Disturbed’s David Draiman Says ‘People Demonize Streaming’ — But It Actually Saved the Industry

Disturbed frontman David Draiman
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Disturbed frontman David Draiman
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Disturbed frontman David Draiman

The fraction-of-a-penny payouts from services like Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music has long been a point of contention in the music industry.  But should musicians be counting their blessings?

A prevailing argument is that artists made a lot more before streaming became ubiquitous.  But Disturbed’s David Draiman disagrees with that assessment, and believes streaming saved the music industry.

Disturbed took a four-year-long hiatus starting in 2011 before coming back in 2015 with a new album.  Their latest album, entitled Evolution, dropped just a few days ago.

Breaks are nice, though Draiman admits not every professional band can afford the hiatus Disturbed took from touring (and for that matter, recording).

“Piracy is what killed aspects of this industry — streaming is bringing it back.”

“We’re successful enough that we had the luxury of being able to do that,” Draiman told Loudwire.  “For younger bands that don’t have the draw that we do, it’s incredibly difficult. It really is. For bands that don’t understand or don’t fully take advantage of how the machine actually works, it’s incredibly difficult.”

Draiman said that people demonize streaming and believe it’s killing aspects of the industry.  In reality, Draiman argues that it has revitalized interest in music.  Draiman places the blame on piracy for the industry’s troubles, rather than streaming.

“People demonize streaming. They think that [streaming is] the thing that killed aspects of this industry when nothing could be further from the truth. Piracy is what killed aspects of this industry — streaming is bringing it back.”

Draiman says recording artists should pay more attention to their royalty rates before signing contracts with labels.

“You have to negotiate; you have to play hardball.”

Draiman says the proof that streaming is working comes from the record labels, who are turning a profit again. He believes with the passage of the Music Modernization Act, a middle ground between artists and labels will help artists make more from their streaming royalty income.

A pervasive question is whether musicians are actually better off.   That’s a tough one, though Draiman admits that new artists face different challenges in a world where streaming is the most popular form of music consumption.  Draiman also says that the discovery aspect of streaming music is off the charts, but admits it can be easy for new artists to get lost in the daily shuffle.

And the debate continues…

5 Responses

  1. Versus

    “Draiman says the proof that streaming is working comes from the record labels, who are turning a profit again. ”

    How much of that gets to the artists?
    If it does, is it only going to the minuscule clique of superstars?
    What about the greater world of musicians? It seems that those outside the rarefied circles of mega-stars have had huge income drops since piracy took over, and it hasn’t improved much if at all from streaming micro-payments.

    • Anonymous

      Well noted!
      Music HUNGER games by BIG TECH, Google in particular with FULL PARTICIPATION of well fed and totally stupefied MEGA STARS.

  2. Remi Swierczek

    Spotify, AppleMusic, TIDAL and 5 more relevant IDIOTS on Ek’s DOPE and most important BULLY YouTube kill $300B of annual music business OBVIOUS to Borat’s brother the GOAT TRADER.

    They also choke and keep in bad health $45B global Radio industry!

    All of them including UTube are in total red with or without the music delivering less than $10B in GLOBAL MUSIC REVENUES. Note: 1999 CDs = $60B TODAY

    Interpol or some kind of law enforcement should lock-up the cuckoos in the NUT HOUSE.

    Time to find music industry OWN DONALD TRUMP and liberate $17.3B of IFPI confirmed music COMPOST from Google managed CONCENTRATION CAMP!

    For how long labels, RIAA, IFPI and 20 other music organizations PLAN to pursue UMG induced streaming and advertising suicide????? How LONG???

    Are they hoping to get salvation and music haven from COMMUNIST EXTORTION of minor cash under Music MODERNIZATION Act?
    Some kind of law enforcement or shareholder protection agency please HELP!

  3. so

    As long as you don’t count YouTube as “streaming” he’s exactly right. Actually, you could get even more specific and say Spotify saved the industry.

  4. Lest it be overlooked...

    Firstly, it is significant to note that the U.S. Constitution pursuant to Article I, Sec. 8, cl. 8 does not, I repeat, does not guarantee authors and inventors the right to anything. What it does do, however, is delegate limited power to Congress which then subsequently grants (contracts, and the questionable validity of such grants are beyond the scope of this particular post) “legal rights” to authors and inventors.

    Why is this relevant you ask, well just read the article above and ….