Here’s Why You Don’t Need To Worry About Low Streaming Royalties

worryaboutstreaming

The most heavily debated topic in the music industry since Spotify launched in the US back in 2011 has been streaming royalties. Spotify claims they pay $.006 – $.0084 per stream. These payments include ALL streaming royalties like mechanical, performance and streaming revenue. Why most artists’ statements from their distributors fall below this range is because mechanical and performance royalties aren’t paid to the distributor. But that’s another topic. And quite complicated. And above all, so much less fun than screaming “look at how little I’m making on Spotify!”

However, artists make much less on YouTube. Ad revenue is a joke. Well, not for YouTube or digital rights management companies like Audiam, INDMusic or AdRev. They’re making out ok. But when that revenue gets filtered down to the actual artists, it’s pennies. Even superstars of YouTube have a hell of a time seeing much of that revenue. The reason Jack Conte of Pomplamoose (with over 100 million YouTube views) started Patreon was because he was tired of waiting for YouTube ad revenue checks that never added up to much.

+Time To Pay Attention. Creators On Patreon Now Receive Over $1M From Patrons

It’s clear we’re never going back to a sales only model. Taylor Swift can remove her music from Spotify because she’s Taylor Swift. No one else should do this. Unless they’d like to fall into obscurity. Recorded music is now a loss-leader for an artist’s career. Unfortunately. I’m not going to tell you how much I spent on my last record. But that’s the reality. Everyone needs to accept this. And get over the principle of fans “valuing art.”

Fans DO value art and their favorite artists. Except they value it in a way that makes sense to them (not you). They WILL pay for art in ways that make sense to them. You’re never going to get those who grew up believing music is free to pay for downloads or CDs. You have to provide an enjoyable experience that they’re willing to pay for. Spotify did that. Artists can too.

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

BandPage just announced this morning that merch and “experiences” currently being offered across their partner sites like Spotify, Rhapsody, Shazam and LyricFind are selling very well.

They finally have the data (over 3,000,000 items for sale) to confidently state that this model works. I spoke with CEO, J Sider, about this new development and although he couldn’t offer comprehensive sales numbers (yet), he mentioned that these offers are getting a 5 times higher click through rate than other ad units across the internet (like Google or Facebook ads) and have up to 3 times higher conversion rate. He said some artists are actually selling up to $1,000 per day through these partner sites.

+Spotify No Longer Supports Merch Via ArtistLink

“The industry average click through rate for banner ads is .1%. We’re seeing between .5% and 1% of click through rates.” – J Sider, CEO, BandPage

Sider also mentioned that experiences sell better than just plain merch items. Ryan Beatty is offering a personal video message for $30. Daniel Ellsworth and The Great Lakes are offering a party bus experience for $1,500. Miranda Lambert is selling personalized Christmas gifts for $500 (yes she will shop for you), Nicki Minaj is offering VIP packages for $125, you can have a 15 minute phone chat with George Clinton and he’ll set your voicemail message for $250 and Parmalee is offering a sound check / Q&A for $50.

Fans crave these kinds of personal experiences.

A Nielsen study released in March 2013 revealed that 40% of US consumers are responsible for 75% of music spending. These fans, who spend between $20 billion and $26 billion a year, would spend an additional $450 million to $2.6 billion annually if ” they had the opportunity to snag behind-the-scenes access to the artists along with exclusive content.”

What does this mean? It means that you need to start offering experiences (and merch) on BandPage (to be displayed on Spotify, Rhapsody, Shazam and the other outlets that will be added soon).

+Why BandPage Is Going To Be The Most Powerful Player In Music

Neither Spotify nor BandPage take a commission from items sold through Spotify.

This is a step in the right direction. But it’s just the first step. What about tickets? Spotify has partnered with SongKick to offer show dates on the artist’s profile. Or, rather, I should say show date. For some completely absurd reason, only one show date is listed. That’s right, if you live in St. Louis and are listening to Noah Gundersen on Spotify, you’d have no idea he’s coming to town THE VERY NEXT DAY after his Louisville, KY show (which is the only show listed on his artist profile). It makes no sense. Why not list all tour cities and dates? Or at least the tour stop in your city? Spotify of course has this location tracking. Spotify shouldn’t display the huge calendar graphic that’s currently there. It takes up too much space. In the current amount of space that the one show date is being displayed, 10 dates and cities could be listed (and clickable). Or add a drop down section with complete dates. This should be updated immediately. Spotify, want to win over artists? Offer complete tour dates with ticket links. Boom. Sold.

And the merch offers on the mobile version of Spotify are all the way at the bottom of the artist page. I mean, thanks for including them at all, but the very bottom? Below the entire catalog? Really?

But, again, this is the first step. And the artist community is grateful that Spotify, Rhapsody, Shazam and the others have gone this far. But let’s go further!

YouTube has started experimenting with these kinds of offers on videos. This should be rolled out to every artist. I’m confused as to why it hasn’t yet. Instead of adding simple word annotations to iTunes, artists’s could lay annotations directly on top of their videos to a meet and greet or t-shirt. Paramore’s bracelet offer on their Still Into You video is completely sold out. Clearly, this model works.

paramore-youtube

Streaming is the future. Hell, streaming is the NOW. In 5 years no one is going to be buying CDs anymore. In 10 years no one is going to be downloading.

Fighting this progress is a losing battle. The music industry tried to fight progress with fire. Remember when the RIAA went door to door suing grandmas because their 14 year-old grandsons downloaded a few songs from Limewire? How’d that work out?

Music fans aren’t the enemy. There’s lots of money to be made. You just have to get creative about it. Those who join this movement will succeed in the new industry. Those who continue wishing they could sell $18.99 CDs and live behind a paywall will be left behind.

Where do you stand?

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

65 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    The most heavily debated topic in the music industry

    It is??

    What industry you in then??

    The most bantered about smoke screen drivel by lackies and pseudo cover journalists tends to be about this, but it certainly aint the most heavily debated topic in the music industry…

    Reply
    • Stating The Obvious...

      “Streaming is the future. Hell, streaming is the NOW. In 5 years no one is going to be buying CDs anymore. In 10 years no one is going to be downloading.”

      NO KIDDING. No one is fighting STREAMING or TECHNOLOGY. They are fighting ECONOMIC INJUSTICE in business models so BAD that companies like SPOTIFY and PANDORA can’t actually paid for the actual cost of goods of the ONE PRODUCT they are distributing from their suppliers, MUSIC.

      NO MUSIC = NO BUSINESS. SPOTIFY NEEDS HITS, HITS DON”T NEED SPOTIFY.

      They “you’re fighting streaming” argument is a strawman like piracy apologist musicians of hating technology because they were opposed to be ripped off financially. C’Mon Ari, you’re smarter than this. No one disagree’s about the FUTURE OF STREAMING, they disagree about the ECONOMICS OF STREAMING.

      Those are TWO DIFFERENT CONVERSATIONS don’t be lame an conflate them.

      Reply
      • Billy Lightcap

        I remember when Napster was the future and then when MySpace was the future…etc…you can go on believing that a streaming business that is not good for artists is the “Now”, but I’ve seen too much change, too quickly, to buy into anything that doesn’t work for the content provider as well as the customer. Perhaps a better form of streaming business will evolve from the current crop of parasites, er.. ahh.. I mean streaming sites. Artists not liking the unfair royalty rates from the current streamers doesn’t mean they want to go backwards….it means they want to move forward toward a better way.

        Reply
        • TylerC

          Pretty sure he didn’t say “Spotify is the future.” Streaming is not equated to Spotify. “Napster is the future” or “Myspace is the future” are companies. “Streaming” is a way to consume music like downloads or CDs.

          When Apple comes out it’s gonna crush Spotify.

          @Stating The Obvious… uh just look at this comment thread. People (surprisingly) still ARE debating if streaming is gonna last.

          Reply
  2. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    Experiences has always been interesting in theory. But I’ve never see any hard numbers around it. I’m not getting the sense that it’s a powerful, scalable revenue model for most artists.

    Reply
    • so

      “They finally have the data (over 3,000,000 items for sale) to confidently state that this model works. I spoke with CEO, J Sider, about this new development and although he couldn’t offer comprehensive sales numbers…”

      Reply
      • Remi Swierczek

        Ari is just born optimist, I am too, just taken by life to reality!

        In any case I hope this $1000/day does not belong to T. Swift.
        In any case, music is for sale and can become merchandise again TOMORROW!
        Just convert Shazam, Google Voice Search, LyricFind and JUST FEW MORE music PIMPS to CASHIERS of Radio and streaming operating as a music store!

        Two billion users (abusers) of music ID services will create $100 billion dollar music industry before 2020.

        Simple, idiot-proof, fair to creators, performers and distributors! HAPPINESS FOR ALL.

        Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Music fans aren’t the enemy. There’s lots of money to be made. You just have to get creative about it. Those who join this movement will succeed in the new industry. Those who continue wishing they could sell $18.99 CDs and live behind a paywall will be left behind.

    This new industry?

    The movement?

    UGH!

    Same ol thing time and time again… What a lame movement… Pseudo stars, brutal b.s……

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Those who join this movement will succeed in the new industry.

    Movement and new industry…

    Meaning, the same thing its always been? But now the only difference is the development costs have been downloaded to the artist to the point until a major gets on board?

    I mean really, you see the odd indy artist having success, but the numbers are always trumped up and they are always getting money from somewhere else, whether thats a trust fund or they were already rich else they sell drugs or have some silent partner or sponsorship…

    The majors et all are smart, and they have been helped by the techsters and the cd babys and derek sivers and seth godins and shit, all who have personal agendas with their posses, all of which leading to so much smoke its easy to fall prey to many different traps…

    There is no new industry… There are the few odd people becoming youtube stars for a bit, buts its all gamed and contrived and ultimately leads to either short careers, or them just signing up with major corps anyways…

    Same old thing its ever been, just costs more now and all that cost is upon the artist and even worse, more and more stories have become public about how the common trend with music investors is that they lose their money, making it more and more difficult to find good investment and leaving less leverage with any corporate sponsor you might be able to get, if you have your social stats up to their worthiness….

    Reply
  5. It's blumpkin time!

    Very few people even feel the need to pay for music anymore. Sure when some of the big artists like Taylor Swift release a new album there’s a little surge. The thing is, those folks really don’t spend that much on music outside of those occasional blips. Christ, even Oprah Winfrey, one of the most powerful and wealthy women in the entire universe doesn’t feel the need to pay for music. What does that tell you?

    Reply
  6. DNog

    “Streaming is the future. Hell, streaming is the NOW. In 5 years no one is going to be buying CDs anymore. In 10 years no one is going to be downloading.”

    That’s a bold statement considering the amount of heat artist have put on streaming in the last 6 months.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I sincerely doubt Ari believes his own words, everybody’s considering windowing atm.

      Reply
  7. DNog

    “Streaming is the future. Hell, streaming is the NOW. In 5 years no one is going to be buying CDs anymore. In 10 years no one is going to be downloading.”

    That’s a bold statement considering the amount of heat artist have put on streaming in the last 6 months.

    Reply
  8. Chris H

    Ari,

    It’s the following statement, that makes the rest of the article hold zero water.

    “There’s lots of money to be made. You just have to get creative about it. Those who join this movement will succeed in the new industry. Those who continue wishing they could sell $18.99 CDs and live behind a paywall will be left behind.”

    If ANY of that were true, there would be artists out there rolling in piles of indie cash and a new class of “king maker” management types helping them load the cash into G4’s and King Air’s to get to the next gig, Cocaine Cowboys style.

    Yet, the “reports from the front line” is that Pompaloose or whomever can’t get by a month long tour even WITH AN ENDORSEMENT from Lenovo.

    Pick a path and a narrative and stick with it already.

    Reply
      • Anonymous

        Well, you can say that about Nina, but I think Ari’s different. He’s just naive.

        Reply
        • Nina Ulloa

          i’m just out here buying albums and merch and flying across the country to go to shows while y’all argue about how much i hate music

          Reply
      • Chris H

        Yea I saw that and not buying it.

        So you fully expect a U2 level, or even mid-level career act to come out of this new narrative in exactly what timetable? I just want to be able to hold you to it, since your so convinced this is the way forward.

        Reply
        • Ari Herstand
          Ari Herstand

          What do you define mid level? $100,000 annual income? $200,000? $1m? $50,000? the problem I have is that no one wants to believe that mid level even exists. Pomplamoose is a midlevel band. Playing to 300-500 in every city they visit is pretty damn good. And they net (by US government standards) a “middle class” income. And that’s with losing money on tour. We all need to redefine what “success” means. Can’t it just mean supporting the lifestyle we’d like to have doing something we love? Why does success need to be limited to U2 status?

          Personally, I’m not interested in U2 level bands. Taylor Swift, Beyonce level acts. Those are the one in a million. I’m also not interested in lottery winners. I am interested in the hard working artists making a living with their music. That’s the movement. That’s the end game. Fame is an occasional occupational hazard of the career of music. It’s not the goal.

          Reply
          • Chris H

            Well, then we have a very different level of interest and that explains our differences. Mid-level means something equal to a gold to platinum level band. I have no interest, even though it’s fine others do, in a music economy based on 100k/ year bands. That will never spawn the money necessary to keep a healthy ecosystem of investment in new music works or a sustainable industry.

            My point is, if these strategies are as lucrative as you claim, by default, where are these level bands? I have yet to see any of these strategies pay of in a multi-million dollar career of anyone. You might counter and say “that’s ok, it’s ok to make a living” and I would call bullshit on that. It’s not and only in rare cases has that been a recipe for success long term. That is the reason people attack these articles so hard is that this is NOT the future anyone wants except a couple of small time acts who are ok with that. The rest of us are not, neither are we satisfied with using centuries old patronage models or poverty to ok getting by lifestyles. It’s especially egregious to see the tech companies who live on our content making billions, while the creators must starve or be ok with “getting by”. Fuck that, twice.

            I hope you can understand that and not see that as a personal attack on you, it’s just a rejection of all these theories being put forth.

          • JAIO

            Chris H … then you and I even have different ideas of what mid-level is. I would consider mid-level to be equivalent to the 50k per person income level that is seen as middle-class by most Americans. If I can help a band earn upwards of $200k – $300k within a five year window of opportunity, then I personally think of that as “success” and mid-level, considering bands that earn over 2MIL a yr gross are out there in plenty. Gold/platinum level seems so lost in time to me.

          • GGG

            Even at 2M sales, how much money do you think TS really made from her records, personally? Let’s say she makes $25M some year, what percentage of that do you REALLY think is coming directly from music sales? She’s been utilizing alternative revenue streams for years. As have many, many other artists at all levels of success. The issue is you need to get to a point where your brand has value.

          • Chris H

            The level of success I’m referring to is all in, the brand, I’m just using gold and platinum as convenient yardsticks. How much money an artist gets from just music sales is not the point and I’m well aware of all that goes into that calculation.

            3 years of work to come up to 300k is maybe a worthwhile venture for four young guys, but it’s not enough even remotely to support the industry and level of investment into music works as there was previously, warts and all.

            If we are going to talk about what replaces “The system” in the future, it ought to at least replace the value that was previously there. That involves actively fighting to get some pieces back that we have lost or given up on and just saying “that’s what they pay” or “thats what you can get”. I’m not satisfied with that or what the author is proposing is “tons of money”.

            It really seems to me that if you infer that “that is not good enough”, some commenters will instantaneously brand you an “LP dinosaur” incapable of seeing the future. I’m merely disagreeing with what’s on offer for the future and I don’t think it is enough. I think it’s a lowball future whereby other parties get to eat our collective lunch and starve us for the continued honor of serving up tomorrow’s lunch.

          • Anonymous

            Well, then we have a very different level of interest and that explains our differences. Mid-level means something equal to a gold to platinum level band. I have no interest, even though it’s fine others do, in a music economy based on 100k/ year bands. That will never spawn the money necessary to keep a healthy ecosystem of investment in new music works or a sustainable industry.

            My point is, if these strategies are as lucrative as you claim, by default, where are these level bands? I have yet to see any of these strategies pay of in a multi-million dollar career of anyone. You might counter and say “that’s ok, it’s ok to make a living” and I would call bullshit on that. It’s not and only in rare cases has that been a recipe for success long term. That is the reason people attack these articles so hard is that this is NOT the future anyone wants except a couple of small time acts who are ok with that. The rest of us are not, neither are we satisfied with using centuries old patronage models or poverty to ok getting by lifestyles. It’s especially egregious to see the tech companies who live on our content making billions, while the creators must starve or be ok with “getting by”. Fuck that, twice.

            I hope you can understand that and not see that as a personal attack on you, it’s just a rejection of all these theories being put forth.

            Exactly Chris!

            Nothing wrong with making $60K/year, NET! Thats an honest decent working mas wage.

            But if thats mid level, i agree, theres a problem then.

            Ive spent too many years in this industry for my liking, and i assure you, never once ever, not one time have i ever once even seen a glimpse of any supporting numbers or evidence that supports any of the claims any of these people are making, and ive been all over them for some time now!

            I’m with you man, im not okay with it and i fucks them thrice!! Ill see your raise and just shove all in on them, but no way you see me putting any deed on the table.

            Think about it, the overall industries revenues are hardly down, yet all the people actually creating the product are way way way down????

            Its not hard to put two and two together…

            Especially with everything ive experienced and continue to, how ive been treated and what has happened to me, with every level of the business, oh boy, i could incriminate probably half the industry…

            Then for another mind bender, think about this for a second.

            Music Business Revenue = $15 Billion/year

            Tulip Business Revenue = $7 Billion/year

            Rough numbers, but think about that for a second!!! One flower is half of the Global Music Revenues….

            And the amount of people in music is so over-saturated it isnt even funny… And the people are out there traipsing about like ever last one of them is some multi millionare tossing money into the air and trying to make everyone else jealous cause theyre just that rich and just that amazing????? … Something doesnt add up here…

            And then Ari wants me to believe that his posse and his ideas leave way to lots of money to make????

            There is something so fishy with all this it isnt even funny…

            Again, one little flower is half the global music business… Thats the funniest thing ive ever heard. What an industry filled with coked up ego maniac delusional fake fronting fraudster lying thieving fools…

    • GGG

      It’s still not easy to just will money into your pockets. You still need a fanbase so you have value and leverage to even cash in on these opportunities. Pomplamoose is actually a perfect example of making money in other ways than simply selling music. Regardless of what we think of their last tour report and their financial decisions, they went into it KNOWINGLY losing money. So that was their choice. It wasn’t an issue of ‘no band can make money on a month tour ever.’ There was another article that said the exact opposite, but maybe you ignored that one…

      Reply
  9. Nissl

    Streaming is the future, but there’s still no reason the full deluxe versions of albums have to be streaming in the free tier on release day. Your dedicated fans will pay for your new album, whether by purchasing the album or subscribing to a pay tier of a streaming service. It’s the much larger casual population who won’t. You want your album to show up on the free tier some months after release so you can convert some of those people and squeeze a little more revenue out of it.

    I strongly agree that full tour dates, new merch, and any other announcements should be readily displayed next to the music on any streaming site. Even on the pay tier I *want* to see that information for any artist I’m listening to.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    This is the journalism everyone wants.

    Please answer the following questions in an exhaustive manner or else find your articles, opinions, teachings and businesses devoid and defunct of anything worthwhile.


    1.Please describe and define the movement.
    2.Who leads the movement and who all is involved in the movement?
    3.What are the movements objectives, its goals and its overall strategy and plan?
    4.Who is funding and organizing this movement?
    5.If I join this movement, who pays me? Or better yet will the movements posse suddenly all become fans of mine and support me in a direct and tangible manner? And what level of support can i expect? Ie How much money and support is this going to result in, directly, with tangible logical expectations guaranteed?
    6.Who do i go to exactly to receive this and how abouts do you correctly join the movement?
    7.Do i just say im in and then someone sends me a cheque or information on how to proceed?
    8.Who are you ultimately funded by?
    9.Which corporation or person is funding you and exactly what are their desires and instructions?
    10.If i join this movement am i secretly actually joining some sort of gang whereupon i will find myself caught up in something?
    11.Is it sponsored by a google or some other corporation and is it possibly tied back to the same people that own and operate major labels?
    12.Who is this movement trying to placate and ultimately who all benefits and how?

    Please do nothing else until all questions above are answered in a tangible direct manner with exhaustive explanations and information else the suspicions rise to new levels.

    Do so and all the information and propaganda this supposed new industry is spewing forth will suddenly become real and plausible.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Cut it out with the “everyone needs to do this” because it is just not true

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Here’s why you don’t need to worry about low streaming royalties:

    1) You’re not a recording artist, or
    2) You don’t stream.

    Simple.

    Reply
    • LizaDawn

      …They do steal though…ha ha ha!!!!! They should have changed the title to “Why Artists and creatives don’t have to worry about stealing”….

      Reply
    • LizaDawn

      The title of the article should have been changed to “Why Artists and anyone working for them don’t have to worry about stealing”….Ha ha ha!!

      Reply
  13. steveh

    Ari I have to be completely honest. I think your Bandpage “Holy Grail” of merch and “experiences” is a load of codswallop.

    Reply
  14. Mike

    [Sorry if this is a dupe post. I got no site feedback that my prior post had been received or was waiting to be moderated.]

    If you’re outside the US you may not be able to buy a lot of the music on offer because of antiquated geographic licensing restrictions. What is available on iTunes/Spotify/Play/Amazon in one country may not be in another – or if you’re in Australia you’ll pay more irrespective of whether the AUD is worth more or less than the USD.

    Bandcamp and other artist-direct selling sites are about the only way I can get high quality releases of music from anywhere in the world.

    Conversely I have had US artists unable to sell me music overseas because of their label’s contract – even though the label has made no attempt to distribute music internationally.

    Artists go onto social media platforms every day and promote their new releases. They forget that those platforms are international, and the artist has forgotten to make any plans to distribute the music outside their home country. If you plan to distribute in Europe/Australia/Asia/etc three-six months later (very common) then you’ve missed the window of interest and opportunity.

    Reply
  15. Leslie Ching

    Give away your music almost for free and exchange for traffic offering a chance to sell your T shirt?
    WHAT A JOKE !!!!

    The core value is the music, not the T Shirt, but Spotify gets loads of traffic, heavy pay-check for its CEO, and IPO on their gameplan. The worst things come when it gets IPO, no return will go to the music creators, only to shareholders including the major labels.

    Reply
    • Versus

      Thank you. Exactly. The music is what should be valued, not the ridiculous “merch” or some silly “experience”.
      This is supposed to be about art.

      Reply
  16. Leslie Ching

    Give away your music almost for free and exchange for traffic offering a chance to sell your T shirt?
    WHAT A JOKE !!!!

    The core value is the music, not the T Shirt, but Spotify gets loads of traffic, heavy pay-check for its CEO, and IPO on their gameplan. The worst things come when it gets IPO, no return will go to the music creators, only to shareholders including the major labels.

    Reply
  17. FarePlay

    Something very different is happening in the book business. You might want to look outside the music business to find out how to succeed by saying NO.

    If you don’t demand what you need, they will always tell you what to do. Your choice. All of a sudden because Ek says music sales are over, you believe him.

    Reply
  18. Musicservices4less

    All this talk about how to make money. Does anyone want to have a real discussion about the relationship between great talent and success? How about the lack of any filters to make finding great new music easier? I always thought that people would pay for great music. If you don’t think that the music you make is great then maybe that’s your problem. If the majority of strangers that listen to your music don’t thinks its great, maybe that’s your problem. But if you can sell tees, coffee cups and personal experiences who cares about the quality of your music. What’s next in merch that I absolutely know sells well . . . porn and sex! So there is the merch answer!!

    Reply
    • Versus

      Re: “relationship between great talent and success”.

      OK, let’s talk about that. What is the relationship?
      There certainly needs to be a basic level of musical talent for success (although it may not be the talent of the “artist”, but that of the team behind the scenes, the writers, producers, programmers, engineers, autotuners and editors).

      Beyond that basic level though, it seems that the business/marketing/promotional “talent” is more important in determining success than actual artistic quality, especially in commercial music. It’s often the non-musical angle (whether positive “story” or negative “scandal”) that separates the winners from the also-rans. There is also a great element of luck, but of course one can multiply their chances at getting lucky by pursuing many opportunities.

      Reply
  19. Versus

    No, no, and no.

    Music itself needs to be re-valued. Fans learned one bad habit, that music is “free”, when of course it is not, by any measure. Fans can learn a new habit. Humans are remarkable flexible and are indeed capable of learning and change.

    Reply
  20. Versus

    Other names for “The Movement”:

    1. The Race to the Bottom
    2. The Downward Spiral ( (c) Trent Reznor)
    3. Circling the Drain
    4. Gravity
    5. The Rapture

    Possible Optimistic Slogan to Rally Members of the Movement:

    “If it’s still moving, then it’s not dead yet.”

    Reply
  21. SpotiDJ

    You can debate all you want. Ari is right. Streaming is the NOW. Maybe not in the US yet but here in Europe it sure is.

    No way that you can drive the customers back to buying CDs or downloads. So what is the alternative?

    Reply
    • FarePlay

      Wrong, but apparently you’ve said it enough to believe it. If you put all your music out there for free there is no incentive for anyone to pay for it. If your good enough your fans will pay.

      Piracy? We’re going to kick a hole in that business when we revise the law next year. Stay tuned.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Wrong, but apparently you’ve said it enough to believe it. If you put all your music out there for free there is no incentive for anyone to pay for it. If your good enough your fans will pay.

        Piracy? We’re going to kick a hole in that business when we revise the law next year. Stay tuned.

        Stay tuned?

        Why?

        Because its just such riveting entertainment?

        Excuse me while i go vomit!

        So excited to see the individual lose more rights and more freedoms all so some criminal corporations can make more money and sue and fine more individual people… awesome!

        Meanwhile they are all out there doing worse to some people, its bollox and anyone with any clue about anything will hopefully use that as incentive to never support those corporations again.

        Again, another misguided uninformed and overall agenda driven bunch of nonsense from fareplay.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          Umm, he’s just some retiree from Florida who recently discovered the Internets. That’s why he’s going all 90s RIAA in comments sections. I wouldn’t take them that seriously.

          Reply
          • FarePlay

            Actually, I’m a sixties guy. Before everyone was Anonymous.

          • Anonymous

            You rhetoric about a solution to piracy being “just around the corner” is no different from what we have been hearing since the 90s. Except back then it was big trade organizations with actual political power like the RIAA and not random Floridian retiree commentards on blogs. But hey, maybe that was the missing piece to the puzzle.

      • Versus

        Hope you are right about piracy. That is a winnable fight; it’s just a matter of will and action on the part of the industry and governments.

        Reply
  22. Hippydog

    no.. hes right.. A lot of stuff I have been reading about lately seems to back up the premise..
    Its about the EXPERIENCE..
    and thats what you have to start thinking about when your thinking about “sales”..
    The ARTIST is the product, not just the song..
    .
    Keep in mind.. this isnt a new thing.. Its just more apparent because of the the devaluing of the music..
    the idea that you can write one good song and become famous.. is gone..
    You need a 360 approach that connects and builds a fanbase with more then just an mp3 file..

    Reply
  23. GGG

    Never ceases to amaze me how commenters on this site see no value in anything other than selling an LP. It’s this complete and utter lack of creative thinking and openness that has kept us in this shitty state since Napster reared its head.

    Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Reply
    • FarePlay

      Keep fighting for poverty, you’ll get there. Why would anyone fight to destroy a revenue stream?

      Like I said to the other guy. Keep talking about the death of recorded music sales and you contribute to making it happen. Get your mind out of the piracy downward spiral.

      What’s obscene about your point of view is that it created the $200 concert ticket. Free? That’s a laugh.

      But you keep fighting, because your creative.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Like I said to the other guy. Keep talking about the death of recorded music sales and you contribute to making it happen. Get your mind out of the piracy downward spiral.

        Not true at all.

        Actually a very uninformed and narrow view of how things work and one that is completely lacking in any sort of reasonable information.

        If i tell you not to think of an elephant you probably think of an elephant, but being an elephant or making one appear wont happen, its not a manifestation..

        If we are in a struggle with you holding a knife and me holding you back from gutting me with it, and i tell you to visualize sticking the knife into yourself, that alone does not contribute to making it happen, only you can make that happen.

        Therefore no one contributes to anything unless they allow that information to make them contribute to something.

        One reason why humans are so easy to dupe and manipulate, because they believe that just talking about the death of something automatically contributes to it… Its not a virus, its not a smith, only viruses are viruses and smiths are smiths..

        When the lumber market crashed, i can assure you , whether people talked positive or negative, nothing mattered beyond the actual and real contributing factors that were at the root cause of it.

        Now the doom and gloom may get you to get someone else to lower their price or make a poor decision, but only if you strip all the layers of the onion away can you fully understand whats really going on, and even then, its still difficult to understand.

        It’s like if im watching two people fight each other, does me talking about if contribute to them fighting each other or are they just fighting each other and im merely observing them fighting each other??

        its almost like quantum physics where upon observing an experiment changes the outcome of the experiment until further studies show that that isnt true and only what we use and apply to seeing it is what results in different apparent outcomes.

        Its a mind bender for sure.

        The true contribute is easily led people and those susceptible to being led around and assuming information and not taking the time to investigate or do their own due diligence or who are not in tune to trust their gut or their intuition.

        Thats why propaganda still today is such a powerful tool to lead people to what you want.

        Reply
      • GGG

        I’m not even talking about affecting sales, I’m not talking about how the mere mention of making money elsewhere causes people on here to act like the world is ending. Obviously, yes, this particular article was introduced around a statement about streams/lack of sales, but why is that always the takeaway? Why not focus on the shit that can/does work?

        We promote/market every album the bands release the same as always. We’ll spend a bit of money promoting it, we’ll ask/tell/beg people to buy it and some will but most won’t. My job is to make my artists money. If it’s not coming from record sales, which it’s not, then I have to make it come from somewhere else. There’s absolutely merit to people like Blake who are actively fighting for artists, but it does my acts no good to sit here idle ignoring other potential revenue streams because of our ideals, until he and others like him gain ground.

        And my point of view created the $200 ticket? Uh… I was like 15 when tickets started hitting hundreds of dollars. The industry’s lack of doing anything to stop piracy made artists/managers/promoters jack the prices up well before the endless crop of music sites popped up.

        Reply
        • FarePlay

          “And my point of view created the $200 ticket? Uh… I was like 15 when tickets started hitting hundreds of dollars. The industry’s lack of doing anything to stop piracy made artists/managers/promoters jack the prices up well before the endless crop of music sites popped up.”

          Yes, piracy definitely was a major factor, but streaming music, which is an extension of the destruction of music sales is a contributor. You keeping going back to your perceived creative ‘solutions’ to the loss of record sales. But for the most part these are simply recycled ideas that are proven failures.

          Aside from variations on crowdfunding, what else are you offering up?

          Reply
          • GGG

            I mean, I don’t even know what you’re referring to that’s a proven failure. Some shit works for some acts and doesn’t work for others. Just like shit has always gone. Some bands have fans, some don’t. Some bands sold records, some didn’t. Some can draw 20 regularly, some can draw 20K regularly. The problem with all these arguments is that everyone conflates no-name shit bands AND small DIYs AND mid level indies AND mid level majors AND superstars. There is no one solution. Everything is far too decentralized and even across genres, some shit works and other shit doesn’t.

            Yes, many ideas are recycled because they work and have for decades. I’m real sorry you hate tshirts, but guess what, fans (you know, the people who support bands) love them and buy them. At certain levels, that experience shit works too. I’m also sorry you don’t like that, but fans do. Yes, it fails for bands that have like 3K fb fans because nobody gives a shit; half those people ‘liked’ a page out of friendship guilt. But it works for others. If you want to know what else I offer up, pay me a monthly retainer, because, sorry, I’m going to pass on a commission based deal with the Fareplay Family Band.

            But again, I’m not at all against people fighting to bring back legitimate revenue to recorded music. If people bought $10 DLs again I’d be making a shitload more money. But until that happens, neither I nor any band I work with, can afford to not look into other areas. And my point, and the issue I had, is that every time Ari or anyone writes about making money any way besides recorded music, people lose their shit. It makes no sense. It’s not being defeated or bending over, it’s we still have to live while this gets fixed.

  24. Diffusion

    This is a poorly written article. You think that CDs are going to be defunct in 5 years? Did you say the same thing about vinyl????

    Reply
  25. Tamas

    This is just stupid… they said the same about vinyl and books… but people are still buying (and WILL bunying) those too… Of course they don’t buy as much CD as 10 years ago, but still there are independent musicians selling tons of CDs. (and writers selling books)

    This has nothing to do with technology… it’s about a different economic situation now where it’s not enough to produce a product, you have to know how to sell it (marketing etc.).

    Reply
  26. Timothy Buss

    Ari,

    I have followed you for quite a while and you have made a big difference in my development in the music business. I agree with you. Things are always changing and those who can get creative will be the ones that will be successful! Thanks for the great article!

    Timothy Buss
    http://www.timothybussmusic.com

    Reply
  27. briaboy

    “recorded music is now a loss leader….everyone needs to accept that”. What planet are you on? No we don’t. I make all my income from recorded music and it’s all going extremely well, thank you, especially in the last 5 years…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Verify Your Humanity *