Why Other Musicians Shouldn’t Copy Taylor Swift

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By this point we’ve heard it all. Every side of the Swiftify spectrum from the haters who gonna hate hate hate hate (sorry had to) to the cheerleaders who blast Spotify every chance they get.

To catch you up if you’ve been under a rock this past week, Taylor Swift sold more albums in its debut week than any other artist in 12 years. She’s the only artist to go platinum all year. And she pulled all of her music from Spotify. All of it.

Well, that’s the part of the story that isn’t actually fully understood. SHE didn’t pull it. Her label, Big Machine Records, pulled it. And more specifically, it was Scott Borchetta, the CEO. He’s looking to sell the label and thinks that the only metric buyers care about is sales. He (along with these alleged buyers) are clearly out of touch.

We’re never going back to downloads. We’re never going back to CDs. Yes, in 2014 there are a large number of people who listen to CDs in their cars. And yes, in 2014, there are still people paying for downloads. But this will not be the case in 5 years. You think cars are going to have CD players in 10 years? Please. That’s like in 1998 proclaiming cassette tapes are the future because your car only had a tape deck.

Taylor Swift is the biggest superstar in the world. 16 million Spotify users streamed her in the 30 days leading up to her removal. Her previous album had been streamed over 260 million times. And she sold 1.3 million records in a week.

She hasn’t proven anything other than that the biggest superstar in the world can still get a million people to pay for a single album. She is the exception. Not the rule.

People are not going to pay for albums anymore. Or singles. People will pay for experiences and access. Tech figured this out. Please don’t scream at me that I don’t value music. I am a touring musician and songwriter (I’m writing this from 30,000 feet on my way to a gig). I just released an album I’m incredibly proud of. It’s a complete piece of art. And I hope people value it as such. But I’m not stuck in the past. I’m not going to fight progress. I will find alternative ways to make a living with my music other than selling of a hunk of encoded plastic or digital file.

+Why Withholding Music From Spotify Only Hurts You

And you should too. No, streaming payments to artists are not making up for the loss in sales revenue. At least not yet. Time will tell if they ever will. The labels are making out just fine. But those revenues are not trickling down to their artists. And definitely not happening for the independent artists making a half a penny per play.

+How To Steal An Artist’s Streaming Money In 3 Easy Steps

The “windowing” method, that artists like Taylor Swift, Adele, Coldplay and Beyonce have utilized in the past couple years, may have generated a few more opening week sales, but let’s not forget that in 2012, Mumford and Sons released their album on Spotify and iTunes on the same day and had the biggest debut of that year (until Taylor Swift knocked them off a week later) selling 600,000 copies with over 8 million streams on Spotify in the first week.

Withholding music from streaming services increases piracy. There’s no debating that. Unless you have the behemoth that is Taylor Swift’s (or Beyonce’s) major label enterprise, you’re not going to combat it. Having music on streaming services increases ticket sales. T-shirt sales. Paid experiences. Crowd funding. And loyalty.We’re in a tough transitional period. If you pull your music from Spotify you turn your back on the fans who put their love of Spotify above their love of any single artist. This crowd has tasted the future and they like it.

You’re never going to get people to return to clunky file transfers and device incompatibilities.

Those who haven’t adopted streaming as their primary listening model (regardless of the service) haven’t done so because they are late adopters. These are the same people who held onto Blackberries, VCRs and dialup. This is not how you want to structure your business model for a music career. Or an industry.

People value music. Obviously. Over 10 million pay about $120 a year for Spotify. In 1999 (the peak of the music industry), consumers who bought music spent on average $64 that year. One could argue that streaming has the potential to drive much more money to recorded music.

But no one wants to talk about the long term. Clearly the labels utilizing windowing only care about opening week sales. Fine. Stay short-sighted. You’ll lose. Those who are working the long game and realize that fan loyalty can be more valuable than opening week sales will succeed.

Every artist who denounces streaming is steering music fans away from a model that could completely revive the recorded music industry as we know it.

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

So, don’t pull your music from Spotify. Work on building a loyal fan base. Figure out how to monetize this base creatively. And march confidently into the future.

83 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I genuinely think her music is designed to reduce the IQ levels of its listeners.

    • Anonymous

      Incorrect. The 1989 album has quite a few excellent tunes on it. The huge sales numbers come from merit.

      Life is quite unpredictable so no one should be surprised when Taylor Swift succeeds at something Lars Ulrich failed at.

      1. Spotify is too inexpensive. I signed up here in the US on day 1 and my stance is the same: charge me 19.99 a month rather than 9.99 and pay artists more.

      2. Piracy is the enemy for Spotify more than it is for musicians. A musician can hopefully tour and likely make a few bucks on merch. Spotify can’t tour or sell merch. It is directly competing for ears against free piracy sites.

      Spotify: you want to be profitable someday, so know your true enemy.

      3. The folks at Spotify probably backed the SOPA fear-mongering scam. Spotify, that was a very bad mistake. It cost you years of progress. Don’t do that again. Expecting enforcement of law is a rather helpful thing when building your business.

      Everyone knows this is a situation in flux, but artists are not gonna be any more ok with being serfs than any other person would be.

      You have an opportunity to do this correctly. Do so.

      • Anonymous

        “Piracy is the enemy for Spotify”

        You couldn’t possibly be more wrong:

        Spotify was created by the CEO of a piracy site, and piracy is Spotify’s only selling point today:

        We all know by now that Spotify doesn’t pay artists and that streaming failed as a business model (Spotify is losing money by the hour).

        So Mr. Ek’s only remaining weapon in his desperate war against artists is his constantly repeated piracy threat — a threat that fortunately turned out to be based on a lie (facts show that millions of fans buy the music they love if they can’t stream it for free on Spotify).

      • Anonymous

        Incorrect. The 1989 album has quite a few excellent tunes on it. The huge sales numbers come from merit.

        It’s possible for something to be popular and idiotic at the same time.

    • Buy A Calculator


      Spotify has ONLY 3m paid in the US at $10 each.

      $10 x 12 mos = $120 per year. Pay out 70% that’s a gross of $84 per year per subscriber. Simple Math.

      That $84 per sub is in revenue to all artists in rights holders. Times that by 3m and you get a whopping $252m a year in a $7b business.

      Multiple that by 10, to get 30m subs @ $10a month and that’s only $2.5b a year… and that’s a big IF Spotify ever gets to 30m paid in the USA… and IF they do, that’s ONLY 2.5b in revenue against the $7b now…

      So you effectively cut the revenue to everyone by 1/2 to 2/3rds… how does this math work without raising the price of subscriptions? It doesn’t.

      It’s just math.

      • Frank

        Your math is correct, but your assumptions are totally self serving and baseless.

        At 30M subscribers, streaming would produce $2.5B in royalty payments. Correct.

        But, then you say that we should compare $2.5B to a $7B industry as proof that streaming is bad. Why is that? Where do you come up with the conclusion that the entire music industry will go to ZERO once streaming gets to 30M subscribers? Huh?

        You really don’t think anyone will be buying physical or digital media ever again just because 30M people have subscribed to streaming services? Like I said, a totally self-serving assumption.

        There are many problems in the industry, but two of them are: (1) labels cheat artists, plain and simple. They’re not transparent with their artist payments; (2) the artists should be participating in the equity upside of transactions like Apple’s acquisition of Beats. The labels should be keeping 20% of the profits from selling stakes in Beats, Spotify, etc; the remaining 80% should be distributed to the artists in proportion to their streams. Do you really think artists would still be windowing or complaining about streaming payouts if (2) happened? No, they would be doing everything they could to be the most successful artist on streaming services.

          • Roger

            AND sales from a download or cd is a one time income, streaming is income more as long as you have royalty of the song.

            I wonder how stupid some are at simple math and statistics.

  2. RIAA2

    2014 estimate

    #1: Download: $2.444 billion (down 12%)
    #2: Streaming: $1.959 billion (up 28%)
    #3: Physical: $1.670 billion (down 14%)

    2015 prediction:

    #1 Streaming: $2.5 billion
    #2 Download: $2.1 billion
    #3 Physical: $1.5 billion

    2014 first half actual from RIAA:

    1H download: $1.3 billion (down 12%)
    1H streaming: $859 mil (up 28%)
    1H physical: $898 (down 14%)

    2014 second half prediction:

    2H download: $1144 mil
    2H streaming: $1100 mil
    2H physical: $772 mil

    • rickylopezGMT

      Pardon my ignorance… But if streaming and DL are almost neck and neck in revenue, why are the NET p&l sheets a million miles apart? Apple made money on day 1 from DL. Where is that 2 billion going?

      • dude

        Im not sure Apple actually did make money on the iTunes store from day 1, but they had their hardware business to cover the loss so it didnt really matter if they were immediately profitable

        Spotify is also probably spending a lot of its revenues on growing the company at the expense of current profits (which I think is wise), plus they have expensive overheads that will remain constant as they scale

  3. RIAA2

    At the current 28% rate of growth, streaming will be more than half of all recorded music revenue in 2016 in the United States. ($3 billion +)

    Good luck to artists who boycott streaming.

    • Anonymous

      “Good luck to artists who boycott streaming”

      Haha, they don’t need luck!

      Compare Ms. Swift’s mindblowing first week sales of 1.287 million copies — the largest release week sales for an album since 2002!!! — to Katy Perry’s 286,000 (Prism) and Miley Cyrus’ 270,000 (Bangerz).

      You can easily argue that Perry and Cyrus are way more popular than Swift — look at their YouTube numbers.

      But both make a terrible mistake:

      Their music is on Spotify.

      • Anonymous

        Most of us know by now that Swift’s Spotify holdout not only resulted in best release week this year, but best release week since 2002!

        But the funny thing is that the second-best release in 2014 (Coldplay) also was a Spotify holdout.

        And when we look at 2013, we find the fastest-selling album in iTunes Store’s history: Another Spotify holdout, by Beyoncé!

        Beginning to see a pattern here? 🙂

      • RIAA

        How many albums Taylor Swift sold last time?

        How many albums did Katy Perry sold before the compare to 286,000 this time?

        How many albums did Miley sold before compare to 270,000 this time?

      • dude

        “You can easily argue that Perry and Cyrus are way more popular than Swift”

        That’s twisting the facts pretty far to suit your argument

        The obvious answer to why T Swift sold more is that she *is* actually more popular than either Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus, that she put out a better album, and that viral youtube appeal ≠ making good music that people actually want to spend money on

        • Anonymous

          “The obvious answer to why T Swift sold more is that she *is* actually more popular than either Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus”

          No, here are the facts — and they are indeed hard to accept for the remaining Spotify believers:

          Katy Perry: 59.5m Twitter followers, 14m YouTube subscribers and 4,329,307,158 YT Channel views.

          Taylor Swift: 46.3m Twitter followers, 9m YouTube subscribers and 2,613,348,867 YT Channel views.

          So Ms. Perry is indeed considerably more popular than Ms. Swift.

          But Swift sells 400-500% more than Perry.

          Because Ms. Swift doesn’t give her music away for free on Spotify during release week.

          You see the exact same pattern for Beyoncé:

          Way less Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers and YouTube hits than Ms. Perry — but 400-500% better sales.

          Because Beyoncé doesn’t give her music away for free on Spotify during release week…

          • dude

            Social media stats ≠ popularity, you’re cherrypicking that one set of facts because it suits your argument and ignoring the rest of the facts that don’t support it at all

            Kanye West only has 10 million twitter followers and his last album did 327,000 first week – also more than Katy Perry’s or Miley Cyrus’ – and his album was on Spotify. Daft Punk only has 63 thousand (!) twitter followers but their last album did 339,000 first week – also on Spotify, also more than either Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus

            What do you say to that?

          • Kristie

            You do realize people can buy followers, right? All celebrities do it.

          • Anonymous

            Whoever the anonymous user was that tried to make the argument that Katy perry was more popular than Taylor swift by comparing their social media followers; you just flat out do not understand business. But I mean that in the most reapectful way. First off, that argument is completely baseless and irrelevant because you are comparing an intangible asset (personal brands, which is simply an idea that has no unit of measurement) to money. Second off, business is business, money talks and bullshit walks. So here’s the bottom line: Taylor swift sold more albums than anyone else has in the first week of sales since 2002. Katy perry is in FACT not more popular otherwise Katy perry would have achieved that amount of sales or greater. In the end it’s all about the money.. Write that down..

  4. Airplay Music

    Yes Streaming seems to be the future. But the Business model is not working. Artists want and especiallly the big artists will demand much better payment from streaming services. And the weapon is windowing, presenting their music only in some formats, and/or at specific streaming services, meaning excluding some. Imagine that many big artists do so, how will the consumers respond to streaming services that only present some of their favorite artists. They will demand much lower prices, and many will only use free services.

  5. Anonymous

    Hehe, I knew this was one of Ari’s retarded stories! 🙂

    Newflash for you, dear Ari:

    Millions of fans go straight to iTunes and pay for their favorite music when they can’t stream it for free on Spotify!

    That’s why windowing is such a hit!

  6. Nodly1

    Im proud of what she’s done & skipping to late 80’s/89 to 2014 & onwards takes guts, passion & hard work. You know not to rely on man, so she’s showing a perfect example that Pop music deserves a Victor, with a Powerful Front voice, Instrumentally Talented, Pretty & a Stance that could last as long as Prince, MJ, when they Reined in Pop. Spotify is a good co. they both served each other well, but No-one owns No-one so Swiftly She Move’s On.

  7. RIAA

    At the current rate of growth and decline (28% growth, 12% decline, 14% decline)

    2015 will be like this:

    #1 Streaming: $2.5 billion (up 28%)
    #2 Download: $2.1 billion (down 12%)
    #3 Physical: $1.5 billion (down 14%)

  8. DNog

    “Every artist who denounces streaming is steering music fans away from a model that could completely revive the recorded music industry as we know it.”

    This is the biggest issue I have with this article. I understand what you’re saying, but the fact of the matter is, currently it isn’t. The companies that are doing it aren’t making pro-active decisions to payout more for artist. They’ve set the bar so low and and said either stream it or get it pirated because no one is buying anymore. Major labels definitely took the bulk of financial losses from the illegal download age and to keep those high salaries and money coming in clawed for anything that brought in revenue.

  9. RIAA

    2014 first 6 months—- download: $1.3 billion (down 12%)
    2014 first 6 months —-streaming: $859 mil (up 28%)
    2014 first 6 months —- physical: $898 (down 14%)

    source: RIAA

    Anyone predicting streaming to level off anytime soon?
    Anyone brave enough to predict that streaming won’t be #1 in 2015?

    • Statistical

      Not interesting. Compare profits and then we know something interesting.

      • RIAA

        Why focus on profits?

        Do artists care that Apple make higher profits from their 30% than Spotify make from their 30% cut?

        Streaming: 70% to right holders
        Download: 70% to right holders
        Physical: about 50-55% to right holders (digital saves a lot of expenses compare to physical)

  10. DNog

    Don’t know what just happened to cut me off there but to continue my thought..I back your views of making a relationship and creating something special with your fan base. But I think if anything Swift is a reminder that if you do that and people care you will sell albums and people will buy them. Maybe she would have sold 3MILL without out illegal downloading but I guarantee she sold more from this windowing than if it was on Spotify. Backing streaming sites because they could generate fair wages down the road for artist isn’t what the industry will see by keeping your music up there. They will see that you accept the rates and terms and this is the best it will be. There is still a large mass of people that don’t illegally download and appreciate art. Is it as much as 1999? No, obviously, but enough for anyone to be a successful musician if you work hard and make unique talented art. Just my 2.

  11. FarePlay

    Ari, I’m seriously disappointed in you. As an artist you played the discredit the artist card and you said something we both know is untrue. You saw the value in taking Ms Swift out of the decision making process, we both know, whatever may have been written elsewhere, Ms Swift had the final thumbs up or thumbs down for the decision to pull her music from Spotify.

    We may disagree, but don’t lose our trust by saying things we all know aren’t true, even if you read it elsewhere.

    “To catch you up if you’ve been under a rock this past week, Taylor Swift sold more albums in its debut week than any other artist in 12 years. She’s the only artist to go platinum all year. And she pulled all of her music from Spotify. All of it.

    Well, that’s the part of the story that isn’t actually fully understood. SHE didn’t pull it. Her label, Big Machine Records, pulled it. And more specifically, it was Scott Borchetta, the CEO. He’s looking to sell the label and thinks that the only metric buyers care about is sales. He (along with these alleged buyers) are clearly out of touch.”. . Ari H.

    • FarePlay

      Besides, isn’t this all about money anyway? You can do better to earn our trust, if that matters to you.

      • GGG

        Not sure if my comment will pop up, but to repeat it, you’re 100% right, it IS about money. So what happens if it turns out TS did get some massive exclusivity deal with say, Beats, and they pay out worse or the same as Spotify? Will you still say she did anything good for developing acts?

  12. derby

    Listening to some old Bonnie Raitt albums right now – on Spotify. Takin’ My Time is a terrific album. I think I’ll click over and check out Sweet Forgiveness.

    I own both cds. But here I am at work listening to a lot of great music – on Spotify.

    I’m a happy guy. It’s clear it’s not a perfect system, but speaking just as a consumer/music fan, streaming is awesome.

    • FarePlay

      Nice you made the mention that you owned both CDs. If the payouts worked for artists there really wouldn’t be a problem, but they don’t and therefore it is a problem.

      • FarePlay

        People said the same thing about piracy. Isn’t it great to have all this music at my fingertips for free. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for most people who are good enough to earn a living and can’t any longer. Oh, that’s right, they should stop whining and suck it up, while the guys from Spotify are waiting for their limos.

        Spotify is what Napster wanted to be, they just waited until piracy had so devastated the market they could make a deal.

        What goes around, comes around…..

        • DNog

          “Spotify is what Napster wanted to be, they just waited until piracy had so devastated the market they could make a deal.” – This 100%.

  13. George Johnson

    Actually Ari, you are 100% wrong.

    Every artist should pull their catalog from Spotify but the major labels won’t let them since they own 18% of the stock in Spotify.

    Spotify executives are convicted copyright thieves, conmen and arrogant frauds.

    If the majority of artists, old and new, pulled their entire catalogs from just Spotify, it would send a message to other streaming companies that they are next.

    Of course, Spotify could negotiate with Taylor Swift but it’s Spotify that refuses.

    Why worship Spotify Ari? Spotify may not be around in a year or two since they are run by delusional party animals.

    It’s the next streaming company that pays artists is the one I’m most interested in, not the current batch of hacker kids pirates who think there are no consequences for their theft and arrogance.

  14. cmonbro

    I do think that windowing or “pay customers only” should be an option on Spotify. The problem is the alternative (typing in Taylor Swift 1989 full album) on youtube is easier.

    The streaming debate won’t be fixed until google gets youtube under control.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I think they have it pretty much ‘under control’, to their liking. Now, onto MusicKey.

  15. Paul Resnikoff

    And more specifically, it was Scott Borchetta, the CEO. He’s looking to sell the label and thinks that the only metric buyers care about is sales. He (along with these alleged buyers) are clearly out of touch.

    I’ve heard lots of different explanations, theories and rumors about what might have happened. Frankly, this might have been a mere negotiation tactic, a way to force Spotify to pay more for Swift’s content. And that’s their right: if someone doesn’t want to pay $12 to go to your show, they can wait outside.

  16. prof

    Spotifyonomics doesn’t work for niche artists and it doesn’t work for the royalty. Who does it work for? The artists in the middle? The ones at the bottom and trying to break in? Here is the truth: Spotify is designed to make money for the owners of Spotify. The rest is obfuscating marketing fluff to sell the story they’ve made up.

  17. Chris H


    You make one good point (it is the future), while completely missing the point on why anyone with a substancial catalog wouldn’t want the setup currently. You don’t know what your SUPPOSED to be paid, your getting paid an abysmal amount and there is no mechanism to correct it. We have to walk away until there is a transparent market for the artist, which there clearly is not at the moment. The download market, I know where my clients stand and what they should be earning and I have mechanisms in place to recitfy the situation if those amounts don’t arrive.

    To just blindly follow along, bent over and taking it, might be the way you want to go, but I’ll pass until some better arrangement is worked out.

  18. J-Dawg

    Why is the issue here NOT the lack of converting free ride streamers to paid users? Streaming is the way of the future, sure, but why does it have to be FREE streaming? Ad supported revenue can only go so far, it isn’t infinite. I get that people don’t want to pay $10 per album anymore, but what’s wrong with $10 or $20 per month to stream every album they can? You can have your trial version, where you listen to ads, and then you are cut off. Upset about it? Then pay $10. Just because the culture is “I want it for free” doesn’t mean that we have to bow down to that. I want gasoline to be free but I can’t roll into a station, fill up, and drive away without being arrested.

    To me, Spotify simply has no interest in forcing the free riders to a paid tier because then they couldn’t boast having 40 million plus users. The pitchforks shouldn’t be out for streaming in general, they should be out against the blatant refusal to monetize the free riders in a way that makes sense. Taylor Swift would have all of her albums on Spotify if they were only accessible to paying customers. Who wouldn’t?

  19. Mickeyma

    Just tell me the following:
    How much did Ms. Swift make from the sales, and how much would she have made if the sold product had been streamed but not sold?
    Tell me that and let me make up my own mind. I figure that with all the research Ari does, he should be able to tell me that – after all, that’s what really matters.

  20. Versus

    ““Every artist who denounces streaming is steering music fans away from a model that could completely revive the recorded music industry as we know it.”

    The operative word here is “could” as in “might”…and “might not”.

    Right now, it’s certainly not reviving the recorded music industry, but accelerating the race to the bottom. Betting on some promise of a glorious future based on a dark past is not usually wise.

  21. Anonymous

    the fucking tonnage something like that above ships and the fact no monetary compensation is coming from anywhere and then to have it used against me in any way is criminal in and of itself…

  22. Niklas J. Blixt

    Brilliant post Ari!

    I had my suspicions against it not being Taylor personally, if what you’re saying is right it’s the labels again that’s to anxious about the sales.

    Absolutely one can argue about the royalties that you get from when you’re music is streamed from Spotify. But the music business isn’t just about the record sales anymore, just like you said. And personally I think the “sales” on Spotify are more honest. Because If you look at it. When someone buys an physical album from you, you’ll get paid for the whole album. It doesn’t matter if they just listen to one track or even listen at all to the album, you’ll get paid anyhow. It’s basically the same with downloads, you’ll get paid even if people isn’t listening to your music.
    With streaming you get paid fore when people actually listens to your song. This also gives you a bette indirect feedback on your music. You can easily see what songs people like on your album without having to ask anyone.

    I think musicians over all need to stop moaning about the music business isn’t being the same as it was before and instead try to adopt to it and make it work like it is now.

    Again very good read Ari, as always!

    • Ari is full of Crap

      Taylor controls her recordings. The author of this article is full of crap pulling “Evil Record Label” Card.

  23. AA

    Thanks for this post Ari. I think it was brave of you to be honest about your point of view. I agree with most of what you have to say.

    I know this is not a popular point of view, but I actually think Spotify is quite generous. This past year I’ve made more (yes more!) on Spotify than on iTunes and Amazon. Spotify is paying artists for every listen. How much do people expect to be paid for every listen? One listen of your song isn’t really worth all that much money. And anyone has the freedom to take their music off or put it on Spotify whenever they want to. And it isn’t music for free. It isn’t pirating. It is ad supported or subscription.

    I don’t know if Spotify is a sustainable business and it certainly is not a way to get rich quick, but it is a step in the right direction in my opinion.

    • Ari is+full+of+Crap

      Smaller and indie artists can benifit from having their music on Spotify the same week that it is released. But Major artists are just cannablizing their own sales by having their album on Spotify the same week that it is released on physically and on iTunes etc.

      Taylor Swift should not be chastised by the Tech Media for being more concerned about her bottom line than Spotify’s bottom line.

      ….And whether he intended it or not, the author of this article does sound like a schill for Spotify and the tech industry.

      He didn’t even bother to get his facts straight about who controls her recordings….because she does.

  24. Pete

    Hey man, don’t think this post is long or boring enough, you should add another 12 paragraphs.

  25. Anonymous

    Good choice picking a picture that makes Taylor Swift look as douchey as possible. 🙂

      • FarePlay

        I’m with the other Anonymous. That is a stupid, degrading picture even if it came from her team.

        • Anonymous

          But it’s a pretty representative picture of the kind of music she is now making.

  26. Beyond

    Taylor Swift’s people and other are figuring out ways to actually make money as an artist. 2 thumbs up! Spotify fucks with artist and some are fucking them back. It called doing business I hope I can navigate my future releases in my favor. I hate taking my hard work giving it to a company, then seeing thousands of streaming sales but not getting properly compensated.

    • Anonymous

      “I hate taking my hard work giving it to a company, then seeing thousands of streaming sales but not getting properly compensated”

      Fortunately, you don’t have to. The key today is to stay away from the majors.

      It may cost you a bit to begin with, but it pays off later on: You keep all your rights and all your money, and nobody can force you to give your music away for free.

      You can obviously still use streaming for non-cannibalizing exposure, i.e. short clips that you can embed on your Facebook and Twitter along with your iTunes links.

  27. NashVegas Ed

    I applaud Taylor Swift and any other artist who’ve not been brainwashed by their label into thinking
    Spotify is a good deal. If they are allowed to prosper, artists and labels can forget about the last reasonable revenue stream for their pre-recorded music. And this writer is wrong. Scott Borchetta agreed to remove Taylor’s music from Spotify but she had the final say in the process.

  28. Kristie

    Musicians actually think people will buy an album they’ve never heard before AND come to their show? please.

    • DreamCoast Music

      Nobody has to buy a record they’ve never heard since you can preview a song just about anywhere you can buy it. If you like music and not just free stuff you’ll go listen to a band as long as they’re play your type of music. What is the point of musicians making music if they think no one will listen to them or buy their music.

  29. DreamCoast Music

    You know back in the day when you wanted to hear an artist whenever you wanted you brought the CD. The artists got paid and you had your favorite music. It costs money to make a good CD. Thousands of dollars. Which artists will never recoup if their song is streaming 252,000 times in a 4 month period on Spotify and their cut is $14.00. Spotify supports the concept that music should be free or next to nothing. And artists should be glad anyone is listening so produce it for free and thank the streaming gods for playing your song. The people who will pay $200 for gymn shoes won’t pay a buck on iTunes to own a song they like because they can LISTEN to it for free on Spotify all they want. Cool. Musicians should not only avoid streaming services like Spotify they should not record new music. Play for money at your local venues once a month or in your neighbors backyard for donations. You’ll get more money. Let’s see how popular streaming services are once the average age of a song is 3 years old because no one is creating and releasing music for free anymore.

  30. Anonymous

    This article makes a fair point only from the artist perspective.. I mean come on.. Making a professional album, a real not home made professional production has its cost.. If an artist can still make money on touring and everything, how about the producer, engineer, and team behind the artist and bands? Contrary to popular beliefs, this people are still under contracts and they get NOTHING with streaming services.. I do not see streaming as progress.. Music production is still music production, it cost a lot of money and it is essential to the artist, ’cause music has to be created. Not just composition and songwriting. Well, just my opinion.

  31. Blatherer

    Yeah….and? Maybe your music sucks. Maybe my music is good enough to profit from word of mouth, indie radio, playing shows, downloads, stickers and flyers around town, and anything else I think of.

    Problem with Spotify is that its promotion doesn’t generate sales – it negates the need for them and changes the mind of a possibly customer. Your argument sucks. Vinyl is selling again, Record stores are popular all over countries other than this stupid one. Besides that, I like the idea of Spotify being the ugly stpechild, because that is exactly what it and its founder are. THey aren’t the only company scamming content producers out of their money. THis is happening across the board on the net by dirty greedy tech loser developers who couldn’t create content to save their lives, and have mega attitudes about their coder dominance, as if no creative people ever code anything.

    You enjoy your high-flying gig and give me real numbers to prove that Spotify is actually helping you. My personal take is that I don’t enjoy giving some ahole a career living off my content. Word of mouth is the way I grew up finding out about music, more so than the radio even. Spotify Pandora, and Youtube are all criminals enterprises and would be halted if we had a Congress not full of racketeers.

  32. Sasan

    American singers are ready to take off their clothes and show all her body’s part to people to be rich and famous. We call it body business that is one the dirtiest actions…finally they go crazy and smoked and divorced but refuse
    to say “it is the end of the line and we have made mistake”…
    But I wonder does it worth for becoming famous?

  33. nexus

    Ari, sorry, but you are a fool to condone such nonsense. I too am an artist. I love how everyone throws out the nebulous “find a way to monetize” slogan. The only legitimate options are live shows, licensing, and… “special “fan” stuff/ merchandising. The latter is a joke, the second is insanely overcrowded and dropping in value dramatically as artists everywhere scramble for scraps from the corporate table, and live gigging is not exactly a good way to retire. Your logic should make movies free too. I am sure that the whole film industry will be happy to give their product away for free. They can just “find another way to monetize.” T-shirts and fan swag are surely way more lucrative than ticket sales. Video games too, I guess, should be free. Maybe the game designers can just make a living touring around and talking to fans.

    Artists are all fools to allow yet one more middle man into the game who won’t pay them what they are actually worth. If they would band together and demand real royalties, then maybe they could actually make money off of, oh I don’t know, THEIR ART! Imagine that!!

  34. Jojo

    I am not listening to flimsy, tissue-paper files when I can seek out and utilize FLAC, WAV, and other dense, rich formats. Sure, streaming is the hottest thing right now. In tech, the current trend is already obsolete.

  35. Joe Dicker

    How much did Apple pay you to write this garbage? You should be ashamed of yourselves supporting the billion dollar corporation at the expense of starving artists. It’s not like Apple can’t afford to eat the cost of this free 3 month promotion, it’s just that their greed won’t allow them so they have their lapdog media write hit pieces against the little defenseless artist who don’t have the pr of billion dollar corporations like Apple.