inevitable, but I don’t think the timing is right for it. (The timing is probably closer in certain European countries, but I’m not familiar with the details of those offers or how they’re performing.)

            Also, SiriusXM requires hardware, & doesn’t market itself to the younger demographic. Spotify, on the other hand, is available on all of the hardware that people already own… pc, osx, ios, android, windows phone, etc., & does market itself to millennials.

            What really illuminates this picture, though, is the projected growth in U.S. smart phone penetration. These are individual smart phones, & most of them will be used for music, & digital downloads are becoming a thing of the past. I think having subscription services on 33% of all U.S. smart phones by 2020 is certainly something to shoot for, whether those are Spotify subscriptions, or spread across Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Beats, etc.

            Also, consider that Apple has sold hundreds of millions of iPods. And eventually all of those devices are going to be replaced by a streaming service. People aren’t going to be keeping their iPods up to date with digital downloads 6 years from now.

          • jw

            And just for reference, I think a “household” for cable or Netflix is something like 2.5 people per subscription.

            So that means cable is servicing 130m individuals, & Netflix is servicing 80m individuals & growing. That makes 80m streaming music subscriptions look a lot more attainable.

          • Not so Fast JW...

            the problem is JW, is you are comparing apples to orangutan’s… if we’re talking HOUSEHOLDS than Spotify, by your own admission can NEVER SCALE as it will top out near 50m subscribers – not enough to producer sustainable revenue – the only real solution is that the subscription price must increase. period. full stop.

            This is the only conversation worth having. The value of the product far exceeds the price being charged which is why streaming is an UNSUSTAINABLE BUSINESS using simple math. The solution to sustainability it to actually charge the fair market price for the cost of goods.

            Good night!

          • jw

            Um… you’re the one comparing apples to orangutans? You’re the one talking households? I was the one pointing that out?

            If we’re talking family plans, the value of a subscription changes. Obviously. A family plan wouldn’t be $10 per month, it might be $10/mo + $5 per additional account. Or some variation thereof. It would be done in a way that creates an attractive price point while maximizing revenue (i.e. it would have to bring in consumers that wouldn’t go premium at the $10/mo price point). So assuming each family plan is 2.5 members per household, that makes each family plan worth $17.50/mo. So 50m*.7($17.50*12)=$7.35b in subscription revenue, & if you consider that’s going to be accompanied by ad revenue, you’re probably over $9b, maybe closer to $10b.

            Anyways, it’s clear you’re just trying to manipulate the math to justify your own bias. You’re not actually making an effort to really see how any of this would work. So just go on believing whatever it is you’re going to believe, I guess.

          • jw

            Just don’t act like the mathematics are on your side, because they aren’t.

          • it's just math jw, and it doesn't work

            sorry jw, there’s no amount of double speak and wishful thinking that can outrun the math. you introduced the idea of households versus individual subscribers which put more holes in your bucket than you had before.

            the math is simple and clear, rainbow unicorn fantasies will not change that…

          • jw

            Your strongest argument against streaming is comparing individual subscriptions (music streaming) to household subscriptions (cable or netflix). Which isn’t exactly apples to oranges, so long as you assume that a household is ~2.5 people. When you consider that, my estimations start to look conservative.

            You believe that the introduction of a family plan makes scaling impossible, but you’re assuming that multiple users would be added under a family account free of charge, & there’s no reason to assume that would be the case. In fact, there’s a precedent for this… Beats charges $14.99/mo for a family plan through AT&T, versus $9.99 for a standard subscription. I hadn’t considered this earlier, but it’s very close to what I suggested. The math there is 50m*.7($15*12)=$6.3m, & if you add in another 30% for ad revenue (that actually becomes a more conservative when you consider the family discount), you get $8.2b. Of course, that’s considering ALL subscriptions are family plans, which means something like 60% of accounts would be $3.33/mo, & so that figure would need to be adjusted for individual $10 accounts, which would raise the total, which would probably put the total north of $9b.

            Now you might think that 50m family plans is unreachable, & that’s fine. But there’s no math that precludes it. If there is, you haven’t suggested it. But the family plan scenario is just one way to look at it. I think 33% individual subscription penetration of U.S. smartphones by 2020 is something to shoot for (which is roughly 80m). But 65m subscriptions should replace the industry’s current $7b (assuming ad revenue contributing +30%, which is consistent with what it is right now).

            Now you can be optimistic or pessimistic about that, but your math doesn’t prove anything.

            When it comes down to it, adoption is very much dependent on industry support. So the industry could get behind streaming & create a scenario where it grows to a healthy size & is good for everyone. Or they could hitch themselves to digital downloads, a dying format. Or they could just bitch & moan until the whole industry just dries up, which seems to be how you’ve chosen to treat the situation.

            Just have fun being a part of the problem, rather than the solution.

          • sorry JW, you are wrong again

            no JW, my strongest argument against streaming is that the math doesn’t work and can not scale no matter how you slice it. The only way to make streaming work is to increase the subscription price to match the value of the goods being consumed. It’s that simple. No amount of rhetorical gymnastics will change that math.

          • OH JW...

            Math doesn’t have an opinion, it just is. You lose.

            Sorry, there no rainbow unicorns to save your faulty logic.

          • Math JW... it just is...

            JW, willful blindness will not save you, the math is above. You don’t have to like it, but it just is… The only way streaming works is by increasing the cost of subscriptions to sustainable rates. Nothing less is going to work.

          • Nick

            Even if a new law is put in place, what’s to stop people from making copies of the file the same way they do from YouTube (I.e recording the audio into a file as it’s played) then uploading it to the internet somewhere for others to download? I’m not sure you’ve thought this through all the way. Also, to reach a $100B industry, that’d mean that the average amount spend on music per person, worldwide, would have to be ~$14, which is extremely high if you consider poor countries.

          • Versus

            A new law will do nothing until and unless it is properly enforced. Therein lies the problem. As long as GoogleTube and its ilk do nothing to prevent piracy, and unless pirates are consistently and reasonably penalized, nothing will change.

        • hippydog

          How to fix the music biz

          1.) Stop asking the venues to pay when music plays and Start asking the people who are playing the music in public to pay.. Small distinction I know.. but important. (IE: same fees, but change who is responsible for paying them)

          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)

          4.) allow the music to be sold auction style, or at least “tiered”, Not all music is equal in price, the market should reflect that..

          Reply
    • PiratesWinLOL

      Where I come from, streaming is huge and has actually saved the music industry in 2014. In the first half of the year streaming grew from 45 to 63 percent of the total market and consequently made the total income increase with 2 percent, despite everything else collapsing. This prove that what you need is simply more streaming and luckily for you, that is what you will get in the next few years.

      Reply
      • unlikely

        …what we are going to get is another 50% decline in revenues from music sales… the united states is not sweden… LOL…

        Reply
        • PiratesWinLOL

          The numbers here are actually from Denmark and not Sweden. But of course in Sweden streaming is even stronger. Anyway, I don’t see why there should be any difference in the long run between Scandinavia and the United States. You are just 2 or perhaps 3 years behind, perhaps due to lack of proper mobile internet. It is not like the US is a 3rd world country though, so it should change fast.

          Reply
  2. Anonymous

    OK, so we all know that old-school streaming failed. But what are you going to do about it?

    I personally have two survival strategies — one before YouTube Music Key, one after:

    SURVIVAL STRATEGY BEFORE YOUTUBE MUSIC KEY
    Exlusive iTunes releases combined with monetized, non-cannibalizing YouTube teasers, massive use of social media and aggressive take-downs/anti-piracy services.

    SURVIVAL STRATEGY AFTER YOUTUBE MUSIC KEY
    Use Twitter as your primary site. Twitter’s most popular accounts now have 50% more followers than the most popular YouTube channels. That’s a lot. So that’s how you get the traffic you need.

    The question is how you monetize that traffic.

    And the problem is that YouTube Music Key will offer free access to UMG/Sony/Warner’s complete catalogues. This will probably kill iTunes (unless Apple’s new interactive format becomes a huge success). So we may have to find another source of income:

    Suggestion #1: Embed a better-paying YouTube alternative on Twitter. A service like Videscape, currently in beta, claims to pay more than YouTube. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But there’ll be other video services if it fails to deliver; everybody wants a new ‘youtube’ now.

    Suggestion #2: Link to a safe, user friendly crowdfunding service like Patreon directly from your Twitter account. Unlike YouTube’s crowdfunding, Patreon can be used to fund anything and users can donate more than YouTube’s $500 limit.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      …also, I’d like to add another source of income. I’m not usually fond of merchandise, far from it, but here’s actually a completely hassle-free way of, um, [clearing my throat] selling T-SHIRTS! 🙂

      A company called Teespring prints and sells your shirt for you — IF you collect enough pre-orders for your design. Then it prints, stores and ships the shirts, and you keep the profit.

      If you DON’T collect enough pre-orders, you won’t be charged anything.

      It gets nice reviews in New York Times, Huffington, TechCrunch and Forbes…

      Reply
        • GGG

          Well, luckily for us, and the thousands upon thousands of people that buy artist tshirts every year, your crotchety old man opinion is irrelevant.

          Reply
          • Paul B. Ungar, Esq.

            T-shirts and other artist-related novelties (which is legalese for tchotchkies) have always had the best profit margins.

  3. Remi Swierczek

    I’ve verbalized this trend it in April when IFPI released delayed data for 2013.
    My slogan decline to $14B in 2014 might be to optimistic at this point.

    Reply
  4. GGG

    I don’t think one person has ever said streaming will save the industry in 2014, or even by end of 2015. Not even people at Spotify have said that.

    Reply
    • jw

      Yeah but since when has Paul ever been able to resist a good straw man argument?

      Anything to appease the anti-tech crowd…

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        Please. ‘Streaming will save the music industry’ has been touted, explicitly or implicitly for years. 100 million streaming subscribers? Please don’t tell me you haven’t heard that.

        Reply
        • jw

          Sure, but no one ever said that “saving” means growing in revenue proportionate to the digital download decline. (I’ve pointed this out in comments before.)

          I mean, we can all agree that the recorded music industry was in decline long, long, long before streaming came around. And we all ought to be able to agree that there are myriad factors influencing the decline… it’s not as simple as piracy; it involves media fragmentation, it involves new & evolved products within tech/entertainment competing for entertainment dollars, it involves the coming of age of millennials who have totally & completely different consumption habits & patterns & behaviors than previous generations, & yes, it still has to do with a lack of scarcity to some degree & even streaming to some degree. But, just like so many in the industry wanted to blame piracy singularly for the industry’s decline long after that was still the case, people are now using streaming as the new scapegoat. The issue here is that a lot of people within the industry blame technology & consumers for changes in the industry, as if the recorded music industry could exist in a vacuum, unaffected by greater progress, & the greater evolution of consumer behavior. And that’s just very silly.

          That’s all to say that the decline of legacy formats & the rise of streaming are on two very distinct, very separate trajectories, influenced by very different factors. To compare them to try & make a point is asinine. The decline of legacy formats is not the litmus test for streaming’s success, & you’re wrong to insinuate otherwise.

          Reply
  5. anon

    Seth Godin on Avoiding S-curve error: “The future is bumpy. It comes in spurts, and then it pauses.”
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/09/avoiding-s-curve-error.html

    My takeaway” Music streaming will continue to be an uncertain, bumpy ride until it matures into its future. What that future is? Way too soon to tell. But at least the numbers are still going up.

    If we could plot a graph of music business revenues from 1885 to 1975, I suspect that most of what Godin says in his post would be true of that graph as well. If you were in the sheet music business in 1914, you probably weren’t feeling too good about your business. But you probably were also feeling skeptical about the record business as well. How could it replace sheet music? It would never work. But eventually it did scale up and work.

    Like I said, no guaranty that streaming will scale up and work like the record did back in the day. But even if it fails, I don’t think things are going back the way they were. So one should probably hope that streaming pans out (or in the alternative, one should get to work on developing a more sustainable alternative).

    Reply
  6. Boss Hog

    This doesn’t make since…it is yet another false representation. According to Pandora’s 2013 10K, they made $240,000,000 in just advertising income.

    Also, these charts only reflect the income streaming companies have made. Streaming companies are tech companies…not music. There for you can’t compare how much they make in comparison to sectors of the music industry. In addition, this chart doesn’t include how much income was pad to artists, writers, publishers, and labels for royalties. Lastly, the chart states paid subscriptiIons generated more income than ad supported. So more people pay subscriptions than stream than listen for free?

    Reply
    • jw

      The source is the RIAA. These are revenues paid out to the owners of recorded music… it’s revenue FROM streaming services, not the revenue OF streaming services. So these are essentially the revenues of record labels.

      It’s not that more streamers are subscribers than free users, it’s that subscribers are disproportionate revenue generators. Also, the bars don’t represent number of users, they represent the percentage change, year over year. And the caption represents total revenue generated.

      I agree that the chart is lacking context & isn’t very clear, but I don’t think it’s a false representation.

      Reply
  7. FarePlay

    Let’s just cut to the chase instead of using musicians as canon fodder for businesses who appear to only have a future as an IPO cash out.

    End the free model. Give all the subs 30 days to pay or their gone, service over. Pick a price, just be a real business or more to the point find out if you have a real business. Then you can start speculating about future growth. Time to move, so we can figure out if we can save the music business.

    Reply
    • jw

      If you have a better idea than streaming, let’s here it.

      No one’s stopping you from “saving the industry.” So get on with it, genius.

      Reply
      • FarePlay

        I didn’t expect an answer from you. Genius hardly, but I’m not rolling over for your BS. Scale, baby scale, let’s see it.

        Reply
        • GGG

          The interesting thing is, is it seems to be possibly working in some small capacity. (Despite the norm, this is less me actually arguing you, and more just pointing out some interesting numbers). My artists’ pay has gone as high as 1.4 cents for a stream. Now, in the interest of fairness, we also get streams that are below a tenth of a penny, so it’s certainly not a complete win yet. But a small, yet decent percentage of reported streams hit the .009-1.4 cents mark. So it makes me wonder 1) what model are these streams coming from 2) is the amount of these amounts growing? 3) if some small indie acts like mine are getting those numbers, what are major label acts REALLY getting? 4) can we get to a point where at least half of streams (or more, obviously) are hitting that range?

          Reply
          • Cooper

            @GGG
            Who is paying you 1.4 cents per stream? That is almost 3x more than I was getting for on-demand (I pulled my content from Spotify because of the low on-demand rate)? The .009s is even high for non-interactive radio-style streams. For Internet radio, I am averaging more like .003 but that is not canoblizing my downloads so its gravey to me. Anyway, please share the source of such high on-demand payouts.

          • GGG

            Spotify is, though from what listening/pay model, I don’t know, that’s what I’m wondering.

            Anyway, Distrokid doesn’t make things easy and have a “total” column, but without me doing the math, I’m still sure my overall average is still in the .004 range. There are plenty of very shitty payouts, like you’ve seen, and I’m not trying to hide those, but the existence of high stream rates is somewhat comforting.

            Some of these numbers that hit over 1 cent are helped there by the exchange rate, for example one I’m looking at now, a stream gives me a royalty of .0075 Euro, so I’m getting $0.01015, but there are some that are already there, like another I’m looking at where 2 streams is paying out $.02329.

    • The Problem

      Music is far easier to pirate then video. Modern broadband connection can dump 1,000,000 fairly high fidelity songs to a hard drive that costs ~$100. In about a day. Or you pirate 20 Blu-ray movies with the same time and hardware.

      That’s right, 20 Blu-ray movies ~= 9.5 YEARS of music from a data perspective.

      And computers and Internet speeds only get better..

      Reply
  8. John

    Why is everybody waiting for someone else to save them all the time?
    Why do you all compare with the past when the past no longer exists?
    Support Spotify, support iTunes, support Amazon and support all other services to increase revenue streams and to acquire paying subscribers. Thats the only way forward. CDs or downloads are not because user behavior is shifting away from that. People are cloud based now. There is no turning back. The simple math is that if more people spend 10 $ a month on music life will be good cause they spent less on recorded music in the CD days. If you stopped complaining an told people the benefits of paying for music subscriptions the problem would be solved.
    Just do it and stop complaining so much!

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “The simple math is that if more people spend 10 $ a month on music”

      But they don’t!

      That’s why download sales is the only reliable way to make a living as a recording artist in the real world.

      Reply
  9. Willis

    Whatever. The industry has imploded. It’s game over time. How many people do you know who were in the music industry and are now doing other things? This would be a good topic for conversation, Paul.

    Reply
  10. jr

    What music industry are you talking about?
    Justin Beiber is doing great, so is Rhianna so are U2 and Jay Z, so is Katy Perry or Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran is killing it right now. Kate Bush sold out how many shows in London, EDC Vegas did 450,000 tickets.

    The music business you are talking about died long ago, Stop confusing what you think the issue is with what is. Only then can you bring the focus to how to increase diversity in the industry. The boat you think you can talk about has been replaced by a plane, you are not even in the right analogy.

    Reply
    • FarePlay

      I believe Willis is talking about the music business, whereas you are talking about the entertainment industry.

      Reply
      • jw

        A lot of people would’ve called the flash & pomp of your favorite era, the 1970s, the “entertainment industry.” In fact, an argument could be made that we’re simply returning to that after hip hop and grunge changed things up for a bit.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          There is scientific research that shows that the brain gains a permanently rigid structure around age 25-30, and starts to become difficult to form deep and lasting experiences after that age. FarePlay is living in the 1970s, on a very literally and fundamental level. If you know old people in general, they have a tendency to talk about their pre-30 years lives endlessly.

          It’s kinda scary to think about, because it will happen to us as well unless medicine improve in the few decades.

          Reply
          • Name2

            I hit my stride in the 70s, also, and then, much more recently, swore I’d never ever ever “rent” (stream) music which could disappear, or was not-so-great-sounding, or whatevs, but at some point the pay-streaming services made more sense than just about anything else. I’ve been a paying customer since 2010.

          • Anonymous

            I think it’s possible to overcome this, but you have to be active about it, regularly exercise your brain with new experiences so to speak. Don’t expect the young to follow you. Rather follow the young, they don’t just build the future, they are the future. I’m 30 and I learn the most from people 10-15 years younger then me. Don’t prejudice.

            Remember that history is full of examples of old folk complaining about the immorality of the younger generation. The first written prose in Sumerian was such an example. It’s just proves that age doesn’t always provide wisdom.

        • FarePlay

          JW, your funny. Anonymous? Well you’re just anonymous, although there’s something childishly, unsophisticated about your quasi medical assessment about maturity. You remind me of someone, who pokes their head out of the sand occasionally. Is that you Z?

          Reply
  11. FarePlay

    I’ll talk to you young men for a minute about music. Music and art in general are a reflection of the times we live in. It can’t be anything else, because art comes out of context.

    There’s really no debate with that statement, although I’m sure you will have one.

    So here’s where I’m going with this. You guys arrived late to the apocalypse. In fact, by the time you got here, as anonymous said the world was pretty rigid. I know you got all this tech stuff going on, but aside from maybe JW who seems to have some fudiciary relationship with tech, the rest of you are kind of SOL. I mean work. Unless you like to code, you’re pretty limited.

    But I digress, I mean we had civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, anti-war protests, I mean we had life, not a selfie, Facebook, Skype Life, we had a real non-digital virtual life. Music meant something, people actually knew the words and who played in the bands. I know, all you young guns here, you know this stuff, but you know what I mean.

    And it isn’t your fault. The boomers ended up being the greed generation. And I actually have a new found respect for authors. Have you seen what they’re up to? They’re going Mano a Mano with Amazon. They’re not going to give their work away.

    But I digress, I’m writing this because I’m watching this incredibly lame iHeart Radio Concert and there’s a heavy-set guy with a beard singing a Queen Song. Before that there were two stubby chicks in S&M gear skipping around the stage. One of them had little devil horns. You know these guys? Really embarassing.

    Well, the Blacklist will be on soon and life will kind of make sense again.

    Reply
    • jw

      lough out loud.

      This one takes the cake.

      Did you sleep through Occupy Wallstreet? Are you currently sleeping through Occupy Central? Did you miss the Arab Spring? Did you miss the Ferguson protests? Did you not see the chart making the rounds that shows Distribution of Average Income Growth During [Economic] Expansions? And you don’t think life is happening anywhere? lol. Everything is just peaches & creme & selfies?

      The issue here is that you’re viewing youth culture through the lens of traditional media, & traditional media is clueless. Which means that you are, by the transitive property, also clueless. What media fragmentation means, & the way that the internet works, is that your Facebook looks a lot different than my Facebook. Your Twitter feed looks a lot different than my Twitter feed. Even your Google results are different than my Google results. Youth culture happens on 6,000 subreddits. Youth culture happens on SnapChat & Tumblr, & on Twitter & Facebook feeds that aren’t chaperoned, & that you’re not privy to. It’s decentralized. And you’re trying to find some central node for youth culture, so you look to iHeart Radio, which just proves to exactly what extent you don’t get it.

      The best rock & roll band on the face of the earth is calling it quits five days from now, & you’ve probably never even heard their name before. That’s how out of touch you are. You’re totally out of touch, unless you hear something from Clear Channel or Billboard or some other corporation or corporate-backed entity, & you’re trying to tell me that what’s authentic or legitimate, & what art does & doesn’t come out of “real life?” LMAO! You don’t have access to what’s happening, & you’re trying to comment on it. It’s happening, as far as you’re concerned, behind closed doors.

      Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mister Jones?

      Reply
        • There is something...

          And you are caricatural of an old man who still think the world can be the same than 50 years ago…

          Reply
          • FarePlay

            If standing up for the rights of the individual to be treated fairly and respected for the value of their work then you are correct, there are things that never change.

            JW you still have not answered the question about whether or not you are compensated for your full time commitment to maintaining your agenda here.

          • jw

            I’ve actually answered this directly numerous times. lol. And the answer is, again, no. It’s kind of a ridiculous thing to keep answering, honestly. Like… really ridiculous. I mean it’s kind of like an Obama/birth certificate thing.

            I’m not trying to advocate on behalf of any one particular party… I’m interested in finding a solution that benefits myself, as a consumer, my friends, as artists & songwriters, & technology companies, who are providing the experiences that consumers demand. And labels, to the degree that they’re necessary. Synergy. Recovery. Etc. That’s what I’m interested in. I’m not interested in the subjective morality of these issues, only in rebuilding a sustainable recorded music economy, no matter what that looks like.

          • There is something...

            Standing up while completely ignoring the reality of the world we live in, and thinking that things can be “fixed” with old methods and way of thinking is just a huge loss of time that will lead absolutely nowhere. But yeah, I can understand that when you’re retired, losing your time is not an issue…

    • GGG

      If you wanted to pit the Top 40 of 1970s against the Top 40 of today, I will agree with you 100% that on average, there were more legitimately talented/good artists/songs then compared to now. So we’re in agreement there. But not if you actually take into account how large and spread out the music culture has become

      What you can’t seem to grasp is how much influence top 40 has lost. iHeart radio means a lot less than you think, despite the amount of money thrown into marketing it and the people that perform at it. Just look at how many pop acts have horrid sales, even by today’s standards. EDM festivals draw hundreds of thousands. Festivals in the middle of Tennessee draw almost 100K. Warped Tour still draws huge numbers. There’s plenty of bluegrass and metal and folk and jam festivals all over the country that all draw well. The internet destroyed the model you grew up with, understand that. Gone are the days where your choice of bands to like was limited to your local DJ or random shit you found at the record store or played on MTV more recently. We all have access to whatever type of music we want now. People’s taste spread out because it CAN now. That’s not a bad thing. For such a progressive flower child, you’re awfully hellbent on getting everyone to conform to the same limited music.

      You and people like you keep spouting the “music meant something, people actually knew the words and who played in the bands” bullshit mantra don’t see anything like that because you don’t experience it anymore. You don’t go to shows. You’re not a relevant demographic. There’s plenty of shitty things about my generation, but as homogenized as the masses still seem/can be, there’s now HUGE subsets that do plenty. Hell, there was just an article on here citing how younger folks would rather spend money on experiences than stuff. Just because you don’t care about those experiences doesn’t mean it doesn’t count as “living.” I, for example, could not care less about metal music, but I don’t dismiss or diminish the scene simply because I’m not in it.

      You look at our worst attributes and compare it to your generation’s best. I mean, yes, your generation had civil rights and women’s rights and gay rights, etc. Awesome. Whose generation is making it so difficult for a couple guys to get married now? Whose generation’s greed caused Occupy Wall St to emerge? Whose generation just voted down equal pay for women? Whose generation sent kids to war for 10+ years? Unless there’s a bunch of under 30 senators and finance CEOs, I’m 100% sure it isn’t us.

      Reply
      • FarePlay

        Top forty meant nothing to our generation. For the three years I worked in record stores, we were obligated to carry 45s and we didn’t sell any. We’d have to report every week what we sold, which was nada. Whether you like or not or want to own, very little music today get’s into any meaningful rotation that’s why we have this very small group of huge stars whose careers seem to go on forever.

        While I agree there is far more recorded music avaiable today, streaming makes it nearly impossible for these smaller bands to survive. There is just no way to zero out CD sales of 20k and even come close to making up that revenue from streaming; their career is over as full time musicians even for the ten years they might have had. We all know that’s true even the hired gun JW, the difference between you two is your honest, GGG.

        Now, if your going to get down in the trenches, you at least need to read what I write, so I’ll correct you once again. My generation has been a huge disappointment and the level of greed is obscene. I grew up in metropolitan areas and falsely believed that the principles I embraced in the 60s was the way things were everywhere in this country. I was mistaken, most of my contemporaries did not share those views unless they wanted to get laid.

        Reply
        • jw

          You didn’t know what was happening outside of your metropolis in the ’60s, & you don’t know what’s happening inside them now. The irony.

          And hired gun. lmao. I’m becoming a myth before my own eyes.

          You raise up your head & ask, “Is this where it is?” And somebody points to you & says, “It’s his.” And you say, “What’s mine?” And somebody says, “Where what is?” And you say, “OMG, am I here all alone?!?”

          Becomes something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mister Jones?

          Reply
          • FarePlay

            The comment was directed to GGG. Has your fascination or rather obsession with me and what I have to say taken over your life? Is your iseething contempt for everyone so powerful that you spend your waking hours thinking of ways you can show off your intellect?

            Or are your handlers so disappointed in your inability to silence someone who clearly has valid points in a discussion that impacts the bottom line of those same handlers. The only thing that would be more pathetic is if you did this as your sole entertainment or purposes in life without compensation.

            After all, what are you really defending here. The right of corporations to profit without any concern for the viability of the very songwriters and musicians whose ability to make a living is being destroyed. And you have the audacity to proclaim you are a fan?

            You are a hater.

          • Socrates, 399 BC

            Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannise their teachers.

      • Anonymous

        I’m old enough to know how the world before the Internet. It was a dark, dark place. If you wanted to know about something, you either had to rely on hearsay, drive your ass to a library (unrealistic most of the time) or be SOL. Metaphysics and associated bullshit was entirely mainstream. Young people might take this for granted, but the pre-Internet world was horrible.

        Reply
        • GGG

          I caught the tail end of it…kinda. I wrote plenty of school papers with the help of my parents’ encyclopedias and trips to libraries, and remember when new music videos on TRL was a huge deal and pretty much everyone knew all about the same music. Even the goth kids were just listening to Korn and Limp Bizkit, who had crossover hits.

          But I probably can’t even imagine figuring shit out in the 70s haha.

          Reply
        • wallow-T

          “If you wanted to know about something, you either had to rely on hearsay, drive your ass to a library (unrealistic most of the time) or be SOL.”

          The 1978 arrival of the original Rolling Stone Record Guide, which provided a capsule history to rock and tasters of R&B/soul and jazz, was like the delivery of illumination from Prometheus. At least it was in my flyover college town.

          Reply
          • Name2

            I grew up in a top-5 US city, and it was college radio that exposed me to stuff – not somebody else’s reviews.

            Not really sure why so many people believe listeners should be willing to pay for music they’ve never had a chance to hear, only hear ABOUT.

            Not really sure why turning off music you don’t like (as is widely done in streaming) is a problem.

            Not really sure why listening to a song more than once means it’s time to pony up.

            Whatever the politics and money of streaming, the anti-streaming crowd sounds positively insane 95% of the time.

    • Anonymous

      No bro, I said your brain is rigid. Yes, I’m scared shitless of the same thing happening to me as I grow older. All the science points to the brain being more plastic when you are young, which is why people remember experiences in their youth so vividly, while the rest of your life goes by so much faster.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Verify Your Humanity *