Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, does not believe that Spotify is out for anyone, but themselves. On Grammy night Portnow took to the stage to aim shots at music streaming services for making less-than lucrative deals with artists and musicians. Neil Portnow said, “Isn’t a song worth more then a penny?”
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Pandora’s CEO Brian McAndrews was featured in an article in Business Insider. McAndrews conjugates a story about a music industry executive that spoke to an undergraduate class of students at one of the top universities in the country. He never mentioned who the executive was or what university; to me the story was just that, a story.
So you have a new track and you’re ready to release it. Great work! What’s your game plan?
There are many marketing avenues for you to map out before you’re ready to release, and each one is just as important as the next. In fact, it’s the decisions you make right now that will either launch your career to new heights, or simply simmer away into obscurity.
Out of the many avenues you are strategizing when it comes to launching your song, one you must consider spending some time on is the phenomenon of Playlisting - which simply refers to a list of songs compiled to represent a certain mood, genre, or event. Playlists are how music fans are discovering most of their new music these days, thanks to the current boom of streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, Deezer, Songza, and Pandora. In fact, Spotify users find, on average, 26 new artists a month through the platform. That’s pretty cool.
By Spencer Ritchie from Berklee’s Music Business Journal, thembj.org.
In the last four months three new streaming platforms were launched: Apple Music, Tidal, and Google Play Music. Others, among them YouTube, Deezer, and Rdio, still compete for market share. The Freemium camp, with Spotify, Google Play Music, and Pandora, collects revenue from advertising & subscriptions. The Premium camp, with Apple Music and Tidal, produces receipts exclusively from paid memberships. Spotify is the very embodiment of Freemium, and the release of Apple Music will undoubtedly be a big challenge—coming, as it does, from the largest company in the world, with a remarkable market cap of more than $700 billion.
As many of you who normally read my blog post know that I do not support the music-streaming model that is currently being used. I believe that streaming in the current business model is not sustainable revenue for the music industry. To date there hasn’t been any music streaming service that has yet made a profit. It’s easy math here, the record labels and artists spend big time dollars to produce, market, and distribute music. In turn they receive pennies to the dollar, this seems like a no brainer. No wonder why music-streaming services have not made a dollar.
You may know very well the story of Taylor Swift going against Apple and Spotify because these two decided to stream artists’ music without paying them any, or very little, royalties. After Taylor Swift pulled her entire repertoire from Spotify and called Apple out for originally not intending to pay publishers, labels or artists during the free three-month trial, she finally made up with Apple. Following a quite restless time, Swift tweeted she is putting her album on Apple Music ‘and happily so’.
Since releasing my first digital album back in 2002, technology has played a crucial role in the distribution of the music I create. At that time, CDs were still the way folks listened to music but sales were definitely well in decline. Napster had scared the crap out of the music industry and was shut down for good. Mp3s were all the rage and there were these things called iPods that were changing the way people consumed their favorite songs and albums.
Thanks to archive.org and Creative Commons, I was able to distribute my music free of charge to my listeners without fear of the music being used for commercial purposes. I’d release a concept album that could be downloaded and enjoyed around the world. At the time, this was a novel idea for an independent artist.
ArtistLink started as an extension of the Topspin Media platform, so that non-Topspin users could add content to the MTV Artists site. It’s well on its way to becoming the control panel for the music industry.I encourage any artist with a release on Spotify to sign up for ArtistLink. All essential functionality is free. As of this writing, ArtistLink is basically four services rolled up into one. I’ll go over each, starting with the coolest.
More subscribers, more problems. As Spotify continues to grow, in both users and catalog, so do its detractors. Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich recently took a stand against the streaming music service, citing that it’s “horrible for new artists.”
We’ve seen this before. The Black Keys recently refused to put their newest album “El Camino” on Spotify citing its detraction from album sales.
There’s a common thread here. Only established bands who have already made their money are the ones taking the stand against streaming music. New and upcoming bands are more willing to cast a big net to get ears to their music. It’s been proven time and time again that artists make more money off touring than album sales, so why not do everything you can to maximize your exposure to potential new ticket buyers?
It has become commonplace to hear artists, management, agents and labels complain about how streaming will crush the music industry. This same mentality arose during the transition into the CD and digital downloading eras. Don’t fear the numerous myths that have saturated our industry, streaming is not evil; merely different. And it is about to become the next powerhouse, quite possibly changing music distribution in a way never seen before. This transformation has already commenced in television and film. The music industry has fallen behind, but is quickly catching up with vengeance.
Sales of vinyl records are up in the United States and I have a theory on why some of us are going analog.
So, most of you are probably aware of the recent changes that Spotify has made in regards to opening up its platform for developers to build apps upon. In March, the social music service will be opening up an app store to help app developers get paid for their hard work. Last week, I read a really interesting article on the Gaurdian titled Spotify: ‘We have to turn ourselves into the OS of music’.
As a heavy user of the free version of Spotify , I really love what they are doing for social music but there are few major problems that I feel will prevent it from becoming the OS of music.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)