Apple’s statement that they would not be paying artists and the consequent backlash from performers like Taylor Swift has been generating a great deal of commentary regarding revenue from music streaming services in general. This article examines some of the issues relating to streaming, piracy, and the difficulties associated with profiting from recorded music in the digital age.
Entries in revenue (6)
I’m kinda obsessed with how artists make money mostly because artists constantly ask me how they can make more of it.
Several weeks ago, we proudly blogged in support of The Future of Music’s incredible undertaking Artist Revenue Streams, which is a must read for any artist looking to monetize their music.
The FMC has begun to release the results of their in-depth study and they have identified 42 ways artists can earn money.
Numbers 5 & 6 on the list are:
5. Composing Original Works for Broadcast (an original jingle, soundtrack, score, or other musical work for a film, TV or cable show, or an ad agency…)
6. Synch Licenses (Typically involves licensing an existing work for use in a movie, documentary, TV, video game, internet, or a commercial).
Spotify: Millions of DJs
As a music fan, the growing number of free and subscription based streaming services can be a dream come true. Install Spotify (or Rdio, Mog, Slacker, Rhapsody, Deezer, etc.) on your computer, your mobile phone, your internet-enabled stereo, and you have instant access to pretty much all the music that’s out there. Build playlists, see what your friends are listening to, those services have become a great tool to discover and enjoy music. Amazing.
From the artists that create this abundance of music, there’s been a very mixed reaction. I strongly suggest you read this 2011 recap by Bandzoogle friend and Nashville music marketing genius Charles Alexander. In it, he links to many articles and posts about Spotify that give you a good sense of why so many are worried or pissed off about it. You can also read the comments section to any post about Spotify on Hypebot, or Digital Music News and you’ll see that very graphic language is often used.
The short version ?
Future of Music Coalition (FMC) has launched a groundbreaking research project called Artist Revenue Streams, where we ask US-based musicians and composers, “How do YOU make Money from Music?” Project Co-Director Kristin Thomson from FMC explains in this MTT post where they idea came from for this research and why it’s so important that every musician or composer in the US takes this online survey, which is available at http://futureofmusic.org/ars until October 28, 2011.
I was at a digital music event earlier this year, and was shocked to find out how many people had not heard how easy it is to monetize your YouTube channel through Ads. YouTube will pay you for doing what you already do! Take your money!
Here’s how it works…..
Have you bought a video game recently? Have you ever made an in-game purchase? Do you consider pre-roll, banner or in-game advertising acceptable? Do you think buying video games online or on a mobile device is normal? Has the video game industry turned social networking into a revenue generator through multiplayer gaming?
Every day, I’m meeting people who could answer “yes” to all these questions - which raised a very important question in my own mind: if we replace the word “game” with “music,” why aren’t these answers still “yes?”
The music industry has a lot to learn from the video game industry. We’ve finally gotten past the “save the CD” era, but the music industry is still lagging when it comes to proactively developing new business models. Just as the video game industry has continually adapted and reinvented itself in the last few decades – arcades to consoles to mobile to online to apps to ad-supported and so on – the music industry must learn to quickly spot new consumer trends and behaviors, and then adapt the technology and business models to turn those trends into new revenue streams.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)