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16 Artists That Are Now Speaking Out Against Streaming…

There used to be one band with the courage to do this sort of thing: Metallica.  Now, there are dozens of high-profile artists, with outspoken critics like David Lowery and Thom Yorke leading a previously-unthinkable level of protest against streaming and content devaluation.  Here are just a few of those voices that emerged in 2013.

(1) Amanda Palmer

Speaking at Virgin Disruptors in October, Palmer blasted leading platforms like YouTube, Spotify and iTunes for profiting handsomely off of artists while re-investing nothing in that content.

virgindisruptorspalmer

“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?”

 

(2) will.i.am

Speaking at the same event, will.i.am questioned whether VEVO and YouTube were unfairly forcing artists to accept certain branding associations, while carefully removing the artist from the profit stream.

williamleavingartistsout

 

“And so while we’re paying for our videos to be on that platform, to Amanda’s point, at what point in time does VEVO pay for content, that gives them the ability to put commercials that we don’t want before our content? And do we get to choose what commercials come before and after our content, when I’m the one paying for the video?”

“That’s a very, very, very touchy, touchy, touchy subject that no one’s talking about, as far as technology killing the music industry. Actually, the music industry has been redefined, utilizing the technology, leaving the artist out of the equation.

“So the power has to go back to the artist, and that’s what we’re experiencing here. Somebody’s monetizing it, you can’t just say a billion views and be like ‘yup, you’re free just like the artists are free’.”

“Somebody’s getting paid a lot of f*&ing money.”

(3) Thom Yorke

July 14th, 2013, Yorke blasted Spotify for short-changing musicians while preparing for massive Wall Street millions.

yorketweet

more.

(4) Nigel Godrich

At the same moment, Radiohead producer announced a high-profile removal of certain Yorke and Atoms for Peace content from Spotify.

nigelf-all

 

more.

(5) Zoe Keating

Keating has been publishing her criminally-low streaming royalty statements for years, while also question whether touring really makes sense for the bulk of artists.  Speaking to the New York Times in January…

“In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if [streaming] is going to be the only way people consume music…”

(6) David Lowery

The most outspoken, hated/loved, and most importantly – effective – artist activist in the world.   As portrayed by the New York Times in October…

“In public appearances and no-holds-barred blog posts, Mr. Lowery, 53, has come to represent the anger of musicians in the digital age. When an NPR Music intern confessed in a blog post last year that she paid very little for her music, he scolded her in a 3,800-word open letter that framed the issue in moral terms. Since then, he has attacked Pandora for trying to lower royalty rates, accused Google of masterminding a broad anti-copyright campaign and compared people who doubt the effect of piracy on musicians to those who think President Obama is a Muslim.”

And, of course…

June 18th, 2012.  “Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered.”

(7) Beck

In a rather relaxed interview, Beck described the difficult economics that now surround the inevitable.

“Streaming is inevitable, it’s something that is coming, like it or not.  But I question how I can hang on or stay afloat with this model, because what Spotify pays me isn’t enough for me to pay the musicians I work with, or the people producing or mastering my music.  The model doesn’t work, so we have to come up with ways in which people can help us to make music for free, or at least for much less.  But the current way isn’t working, something’s gotta give.”

“If I tried to make my albums with that Spotify pays me, I wouldn’t make them.  I couldn’t hire other musicians or someone to master it; I’d have to do everything myself.”

(8) David Byrne

In early October, Byrne deeply questioned whether platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora can adequately support newer artists – and culture in general.

“For a band of four people that makes a 15% royalty from Spotify streams, it would take 236,549,020 streams for each person to earn a minimum wage of $15,080 (£9,435) a year. For perspective, Daft Punk’s song of the summer, ‘Get Lucky,’ reached 104,760,000 Spotify streams by the end of August: the two Daft Punk guys stand to make somewhere around $13,000 each. Not bad, but remember this is just one song from a lengthy recording that took a lot of time and money to develop. That won’t pay their bills if it’s their principal source of income. And what happens to the bands who don’t have massive international summer hits?”

“The inevitable result would seem to be that the internet will suck the creative content out of the whole world until nothing is left.”

Byrne has pulled off as much of his content from Spotify as possible; more in his essay (published by the Guardian).

 

(9) The Black Keys

The Keys were one of the first to speak sharply against Spotify, and pull their music.  Drummer Patrick Carney said this about Spotify in 2011, long before the onslaught.

“For unknown bands and smaller bands, it’s a really good thing to get yourself out there. But for a band that makes a living selling music, streaming royalties are not at a point yet to be feasible for us”.

(10) Aimee Mann

Back in January, Aimee Mann was still an early protesting voice.  ”My record isn’t on Spotify,” Mann told the Telegraph.

“People may be outraged, but artists don’t make money from Spotify.”

”I think people have a totally different relationship to music these days.  There’s a feeling that it’s cheapeasydisposable – and it’s free and it’s there.  Then you start thinking it should always be free, and always be there.”

 

(11) Pink Floyd

In a very sharply-worded reaction this past June, the members of Pink Floyd blasted Pandora co-founder for tricking artists into signing and supporting an 85% paycut.

“Of course, this letter doesn’t say anything about an 85 percent artist pay cut. That would probably turn off most musicians who might consider signing on. All it says about royalties is ‘we are all fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists.’”

“Meanwhile, artists are losing compensation at a dramatic rate. ”For almost all working musicians, it’s also a question of economic survival. Nearly 90% of the artists who get a check for digital play receive less than $5,000 a year. They cannot afford the 85% pay cut Pandora asked Congress to impose on the music community.”

“Fine print is one thing. But a musician could read this ‘letter of support’ a dozen times and hold it up to a funhouse mirror for good measure without realizing she was signing a call to cut her own royalties to pad Pandora’s bottom line.”

 

(12) Anssi Kela

One of Finland’s biggest pop stars is also a sensation on Spotify.  Too bad his paycheck isn’t very sensational: just last month, Anssi Kela took the step of posting his entire streaming royalty statements online, revealing depressingly-low payouts.   “The Finnish market simply can’t produce enough volume to make small streams into large seas,” Kela relayed.

“At the moment, people need to listen to my song on Spotify about two thousand times before I’ve earned about the same as one sold CD.”

(13) Mikael “Count” Eldridge

If David Lowery is the artist activist, Count is his producer-activist counterpart.  His recently-funded documentary-in-progress, Unsound, explores the massive (and often negative) changes affecting artists in the digital era.  That includes the oft-unspoken connection between piracy and streaming platforms like Spotify, both of which have radically devalued the value of recorded music.

 

(14) Blake Morgan

 In July, the recording artist, producer, and label owner questioned why Pandora and its founder, Tim Westergren, have been so thoroughly underestimating the intelligence of artists.

“Instead of lobbying Congress (as you have) to lower Pandora’s rates, honor the rates Pandora, artists, and labels agreed upon together for Internet radio hand-in-hand with Congress in 2009. It’s an agreement artists went into with you in good faith, that already dramatically lowered the rates Pandora had to pay. It’s an agreement Mr. Westergren himself applauded at the time, famously and happily announcing on his own blog, “the royalty crisis is over!” It was also an agreement we were all supposed to continue honoring together, until 2015.”

“Instead of claiming that artists like myself who have expressed disappointment in Pandora are being manipulated by our own performance rights organizations, understand that this is the smartest, best educated, best informed, most resourceful generation of musicians in this country’s history, and we know fairness when we see it.”

(15) East Bay Ray

The Dead Kennedys guitarist Ray Pepperell (aka, East Bay Ray) emerged as a staunch critic of Google-enabled piracy, not to mention unfair payouts by YouTube.  In February, Ray shared calculations with Digital Music News showing that YouTube was responsible for putting at least 12,000 musicians to work.

 

(16) The Entire Swedish Musicians’ Union

Which is, a very large amount of artists in the strongest stronghold of streaming.  All of whom are question whether Spotify even has a right to use their music.

“We’re saying that labels aren’t even allowed to give out this digital content to begin with.  So we want our music deleted, from every streaming platform.  That way, we can start from scratch and start re-negotiating and see where it lands.”

more.

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Comments (95)
  1. TuneHunter

    Hay YOU, the protesting artists or MANAGERS, each one of you should roll your rolodexes and find TEN equal or better artists to join new FRONT of monetization.

    FREE, SEMI-FREE (Spoofy, Deezer, Pandora) or ad supported TUBE is a blind race to PEANUTS!

    100 billions in music is around us lets grab it!

    As much as I do not care for unions Swedish musician union might have proper infrastructure to consolidate this overdue frontal attack to sanity.


    Reply
    1. Derrick Stevens

      I refuse to support Pandora, Youtube, Spotify e.t.c. They’re ripping people off! Bypass them and just download the music off the web directly. It’s much better sound quality with no ads or other BS. Just free good music!
      F U Pandora!!


      Reply
      1. TuneHunter

        Just take a hike!
        Freeloaders do not belong to this forum.


        Reply
        1. Biff

          The internet is full of nothing but freeloaders…. your just a bitch for crying about it.


          Reply
          1. Jay Dazzle

            He’s right, you know…
            You are a whiny little fag.


            Reply
  2. Casey

    Those who was Spotify and Pandora are making too much profit lose all credibility. The endless amount of red ink says otherwise.


    Reply
    1. Faza (TCM)

      Which does rather beg the question of what they’re good for, don’t you think?

      I’ll clue you in: for letting the insiders cash out nicely post-liquidity. Just ask Million-Dollar-a-Month Tim.


      Reply
  3. Geoff

    remember that when thee companies cry ‘poor’ and say how they aren’t really making money, thats AFTER they pay huge salaries to CEOS etc…Look at Daniel Ek (Spotify) who’s net worth went from 10 bucks to about $310 million in TWO YEARS.


    Reply
    1. Casey

      That had nothing to do with his salary.


      Reply
      1. FarePlay

        This is all such tiresome tripe. The internet is finally being seen for what it is, a corporate money machine that profits off the back of content providers.

        Why are these services bleeding red ink? Because they’re not interested in running a for-profit business financed by “paying” subscribers. These guys are not interested in creating a sustainable business; they’re interested in cashing out with an IPO. Stop already with the obfuscation about the record labels and rich rock starts.

        We all know they want the 70 million “user” number to stroke the fantasy that there is actually a business there. The reason we hear from the successful musicians is because they’re the only ones that get press. They’re standing up as much for being musicians as anything else.

        Guys, you’re days are over intimidating musicians into silence. Because the musicians have nothing to lose at this point. The reality is services like Pandora and Spotify contribute heavily to the perception that music is value-less, by keeping their services free forever. And you know they want it that way.

        Go ahead and take your music, but leave your contempt, entitlement and arrogance at the door.

        We get it.


        Reply
        1. Casey

          Of course Pandora wants to keep their service free. And why is that? Because their primary competitor is broadcast radio, which is completely and absolutely free and has been “devaluing” music longer than most here have been alive. It is a huge industry with plenty of money to be made, which Pandora would have no chance of penetrating if they didn’t also offer a free service. Plus their primary internet competitors, like IHeart, DI, Slacker, iTunesRadio, Jango, etc. are also all free. Just like radio has been for decades.

          You know what the problem is with the music industry? The problem is you guys all live in a bubble. You have absolutely no idea what is going on in other industries despite your best to prove otherwise. Do you know what is really going on at Pandora? How they have been actively poaching local advertisers from broadcast radio. How they have been actively integrating their service into every dashboard to achieve unrivaled penetration. How they broke $100 million in mobile advertising revenue in the 3rd quarter, putting them among the top companies for mobile advertising revenues in the world. Or how they now control more than 8% of the total US radio industry. Apparently not as you continuously act like it is the end of the world and nothing but a quick dollar for the Pandora execs, despite being in business for 13 years. That’s probably longer than most people reading this site have been in the music industry.


          Reply
          1. royal

            You don’t even know what you don’t know yet. Broadcast Radio and TV has NOT been devaluing music, but has rather been in a symbiotic relationship with it for many decades.


            Reply
            1. Casey

              They don’t devalue music? That brings us to the twisted music industry logic. Terrestrial radio is somehow okay, despite the fact that it doesn’t pay artists and people could record music right off it for years. Internet radio though, that’s the devil. Despite the fact that internet stations have to pay artists and have proven to drive substantial amounts of music sales. Despite the fact that internet radio delivers countless artists who will never make it to terrestrial radio to a wide selection of listeners. Despite the fact that it is the only logical technology path for radio and provides countless features, (superior metadata, tagging, superior music discovery, customization, etc.) all of which benefits artists. All internet radio, especially Pandora who is the largest and most revolutionary, needs to die. The reason? Because it’s free, just like terrestrial radio.


              Reply
              1. FarePlay

                Casey, please. Internet radio drives “considerable” music sales? Then why are recorded music sales down over 50% in the past decade?


                Reply
                1. TuneHunter

                  We will close 2013 at 17.?? billion, as is inflation adjusted 1999 is around 56B today!

                  We are less than 30% of good times.

                  In the meantime CEO of Universal which “controls” around 60% of tunes make over 10 million a year.
                  Global Master of digital giveaway at the same Universal is also in millions. RIAA has hibernated.

                  Google with few fresh ideas and and nice “wrecking ball” is our only hope to cash!


                  Reply
                2. Casey

                  Because music downloading happened. No more did people need to buy a full album to get the 1 song they wanted. And then of course file sharing, cyber lockers, youtube downloading, etc. have had significant effects.

                  Apple, the largest music retailer in the world, has created an internet radio product that will probably lose money indefinitely because they have so much faith in the ability to generate download sales from internet radio. What more proof does one need to show what internet radio can do.


                  Reply
              2. Alan Sells

                Radio does pay. ASCAP and BMI big bucks! To make stars out of nobodys. radio has paid forever.


                Reply
  4. Adam

    We will see a corresponding list of people who supported streaming in 2013? Or is that not negative enough for Paul?


    Reply
  5. jw

    Didn’t the Black Keys put their stuff on Spotify? All but like 8 songs?

    Guess it makes more sense than it used to.


    Reply
    1. Me

      El Camino (their latest album, released 2 years ago) is still not available on Spotify. The rest of their catalog is, however.


      Reply
  6. David

    EVERY artist on this list (apart from Beck and East Bay Ray) HAS RECORDINGS ON SPOTIFY!

    Did I miss something here? Or is the author just trying to add to an Anit-Spotify agenda?

    These guys will say payments should be higher, of course. Try and find one person in the world who does not want more money. Of course, that would be great but it’s not the REALITY of the new music business. It has to be FREE or FEEL FREE. Get used to it!


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “It has to be FREE “

      Nonsense. Fans will pay whatever you charge for a great new song. Provided, of course, that they can’t stream it for free or steal it without consequences.

      So just say no to streaming, and introduce consequences for piracy…


      Reply
      1. Casey

        And artists who do that may find they only have 2 fans willing to pay whatever you charge.


        Reply
    2. buck shine

      The artist’s have no say in the decision to stream, if the label they signed to decides to stream their music.
      It’s only their independant music that these artist’s could stop from streaming. I’m so relieved to hear artist ‘s finally speaking out now that it’s obvious Spotify, Pandora, etc….could give a rat’s ass about keeping artist’s in business.


      Reply
    3. Paul Resnikoff

      Actually, many of these artists would remove all of their content, IF they could. Thom Yorke signed many of those rights away a long time ago, so he can only exercise power over certain pieces of music, like Atoms for Piece.


      Reply
      1. TuneHunter

        Didn’t realize it is so tragic.
        After total green light to streaming and creation of Veevoo Mr. Keeling has to just find investors to to provide unlimited data package to all heavy music users! Then the killing process will be finished.


        Reply
    4. Anon

      “It has to be FREE…” Sure David, that is clearly a well thought out and very informed answer. We will just make music for your entertainment for free from now on because we have “gotten used to it”. I am sure music as a whole will not suffer from that. Golly gosh and we will pay our bills with your appreciation, and fill our bellies with your adoration, which will be delivered to us by unicorns.


      Reply
    5. Versus

      “Reality”? This is all convention, not some absolute truth ordained by God. Music can be devalued, and it can be re-valued. People learned to pay for bottled water, learned to pay for cable TV….they can learn to pay for music again. Proper criminal penalties would help, and they should be retroactive for all the freeloaders to date.


      Reply
  7. Anonymous

    “So we [Swedish Musician's Union] want our music deleted, from every streaming platform”

    …a message we’re going to hear a lot from musicians all over the world in the time to come.

    And for those of you who haven’t signed away your rights yet: Listen to the Swedes — they are after all the experts here — and say no streaming!

    Remember this: The only way to make money from streaming is to start a streaming site.


    Reply
  8. JTVDigital

    Hi there,

    The more I read these articles about artists complaining about streaming payouts, the more it seems like they are missing the point.
    Most (if not all) these artists do have record labels, right?
    It would be interesting to know how much % their label is keeping, from the already low streaming revenue…
    First thing might be for them to check how their current recording deal splits the revenue between label and artist when it comes to digital income.

    Jeremie Varengo – JTV Digital
    http://www.jtvdigital.com


    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    1-“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?”

    Yes, and they actually do. If you don’t think it’s enough it’s a legitimate opinion, try to tell us how and how much should they putting more.

    2-““And so while we’re paying for our videos to be on that platform, to Amanda’s point, at what point in time does VEVO pay for content, that gives them the ability to put commercials that we don’t want before our content? And do we get to choose what commercials come before and after our content, when I’m the one paying for the video?”

    And when artist were paying for promotional video to air on mtv, did they have some control over the ads?
    don’t you understand that the corporate fluid scale economy grown and sustained by the people you hangry at, is the ONLY REASON musically mediocre shoes-sellers and eyewear models like you had a career in the first place? just letting this guy speak about not making enough money it’s an insult to a lot of troubled people in the world.

    3-A traditional rockband guy trying to appeal at his traditional supporters to make them stand up for their collective traditonal habits (it’s clear that “fellow musician” don’t include say…glitch hop laptop producers). I respect that in some sense, being proud of glorious past, but anyone with an high school history knowledge knows exactly where it is going. extintion.

    4-see 3

    5-“In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if [streaming] is going to be the only way people consume music…”

    What??? studies tells little jazz/classic musicians make records revenue at all, they gotta work for hire or teach, less fashionable but solid money anyway. People condemned to poverty are the little kids that recycle tech-waste in pakistan, you simply DON’T DESERVE THE POOR MAN STATUS, if you don’t like being who you are, get a job at wallmart. yes, i mean it.

    6-mr David Lowery, who exactly appointed you to represent the category of musicians?
    and given the complexity of analyzing piracy phenomenon both in economic, historycal, cultural and even in technical/juridic terms, because you know, copyright law isn’t god-given perfection, how could you be so confident to spek of skeptic academic researchers as they were retarded conspiracy theorist?

    7, 8 see 3

    others are talking about Pandora, if you din’t get it, conventionally, and for good technical reason,
    PANDORA IS NOT CATEGORIZED AS STREAMING, so its just off topic.


    Reply
  10. Rick Ellis

    While I love this site, the endless drone of anti-streaming posts is tiring.

    Spotify is just another delivery system. Complaining that they don’t put money into artist development makes about as much sense as complaining the manufacturer of your radio doesn’t have a label. It’s apples and oranges.

    Spotify is also not a substitute for sales revenues. No, you’re not going to make as much off of someone streaming your music as you do when someone buys the track. But streaming and sales are very different in a variety of ways and if you can’t see that, then you really do need a better sense of the business.

    Spotify is not responsible for the fact that your label is screwing you. If the money that you receive from your label is only sliver of what they get from Spotify, then it’s not up to Spotify to make you whole. If you sold off your publishing or don’t own our masters or just signed an overall bad deal, then that is on you.


    Reply
    1. NotJustAPrettyFace

      Rick, you may not have read the published statements from artists like Zoe Keating, but even WITHOUT a recording company taking a cut, an independent band or musician would require literally millions of plays to make minimum wage. Spotify payouts are tiny for all artists, independent or not. The spectre of the big bad record company can’t be blamed for tiny Spotify payouts. Just read the published statements.

      Plus, regarding your point that ‘Spotify is not a substitute for sales revenues’, Spotify destroys sales revenues because there is no incentive to purchase when you can stream.

      Net net, streaming sites like Spotify make money for executives in pre-ipo shares, and make almost nothing for all artists except the absolutely huge block buster artists.


      Reply
  11. music buyer

    this entire conversation is so unbelievable. i pay for downloads to my computer, so that i can use it with djing apps. this music is mostly produced by single persons, on a single machine – it can be just as enjoyable as anything ever produced on a 64,000 channel Mackie board and an orchestra of musicians trained at Juliard. this fact is the single most significant reason all musicians as a whole, can not really live well off of the music making / production alone. Spotify is not stealing the money out of musicians’ pockets – they are losing money.

    here is an idea – Thom and company – 20 of you top musicians – put up or shut up. here is how: take some money out of your opulent lifestyle budgets (skip on a new ferrari for one model year, sell the french riviera villa, for now). pool your bucks, and put up USD 20 mil. use it to build a music start-up, from the ground up – you hire the engineers and make day to day decisions. since you all know so much about business. then, use your charisma, and your musical acumen to exclusively sign new talent, to your platform. make the consumer pay to access this exclusive content, via your platform, and make us pay what is fair. everyone wins. easy!

    ‘cmon – it is just the 20mil and all your experience you already have. is piracy the sole reason that this has not yet been done? maybe the nsa could help this cause.


    Reply
    1. Ashton Smith

      Wow do you even know most of the musicians on this list? Obviously not because if you did you would be aware of the fact that Blake Morgan essentially did what you’re suggesting oh and most likely with much less than 20 million bux. When he realized the big label he was signed to was a sinking ship he had the guts to walk and create an entirely different kind of music label. I’ve personally met this man and can tell you he’s not cruising around NYC in a limo or a expensive ass car, he’s usually on the subway. And he is not the typical record label CEO, he actually supports and personally attends and works the events and performances all his label artists have in NYC and most of the surrounding cities. When was the last time you went to a show and saw the artist’s record label CEO selling CD’s himself at the show? I’m going to go with never…and he’s the only one I know I’ve ever seen doing it, and let me add it was a show for one of the lesser known musicians on his label and the show was free.


      Reply
    2. NotJustAPrettyFace

      Suggesting that Thom Yorke create his own music streaming start up is just as dumb as suggesting that Daniel Ek record an album that people actually want to hear.


      Reply
  12. FarePlay

    2013 has been a transformational year, where we’ve seen for the first time, a steady stream of artists stepping forward and speaking out about a digital economy focussed on corporate profits without consideration for artist compensation.

    2014 will be the year where musicians, filmmakers, authors and the entire creative community will come together to speak out collectively for artists’ digital rights.

    Their voices will be heard.


    Reply
    1. db

      -snaps-


      Reply
      1. Anon.

        Agreed. The time has come for the creative community to cut the abuse and make some real dough, like all the fuckers working for the streaming sites exploiting them.


        Reply
        1. Casey

          You mean the people getting laid off because the streaming services can’t afford to pay their employees?


          Reply
          1. NotJustAPrettyFace

            Streaming services only make money off pre-ipo shares and maybe ipo shares in the future – all of which are based on belief – the belief of people who don’t realize that streaming is inherently an unworkable business model because it won’t be able to sustain the people who create the content. I’m not going to cry any crocodile tears for people who’ve made multiple millions from pre-ipo shares like Tim Westergren and Daniel Ek and then lay off their workers.


            Reply
    2. Paul Resnikoff

      This was the point of this article, thanks FarePlay. Metallica was an early outlier, with ultimately a strong opinion in the debate. They realized that this stance was bad for Metallica, Inc., and discontinued.

      Obviously, this year was completely different. And it is already changing the way Spotify and others are doing business.


      Reply
    1. TuneHunter

      No matter what links you show me, Spotify will remain giant meat grinder converting prime beef to low grade dog food.

      Streamers and YouTube are only roadblocks to discovery based 100 billion dollar industry!


      Reply
      1. TuneHunter

        100 million subscribers of Spoofy will deliver just 7 billion dollars.

        If they will ever get 100M paying users.

        Same amount cash is hidden in proper utilization of The Echo Nest similar tune discovery machine!
        Providing that service is not free element of Spoofy, Pandora, XM and others.


        Reply
    2. NotJustAPrettyFace

      Spotify works by not paying artists enough to sustain themselves and conning people into thinking their share price will hold up in the future, thus enabling the founders to make millions in pre-ipo shares. I think it’s you who doesn’t know how Spotify works.


      Reply
  13. Anon

    Why no DMN article on Spotify Artists yet? Bit slow with the news reporting… oh wait… that’s because it’s positive about streaming…


    Reply
    1. Boybeyond

      Exactly – really strange how spotifyartists got full scale coverage in every other music publication as well as most mainstream ones, but not even a mention here? Just doesn’t fit with your preconstructed and fixed agenda. Artists are changing their minds, even some of the very ones you mention here like pink floyd, black keys, when they realise the very simple truth that the issue is not what they get from spotify, it’s what they get from their label after they have taken their cut. Spotify pays back 70% of revenue to the rightsholders – would rightsholders get 70% of the price of a CD. No.

      Baffled how you can’t seem to grasp this simple truth. Maybe check out some of the explanations by the many more than 16 artists who support streaming. Billy Bragg just to take one: https://www.facebook.com/billybraggofficial/posts/10151735858067471


      Reply
      1. FarePlay

        Yes, we saw that. I’ve even read that Ek enjoys music. It would all be so comforting if Spotify wasn’t design to eradicate the sale of recorded music, leaving a paltry compensation for artists and their music.


        Reply
        1. boybeyond

          erm … you may have seen it but you have clearly not been listening … Spotify pays 70% back to the labels. More than is paid back per CD, LP, cassette etc … if the artists don’t get paid it’s due to their label agreements. Spotify is designed to pay more back to the rightsholders than older formats – whether it makes it back from the rightsholders to the aritsts is out of Spotify’s control. Read the billy bragg post, it’s a very simple concept. i have to credit you for being able to willfully ignore or not get such a simple thing


          Reply
          1. FarePlay

            No you don’t get it. And the 70% parity number you keep throwing around has no value to artists. The business model for Spotify, designed to heavily erode the sale of pre-recorded music is the kicker. Done, game over.

            For over a decade we’ve been hearing about how exposure creates alternative revenue streams and riches from touring. Didn’t happen. The entire Spotify model model based on Napster for pennies was simply taking advantage of a crippled industry. Crippled by the legion of pirate sites that Napster Spawned.


            Reply
          2. NotJustAPrettyFace

            It’s you who hasn’t been listening.

            70% of Spotify’s revenues pro-rated over all the artists computes to an unsustainable wage – EVEN FOR ARTISTS WHO DON’T HAVE A RECORD COMPANY. Just look at the published royalty statements of artists like Zoe Keating and do the math to see how many streams they’d have to make to get minimum wage. Therefore, 70% sounds high but once it’s prorated it’s completely unsustainable for artists.

            Saying ‘artists don’t get 70% of a CD’ is a nonsensical argument – an independent artist, if they sold a CD for $5, would get $5 less expenses. That’s a heck of a lot better than 70% pro-rated down to less than sharecropping wages. You can say ‘70%’ all you like, but anyone with the intelligence to do the math can see that Spotify is making money for Spotify executives by exploiting musicians in the aggregate.


            Reply
  14. nypbbob

    Artists are signing up left and right with Funn Networks.. From what we have seen, they have the cure and at least give a hoot about the industry, what artists are paid and better yet desire to see everyone happy.


    Reply
  15. Johnny Kareem Gagnon

    The old giants joined internet giants , tied their corporations and industry together in a pretty knot with pretty loops from big quantities of vault stored recordings.Now ,and once more, to dominate and monopolize their hungry appetites for conquering mainstream(new territory)internet income to the end of the ozone air waves…. all time tapes of greats in virtual rotations ,more of oldies and goodies again …… but for the ones who made and created it all,people,their value expired on the lowest levels of capitalism,those shelves buried way beneath their precious …….. Sound Recordings


    Reply
  16. Reynaldo Merriwether

    How to let the other people know about your blogspot?

    lowindia.com


    Reply
  17. Ti-Panda Transport

    First, there is something fresh about the fact that “big artists” sounds concerned.
    The problem did start years ago with internet piracy and they won.
    Spotify, Google, Pandora, whatever will win, no doubt, capitalism and big corporation
    always win.
    As an indie artist we tried to adapt ourself, so, we can’t afford a decent record studio, we do laptop music,
    we can’t pay a drummer, we use a backtrack etcc… since the recent saddest day we are experiencing is the fact that we can’t go on tour anymore as we use to do during years…we feel like we are dying slowly and surely, and even we see many artists giving up we don’t want to think about that for now.
    Now to do promo and have internet exposure needs payment, the internet model is to make the indie musicien to pay for everything.
    What we want and what we expect is SOLUTIONS ! So I sincerely hope that after the river of complains from big stars solutions will be found, this is our only hope !
    NB: for people who could treat us as fuckin’ losers complaining, I know this kind of blog and we were told many times that we are not legitimate to open our mouth :-) our music was featuring in Grey’s Anatomy and in many other synchros in Europe, we are small but we work hard to do a good job and deserve respect…I use to compare us as “handmade carpenter” vs Ikea.
    Wish ya a good day to all of you !


    Reply
  18. Alan Sells

    Wow, sounds like Spotify is supposed to pay the bills. What a bunch of bitchy babies. Spotify is one stream of revenue nobody had 5 years ago. Sorry, I suppose 10’s of millions isn’t enough. ASCAP, BMI, iTunes, hard CDs and merch at shows. Now I suppose we’ll see who does it for the sake of art.


    Reply
    1. NotJustAPrettyFace

      What an ignorant comment.

      >Wow, sounds like Spotify is supposed to pay the bills.

      It’s not unreasonable to expect a business that profits (Daniel Eck has made millions in pre-ipo shares) from people’s work should pay people sustainably for their work.

      >What a bunch of bitchy babies.

      So artists are supposed to be grateful if people don’t buy their music because they can get it on Spotify, but Spotify rates are so tiny that multiple millions of plays wouldn’t earn minimum wage?

      >Spotify is one stream of revenue nobody had 5 years ago.

      5 years ago the tech elite were still pushing the idea that legal downloads would save the music industry. Now that download revenues are deteriorating (hey, why should you pay for a download when you can get it on Spotify?) apparently artists are supposed to be grateful for a few hundred dollars a year while Daniel Eck makes millions in pre-ipo shares.

      >Sorry, I suppose 10’s of millions isn’t enough.

      You clearly don’t understand the math. Look at the published royalty statements of artists like Zoe Keating. The ‘70%’ of Spotify’s revenue – once it’s prorated among the amount of streams – is so tiny it’s way below minimum wage – basically it’s digital sharecropping – for any artist who isn’t a blockbuster. It’s more profitable for an artist (independent or signed) to sell 10,000 CDs or downloads than to receive millions of plays on Spotify.

      >ASCAP, BMI, iTunes, hard CDs and merch at shows.

      Selling merchandise is something artists have always done and will always do. It’s not an argument that justifies saying “hey it doesn’t matter if their income from their primary work activity (recorded music) is being appropriated by people who aren’t compensating them”.

      >Now I suppose we’ll see who does it for the sake of art.

      Why can’t we see if the tech elite like Daniel Eck and Tim Westergren would make technology platforms without being paid – for the sake of technology?


      Reply
  19. Pingback: I Respect Music: Artists’ Pay for Radio Play - Moby Dok

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  23. Joe Graham

    All of these people make shitty music. They all need skinned alive. Don’t worry I’ll never download any of these worthless whores “art”.


    Reply
    1. Jeff

      That’s right, you tell ‘em Joe. You go and fail to support the artists whose music you enjoy – that’ll show ‘em…


      Reply
    2. zeb

      Especially Roger Waters!


      Reply
  24. Pingback: How Google Failed at Acquiring Spotify - SiteProNews

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  29. zeb

    Fuck em all. Especially Roger Waters.


    Reply
  30. Diego Melo Saes

    It’s easy to complain about streaming, but in places like i live (Brazil) we pay to much for songs of america, UK and etc. Because of streaming i get to know so many good musics and fine artists around the world. If not for streaming, i never could hear anything besides the Pink Foyd’s Animals Vynil disc from my father.

    I understand all the complaints about streaming and i’m only exposing the situation in the “Second Class” countries.


    Reply
  31. Ha

    Quit blaming STREAMING for a problem caused by GREEDY PEOPLE.


    Reply
  32. le_fez

    Amanda Palmer complaining about anyone ripping anyone else off is a fucking joke. She funded an album through kickstarter, made, by her estimate $100,000 by some estimates more, and then actually had the nerve to try to convince musicians to tour with her for free. I guess she’s such a huge name that just being affiliated with her will make someone’s career.


    Reply
  33. RJ

    You know you would think musicians would be better at math. Lets put this into a normal job perspective. Daft punk had 104,760,000 streams and made 26,000 dollars. Lets say it took the two of them 3 months of 40 hours a week to write the song, perfect it, record it, and master it all by themselves. 3 months is 12 weeks, 40 hours a week, 1040 man hours to create this piece of music in a form that can be distributed. That’s already the equivalent of $25/hr, except it’s still paying out continuously. You’ve already made the equivalent salary of a master craftsman AND that number is going to continuously raise.
    If you’re not making money as musicians, maybe it’s not the industry’s fault. It could be that your target audience is too small to make a ridiculous sum of money. You could do the legwork of the distribution and make that money yourself.
    Times have changed it’s not as easy as being a 1 hit wonder and making a couple million dollars anymore, I’m sorry the 1980s were 25-35 years ago. There is an indescribable larger amount of music available today than there was 30 years ago. Sink or swim, or get a day job.


    Reply
  34. Willtur

    How bout you make the album or song available for spotify it is is purchased through a store from? How bout making a limit on how many time a song can be played before you are reminded to support the artist or prompt to purchase for free users to take it offline even without premium? They are starting to tie in with local venue info and merch but you can yank all your music off if you want. I would say it just needs to be improved, The same issue was said about individual song purchases but in the end no matter what scenario, the artist wont get paid and much as their label.

    Amanda Palmer’s album was a kickstartr project so everyone paid up front for her to make it and the amount of albums to be sold so I don’t know how that factors in. I always said spotify is the best thing for music lovers and the worst for artists as is. I support my my artists through lps, cds, and going to shows but I prefer to listen on spotify mostly. Pandora got me to fav the songs and purchase on amazon but spotify is a one stop shop that is instantly ready to listen to what you want so it bypasses the radio scenario. That doesn’t stop people from being fans and buying merch just like piracy with no pay out model helped plenty during the 90s.


    Reply
  35. Michael Romano

    use bandcamp, stream all you like and if you like it buy it directly from the artist. bandcamp does take a cut but no ads. prices are set by the artist and lots of bands(mostly punk i assume) have “name your own price”. But remember nothing beats getting out to shows and showing support in person.


    Reply
  36. Reality

    Or how about making music doesnt become so profitable…. People use to make music out of joy not money now you see so much garbage because people make music for money not joy.


    Reply
    1. NotJustAPrettyFace

      > Or how about making music doesnt become so profitable….

      Music is profitable for the tech companies who make money at the expense of creators. Making music unprofitable for creators doesn’t solve any problems.

      >People use to make music out of joy not money

      Right. I’m sure Cole Porter would have happily lived in poverty his whole life while writing music for the benefit of the ‘crowd’. Not. The fact is, the great music of the last 50 years would not have been made without investment. Dark Side of The Moon, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots etc would not exist without investment. Investment doesn’t happen without a reasonable mechanism for investors getting paid back. The tech elite have this myth that great music can be made on a shoestring budget over a weekend. It’s a complete fallacy, a lie. If you went to a venture capitalist and asked them to invest in someone creating music they’d laugh at you because they would know they would lose their money.

      >now you see so much garbage because people make music for money not joy.

      No, you see so much garbage for two reasons:
      1. The ‘record label’ music business is collapsing and industries in trouble get MORE conservative, not less. So you’ll get more Katy Perrys, not less.
      2. The ‘independent/unsigned’ artist business is not sustaining the vast majority of artists because without investment they are doing it all themselves (unless they are trust fund kids). All their own recording, engineering, mixing, mastering etc. All these things are specialties that are not magically cheaper to do well simply because computer equipment is cheaper – they require expertise and time. And that requires even indie artists paying someone to do it unless they spend all their time learning to do those things instead of honing their art – writing songs or touring. So it’s a catch-22 for indie artists in terms of quality. Crowdfunding helps but it’s not a panacea.


      Reply
  37. Shawn

    Notice that the only artists listed are the ones that aren’t making money anymore? Pink Floyd? one guy from the Dead Kennedys? The Entire Swedish Musicians Union??? Like Beck said. Streaming isn’t gonna stop. I personally don’t like it, But it is out of my control. You wanna make millions of dollars? you’ve gotta put in millions of dollars worth of work. Nowadays you need to tour and sell merchandise. any genre of music, at it’s core, was not about making money. (Rock was an act of defiance, Hip-hop was an act of embracing culture & escaping hardships in the ghetto)


    Reply
    1. NotJustAPrettyFace

      Wow, the tech elite must be so happy when people like you sound off.

      >Nowadays you need to tour and sell merchandise.

      Artists have always done that. It doesn’t justify Daniel Eck and Tim Westergren making millions in pre-ipo shares while paying pro-rated rates to musicians that are completely unsustainable.

      >any genre of music, at it’s core, was not about making money.

      Investment in any art, at it’s core, is about making money – enough money to live, enough money to improve the art. If not being paid is so cool, why don’t the tech elite try it sometime? Tim, Daniel, any takers?

      >Rock was an act of defiance

      These days, supporting the tech companies by downloading from pirate websites or using Spotify or Pandora is an act of kow-towing to the man. So I’m not impressed by talk of defiance, quite frankly.

      >Hip-hop was an act of embracing culture & escaping hardships in the ghetto

      Ah! So not paying them sustainably is going to REALLY help!!!


      Reply
  38. Jace

    Ive bought way more music since i got spotify than i ever would have before. Get to listen to an album and buy it if its good, not like the old days when you had to go stand in a music store like a knobhead and listen to the cd if you could be bothered, or just buying it.


    Reply
  39. Jace

    Oh and David Byrne, his music stinks, sorry but i hate talking heads so fucking much. Every talking heads vinyl i find i buy and destroy. I hate you david byrne, suck all our dicks.


    Reply
    1. NotJustAPrettyFace

      Great argument. Because you hate David Byrne, musicians should not be paid sustainably. Makes perfect sense. Not.


      Reply
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  41. Biff

    Nobody is making a fare wage any more… everyone is getting screwed and forced to take pay cuts… or their severance pay.

    Corrupt upper-class are screwing us all. People can’t afford to buy music anymore… they can hardly afford food.

    Watching you people bitch about how your getting screwed…. along side everyone else… and only bitching at the poor who download your music and the rich who exploit your music along with anything else they can.

    Poor people can’t afford your music… so what? ….Because they are poor they are not allowed to listen to your music?

    So your artists of privilege?

    Yeah…. whatever… Metallica are a bunch of tools…. they were the first to go after the poor for downloading their music… I used to buy music till Metallica did that to Napster and other music artists supported it… now I could care less. All I hear when I here music… is musician of privilege. But indy artists who do it for the love and not the money….. I’ll always stop to take a listen. Music makes feel good… if your going to charge them to feel good in a world that makes them feel like hell…. the rest of us don’t wanna here it… you wanna make a buck? Become a prostitute… or a politician… they are just about the only people doing well in this dying, broke and corrupt continent…


    Reply
    1. mrsleep

      So, you don’t think musicians deserve to earn a living wage? You know the uber rich rock stars you see make up about 1% of all musicians? Most musicians are just getting by.

      You’re just an entitled leech.


      Reply
    2. NotJustAPrettyFace

      So artists who complain about unsustainable pro-rated royalties are ‘artists of privilege’? The ‘privileged’ in this situation are the founders of unprofitable, long-term unsustainable tech companies that make millions in pre-ipo shares like Tim Westergren and Daniel Eck.

      >Nobody is making a fare wage any more…
      >everyone is getting screwed and forced to take pay cuts… or their severance pay.

      So the economy is bad – therefore let’s ignore the fact that the tech elite are making millions while paying artists pro-rated royalties that are unsustainably low. Great argument. Not.

      >Corrupt upper-class are screwing us all.

      Particularly Tim Westergren and Daniel Eck.

      >People can’t afford to buy music anymore… they can hardly afford food.

      Newsflash. Music isn’t a necessity, it’s a luxury. And it’s one where the tech elite are making money in the aggregate and paying unsustainable royalty rates to the people who are creating the product!

      >Watching you people bitch about how your getting screwed…. along side everyone else…
      >and only bitching at the poor who download your music and the rich who
      >exploit your music along with anything else they can.

      No-one is bitching at the poor that I can see. They are angry at the unsustainable, unfair and exploitative structure that the tech elite has created.

      >Poor people can’t afford your music… so what?
      >….Because they are poor they are not allowed to listen to your music?

      Maybe you should start a charity to provide food and clothing to poor people. Starting with musicians (other than blockbuster artists) who’ve been screwed by Spotify, Pandora, and pirate websites enabled by google’s advertising services.

      >Yeah…. whatever… Metallica are a bunch of tools….
      >they were the first to go after the poor for downloading their music…

      No, they went after Napster, which was a for-profit company where the founders expected to get handsomely rich.

      >All I hear when I here music… is musician of privilege.
      >But indy artists who do it for the love and not the money….. I’ll always stop to take a listen.

      Why don’t the tech elite build distribution platforms for the love and not the money?

      >Music makes feel good…

      That is not a very good argument in favor of not paying musicians.

      >if your going to charge them to feel good in a world that makes them feel like hell….
      >the rest of us don’t wanna here it…

      Wrong. Attitudes can change. Everyone has been hoodwinked by the tech elite that the fact they screw musicians while making millions is somehow cool and progressive. However, the cat is out of the bag now and more and more musicians are speaking up, and more and more members of the public who previously used to think that freeloading or streaming wasn’t such a big deal are waking up to the consequences of their actions.

      >you wanna make a buck? Become a prostitute… or a politician…
      >they are just about the only people doing well in this dying, broke and corrupt continent…

      Excellent. I’ll suggest to Zoe Keating who has a young child and whose husband needs extremely expensive cancer treatment that she become a prostitute.


      Reply
  42. bob blinky

    I still buy music…mostly vinyl. Some CD’s, and every now and then digital media.
    I still get excited for new releases…..I have no problem plunking down 18 bucks down at my local RS for the vinyl that usually includes an MP3 download of the record….my favorite! My other favorite way of picking up new music is buying directly from the bands at a show. I recently spent 35 bucks on Mike Watt’s new record and the band that opened for Watt…the amazing LITE…I ended up buying a 7″ and their newest cd….by the way, that was a kick ass show! I listen and contribute to SOMA FM for my downtempo addiction needs and also contribute to our community college radio station. I think I’m doing my part. I must admit that I got into punk rock in 1979. With punk, you supported the bands by buying their stuff directly from them or the record store…that ethic has not changed for me or my friends. It’s nice to know we paid for gas, food and lodging for endless bands and on a lot of occasions, a trip back into the recording studio. The way I buy music might not be how others do it, but I believe i’m helping out the artists the best way I can.


    Reply
  43. spon

    well, I’m a small electronic artist and I live comfortably from my music. I indeed get almost nothing from streaming (but after all I’m a small artist, my tracks only have been played hundreds of thousand of times, that’s nothing compared to big artists).

    all my money comes from gigs (+/- 95%), sales and sync.

    the streaming model is indeed not working as an income source. but the old model (selling music) isn’t working either anymore : the new generations don’t even know about paying for music, I myself only pay for the music of artists I fully support (especially indie artists). thinking we can go back to sell music to the public is just a big lie to ourselves. this time is over. anyway the entrance fee to concerts skyrocketed these last years since it became the main business for musicians. it’s just fair to have the fans not paying for the album when they pay a crazy price for concert tickets.

    the new model must include everything. you cannot justify an album production just by the sales and royalties anymore. you have to add gigs and potential syncs to the equation. I just finished to work on my next album, it’s been roughly 6 months of work, I know I will get some money from the sales (several thousands of €, I’m a small artist, remember), but it’s nothing compared to the gigs it will provide me. an album is promotional work to get new gigs, and potential synchronization contracts.


    Reply
    1. NotJustAPrettyFace

      >it’s just fair to have the fans not paying for the album when they pay a crazy price for concert tickets.

      You have a twisted idea of fairness. Live Nation etc – the ones who push up ticket prices – invest nothing in music creation. The music creators have no choice but to deal with the live music infrastructure and the monopolistic players. So because the live music infrastructure monopolists make money without investment in music creation, in your view it’s ok for fans not to pay for the album an artist has sweated blood creating?

      >an album is promotional work to get new gigs, and potential synchronization contracts.

      That’s a great way to drive down the quality of recorded music. If you asked a venture capitalist to invest in your music, they’d laugh at you. They’re too busy creating platforms that monetize your music either without compensating you at all or compensating you at digital sharecropping rates.


      Reply
  44. JJ

    I have always preferred to support musicians through purchasing their music as close to the original source as possible. It seems the only way to do this is if said act comes to town. I live near Vancouver so there is frequently something to see but honestly it’s a bother to wait that long for music. There are very few retailers of canned music and it isn’t much better buying full albums on line, ( I will not purchase mp3 files). What’s a guy to do??? I have discovered a lot of great music thru spotify and have added albums previously purchased but now lost. I have added a few more bands to see live….


    Reply
  45. Pingback: Taylor Swift vs. Spotify! Why ‘1989’ Singer Pulled Songs From Streaming Service, Plus 5 Other Singers Who Have Fought Music Sites | ratermob

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