Follow Us

DMN on Feedburner
Connect with:
divider image

Amanda Palmer: Spotify and iTunes “Aren’t Putting Any Money Back Into Content Creation”

virgindisruptorspalmer

The glaring lack of reinvestment in content, according to Palmer, is “one of the largest” and  a “possibly un-fixable” problem facing artists and the music industry today.  The assessment came during an artist roundtable at Virgin Disruptors this week, one that also involved pioneering artists like Zoe Keating, Imogen Heap, and will.i.am, as well as Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun.

Palmer’s comments may have resonated the most.

“Can I speak up here?  I’d like to just add to what Zoe [Keating] was saying.  There’s also – the other kind of general problem that I think we’re seeing that doesn’t really get addressed very much because it’s so big and possibly un-fixable is that as bad and clunky as the major label system was, you still had a constant influx of capital back from those giant, sometimes soul-sucking systems, back into content creation.

And one weird thing is that iTunes, Apple, Spotify, Google, whatever, all of the people who are profiting – [and] YouTube – who are profiting off the artists from the small level to the huge levels aren’t really feeding very much back into the creation of new content.

And, that’s actually one of the largest problems, and even though my views aren’t nearly as extreme as David Byrne’s, he does bring up the giant question, which is ‘where is the capital going to come from to make art?‘  And people might think it’s crazy for me to say that, because you can crowdfund, you can – there’s a lot of things you can do.

“But wouldn’t it seem that the place that is making the lion’s share of the profit should actually also be putting money back into the creation of content to make a healthy ecosystem?”

blue bar background graphic
Comments (63)
  1. bob

    and music retail (bricks and mortar) used put money back into content? Bah I hate the term content – it is music or songs if you will, possibly art.

    Palmer always with the hands out asking for more….


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “and music retail (bricks and mortar) used put money back into content?”

      Yes.


      Reply
      1. Josh

        I’m young here. How did places like Tower invest in new content?


        Reply
        1. GGG

          *crickets*


          Reply
        2. Joda

          Hi, Josh, I can understand how you wouldn’t know how retail invested in artists since it was almost a lifetime ago when they actually mattered.

          The stores used to put a lot of money and effort into promoting release dates so that people would show up and frequently stand in line to buy new music. Also, having them as a partner in setting up in store signing sessions with artists which allowed them to meet fans and create new ones was invaluable. They also had in store performances as well as they were a reliable source of promotion for upcoming concerts as well. Often they even sold the tickets.

          While some of that is done less effectively, but at a much larger scale, via digital services, nothing has yet had the impact that the local record store in it’s hey dey did for helping to create stars.

          And don’t forget, the record stores lived on extraordinarily tiny margins. No one really got rich from them. Even the few that did do well rode the brick and mortar horse all the way into the abyss at the end. They were truly a part of the industry, not just one of the sycophantic services that we see today.

          I only wish you could see the difference in the “We are in it together” attitude they had as compared to what we have today.

          Fuck the new guys. Seriously. Fuck them.


          Reply
          1. Esol Esek

            Totally agree with you. Bands appeared at record stores. You could meet people that liked your music at record stores. Sometimes a record store would be the only interesting place open in the winter etc.
            Most record stores also sold indie comics, artwork, posters, clothing, toys, whatever. You could meet women at record stores. You could talk to employees, weird old hippies or young people locked into the local scene. You could go in one wasted and instead of staring at your monitor again, you were staring at a bunch of items unfolding in front of you. We had TV and we had movies. We had enough of both. While I do love being able to get stupid little accessories I need (half the time for my computer and camera) Humanity didn’t need more screens to stare into. I also appreciate modern video and music editing software. But that’s IT.

            Thank god for live music, except all you turd-burgling morons with your phones – you’re not shooting history, your phone is in my way. Get a life. Maybe I should start stage-diving, accidentally knocking phones to the ground.


            Reply
          2. old guy

            that’s not entirely true. retailers were definitely a marketing partner but the labels paid for it all – ads, displays, in-store performances, everything.


            Reply
    2. David

      Much as I normally dislike Amanda Palmer, if you listen to the ‘debate’ you will find that she was the only musician contributor who seemed to be looking beyond their own personal circumstances. (Not sure about Will.i.am, because he was on another planet and I had no idea what he was talking about.) See especially the bit right at the end, where she puts the case of musicians who just want to make music and not get involved with technology.


      Reply
      1. Paul Resnikoff

        Actually, will.i.am builds on Amanda’s comments by criticizing VEVO, especially a structure that forces artists to pay for their own videos (directly as an independent or through some recoupment arrangement at a major), then forces, wraps, and monetizes whatever ads/commercials around those videos.

        What will.i.am very briefly alludes to at the end, is that VEVO isn’t properly paying artists after all that (and it IS a joint venture of the majors, so form whatever conclusions you will from that).

        The area where the two disagree though, is (as you noted) the level of technology that artists should be required to embrace. will.i.am is on the extreme that artists should be assembling tech teams and building platforms, and almost being part-time (if not three-quarters time) technologists. Amanda, herself an ardent user of crowdfunding platforms, Twitter, etc., still questioned that emphasis. Especially for artists that just want to write music.

        Interesting debate.


        Reply
  2. Tyler D

    Bob, what do you suggest be done about the recurring problem?


    Reply
    1. bob

      I’d like to offer up a single, simple and elegant solution that solves everyones problems but there isn’t one, nor has there ever been one

      With retail – the revenue chain from sales goes back to the artist (after all the vested interests have taken their contracted share) – as to whom has a responsibility to create new “content” for future sale/revenue generating that is ultimately up to the artist really isn’t it?


      Reply
  3. R.Diddy

    Retailers should invest in content?! Retailers DISTRIBUTE content, they aren’t specialists in creating anything. They are a PIPE. And they do that particularly well.


    Reply
  4. GGG

    Agree with Amanda in this respect. Definitely one of the bigger issues. As much as major labels fucked over artists they were still loaning money in the first place.

    Also, Will.i.am as a disruptor? Bahahaha. Dude is the definition of a sell out.


    Reply
  5. Me

    Were Sam Goody, Camelot, CD Warehouse, Best Buy, Wal Mart, Blockbuster Music, Virgin Megastores, etc. putting money back into creative content? iTunes, Spotify, etc. are retailers, not labels.

    But, fwiw, iTunes and Spotify do have exclusives from artists, where they bring bands in and create new content for their services.


    Reply
    1. FarePlay

      Actually, if you want to be accurate, they are distributors and retailers.


      Reply
  6. Me

    Also, this is coming from the girl that tried to get guest musicians to play for her for free. Talk about not putting money back into creative content…


    Reply
    1. Esol Esek

      The best way is to use terrestrial college radio, which is still doing ok, to promote, and make a good video on Youtube. and just bag these streaming services. A good enough song doesn’t need them, they are nothing but a liability. Macklemore came up entirely on Youtube videos. Regardless of how they screw him or don’t, and since he wasn’t signed, he got all the money, so he did better than someone signed, and Youtube is about as good a promotion as any, driving people to iTunes for sales.

      If Apple were to set up something like Youtube but restricted use, that would be possibly reasonable. Google must be avoided like the plague, along with Spotify and Pandora.


      Reply
    2. Hugo Burnham

      Really? You’re still whining about that non-issue?! Go back to the kids’ table…there’s an adult conversation going on here.


      Reply
  7. Just Another Voice In The Air

    Easier said than done, Amanda.

    For musicians, the most impact-full area music services can (and should) contribute) is in touring. Extending ad campaigns into offline event marketing booths or “activations” at festivals, etc, is the most straightforward and interesting way to subsidize the financial risk a promoter undertakes.


    Reply
    1. FarePlay

      Now there’s an original, forward thinking idea.


      Reply
      1. Just Another Voice In The Air

        Thanks FarePlay. I hope your praise is a serious as my claim is. It’s a potentially ingenious solution that doesn’t get the publicity, analysis, or funding that it deserves.


        Reply
  8. Bandit

    Isn’t that like saying “Grocery stores don’t put any money back into vegetable creation.”


    Reply
    1. doop

      Sadly, in the music industry there’s far too much money being invested in vegetable creation.


      Reply
    2. Locke

      Actually Bandit Im glad you said that. Is anyone familiar with a model of sustainability? If you have heard the term “Co-op” in the past, you might know where I’m going. Im most familiar with a grocery store Co-op in my neighborhood and here is their model where they give back for “vegetable creation”. When a grocery store is looking at food to buy for redistribution, there are essentially two types of distributors they can invest in. Fair Trade and Not Fair Trade. You are most likely used to Not Fair Trade which means that your food came from pickers who are NOT paid enough to support themselves. Analyze that line for a second, consumers buying food from grocery stores, grocery stores buying food from farms, and these farms not paying their workers what they need to survive. That has always proved to be the least sustainable way of running things. Why? because the first step of farming these good has been taking advantage of workers. These workers cant survive or feed their families, so how long do you expect them to keep picking your fruit?

      Apply that thought to the music industry, if you take advantage of your primary source of income, how sustainable is that really? Say that it is sustainable, I implore you, because then I will point to our current music trend, of artists being blown up in a month, labels pushing for them hard, finally getting a success, and then what usually happens to the artist? Rather, do we see a scene where top artists remain on the scene for more than a year? Or do we see artists being squeezed like oranges, used up, and thrown away?

      Now look at a sustainable model, one where the product is only purchased if the primary source is paid enough to survive, or even just above that. That’s one of the main pillars of a Co-op, and for many reason’s it works very well. Workers have a willingness to work, they are also this word “happy” to be at work. It is not the depressing field next door where the workers complain and fear for their families. Apply that model to the music industry, suppose we had retail distributors actually giving back in some manner to their primary source. Well, if I was a Top 40 artist, and I saw iTunes make a major investment in my new album, we would establish a relationship, one hand washes the other kinda deal. Except now iTunes doesn’t just want to squeeze me for my juice, now they are actually interested in helping my product sell because they are invested in it.

      I try to view both perspective’s here and see how the world would be different with both sides. Our current music industry model leaves many artists outside of the living wage circle, it use’s artists till they’ve gone off the deep end from the stress and BS. Imagine now an industry with a reinvestment plan, suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad to be in a band (the lowest paid aspect of the music industry) because the people buying to redistribute, put a little cherry on top, they believe in you and your music so they try to reinvest in you.

      Should retail be expected to reinvest in the artist’s they buy from? I say they should, at least as long as colleges are expecting donations from their alumni.

      Please leave constructive comments, Im very interested in discussing these ideas further.


      Reply
      1. hippydog

        Thats an interesting point.. I see a bit of a culture movement happening towards sustainability.. IE: “make things better” instead of “what makes the most profit”..
        I’ve seen it applied to more and more things.. recycling, housing, food, etc etc etc..
        but until your post I never even considered it being applied to the music industry..

        to be honest.. I would have to do some serious research to even see if the schema between them would even be translatable :-(


        Reply
    3. Dieter

      Interestingly, I’m doing a show at a grocery store this week. They’re paying more than any bar I’ve played at.

      True story.


      Reply
  9. David

    There’s nothing unusual in retailers being involved in manufacturing, or manufacturers being involved in retailing. Its called vertical integration. Many large retailers sell ‘own brand’ products, which they either manufacture or contract out for manufacture to their specifications. In the field of music, if I remember rightly, Virgin Music started as a record retailer then started their own record label. EMI combined retailing and production from an early stage. More recently, Netflix started purely as a distributor but has now branched into content production. Whether it makes sense for tech companies like Google or Spotify to invest in content production remains to be seen, but it’s not an unreasonable suggestion. If the supply of new content dries up, that damages their own business. (Sorry to use that horrible word ‘content’, but it does have the advantage of covering more than just music.)


    Reply
    1. Thom Yorke's Soapbox

      While in theory this would be ideal, the record labels handcuff services like Spotify from doing such. They look at it as a direct threat to their business and have the right to pull their “rights” ie. their song catalog from Spotify for imposing this threat on their business model. What people need to understand is that its not Spotify, iTunes, Google, etc killing the music industry, its the same underlying villain it’s been from day one…the Labels.

      Artists need to stop looking at streaming services as a “revenue source” and more as a platform for discovering their music. If they want to make money, they need to do what artists have been doing for years, and thats put asses in seats, or in lawns, or in crowded bars to pay for a ticket to hear their music & buy their merchandise.


      Reply
      1. David

        I think you made your first point up. You haven’t seen Spotify’s contracts with the labels, any more than I have. But I’m pretty sure that any attempt by the labels to stop Spotify competing with them would be an antitrust violation.

        I’m really puzzled by all the hostility to the major labels. I’ve read a lot of rock music history and biography, and the biggest ‘villains’ are usually dodgy managers like Tony de Fries and Allen Klein, not the labels.

        As for your last point, remind me how that works for artists who are not in a position to tour? E.g. those with health problems or family responsibilities.


        Reply
      2. Esol Esek

        Wrong, I don’t need Spotify or streaming services for promotion. I need great material and online radio, which doesn’t require me to sign away rights, and plays a song depending on how much a dj will push it or feedback it gets.

        Noone needs their music sucked into a free-for-all of unknown repetition or duration, a place that gives the user the impression they don’t have to purchase their music. Spotify and Pandora, buh bye. Google sucks too, but Youtube has enough pull, and the right video can make you world famous, so they are an evil worth dealing with. They are classic radio tv promotion really.


        Reply
    2. Danwriter

      “Whether it makes sense for tech companies like Google or Spotify to invest in content production remains to be seen, but it’s not an unreasonable suggestion.”

      Google is already involved in content creation, via YouTube (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube_Original_Channel_Initiative) and it makes emminent sense for these kinds of distribution entities to do exactly that. In fact, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that what we’re seeing here is the beginings of the next filtering system for commercialized content creation, music or otherwise.


      Reply
      1. hippydog

        Good point..

        I apologize for always using netflix as an example, but
        What if netflix allowed or started a music video show? content, especially exclusive content seems to be worth a lot..
        my point is.. even if they didnt pay upfront, but just alllowed people to monetize it (which is kinda where youtube is heading) thats kinda like a ‘reinvestment’ in the media..


        Reply
        1. Esol Esek

          Netflix is charging 3.99 and 4.99 to watch at home movies you could rent at a Redbox for one dollar.
          Its all about convenience. They aren’t getting anywhere near the concept of Spotify or Pandora.
          The competition between these services and cable and other new digital network channels has got to be fierce, because the demand is infinite and the supply large but still with limits. Something like 1980s James
          Bond still isn’t totally free on demand. Rights owners are ruthless, just like music rights owners have to be.

          There’s just no comparison between film and music, except on the piracy end, where Google should really be crucified by other media companies for their piracy support.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            That’s actually brilliant. Netflix has already proven it’s ability to foster great content with house of cards, lilyhammer, orange is the new black et cetera. It’d be great to have a music video section, maybe even a weekly series with a host and everything. Just like back in the good ol’ days.


            Reply
  10. David

    …I think there is also a very natural sense among artists that it’s about time the tech businesses started putting something back in return for the free ride they have been getting for the last 15 years, aided and abetted by governments giving them special privileges like DMCA safe harbor. It can’t be stressed too often that the growth of the internet has been largely spurred by the availability of free pirated content (not least pornography), which tech businesses have profited from and done next to nothing to combat. For example, it’s very instructive to compare Google’s policy on piracy (which is basically to do nothing and blame the victims) with their little-publicized policy on spam: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/fighting-spam.html

    My jaw dropped when I saw this, because when it comes to spam Google cheerfully does things it claims are impossible, or would ‘break the internet’, when it comes to piracy. Note in particular that they have ‘increased enforcement of a policy to take action on free hosting services and dynamic DNS providers when a large fraction of their sites or pages violate our Webmaster Guidelines. This allows us to protect our users from seeing spam, when taking action on the individual spammy accounts would be impractical.’

    Substitute ‘copyright infringement’ for ‘seeing spam’, and ‘infringing’ for ‘spammy’, and you will see how much Google could do to combat piracy if they wanted to – which of course they don’t


    Reply
  11. Music Industry refugee

    Why would spotify or itunes put money into content creation? They are distributors, just like walmart, sam goody in its day, etc. The only ones who ever put money into content creation were the labels, big and small. If you want to do it DIY, then you should assume that you will be solely responsible for investing in your own content creation. That’s how the business works. And it is not going to change.


    Reply
  12. steven corn

    This is another bizarre extension of the disintermediation economy that we have evolved into. Artist labels (i.e., self released labels) are looking to distributors to do the tasks traditionally held by labels (e.g., building fan base, branding, A&R, etc.). That’s because it’s so easy to be called a label even though most do not have a marketing, promotions or A&R department anymore. I often have to tell labels that it’s not the role of a distributor to build an artist’s career or to break the artist. We can certainly play an important role. But distributors are just one spoke on the wheel where the hub is the label (or the artist if that’s one and the same).

    Now, to say that retailers are responsible to help develop new content??? That’s ludicrous. It’s the ultimate denial of responsibility for a label or artist to expect a retailer to do so. And yet, many actually do it thru the many live performances that get recorded in-house at Amazon, itunes, Spotify, etc. Those concerts are certainly creating new content as far as I am concerned (while also promoting sales and/or activity on the respective sites – a win-win scenario).

    I’d really like to hear less whining out there and more accountability for one’s success. Many of the artists on this panel, if not all of them, have taken full control of their careers and have been incredibly proactive. So why are they looking for retailers to be beneficent patrons of the arts?? They should direct such pleas to Bill and Melinda Gates before asking Spotify to carve out money for new content.


    Reply
    1. Mike Corcoran

      Agreed.


      Reply
    2. cmonkey

      Give musicians the ad revenue they’re creating and we can pay for our own recording and marketing!
      Broadcast royalties from ad revenue has been what supports most rmusic artists. Not record royalties or touring.
      Just as much now as thruout the last century, music works symbiotically with advertising revenue. The collection agencies distribute ad money from broadcast media, but Google has hijacked ad revenue from the internet so basically none goes back to the creators.
      This is class warfare , conducted by the Libertarian investor class against the creative community. Behind nearly every internet boggier slagging the ‘greedy’ rock stars and the ‘copyright monopoly’ is a Libertarian think tank funded by Google or the Koch brothers.
      The tech lords covet intellectual property, like the Conquistadors coveted the gold of the Incas. Meanwhile, the Koch brothers wish to stifle the voice of artists because artists have so effectively promoted progressive social change for 2 centuries.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        You’re going to want to dial back the crazy a few notches if you want anyone to listen to you.


        Reply
  13. Sam @ Projekt

    What you all seem to miss is that “in the old days” a retail store paid actual money for the album that they sold. That money went back up the chain to the distributor, the label, and the artist. There was money going back to the artist. These days, the digital outlets (the equivalent of stores) keep the majority of the money for themselves. Who is getting rich here? Google or the artist? Obviously Amanda is right and you are just trying to make it confusing, to avoid that she is right. But that’s the usual strategy of people who feel artists shouldn’t be paid for their work. IE: typical BS, peoplez.
    Sam


    Reply
    1. hippydog

      I have no idea where your getting your info from..
      The difference in markup between Itunes and a retail/distribution store are actually pretty close..

      The costs to keep the lights on I’m sure are very different, but the markup is close..


      Reply
  14. Amen to Steve Corn

    Distributors and retailers are NOT content creators, never have been, never will be, and will never “put money back into it.”

    Leave it to DMN to put another bad idea — coming from a terribly misguided artist — on a pedestal.


    Reply
  15. Johnny K Gagnon

    It reflects the entire capitalist quick buck and quick sand system,the only monkeys that survive are up in the heighest branches showing their butts at everyone going down…. this is not social behavior!


    Reply
  16. Johnny Kareem Gagnon

    This is the capitalist way,quick buck and quick sand,only monkeys swinging in the highest branches do well… and show off their butts and what they do … to the ones sinking down below,great apes and greed only make the bananas split!


    Reply
  17. musician

    i feel like i do make money from iTunes and Bandcamp sales as a musician. iTunes charges the buyer $9.99 for and album and i get $7.04 of that. that seems decent to me. and on Bandcamp i get all of money for every album sold – just every once in a while Bandcamp will say “This sale was credited to Bandcamp to cover your revenue share balance” but it seems to rarely happen. I don’t really think that many people go into stores and purchase CDs anymore. As much as I miss the romance of it, as it’s how I acquired music as a teenager, to hold that new album in your hand, it seem that currently people download music. They don’t have to even leave the house. They can just download it.

    The benefit I thought that would come from being on a label was that they would promote you, put you on tour, get you a manager or tour manager or A&R guy to give you input, etc. MARKETING. i don’t know how an independent artist is supposed to market themselves. how does a band/artist these days market their music? i realize there are ways to do it but it seems overwhelming. i’m an artist, not a businessman. i would rather have someone else promoting and marketing and distributing my music and split the revenue with them that be left all on my lonesome to try to figure out some marketing strategy.

    interesting side note: you’ve all surely heard of macklemore (the white rapper who recently hit it big with his “thrift store” song). i thought it was interesting when i discovered what his college degree was in marketing…


    Reply
    1. Esol Esek

      HUmans need more reasons to leave the house. I was going to say young people in particular, because my god, do you really want to look back at your youth, and you spent the majority of it at a computer or a playstation? How horrifying! But old people also need to get away from the worthless frilly device.

      I gotta tell those who do not know. A guitar,drums, bass or keyboard, provided you have learned something through years of work and hopefully help (lessons), are a lot more fun than a computer.


      Reply
  18. R.P.

    it becomes a conflict of interest when Spotify begins to aggressively push only their content to users, no?


    Reply
  19. Business man

    I would have hated this conference. What crap. Artists have to do it all yourself. If you don’t you will be second rate and always wondering why somebody with less talent is more influential. Use all your tools. Crybabys.

    Basic economics and now they want it all for free.

    Why doesn’t the government. Sponsor my art?


    Reply
    1. Esol Esek

      Artists do it al themselves and the ones who deserve fame may get it. The point is someone making money off of someone else without paying a cut, at the very least 50%. Companies are making billions and paying out pennies. I don’t understand why attitudes like yours are so pervasive. It’s like an entire generation knows nothing about being an entrepreneur. You don’t go into business for free. You don’t build freeways or sell groceries for nothing. Music is not essential, but someone makes money off of it. Those people should be held to account for fraud.


      Reply
    2. jr565

      Wasn’t Amanda Palmer a big fan of the KickStarter program? I think it’s a terrible idea for the vast majority of artists. But some who are already known might get enough funding to make it profitable. But its an extremely poor business model for most.
      But that’s the funding that Amanda should expect.


      Reply
  20. Women lover

    Shes awfully manly looking in that picture. Scary. I wouldn’t giver her money.


    Reply
  21. Martin Blu

    Spotify just lost 60 MILLION DOLLARS LAST QUARTER. What money do you want them to put back into content creation? Their model is fundamentally flawed!


    Reply
  22. American Beauty

    ~ Open Appeal To Amanda Palmer ~

    Dear Amanda,

    While I appreciate your concern for the lack of “capital…back into content creation,” I hardly think that “Apple, Spotify, Google, whatever, all of the people who are profiting – [and] YouTube,” are too terribly interested in creative-media creation, especially given their current “horn of plenty.”

    Regardless, I should think that any creative media coming from these sources and their ilk would be of the lowest common denominator and geared, first and foremost, toward profit.

    Creative media of taste and artistic value should come from people who are good at it! People who have spent their lives in that endeavor. For example, people like you. And your husband, Neil.

    In that light, I appeal! Take the bull by its twisted horns and do something! Really DO SOMETHING!

    Put your acumen for crowd-funding on the back burner, stop “kick-me-uping” for a month, and give back!

    Find a worthy talent (you MUST know many!) and pay for a recording session; lets say $50, 000. Ask your spouse to “kick in” a little for promotions and touring. Another $30,000?

    For a mere $80,000, you will have created “content”, advanced the career of a deserving party, tamped down the ire of your detractors, and done something genuinely good in the music world. If 80K is too much, then cut it down…to the bone! Do the recording for 10, teach the band how to make it on the road through the kindness of strangers and friends, then toss in 15 to “get the word out.” (Your name recognition, along with that of your spouse, should easily make up the difference!)

    “Lead by example.” Isn’t that the phrase?

    Or perhaps you are more inclined to another.

    “Donating = Loving” (From your blog.)

    If you are already engaged in donating to, or giving back to, or “kicking up” some worthy someone or something, then I applaud you! Please disregard any snarkiness in my post.

    However, if you are not, then you are no less guilty than those you implore, chastise, and oppose.

    You, Amanda (and Neil), are TWO of “all of the people who are profiting.” To foster any modicum of credibility, you must act on your espoused beliefs.


    Reply
  23. J.R. Gentle

    I have read with great fascination all of the comments on this article. I often find that the comments of everyday people are much more telling and revealing than the article. Some of your suggestions are actually quite brilliant and give much food for thought. And typically for the internet, some of you are quite delusional. The bottom line is simple. None of us want to live in a world without music. To say otherwise means that you are simply not aware of how music effects your life EVERY SINGLE DAY. Imagine just 3 things without music. weddings, long car rides, or any movie. Those are just the Tip of the Iceberg. Music is a part of our daily lives and has value. It’s that simple. Every argument should start from there. At the risk of blatant self-promotion, I will tell you that I have a start-up company that promotes up-and-coming musicians based in your locality. We do this via a streaming radio. Notice I did not say I was a tech start-up. The internet is just a vehicle. We have been hard at it for about a year and half and now have stations in 6 locations. We have made it a point from the first day to always put the musicians first. Its been a long road and steep learning curve. We have learned a lot about the current state of the music industry today and we really feel that we have something to contribute. Anyway, who we are and what we do is written below. I very much welcome constructive feedback.

    We Are GigDog

    GigDog was founded on a very simple premise. To promote the amazing music of bands that weren’t being heard. GigDog’s goal is to make it easier for music lovers to become familiar with up-and-coming artists, and to make them aware of the great music experiences happening right outside their door. When GigDog’s journey began, two incredible facts became readily apparent. The first was that the music that surrounds us is even more amazing than anyone could have imagined. The second was that this very same music was disappearing…. rapidly.

    In our technological rush into the 21st century we expected this rising tide to lift all boats. Technology was supposed to make everything easier, faster, and more convenient. And it did… but only for the consumers of music, not the creators of music. Technology can, and has, done a lot for musicians. But no technology can take the place of dedicating hours, days, weeks, months and years to honing a craft that is at once intensely personal and yet, at the same time, must be shared. This dedication has given us Ray Charles, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Michael Jackson, The Eagles, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, The Indigo Girls and Bob Marley. Their music and the music of countless others are the soundtrack of our lives, and our lives are much richer because of them. This is what musicians do. They create music. They create music experiences. They create beautiful melodies and if we are lucky, they share this with us all. We all know the value of music and the beauty musicians add to our lives. This is why it’s important for us to realize that musicians cannot create great music and at the same time become experts in Marketing, Promotion, Sales, Sound engineering and Sound Mastering. We have come to assume that technology is doing all of that for them. It is not. A few have found a way to use technology to their advantage, but the vast majority simply do not have the time or resources to master all the skills needed to make a living as a musician in this new reality. As is the case for most things, in order to thrive, musicians need support…..now more than ever.

    GigDog will help change all of that. GigDog is building a platform where music lovers and music makers can connect to create amazing experiences. GigDog will provide the Marketing and Promotion that artists need to be heard. We will use technology as a tool, not as a destination. We will use technology to connect, inform, and expose music lovers to all the incredibly talented artists performing right outside their front door. We will encourage and support artists by establishing a fund with 10% of all GigDog’s profit going exclusively into this fund. The sole purpose of the GigBack Musicians Investment Project is to help dedicated musicians we promote on our platform gain the exposure they deserve, and have access to resources that they need to begin their own legacies. We are passionate about helping musicians achieve their goals because we understand that all of humanity benefits when artists can focus on their craft, and it is up to all of us to support what is so vital to our mutual happiness. Help GigDog help the musicians. Help GigDog bring music back.

    J.R. Gentle
    Founder


    Reply
  24. jr565

    In the case of iTunes, why should it put money back into content creation. That’s what labels are for!
    iTunes is where you go after you’ve made the record and want to sell it. That would be like saying Tower Records doesn’t put any money into content creation. No, it just sells the product.
    If you want people to put money into content creation you probalby shouldn’t villify the labels and more importanly you should recognize that music is a BUSINESS and not a free distribution model.
    Why would any company put millions into content creation if the product is just going to be distributed for free by Megaupload.
    Maybe “fans” should put money into content creation by BUYING CD’s and/or digital files.


    Reply
  25. jr565

    In the case of Spotify, artists are fools to get into business with them. Since they are making no royalties off of it. I take that back. If they get a million plays of their song they might make $14 bucks. Maybe they can buy a cup of coffee with that.
    The way Spotify is set up though means you never have to buy the songs, so artists are in fact losing their revenue stream. Ah, but they’re getting exposure!
    That’s not going to pay the rent folks. How many times have you heard people say “work for free. You’ll get exposure”. Usually it just means you work for free.
    If you sold your CD/music you’d get exposure AND earn a buck.

    In the case of Youtube – that’s google. They are the biggest enablers of piracy on the internet. All those bittorrents stealing artists files are powered by Google. And Youtube is notorious for not respecting copyright of artists.
    They are not going to put money back into content creation. They can’t even respect the idea of paying royalties.
    The internet (excepting companies like iTunes which pay royalties for things BOUGHT) are not artists friends. They are exploiters of the artist and will suck them dry, profiting all the way to the bank.


    Reply
  26. jr565

    Meet the new boss – worse than the old boss. And the old boss was pretty bad. How we long for the days when record companies didn’t pay artists royalties and exploited them. Because at least then there was the idea that someone was getting cheated if they weren’t paid.
    Nowadays, the idea of an artist getting paid for his songs is almost a quaint notion. Now artists have to sell t shirts because many of their fans think they are entitled to the songs for free.


    Reply
  27. jr565

    Think about the album Nevermind. How much did that cost to produce? Does Amanda think she could get kickstart funding to produce that? That required a gamble and investment on the part of the labels. Most artists wouldn’t spend that kind of money if at the end of the day they lost money by putting out an album.
    You need the profit incentive for any company to care about putting money back into content creation. if there is none, then say goodbye to the music business.


    Reply
  28. jr565

    Could or would Michaelangelo have painted the Sistine Chapel absent funding from the Church?
    Art has always been expensive, even moreso when it comes to music and television/movies. Even the cheapest movie is a million dollar enterprise. So, remove business from the equation and art is just expense. How much are people going to want to spend to produce things if at the end of the day they get little back for their efforts?


    Reply
  29. Bobs your Uncle

    What a mess you all are.


    Reply
  30. I Like to Move It

    Getting back to the food market analogy: How does the partnership between Monsanto and say, Safeway, Walmart, or other big food retailers, impact fair trade/food sustainability? These monster partnerships have created a massive ecosystem in which everyone must compete. If you want to be in the game you have to play by “the rules”. You can’t entirely blame one entity; they all work together – the ecosystem is fixed. So how do you create a new ecosystem for music? Move the lowest end of the chain :>)


    Reply

Leave a Reply

Connect with:


+ one = 9

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. OUR SPONSORS

  2.  
  3. Most Heated!