The 13 Most Artist-Unfriendly Companies In the World…

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There are many companies that genuinely care if you succeed as an artist.  These are not those companies.

(1) Pandora

Pandora cares about making Pandora extremely rich… and what’s wrong with that?  The problem is that Pandora also cares about making you poor: with almost militaristic attack, Pandora executives are working diligently to pay artists less by suing publishers, lobbying Congress, and concocting loopholes to lower your royalties.  And it’s paying off.

Pandora founder Tim Westergren made more than $15 million last year alone, and he’s just one executive.  How much did YOU make off of Pandora last year?


(2) Spotify

Spotify claims to prioritize the interests of artists, but the business model is mostly focused on making the following groups extremely wealthy:

(a) the major labels, who receive massive upfront, multi-million dollar payments and receive ownership shares that they don’t share with their artists.

(b) shareholders like Goldman Sachs, who couldn’t care less if you and your band are making a living.

(c) Wall Street, which definitely isn’t concerned about your career.

All of that impacts your paycheck.  Remember, the more money that gets paid directly to the major labels without any accountability, the less you receive as the artist.  The more $9.4 million-in-rent office buildings Spotify occupies, the less you receive as an artist.  The more money Spotify spends on PR experts to convince you that you are actually getting a fair deal, the less money you receive as an artist.   And the more free accounts Spotify gives out to boost their user numbers and impress Wall Street means the less you receive as an artist.

That doesn’t mean you should pull your music off of Spotify.  But it does mean that artists should stop pretending that Spotify has any interest in the welfare of artists, short- or long-term.


(3) Google

Google’s business interests are diabolically opposed to the interests of artists and media companies.  Need proof of this?  Just try searching for any popular artist, and watch auto-complete drive you to torrent sites, illegal lyrics sites, and maybe a legitimate destination.

That’s just how a search engine works, right?  Bulls**t: Google modifies and controls its search results every day to its own benefit (just ask Rap Genius, which tried to game Google’s SEO).  If they don’t like you, you disappear overnight and die.  But when it comes to obviously infringing and artist-unfriendly torrent sites, Google is happy to (a) accept them as advertising partners, and (b) prioritize their placements over legal sites like iTunes.


(4) YouTube

YouTube is horribly confusing to artists for a reason.  The less you understand as an artist or rights holder, the less money and action you will take.  Even well-intentioned artist champions like Jeff Price of Audiam are having trouble figuring out this platform, which is exactly the point.  YouTube pays almost nothing, that is, if they are monetizing your video at all.

Does that mean you should boycott YouTube?  No, that’s even worse.  But stop pretending that anyone at YouTube spends any time worrying about your welfare as an artist (unless you are on of the biggest artists in the world).


(5) Any Streaming Music Company

Ask yourself, are any of these developments good for you, as an artist?

(a) A constantly-lowering subscription price.

(b) A constant increase in the amount of free, ‘ad-supported’ access.

(c) Continued financial instability and a total lack of profitability among all streaming companies (have fun getting paid when it goes ‘pop’).

(d) A constant propaganda campaign to convince artists that streaming somehow makes more than downloads, and doesn’t replace them.

Yes, that may be ‘the future,’ but it doesn’t mean you have to be a cheerleader.  So does that mean pull your songs from streaming services?  No (unless you’re really, really huge).  Otherwise, play the game, get some ‘exposure’ and try to make money off of touring and merch.


(6) Your Label

Some labels construct win-win partnerships with their artists, and genuinely care about being fair.  Most do not.  Major labels will make you famous, but they will also bury you in bad accounting and task CFOs with actively cheating you.  They will take ownership shares in Spotify and not share the winnings with you.  They will ignore you once you stop selling or become ‘difficult’.

And if you think indie labels are any better…


(7) Your ‘Fans’

The sad reality is this: most of your ‘fans’ are not really helping you, even if they love you.  They are listening to your music, but they aren’t buying anything from you or supporting you in any way.  They’ll never buy your vinyl, never attend a show, never purchase a t-shirt from your merch store, and never put food on your table.  Many of them will even balk at handing you anything, and call you selfish for even asking.

So, blow them all off?  No!  Because the 1 percent that do show up for shows, buy your vinyl, and sleep with you are helping you.

And you probably need the other 99 percent to get that 1 percent… that’s just the game these days.


(8) Rap Genius

Remember, Rap Genius only starting obeying the law and paying rights owners when they got sued by everyone.  But they’re definitely not sharing any acquisition or IPO billions with you, the artist.  The investors that dropped more that $15 million on Rap Genius, however…


(9) BitTorrent

BitTorrent is a wild, uncontrollable animal that isn’t nice to you.  It steals your food, it takes your entire refrigerator… it tells you refrigerators should be free!  Pretty Lights succeeded by gaming BitTorrent Bundles and shifting the emphasis towards live gigs and merchandise.  That’s called gaming a hostile system to make money, not collaborating with a friend.


(10) SoundExchange

It’s an absolutely awesome scam.

Every year, SoundExchange hordes $100s of millions in unpaid balances, collects interest off of that money, and then eventually keeps tens of millions that it ‘can’t match with artists’ for ‘administrative expenses’.  There are thousands of artists you’ve heard of that aren’t getting paid by SoundExchange, yet SoundExchange still collects all of that money, holds it for years, then keeps it.

SoundExchange is interested in hoarding millions for SoundExchange; SoundExchange’s executives are interested in their large salaries and survival.  They are not your friends, no matter how big the top-level payouts look.


(11) Target

Make Target a prioritized, exclusive sales outlet, and they might be your best friend.  Decide you want to complement someone like Target with other channels, and they won’t even carry your product.  Just ask Beyoncé.


(12) Apple

At least Apple shares 70 percent back to the rights owner, and everyone knows what they pay.  But they’ve also made tens of billions off of iPods, iPads, and iPhones, and none of that is shared with the artist.

Don’t think artists deserve a cut of those profits?  The iPod, which helped transform Apple into one of the largest companies in the world, allowed fans to upload thousands of freely-acquired MP3s.  Without that little loophole, we might not even be talking about Apple today.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon never permitted stolen books on the Kindle.  See the difference?


(13) Any Company That Promises You ‘Exposure’

Unless it’s the Superbowl, think very hard before playing a free gig, recording a free video, or doing something for the ‘exposure’.   Usually they win, and you lose.


Image by Cory Doctorow, licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).


83 Responses

  1. any mouse

    Here’s the actual order… and why…

    1) Google – Piracy begins here and is paid for by advertising revenue supporting the offending sites.
    2) BiTorrent – It’s not a protocol, it’s a for profit business monetized by ad revenue for illegal access to content.
    3) YouTube – Google + BitTorrent = YouTube (nuff said)
    4) Pandora – Legal and Licensed but diabolically dishonest
    5) Spotify – Legal and Licensed but diabolically dishonest

  2. GGG

    Yea, fuck fans! You can get rich without fans! See list below of all the famous bands who made money without fans.


    • Paul Resnikoff

      GGG, I love you and all, and that was a really funny comment. But you didn’t really read the article and get the point I was making. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not to say ‘fuck fans,’ it’s to understand who’s really helping you, and who’s not. And to think very critically about how to treat the freebie 99%, and the paying 1%. That’s all.

      • GGG

        Not sure if this is a dig at me or not, but I think I write just as many longer posts in the heat of debate as I do little pointless snarky ones.

  3. Gavin

    I think the apple bit is a little unfair. I understand the frustration of creating devices that store stolen copyrighted materials but even if artists deserved a cut of the profits from those, how would a payout system like that work? While it’s fair to criticize apple for taking twice as much as physical distributors while simultaneously doing much less actual work, I think asking for a cut of their hardware profit is reaching just a lithe. All in all a great read though! That was really my only problem with it.

    • Chris English

      I have to agree. When Sony was selling tape Walkmans were artists supposed to get a chunk of Walkman sales? You could go to just about any corner in NYC and get a bootleg tape.

    • Indeed.

      The indefensible argument that “artists deserve a cut of iPod sales” should be removed from this article if it wants to be read seriously.

    • Anonymous

      I really don’t get why the music industry sucks Apple’s dick so much. No, it is not unfair at all. The iPod’s success has 99% to do with pirated music. Remember iPod came with capacities that no one except the filthy rich could legitimately fill. Apple literally made billions off of stolen music. But lets forget that. They make a digital music store that sells singles for 80-90% less what they used to go for, therefore they are the savior of our industry and suddenly everyone should be in line to give them a blowie. No thanks.

      • this guy over here

        Except of course all of the people who took their legally purchased CDs and uploaded them onto their iPods….

  4. Minneapolis Musician

    This article was a good reminder about how the business world works.

    Every business seeks to make the most money while spending the least in costs. Business 101.

    Even you! When you look to buy a new musical instrument or Digital audio workstation. Or recording software or plugins. You might love Sweetwater, but if you find a truly great price on a new guitar at another reputable retailer, you are going to go with it. Be honest now. It’s true.

    So just expect that YOU have to look out for YOU. Spotify is going to do what makes them the most money at the smallest cost.

    So as Paul says, use them, but understand the game that is being played. Be smart. Have reasonable expectations.


  5. Si Hulbert

    And you can add Soundcloud to that. 1.1 million plays on my page of a song I wrote and not a single penny generated in income. Soundcloud are worth £700 million.

  6. An Indie

    1 (by a mile). Google, the real life equivalent of every SciFi movie depicting a man made robot that becomes more powerful than man. Google stacks ridiculous mountains of cash, wields ungodly political influence, and has a determined desire to mass-digitize all creative content (for their own financial gain at the expense of creators). Oh yeah, and the little piracy search results thing.

    2. YouTube. Try negotiating with them on ANYTHING! They have one model, take it or leave it. How dare you ask to negotiate or seek terms that aren’t overwhelmingly in their favor. Don’t like their terms? Too bad, your music is there anyway.

    3. iTunes Radio. This statutory-like webcaster successfully negotiated an end around direct pay to artists by doing direct licenses with labels that enriched major labels at the expense of independents and netted Apple better blended financial terms than if they’d paid everyone fairly via the statutory rate. Result? They left artists at the mercy of labels who may, if they choose, recoup these royalties instead of the direct, non-recoupable policies associated with the statutory rates.

    4. Major Labels. Every single financial and digital licensing policy and strategy of the major labels is based upon driving as much money away from artists (and independent labels) and into “direct to profit” revenue streams that don’t need to be shared with artists. They include but aren’t limited to equity shares in companies, guaranteed minimum payments, annually renewing advances and “deal fees” and numerous other schemes that are sucking the oxygen out of the digital music economy for artists and indie labels.

    5. U.S. Terrestrial Radio. Their refusal to join the rest of the world and pay artists performance royalties is corporate arrogance at its worst. They shout about the promotion they provide artists while their playlists are tighter than ever and the FM dial is dominated by oldies and classic rock stations.

  7. Anonymous

    PR, how do you have Youtube/Google below Spotify? Spotify pays artists FAR more per user, per stream, etc, and every single one of your points about Spotify could also be equally (if not moreso) applied to Youtube/Google. And that’s not even taking into account the roles YT/GGL play in online piracy.

    • Anonymous

      Also, citing “At least Apple shares 70 percent back to the rights owner” as a positive for Apple without acknowledging that Spotify does the same thing is a bit amusing.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        It’s not the same. Artists can figure out what Apple pays them. They can’t figure out what Spotify pays them, if they get paid at all.

    • PiratesWinLOL

      No way. I want the list of the most greedy, money obsessed and fan-unfriendly artists the next time. Some real dirt about multi-millionare artists suing single mothers for a million, for sharing an old bootleg recording. Or perhaps something about the slimy guys wanting to keep fans in the technological stone age, simply to fill their pockets with even more money, for work they did 30 or 40 years ago.

      • Dude

        Right on! My thoughts as well, lazy scum whom think they should work one job and get paid the rest of their lives for it. Making money on your music is all well and dandy, but bitching about money that you should have is outright arrogant.

  8. Omg

    You may not know them bit Feyir or Dance All Day in Germany are the biggest crooks and assholes in the entire independent EDM industry.

  9. REPLY TO Anonymous


    Spotify pays that money mostly to the major labels, not to songwriters. Have you written a hit record and saw what SPOOFY actually pays out? If not…move on and shut it. SPOOFY pays shit all! End of discussion.

    • Anonymous

      That’s great. Spotify still pays to indies several times more than Youtube per stream and certainly per user.

  10. Jordan Owens

    I just can’t bring myself to agree with any of this article. Seems like way too much of a negative outlook on all the industry. It’s not every company’s fault that they are intentionally selfish and look for profits. There is still ways for artists to succeed with all of those.

    Sure, there are more ways to fail than succeed, but you have to learn somehow.

    Being negative over the whole thing is no way to do so.

    Jordan Owens

    Sour Mash Recording Industries, LLC (Proudly artist friendly)


    • Paul Resnikoff

      “It’s not every company’s fault that they are intentionally selfish and look for profits.”

      Well, it’s sort of their fault, last I checked automaton robots weren’t running these companies. But you’re supporting my basic premise, which is that these companies are selfish profit maximizers whose interests only partially overlap with the interests of artists. In many of these cases, the interests of these companies run directly opposite and are hostile to the interests of artists.

      That doesn’t mean stop working with these artists, but pretending that the reality is otherwise is to engage in fantasy. That’s better reserved for fiction, video games, and other activities, not your career.

  11. Carlos

    You forgot Live Nation, the biggest crooks in the game. Careful what you sign.

  12. MusicMaker

    This looks like propaganda in promotion of Beats Music. Even though you mentioned “any streaming service,” why wouldn’t you mention the fastest growing–soon to be one of the largest–services on the radar? Maybe to rag on the names of the current competition? Just asking. If you add the words “Beats Music” to the post then I will believe you weren’t paid or otherwise put up to this.

  13. Jughead

    Why is it that musicians always think they are getting screwed?

    Christ, Paul…this is the whiniest post ever. Don’t like the business models? Start your own. Lobby Washington. Do something other than bitch that the whole world is against you.

    Friggin entitled Americans….

    • Dude

      These whiny fucks don’t represent all american’s, although there seems to be an overwhelming amount of these sort of arrogant disillusioned leeches in the states.

  14. Brian at Back Porch

    this is the kind of blather that hurts the cause of artists. There are probably lots of excellent “facts” in this list and I recognize that it’s one man’s opinion. But artist have to get this list clear in their heads. Apple and the Majors are always tied at number 1. They destroyed the modern business. How you may ask? The “70%” you refer to had to be enough to replace the 90% the labels were keeping to balance the investment. When that didn’t happen, tech companies came in and made deals with desperate labels (Luddites) to try to fill the gap. It always goes back to the “low self esteem” factor. Music people think they’re worthless and business people exploit it. If you don’t fix that little problem the rest is hopeless.

    • hippydog

      sir, there was way to much common sense in that posting of yours, we will have to ask you to step away from the keyboard..
      yours truly,
      internet police..

  15. PiratesWinLOL

    What is this whining nonsens about? Is the expectation to live in my little pony world, where people and companies should “genuinely care” about you and your welfare? Every company is made to make money and there is nothing suspicious, evil or even “unfriendly” about that. And how about if we turn the coin for a moment? Should musicians show genuine care for the success and welfare of Apple, Spotify and Google? If Apple should go Mother Teresa and share their profit from Mac computers and iPhones with Hansi Hinterseer and Bruno Mars, then clearly Beyonce and Prince should share their profits with GrooveShark and Spotify. Following this, we really need a list of the most fan unfriendly and money-obsessed artists. We could start with Metallica and AC/DC. Or perhaps just an article on Metallica alone. There should be more than enough material about these greedy, money hungry SOBs.

  16. peter cloud

    …think very critically about how to treat the freebie 99%, and the paying 1% —
    the freebie 99% pay indirectly per interessts, clicks & attention. bigcoociebox.
    And money-paying 1%, are they better then all the others? money is data too.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Careful: data is money only if you can turn it into money. But here, try this experiment: get on the bus, and tell the driver you’ve got lots of data. See how that works out for you.

  17. pete grau

    i. you-tube gehört zu google
    ii.kriminalisieren oder verteufeln hilft wenig
    iii fans sind meistens von vorteil
    iv selbst von piraten kann man lernen
    v nur 1% zahlen angeblich. kann auch an
    der kunst/qualität des angebotes liegen
    vi g∞gle nutzt so ziehmlich jeder im westen

    • PiratesWinLOL

      Oh, you are from Germany? Heil Hitler then and welcome to this website, which is obviously written in the english language.

      Now speak fucking english.please.

        • PiratesWinLOL

          Er du virkelig så stor en klovn, at du syntes det er fint at vi bruger alle mulige sprog som de fleste ikke forstår her?

  18. hippydog

    good old “the world is out to get us” monday morning article… 😉
    The DMN I know and love 🙂

  19. Chris Standring

    This is a bizarre article. Why anyone should even assume companies care about artists is moot as far as I’m concerned. It’s a bit like assuming that large movie companies care two hoots about extras in a movie. Sure they are important to their production but should they care? Artists should stop assuming anyone is ‘artist friendly’ and get on with being successful.

    I also disagree about SoundExchange. To anyone who has no copyrights to exploit, then yes they might be an easy target. But for some of us who rely partly on SoundExchange, I think they do a great job. Not perfect but bloody good. For all those artists who haven’t been paid, assuming SE are ‘hoarding their money’, grow up. Learn about the music business and the simple act of knowing how to get paid. The money is there if you are owed it.

  20. Willis

    Live Nation/Ticketmaster isn’t on the list. Are you getting ad revenue from them, Paul?

    • Paul Resnikoff

      No, I’m most certainly not receiving money from them.

      I wouldn’t call Live Nation artist friendly, that’s for sure, though I wouldn’t call them one of the worst offenders, either. Sure, there are all sorts of shady dealings with talent (be careful which contract you’re getting), and this is a dirty business. But major artists have a lot of leverage in many of those negotiations, amazingly.

      Now, anti-consumer? Ha ha, well, that’s another article entirely!

  21. Josiah

    You’re so negative in your tone here! I can’t see how it helps anyone get any further in an already rough business by focusing on a list of “who is trying to keep us all down”.

    Your point seems to be that the major revenue sources artists derive their income from are unfriendly and…it doesn’t make any sense to me. Just work harder, we need to stop blaming everyone else if we’re not able to make it.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      It’s reality Josiah. Switch your pill for mine, I think you’ll get better results (you won’t feel as dreamy and sedated, however…)

      • Josiah

        My comment was unduly harsh. Wish I wouldn’t have posted so hastily (sorry about that). Your realism seems more like cynicism to me in this case. My guess is reality is probably closer to the middle of our two viewpoints. I still don’t see the point of hating and distrusting everyone at this point…a healthy level of scepiticsm is good but too much can also obscure valuable opportunities. But once again apologize for being a jerk in my comment.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          No need to apologize at all, Josiah. I didn’t take any offense, and really happy you commented. Look forward to debating more!

  22. Josiah

    I just glanced over this again and…man it sure reads like sour grapes. Anyone who feels this way about the industry (that everyone is always out to get them) should just quit. There. I said it.

  23. Ari Herstand

    I’m of two minds. One one hand, you make very good points dealing with specific areas at these companies. On the other hand, employees at most of these companies do care about the artists. Even the CEOs care. Hell Tim Westergan was a producer/composer. And you forgot that Pandora employs many musicians for their Music Genome Project. Spotify didn’t have to integrate tour data and merch options. Pandora didn’t have to integrate iTunes links. I doubt they see much (if any) of those referrals.

    We’re in a tough time, no doubt, but I’d love to know what the anti-stream community considers a “fair” streaming rate. A penny? 25 cents? 99 cents? 10 dollars? What?

    And, you can put “stolen” books in PDF form on Kindles, and with one step conversion you can get Epub files on the Kindle as well. But I see your point about how easy it is to get mp3s on an iPod.

    However, even with this thought process, I would not have included Apple in this list as they single handedly saved the entire recorded music industry with iTunes: giving people a cheap and easy alternative to P2P sites that were notoriously unreliable.

    You’re dead on about YouTube. They’re intentionally confusing so they don’t get questioned. Not cool.

    It’s important to keep companies accountable, but by continuing to rail against streaming services, convincing musicians that streaming is bad without proposing “fair” streaming practices (when it is the inevitable future), only discourages musicians. This has caused musicians to convince their fans not to support streaming, which in effect slows the streaming growth and keeps streaming royalties low. If PROs only had a handful of venues to collect from then writers would get much smaller checks. But because they have such a large base of paying venues, they are able to pay out much larger royalties. Larger paying subscribers = larger royalties.

    Well thought out, nonetheless.

    • Ramona

      Just confirming, it is very easy to put illegally downloaded books on a Kindle. As a librarian I snicker at the idea that the publishing industry isn’t going to have all the fun the music industry is having very very soon.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        The fact that you have to tell us that almost proves my point. No, the Kindle is not a fortress. I know people that pirate books and put them on the Kindle.

        But a lot of people won’t do it, simply because it’s completely and obviously illegal (otherwise why would it be prevented), it is annoying and possible difficult depending on the skill level of the person involved, or, they have no idea it’s even possible.

        With the iPod? Not only possible, but encouraged, with the entire half-decade of P2P downloading validated and pardoned in the process.

        See the difference?

        • Dude

          Paul, you seem to have no grasp on reality. The ipod did nothing new, mp3 players existed for several years before the ipod. Also, is your argument that they encourage illegal downloading, simply because someone can put their own songs, or audio files on the device? I don’t understand how it is encouraged, please explain that.

          And mentioning the p2p/torrent stuff doesn’t prove your point, considering they were sharing books that way just as long, if not longer than they were sharing music.

          So I assuming it comes down to your attacking apple for not making the ipod, but either producing successful commercials which made the ipod so popular over all other, or you’re attacking apple for setting up a successful music industry, which brings music to the masses, and screws over the artist far less than just about any label out there.

          So please tell me, how is apple encouraging illegal downloading? If I were forced to purchase new music, and not allowed to transfer my existing CD collection to the device, I would never buy one, most people probably never would have bought one, and the apple store probably never would have taken off. The fact that you can does not correlate in any way to encouragement.

  24. Veteran Talent Buyer / Promoter

    By your reasoning Paul, 99% neither care, nor care to help. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL …

    The #1 company IMO is none of the above. It’s instrument manufacturers for flooding the market and convincing very 10 yr old they can be a professional musician. The #2 entity is family for reinforcing the idea that music can and should be made regardless of skill. It is not those of us committed to promoting and spending our capital in ventures designed to put music in front of people. Just sayin’ buddy 🙂

  25. Nonesense

    Oh gees everybody… why would *retail* have to be overly friendly towards any *product*? Is Hershey’s Chocolate somehow getting a “friendly” treatment from ANY retail chain? Sure, an indie chocolatier might take time to nurture this or that brand, but generally speaking who cares, it’s a product. And so, all these companies mentioned, may they only offer music or may music be one of many other products they sell, you expect them to support “the artist” in a granular manner, that’s like asking Kroger to support item no. one million, two thousand and five off of a five million run of Hershey’s Kisses bags. The support ended when Kroger placed it on the shelf with a price tag. And I know music is a product of love and a lot of emotional investment goes into it, but ultimately it’s sold via businesses. I am sure there are chocolatiers that invest plenty of emotion in their art too, and hey, if you’re good, you sell more, that’s that.

  26. Gabe

    If anything you should have Facebook on here, in the top 5 imo, especially with their latest algorithm changes to “fan pages” and the fact that they inhibit content for us to pay and/or as they like to call it “boost!” absolutely genius and beneficial to them.

    I understand the purpose of the article as it serves as a guide to further consider and clarify where your content lies. Sure….give this a thought or two, but to follow through and decide to not partake with what I guess we can agree to is unfortunately some of the more popular platforms for music is pretty foolish.

  27. I know this to be true

    A secure internet is coming soon and that will change everything.

  28. Dan

    1) Any Pirate / Torrent / Locker site – you are all cunts – no ifs buts or maybes – you are thieving scum who should be shot on sight. You bring nothing to the world and just take take take – you and your users should all fuck off and die.

    2) Google – for linking to number 1 and then trying to say you are helping to stop piracy – you are doing nothing you billion dollar smug bastards

    That’ll do

    • Dude

      Dan, WTF have you lost due to illegal downloading / file sharing networks? Please link to me some seeds or trackers that show even the slightest trend in your material being shared. Also, I’m assuming you’re not aware of the correlation between high illegal download rates and high actual sales rates, they sort of go hand in hand. So the more your material is being illegally downloaded, the more your material is typically being purchased or paid for in some way.

      If the only examples you can share with me happen to be something you technically own the rights to, but didn’t actually create, you are even worse than the “Pirate / Torrent / Locker site,” no ifs buts or maybes – you are thieving scum who should be shot on sight. Yes it’s stupid for people to actually sign their rights over to such scum sucking leeches anyway, but whats worse, the fooled, or the one whom takes takes advantage of the foolish?

      • Dan

        I’ve lot thousands in sales – and trust me there’s nothing that makes me madder than people who steal from me and then try and tell me that they are doing me a favour. And please don’t trot out the usual “I would have never paid for it” line YES YOU FUCKING WOULD HAVE IF YOU COULDN’T STEAL IT WITH ABSOLUTELY NO COMEBACK.

        • Dude

          It’s all words out your ass until you can actually link some proof. SHOW SOME TORRENTS/SEEDS

        • Dude

          And I don’t pay for garbage, which is why I download it, to test it out. Then if I like it, I do buy it, to support it. And you’re an ignorant fuck if you try and tell someone else what they actually do. You don’t know and you’re a fucking lunatic if you think you do.

  29. Nonesense

    OK then enough already, then introduce DRM encryption back into music in a way that allows device makers to lock in use (so they profit from the transaction more, a close echo system). Less piracy. More power to the HW makers. They become the new distribution gateways. You’d pay for placement. See, you can’t have it both ways. It is a challenge because the digital medium makes it SO EASY to abuse the law. Kids do it before they even know it’s illegal. Then it’s the norm. Don’t blame legal services for making money where illegal services make it so hard for a legal service to survive. So… the BEST solution is for law makers to just apply mandatory arts tax to HW makers and internet service providers. Imagine if a couple of dollars per sold tablet or phone went to music, if a few Cents a month off of each ISP bill went to music. I wonder what the P&L would show then about the size of the music industry. It applies to streaming, performance, why not to HW and ISPs? Challenge is for the “collective” to lobby against those industries. There is not a strong lobbying group for artists… an opportunity! Who’s with me?

    • hippydog

      Canada kinda tried that already, technology moves to fast for any govt to keep up with it..
      If the same power (to tax tech) was given to the PRO’s and Collection Collectives, THEN it might be possible.. (but there would have to be some major rewriting of the copyright laws, which the tech companies will fight tooth and nail against)

      So, im with you 🙂
      but we are not a majority 🙂

      • Nonesense

        Wondering if there was an effort to sign up artists, and you end up with six figures membership or even more, as a lobbying effort, would that not be heard on the Hill… yes, it would have to be a Sound Exchange type situation, or even better, a transparent DB company… in today’s darn age, for ANY collection society to not offer a real-time dashboard for all its members is preposterous.

      • Anonymous

        The only problem is that so many parasites will be sucking off that stream of money, most artists will probably got nearly nothing. I prefer a free market solution.

        • hippydog

          well, right now the “system” is based on Media Shares, and those numbers come almost exclusively from Terrestrial Radio..
          the “numbers” IE members are there (the huge majority of artists are already members),
          The ‘problem’ is the system is based on a weird feedback loop between Terrestrial Radio and the Majors..
          Neither have a vested interest in changeing this

    • hippydog


      the problem with DRM is that a $2 audio cable can defeat the most advanced version.

  30. rikki

    DIRTY LITTLE SECRET…..almost all the rap hip hop internet radio stations dont pay royalties

    Its been going on for 15 years The RIAA never sued anyone black for stealing music, so for rap genius to get caught was a fluke….

  31. LA

    remove all of these platforms
    and what do you have
    who are you reaching
    your town
    have money to reach other small towns
    spend months and years
    but how do they find out about your show
    flyers, are you printing these
    sorry the world is too big and people break rules it sucks.
    choose to be resourceful use the structure provided to you
    if you are not spending money on the platform you are not losing money.
    if you can’t deal just make music for yourself.

  32. Dude

    Anyone that cares this much about making the money they “deserve” from their music, are probably getting exactly what they deserve. Yes, I play music, yes I record music, yes I do media production, and yes I listened to “shared” music, but I also uploaded music from CD’s I PURCHASED to an mp3 player.

    But one huge fact to remember in the whole “sharing” or “illegal downloading” nonsense of an issue is that any music that I got and didn’t pay for, I WOULDN’T HAVE PAID FOR IT if I couldn’t get it for free. You guy’s need to get your heads out of your asses and realize that you if you are producing something to be reproduced, whether it’s music, pictures, or video, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET PAID FOR EVERY PERSON THAT LISTENS/VIEWS/WATCHES IT.

    If you did something such as a recording that made some money, great, but get on with your life and DO SOMETHING new, don’t just sit there and bitch about all this imaginary money that you think you’re entitled to in your little fantasy world. And if you can’t deal with those facts, don’t create reproducible content, and stop being such a little bitch, if you’re that good, you should have no problem finding new ways to make money.

    • Dan

      You’re the one that needs to get your head out of your arse mate.

      You say you’d have never paid for it anyway? Really? Is that why EVERY SINGLE chart of torrents illegal streams / cyber locker content etc. etc. be it movies, books, music almost represents the sales charts to an item.

      You just think you are clever because you’ve managed to get it for free whilst trying to then justify your theft to all and sundry by telling creators that it’s OUR fault that YOU ARE A THIEF?

      • Dude

        You idiot, I never said “I have never paid for it anyway.” I said that the stuff I got for free, I never would have paid for. I paid for lots of music and movies. And why would it be your fault that I got it for free? I never claimed it’s your fault. I said your an idiot if you think you have money that is owed to you. You get what you get, stop bitching about money you should have gotten. Your scum.

  33. JTVDigital

    Paul, without these ‘unfriendly’ companies, what we know as the ‘music industry’ will be dead by now.
    Physical sales are sinking in (almost) all countries, and even if digital has still not reached the expected income level to ‘save’ the industry, we’re getting there slowly.
    Also the ‘unfriendly’ companies above helped to somehow contain piracy, since there is now a viable legal alternative in most countries, and most of the time it is free for the users.

    • G

      “a viable legal alternative in most countries, and most of the time it is free for the users..”

      If artists get nothing, but people still get to consume their music, how is it different from piracy?

  34. lars ulrich's nemesis

    “Jeff Bezos of Amazon never permitted stolen books on the Kindle”.

    you must be kidding me… I own a Kindle and never payed a cent for any of the books I read in there. even more, Amazon converts for me any document (i.e. book) I send to them to their e-book format and download it themselves on my Kindle. they never, EVER, asked me or anyone what those “documents” were. so in that respect they are the same as Mega or any other cloud server.

    you can find free books in the same places you find free mp3 and movies. do the math.

  35. julie

    I basically agree with this synapsis of companies that don’t give a damn about the artist. But, help plz. This includes like basically EVERYONE, and left out plenty of others that don’t give a damn about artists like the artist’s friends and massive companies like Live Nation and Ticketmaster. I mean, I know this article was written almost two years ago, but is anyone still reading this and wondering the same thing as me–where DO we go, then? If no one gives a damn (and they don’t, usually) then where do we go? Who do we work with? What do we aim for? ENCOURAGE ME I’M DEPRESSED AFTER THIS ARTICLE.
    Bandcamp? Noisetrade? Soundcloud? To me they all just replace the need to download, or work best when the download is free. When my songs are free I get all kinds of activity. When I lock them down the activity stops. So essentially, I’m still just paying these companies to make my music free to stream or download. Well, except Noisetrade, because it’s free to put your music there. But you’ll never make a penny.
    Anyway, now it’s just a rant on an old article. But touché, because the article is still completely true. Could have been written yesterday.