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Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the pay-us-as-you-go dept.

Music 164

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Jay Frank writes that the big four music distributors and their sister publishers (Sony, Warner, UNI and EMI) make 15% more per year, on average, from paying customers of streaming services like Spotify or Rdio than it does from the average customer who buys downloads, CDs or both. Each label makes 'blanket license' deals with Streaming services with advances in the undisclosed millions, which is virtually the same as selling music in bulk; they receive these healthy licensing fees to cover all activity in a given period rather than allowing Streaming services to 'pay as they go.' 'Artists are up in arms, many are opting out of streaming services,' writes Frank. 'Lost in that noise is a voice that is seldom heard: that of the record companies. There's good reason for that: they're making more money from streaming and the future looks extremely bright for them.' The average 'premium' subscription customer in the U.S. was worth about $16 a year to a major record company, while the average buyer of digital downloads or physical music was worth about $14. Thus, year over year, the premium subscriber was worth nearly 15% more than the person who bought music either digitally or physically."

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Of course... (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 10 months ago | (#45981217)

They don't want us to own our music collections!

I've been VERY careful with services like Spotify. If I really like a song, I still acquire a real copy that's mine, rather than depend on Spotify to listen to it when I want to.

The simple fact is that Spotify might be gone someday, yet my MP3s will still be sitting on my (backed up) hard drive.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981315)

The you buy from the next service, when they shut down, repeat. I did this starting with one service, moved to Micrsoft's URGE (which was pretty good with new band displays in metal sub-genres, something no other music store bothers with), moved to Zune, then Rhapsody, now am quite happy with Rdio and Pandora.

You probably will have to re-download all your crap, but that's life. Or use a DRM stripper, Or, if you have a program like Tunebite or Sound Taxi and don't mind a transcode, you can use that to have stable files.

Spotify is too little too late. They were too smug to bother with the US market for years (forcing people to have to jump a proxy and other crap), and Rdio ate their lunch. The fact that a Facebook account was required for Spotify access for a while also pushed them to the edge.

After Rdio, who knows. Dr. Dre's Beats is about to launch.

Re:Of course... (5, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 10 months ago | (#45981347)

if you're young and listen to recent music, then owning is not that expensive

if you're older than dirt like myself and want to listen to lots of music from the last 40 years or longer than renting is a lot cheaper. add to this the fact that there is so much music to listen to that there is no sense in buying even single songs you might listen to a few times and then go on to something else

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982739)

if you're young and listen to recent music, then owning is not that expensive

if you're older than dirt like myself and want to listen to lots of music from the last 40 years or longer than renting is a lot cheaper.

youtube -> mp3 -> hard drive is even cheaper still.

Re:Of course... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982187)

I've been VERY careful with services like Blockbuster. If I really like a movie, I still acquire a real copy that's mine, rather than depend on Blockbuster to watch to it when I want to.

The simple fact is that Blockbuster might be gone someday, yet my DVDs will still be sitting on my shelf.

I'm sorry, but your logic escapes me. Why would you need to be "VERY careful" with Spotify? It's basically just a rental service, much like Blockbuster was. You didn't need to be "VERY careful" when dealing with Blockbuster, did you?

The other AC is right. If Spotify goes down, you just switch to the next service that replaces it. One monthly fee is removed from your card, and a new one takes its place.

"I'm not gonna rebuy my content!" some people might say. Except you aren't rebuying the content. Rebuying content would be purchasing a DVD after you'd already bought a VHS. This is "I'm canceling my Netflix subscription and switching to Amazon Prime".

Re:Of course... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983439)

If Spotify goes down, you just switch to the next service that replaces it. One monthly fee is removed from your card, and a new one takes its place.

And your playlists go poof. Enjoy a few months of rebuilding them from scratch.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45984073)

The one time a streaming service I've used ceased operation, they offered to download the playlists even after closing the streaming service itself.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983093)

I actually thought about this also, but I decided screw it.

1) That hard drive and backups also cost money.
2) I don't think streaming services are going anywhere. Yes, any one of them might disappear, there will be new ones.
3) Youtube has advertiser pais music content, I'm cool with that. IT's like MTV all again.
4) In the worst imaginable scenario all music streaming services will be gone or too expensive; I will simply just return to my swashbuckling pirating ways.

All in all, I don't bother to back up music anymore. I do buy CDs, I like owning a hard copy.. not for the actuall data, but for the tangible item.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983723)

I've been VERY careful with services like Spotify. If I really like a song, I still acquire a real copy that's mine, rather than depend on Spotify to listen to it when I want to.

I've been VERY careful with the bands I listen to. If they are in it for the fame or money they will gladly sell out at the first opportunity.
Bands that loves music and plays because they enjoy it often have a lot of their songs downloadable from their official homepage, and since they love music it is often available in high bitrate if they are computer illiterate and available in mp3, ogg and flac otherwise.

Re:Of course... (1)

martin_dk (1368035) | about 10 months ago | (#45984261)

Several artists and labels have pulled their titles or complete works already.

In the preferences section it's possible to enable display of titles no longer available. This way I at least get to keep my original playlists regardless of changing licences between copyright holders and Spotify.

This of course won't help if Spotify disappears over night, but it's a nice feature.

I assume that no service will be able to promise persistent availability of all tracks and artists, so I consider this is the best I can get from a streaming service.

Obviously! (4, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 10 months ago | (#45981221)

Artists are up in arms because record companies make more money off of their work, and yet they end up making less!

Re:Obviously! (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 10 months ago | (#45981371)

Neither of these articles say that. What they're talking about is domination - it's harder for a small number of artists to grab the majority of the revenue with streaming. So obviously not all artists are upset with streaming.

Re:Obviously! (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45981449)

Neither of these articles say that. What they're talking about is domination - it's harder for a small number of artists to grab the majority of the revenue with streaming. So obviously not all artists are upset with streaming.

They very carefully don't say that, but I bet it is true anyway.

If the streamers pay the labels a blanket fee, that means they do not count (and may not be even able to count) listeners for each song, and provide labels with enough info to apportion these blanket payments in any rational way.

So the labels divi it up any way they want, and pay the artists what ever miserly pittance the labels can get away with.

Re:Obviously! (1)

smelch (1988698) | about 10 months ago | (#45981917)

Uhhhh, most music services show how many times a song has been played to the users, how do you think they don't show that to record companies?

Re:Obviously! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45982031)

When you are streaming, you can't know for sure how many are listening.
Its not a separate tcp stream for each remote device.

Re:Obviously! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982207)

When you are streaming, you can't know for sure how many are listening.

True, but the number of people listening in the room with the audio-playing device isn't particularly relevant to the royalty calculaton--it's the number of accounts, and that they do know.

Its not a separate tcp stream for each remote device.

Yes, it actually is. It's not streaming radio, it's on demand music. The streaming services know which songs you listen to, when you listened to them, and whether you interacted with the platform while doing so (to favorite, skip, alter your playlist, look at artist information, and so on). Even services that don't let you build playlists or select music and instead put together their own playlists for you (Pandora being a prime example) don't actually "broadcast" a stream that you just tune into the middle of. Each Pandora "station" starts at the beginning of a song, and what's playing on that station for you is not the same as what's playing for me, even if we're both listening to Justin Bieber Radio or whatever at the exact same time.

Streaming services absolutely count the number of listening accounts, and the number of plays per account, and every other conceivable data point. They are fully capable of calculating royalties precisely to apportion them exactly proportionally to the revenue collected.

Re:Obviously! (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#45982727)

Yes, the streaming services can and most like do accurately track that information.

But it's information that the labels actively DON'T want in any way shape or form, because that data can be used against them in court to indicate they are not paying royalties correctly to anybody.

Re:Obviously! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983077)

But it's information that the labels actively DON'T want in any way shape or form, because that data can be used against them in court to indicate they are not paying royalties correctly to anybody.

The labels not only want it, but require it to be reported along with the payments. You see, the labels want a complete accounting that they're getting their exact share of the money. They don't simply take the service at their word that the wire transfer they're getting is right.

The agreement between the service and the label is different from the agreement between the label and the artist. The label takes advantage of its middleman position to stack the deck with regard to the royalty rates (by finding categorization loopholes to classify the money as a kind of revenue that gives the artist a lower cut), not the base (there's no point in lying about the play count because doing so doesn't provide anywhere for the label to pocket more cash).

In your hypothetical court case, there would be a record of how much money the label received in total, how much it paid out in total, and how much money the suing artist received. Unless the label is undercounting artist A in order to inflate the count of artist B and pay them more money, (which (1) doesn't profit the label so isn't worth cheating and (2) could be accomplished simply and legally by offering artist B a higher percentage instead) there's no point to what you're proposing.

Re:Obviously! (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 10 months ago | (#45982865)

What makes you think the record companies care whether they pay their artists appropriately?

Re:Obviously! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982071)

The contracts do not cover income from streaming - that means the artists get NOTHING from it. 100% goes to the record labels.

That is why they are up in arms about it.

Fucking Record Labels need to be shot in the balls.

Re:Obviously! (3, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | about 10 months ago | (#45981915)

Artists are up in arms largely because they're irrational idiots. They see that they got a million plays and they look at their check which is only a few grand and think they're getting royally screwed, which simply isn't true

The problem for artists is that they don't really understand what a million plays actually means, I've heard it over and over again in radio interviews and articles. 10 tracks to an album, presuming anyone who actually likes the album enough to buy it will listen to it at least 10 times and you're down to 10,000 sales if you go with the most optimistic result possible. In reality it's probably more likely that the people who would have actually bought the album would have listened to the album at least 100 times for their $13 and that more than half the people who listen to a song would never have bought the album and may never listen to it again.

Fundamentally the issue is that while streaming opens up the number of artists that your average punter has available to listen to by several orders of magnitude the number of record companies is the same as it's always been. So when you have consumers spending more on music than they did previously with much lower overheads the record companies make more money and the artists(on average) make significantly less(more money available but spread over a much larger number of people).

In the end, the problem is that making a living as an artist of any kind is difficult. It was difficult before streaming, it'll be difficult after streaming is replaced, hell it was difficult before there were recordings of any kind(though for different reasons). If you release an album every 3 years and you're making about $3 per sale, you'll be looking at needing 30,000 fans who buy every album just to get the kind of income you could earn at a pretty bog standard office job, and that's not even counting any of the costs associated with recording and makes a pretty optimistic assumption that you can actually produce an album every 3 years that anyone will actually buy for the entirety of your working life. A very few people get huge amounts of money, some people get a little bit of money or money for a little bit of time, most get a whole lot of nothing.

Re:Obviously! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982119)

What check? Artists don't make a dime from streaming revenew - the Record Labels disguise it as Advertising Costs - just because advertising is now a revenew stream doesn't mean it's not a cost center.

And all they have to do is sue a few people, win big, don't collect, and write off millions and all of a sudden, those advertising revenew streams didn't make a profit so it appears that there's nothing to share with the artists even if they weren't fucking thieves.

VIrtual losses to write off millions in revenew... Perfect tax shelter.

Re:Obviously! (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 10 months ago | (#45982987)

Except leaving aside the fact that lots of artists have talked about streaming revenue, TFA actually talks about the money they make off streaming revenue. Given that your assertion both goes against common experience and TFA, I'd suggest you need to provide proof.

Re:Stop handing over your rights as an artist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982587)

When you sign with a 'big' record company or even a subsidiary you no longer hold the 'rights' or copyright to your work.

This "streaming revenue" is no different then Albums/cd's, the record companies make out of it you don't, any time you sign a deal the money you signed for is a 'loan' plain and simple, and you pretty much give up any copyrights on any work you created.

This is how they own artists... This is why the do not want people creating there own music, this is why there is blatant [and I would argue illegal] abuse of the DMCA, because the record companies are no longer needed, and they want to keep there monopolies on artists, when there were indie labels popping up everywhere they quietly tried to buy as many off as possible or steal the bands from under them, causing them to fold up.

My point, is if artists want to make money off of there songs they shouldn't be selling themselves out. You made your own bed, lay down, shut the fu** up and take it up the ass. Go tour or do shows instead of wasting energy bitching and moaning at your own stupidity for selling yourself out.

Re:Obviously! (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | about 10 months ago | (#45983317)

Anyone doing anything hate when a good or service (that they produce) becomes commoditized. You buy it by the pound and not by the exclusivity. When that happens you stop being able to charge a premium.

Streaming companies buy music in bulk and could care less about the newest/latest top 40 since it'll be in the bargin bin within 6 months and leased to them as part of a library.

It's about time entertianers and their industry were knocked down a peg or three seeing is it is nothing more that a scam based on heavy handed copyright laws. I'll never begrudge an artist for charging $100 for a ticket to a show, but $1-3 per song (digital media) for ever and ever that is not right.

The Artists should be thrilled (3, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | about 10 months ago | (#45981233)

If the record companies were honest, the artists would be making more money so would love streaming services. Unfortunately, the record industry is controlled by a bunch of thieving assholes who see paying artists as unnatural. So the record companies are making money hand over fist, and the the artists get screwed, as usual.

The name of the game, boy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981243)

We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

Someone please (3, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | about 10 months ago | (#45981249)

tell me why I should give a shit? This is like a news item telling me how much Dropbox pays for hard disks or how much Google pays for electricity.

Streaming music services like Spotify provide a service, and I pay for it if I find it good value for money. I don't care what their overheads are or what deals they have in place with their suppliers.

Re:Someone please (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 10 months ago | (#45981287)

The difference is that you don't go to Dropbox in order to store your data specifically on a Seagate hard disk, but you may go to Spotify to specifically listen to Eminem.

Re:Someone please (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 10 months ago | (#45981439)

There's no difference. He cares more about the ability to listen to Eminem than how much Eminem gets out of the deal.

Re:Someone please (1)

smelch (1988698) | about 10 months ago | (#45981933)

Yeah, but you might care more about how much The Mowgli's make because they aren't a huge established star and you want them to be able to keep making music you like.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982079)

Hi point is then he wont buy spotify or whatever because it doesn't give him what he wants.

Spotify goes out of business and someone takes over that pays The Mowgli's better.

in the short term the MowGli's get no money from streaming; in the long term they do.

The market solves all these problems, one of the mechanisms the market has for solving both supply and demand issues is making people go bankrupt.
Too much supply, prices go down, suppliers go bankrupt, resulting in less supply (and cheaper prices).
Too much demand, prices go up, suppliers increase in numbers to each supply a cheaper price.

Turns out; these days; supply is REALLY high these days.
Long ago; Supply was: [Everyone in my village that plays music] - artists got paid the amount it costs to keep just enough artists eating.
more recently in the past Supply was: [Everyone in my large city that plays music] - artists got paid the amount it costs to keep just enough artists eating.
before the internet revolution Supply was: [Everyone in the same country as me] - artists got paid the amount it costs to keep just enough artists eating.
Do you see where I am going with this?
After the internet Supply became: [Everyone in the world. Including people who don't want to or can't be bothered figuring out how to get paid] - artists still get paid the amount it costs to keep just enough artists eating, but "cost to keep an artist eating" has gone down, because many artists work a second job, because it turns out there are fucktons of artists in the whole world.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981447)

You're right; I'd pay to specifically not store my data on a Seagate hard disk. Is Eminem (or anybody) exclusively licensed to Spotify? That would be pretty dumb for anyone already well known.

Re:Someone please (0, Offtopic)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 10 months ago | (#45981329)

Some of us care about ethical sourcing, You are free to continue to buy your cheap Chinese crap made by the forced labor of political prisoners.

Re:Someone please (1)

Garridan (597129) | about 10 months ago | (#45981451)

Whereas some prefer products imbued with the souls of broken political prisoners. Transparency benefits everybody, really.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981485)

Isn't pain supposed to be where all the good music comes from? We need to teach those kids how to use our year-old electronics to make music before burning it for heat.

Re:Someone please (2)

evilRhino (638506) | about 10 months ago | (#45981419)

Let's extend your example a bit. Let's say that Dropbox develops an unnatural power over hard drive manufacturers and demands lower and lower prices to the point where no one could afford to make hard drives for their service anymore. Everything seems to work fine for a while, but eventually hardware failures occur without backup hardware for recovery and you lose whatever data you had stored with them. Would you care then?

Re:Someone please (3, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45981465)

no, because I stream all my music anyways so there's no need to back it up to disk.

Re:Someone please (1)

evilRhino (638506) | about 10 months ago | (#45981545)

Where do you think the stream comes from? Little musicians playing live on the other end of the tube? The music is being stored on a disk somewhere, even if you don't own it.

Re:Someone please (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45981653)

Yeah but obv pandora doesn't back up to Dropbox! So I don't understand the question

Re:Someone please (1)

evilRhino (638506) | about 10 months ago | (#45981879)

We were talking about a hypothetical scenario where the cost of hard drives used by Dropbox would become relevant to the OP as analogy to the cost of music vs record labels royalties to artists. In this example, Dropbox has as much influence on the market of hard drives as the music industry has on music royalties in the real world. Basically Dropbox forced the margins down on hard drives so much that most companies are forced to exit the business. As a result, you can't get Pandora music in this hypothetical world, because no one makes hard drives anymore.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981997)

We were talking about a hypothetical scenario where the cost of hard drives used by Dropbox would become relevant to the OP as analogy to the cost of music vs record labels royalties to artists.

And this, friends, is why nobody reads slashdot anymore...

Re:Someone please (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45983331)

Dropbox has as much influence on the market of hard drives as the music industry has on music royalties in the real world. Basically Dropbox forced the margins down on hard drives so much that most companies are forced to exit the business.

is this even true? I never thought of Dropbox as cornering the entire market on storage. if anything, the hard drive market strikes me as... fragmented!

Re:Someone please (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about 10 months ago | (#45981835)

Let's extend your example a bit. Let's say that Dropbox develops an unnatural power over hard drive manufacturers and demands lower and lower prices to the point where no one could afford to make hard drives for their service anymore.

Then Dropbox would have no new hard drives, and it would go out of business, and I'd stop using it.

I don't care what Dropbox pays for its hard drives and I don't care what Spotify pays to the music labels. If that level is sustainable the service will remain operative and I will keep using it if I find it good value. If it's not sustainable the service will stop and I'll use something else.

Either way - I don't care. I hate these articles because the implication is that this is in fact an ARTISTS' RIGHTS discussion or an INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE discussion. But it's not. A company is paying money to its own suppliers in order to provide me with a service I can use or not use. And this is a big deal? THAT'S EVERY FUCKING COMPANY IN THE WORLD.

Re:Someone please (2)

smelch (1988698) | about 10 months ago | (#45981965)

I think you're missing the point. The point is that Spotify is bringing in more money for their supplier and the supplier is not not paying their employees (the artists) more for it. The implication is that the supplier sucks, not Spotify because it is widely believed that record companies screw their artists already. This is just another example of that.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982099)

This is artists complaining about spotify revenues.

It is like an artist complaining about record stores selling their CD too cheap. If they could buy the CD from the record label and sell it for a profit it isn't the record store screwing the artist.

Re:Someone please (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 10 months ago | (#45982139)

Artists presumably know record companies screw them over already. It's not as if it's been a big secret for the paf|st fifty years after all. But nowadays they do have much more choice on who they do business with - they can elect to sign with independents, join music collectives or go it alone for instance. If they're still working with the big labels it must be because they, after all, still provide a service that is worth it for the artists.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45984021)

And by "Dropbox", don't you mean "Amazon" ?

Don't people realize that Dropbox actually runs on top of Amazon S3? Same thing goes for Netflix.

Combine Dropbox, Netflix and Amazon S3's own direct sales, and I'm pretty sure Amazon's choice of hard drive manufacturer could have a significant impact on the Storage market as a whole.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981579)

different, philanthropic reasons for "art"

whatever you believe, politically speaking, the artists *should* be able to sell their music to make a living that is somehow proportionate to the rest of society based on its merits (which often sadly is what is popular...not my taste).

$15/hr for fast food workers? how about for symphony/orchestra musicians, etc...

so you are talking about a product versus a service, too. this tends to impact overall progress of an economy (look at US, India, and China).

one example (drum) they keep pounding on at /., but I love Pandora (unlike many here, because I don't own it) because I don't have to manage anything, I get new music all the time in whatever genre, and am committed to nothing.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981677)

...whatever you believe, politically speaking, the artists *should* be able to sell their music to make a living that is somehow proportionate to the rest of society based on its merits...

I disagree. I believe Adam Smith had it right ("right" == freeTrade + propertyRights + divisionOfLabour). The ability to influence central government allows the music "industry" a monopoly of distribution (Streaming is just 2nd party delivery that doesn't change the monopoly) that robs musicians of the ability to earn what the consumer is willing to pay. What the user is willing to pay is determined by the value they place on the product, their capacity to pay, and their ability to choose.

Importantly IMO it should be the consumer that determines the "merits" - not an Art Council, and Industry body, or the government.

~Demonoid Penguin (moderating)

Re:Someone please (2)

Swampash (1131503) | about 10 months ago | (#45981895)

whatever you believe, politically speaking, the artists *should* be able to sell their music to make a living

I disagree. A musician's desire to make music in no way places an obligation upon me to pay for it.

But that's beside the point. I don't pay the artist, Spotify doesn't pay the artist, the record label pays the artist.

Artist and feeling butthurt? Not my problem. Take it up with the label.

Re:Someone please (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 10 months ago | (#45984029)

Not my problem.

Not your problem, but you are to blame. You are knowingly supporting something that you know to be unethical and corrupt. That makes you part of the problem.

Is there any point at which the ethics of a company involved would stop you paying for a service?

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45984051)

Granted the listener does not directly pay the artist, but they should be able to. It has been suggested more than once to Spotify to allow users to make a donation to artists whose music they appreciate, but each time Spotify has rejected it. One possible compromise would be, rather than artists (via the labels/aggregators) based on the total number of plays, for that part of each user's subscription which is paid to the labels to be allocated to the artists in the proportion that the user listened to the artist during the month. So, if a particular user only listened to one artist during a given month then all of that part of their subscription allocated to 'artist payment' would be allocated to that one artist, and if they listened to artist A for 1 hour and artist B for 2 hours then artist A would be allocated 1/3 of their 'artist payment' and artist B would be allocated 2/3 of it.

Re:Someone please (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about 10 months ago | (#45981705)

If you don't care about how things work behind the scenes, then you probably shouldn't come to this website.

Re:Someone please (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982001)

You think anyone comes to Slashdot anymore because they give a shit? I hate to break it to you, but Slashdot's traffic, according to their own traffic numbers given to potential advertisers, show a decline by over half as compared to five years ago. In addition, up to 1 in 4 stories per day are now directly sponsored. Meaning, they are posted as a result of an ad buy. Not even fucking Gawker does that.

I abandoned a 4-digit (admittedly, high 4 digits) UID to only read and post as an AC. There's no way in hell I'm going to connect a user name I use on a lot of other sites (and professionally on programming lists) to this waste of bandwidth anymore.

Re:Someone please (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45982517)

This is like a news item telling me how much Dropbox pays for hard disks or how much Google pays for electricity.

Really though, both of those would be quite interesting, although apparently you don't find it interesting.

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983275)

tell me why I should give a shit?

My dear little myopic idiot, where do you think the music comes from? Your comment is like stating that since shooting your own foot isn't illegal, why on earth should you not do it...

Re:Someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983811)

Streaming music services like Spotify provide a service, and I pay for it if I find it good value for money. I don't care what their overheads are or what deals they have in place with their suppliers.

Yeah, and torrent services like TPB provide a service. Most people don't care what their overheads are or what deals they have in place with their suppliers and advertisers (if any).

So it seems the "paying customer" is just like the stereotypical pirate: they couldn't care less whether content creators get rewarded for their efforts or not (and whether they have to live under a bridge or not) and simply care about getting their entertainment under a set of terms they are happy with.

On the other hand, for those "paying customers" for which this statement does not apply (i.e. someone other than you), it IS quite informative to know that, if they want to help the people who create the content they enjoy (rather than middlemen), they might as well just torrent or get from mp3skull whatever they want and directly mail the fee they'd pay to Spotify (or whoever) to the content creators they cherish.

So... I don't know why YOU (specifically) should give a shit, but I know why someone who respects content creators might.

Answer = $$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981251)

Added bonus, they get to screw rockstars.

Captcha = orgies

Is this bad? (1)

fermion (181285) | about 10 months ago | (#45981277)

Does this reflect the fact that many labels pay the artists upfront and fund the creation of the album and the lifestyle? It seems to me in many of these cases the labels are the ones taking the risk, while the artists are just enjoying the lifestyle. I don't know. It seems to me that if the internet is working the way many think it should, major labels would become a thing of the past. If you are breakout internet hit like Justin Bieber, I don't know why you would sell yourself to a label. Unless you just want the upfront cash. In which case you have sold yourself, so can't really complain that you don't get all of the profits.

Fat people like all-you-can-eat buffets, too (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 10 months ago | (#45981307)

Sure, the major labels may love all the money they're getting, but they've squeezed all the profit out of the streaming companies. Free/cheap streaming music may not be long for this world once the venture capital runs out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/business/media/a-stream-of-music-not-revenue.html [nytimes.com]

Maybe not all artists hate it (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 10 months ago | (#45981313)

The Hypebot article gives a few reasons artists don't like streaming. It includes things like having to wait longer for revenue, songs have to have "legs" and longevity, and finally the pie is cut into smaller pieces.

Do you see a pattern there? It isn't so conducive to pop / top 40 / disposable type music. An example given is that instead of consumer buying 3 CDs over the course of a year (and thus the money only going to 3 artists), with streaming that same amount of money may be split up over 18 artists instead. To me that sounds very good for indie artists, and, well, for music in general (if quality means anything). If a consumer is only going to buy 3 CDs a year on average, then there's a good chance those 3 artists will be the flavor of the month as shoved down everyone's throats by radio stations, TV shows, etc.

The artists that would be doing the most complaining are the highest grossing superstars, and to be honest, I'm not all that concerned for their financial well being.

The real question is do the record companies get an even larger percentage of the revenue with streaming, and I didn't see where these articles said that.

Re:Maybe not all artists hate it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981547)

The Hypebot article gives a few reasons artists don't like streaming. It includes things like having to wait longer for revenue, songs have to have "legs" and longevity, and finally the pie is cut into smaller pieces.

Do you see a pattern there? It isn't so conducive to pop / top 40 / disposable type music. An example given is that instead of consumer buying 3 CDs over the course of a year (and thus the money only going to 3 artists), with streaming that same amount of money may be split up over 18 artists instead. To me that sounds very good for indie artists, and, well, for music in general (if quality means anything). If a consumer is only going to buy 3 CDs a year on average, then there's a good chance those 3 artists will be the flavor of the month as shoved down everyone's throats by radio stations, TV shows, etc.

The artists that would be doing the most complaining are the highest grossing superstars, and to be honest, I'm not all that concerned for their financial well being.

The real question is do the record companies get an even larger percentage of the revenue with streaming, and I didn't see where these articles said that.

What happens is the exact opposite of this. Imagine you spend $30 on music; if you spent this on buying smaller artists albums they would receive $10 (a guess but may be less). If you spend this on streaming, the $30 is spread over all the artists IN PROPORTION to the TOTAL streaming numbers (NOT your streaming) so the smaller (read less popular) artists get almost *nothing* (literally $0.0003 or near enough) despite you individually streaming their songs. This is due to how the streaming contract payments are structured across all streams rather than monitoring and paying on individual streams (there was a blog post on this but I can't find it).

In short: streaming is utterly terrible for smaller, independent artists but great for larger artists who can dominate the TOTAL streaming statistics.

Re:Maybe not all artists hate it (2)

Eskarel (565631) | about 10 months ago | (#45982045)

You talk about $0.0003 a song. How much are you willing to pay for listening to a two minute song once? Really and honestly, what will you pay for two minutes of entertainment. If you want an artist to get a cent per song, that's .5 cents per minutes. To still make a profit for everyone spotify is likely going to have to charge 4 times that(to cover their profits and expenses, the record companies profits and expenses, etc). So We'll call it 2 cents a minute. So for a 24 hour day you're talking about $28.80, so that's $864 per month. Let's be a bit more realistic and say that the average listener is actually only using spotify 4 hours a day. Then we'll be generous and say this isn't going to change so they can build a business model on it and we'll screw the record companies and spotify themselves to the wall and cut the rate down to .75 cents per minute of song(so here the artist is actually making two thirds of the gross revenue which is ridiculous). That takes the monthly rate down to $54.

Will you subscribe to $54 per month spotify?

In reality of course we know spotify is $16 a month and that spotify would be insane if they weren't budgeting for people listening at least 8 hours a day on average and even that probably isn't actually sustainable as internet on mobile devices becomes more common, so if we're building a company we have to be able to deal with at least 16 hour a day play time to be able to stay in business over the long haul. Then we take into account the fact that the amount the artist should actually get is probably closer to a third of revenue or lower. $16/month/30 days/16 hours/ 60 minutes /3 * 2 minutes per song gives you well wouldn't you know it $.00037.

Re:Maybe not all artists hate it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982109)

So you are saying they need to get better record labels?

Re:Maybe not all artists hate it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983141)

Yes, but that is only because the revenue sharing model is broken. If there ever comes a service where my monthly fee is shared among the artists I actually listened to I will move to use them in a heart beat. I don't like my money going to artists I don't like. I could even see a service like this start out with local bands. It's not technologically hard to do. The payment side might be more problematic, but I'm sure there are usable ready made solutions. Get the artists onboard before they sign away all their rights with big labels. Local bands, for local audiences, so the artists themselves get the money they are meant to get. $3 a month.

That is why I pirate sheet music (4, Funny)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#45981325)

and play the songs myself. I don't sing though, I'm terrible.

Re:That is why I pirate sheet music (1)

dbc (135354) | about 10 months ago | (#45982813)

You're only about 150 years behind the times. Stephen Foster http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Foster [wikipedia.org] was one of the first people to try to make a living as a song writer. He worked pretty hard to get copyrights on sheet music honored, because illicit copying (I hate the term piracy, except as applied to actual, you know, sea-going piriates like you find off Somalia or in the South China Sea...) ate into his income pretty badly. (My friend http://www.joeweed.com/ [joeweed.com] is a musician, musicologist, recording engineer, and Stephen Foster history fanatic.)

is spotify evil now? (1)

alen (225700) | about 10 months ago | (#45981361)

a few years ago they were awesome

are they evil now since they are screwing the artists out of having people buy music?

"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free. (4, Interesting)

kheldan (1460303) | about 10 months ago | (#45981393)

I remember back in the day you could get numerous channels of streaming music service 100% free. It worked reliably in your home, car, or even just walking around. You'd hear brand-new music just released, and you could even make requests to hear something specific, and it was all totally free. It was called broadcast radio. Of course we still have that but it's a shadow of it's former self (thanks Internet!).

When I first starting seeing Shoutcast and other Internet music streaming services, they were free, and I thought it was pretty cool because I could actually get more diversity with fewer (if any!) commercials than over-the-air radio. Then of course the music "industry" made their unfunny dick move and ruined it for everyone. Yeah, nah, fuck the RIAA and fuck subscription streaming music services. I'll still stick with broadcast radio when I'm out driving around, and music from my own collection the rest of the time.

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981467)

Broadcast radio was quite dead before streaming. The death of radio even predates napster. It was pretty sick and almost dead before the internet ever was a thing even.

In the usa you can thank clearchannel for that. 12 stations all playing the same songs. all day long. and talk radio.

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 10 months ago | (#45982497)

Broadcast radio was quite dead before streaming. The death of radio even predates napster. It was pretty sick and almost dead before the internet ever was a thing even

Yes, I believe it was video that killed it

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45984043)

Clearchannel? The advertising company? They ran US radio?

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (4, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45981475)

a bonus for broadcast, you get 20 mins of some idiot talking every hour, plus 20 mins of commercials. value added!

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981615)

and 10 of those minutes of idiot babble will take place WHILE music you want to listen to is playing! TWO FOR ONE!

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (1)

swillden (191260) | about 10 months ago | (#45981709)

It was called broadcast radio.

That's irrelevant. It was never a significant revenue source.

Broadcast radio was never a moneymaker for artists or labels, in fact labels often paid large amounts of money under the table to radio stations in order to get them to play their artists' music (and, of course, recouped those payments from artists' royalties). The government stepped into stop this activity, though they never really succeeded. Yes, radio stations paid a nominal royalty fee for the right to broadcast, but it was a token at best.

Why did labels/artists pay for airplay? Because airplay translated into exposure, and exposure translated into album sales. They effectively paid radio stations to advertise their music, and then made money on record/cassette/CD sales. This was particularly effective because the album only had to have one or two songs which achieved popularity, and listeners bought the whole album for those songs (hoping the rest was good).

Now, the new version of broadcast radio doesn't advertise music and generate purchases, so much as it eliminates the need for customers to buy albums (or even individual songs) at all. This is an entirely different market structure, and the fact that broadcast radio "worked" means absolutely nothing about whether or not streaming will work.

Personally, I think it will work out. If artists are making too little to live, they'll start agitating for more royalties, or maybe even just signing deals directly with the streaming services rather than going through labels -- which will motivate the labels to structure their deals with artists more attractively. As long as there is a good revenue stream to be divided, the industry will eventually restructure to divide that revenue stream more or less reasonably so that artists can produce music to motivate more revenue. The transition will be painful, and some artists will get screwed (a few labels may even get screwed -- but not nearly as hard as the artists), but it'll shake out.

Really, the bottom line is that people like music and are willing to spend their money for it. Artists like to make music and would like to take the listeners' money. Some system (likely just as imperfect as every other iteration of the system, but one that is Good Enough) will be collaboratively devised and implemented to connect those two bodies, with some number of middlemen siphoning off their take in exchange for various non-obvious but necessary services.

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 10 months ago | (#45982643)

You and another commenter in this thread are missing the point, and you're also probably not old enough to be lecturing me on how broadcast radio used to work, considering I was a teenager in the early 80's when all you had for recorded music in your car was cassette tapes. We didn't have to pay to listen to the radio. I don't really care what you say, you're not representative of 100% of everyone alive today who listens to music, and I'm not the only one out there who is unwilling to pay to listen to "streaming services" on the internet. I find the idea moronic, in fact, and it's not like I haven't listened to them in the past, so you can't say I don't know what I'm talking about, either. I'd much rather listen to my own music, that I own copies of, that I can listen to as many times as I want and not pay another red cent, and again I am not the only person out there who feels this way. I'd venture a guess that there are more people like me than the industry wants everyone else to believe, too. They'd love it if the iPod Generation would toss their PMPs in the trash and pay, pay, pay every day to listen to the same stuff. No, thank you.

To this guy, http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4677163&cid=45982029 [slashdot.org] : There are radio stations, then there are Radio Stations. They're not all the same. Sounds to me like you were/are in a market dominated by Top-10 stations, who have shitty program managers who insist their DJs play the same box of records over and over again every hour, as you described. There are radio stations out there still that aren't programmed that way and are fairly decent to listen to. Also, presets, do you have them!? I've always gone back and forth between a selection of stations in my market, dodging commericals and untalented on-air talent that set my teeth on edge, that's always been that way. Lately if you haven't noticed there are stations popping up that don't even have DJs, and some of them are halfway decent. Of course not everyone likes all the same things and you sound like you've never liked broadcast radio, so to each his own, I'm not going to pass judgement on you for that (so long as you do me the same courtesy), all I'm saying is maybe the market(s) you've been living in just sucks for radio.

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 10 months ago | (#45982017)

I remember back in the day you could get numerous channels of streaming music service 100% free. It worked reliably in your home, car, or even just walking around. You'd hear brand-new music just released, and you could even make requests to hear something specific, and it was all totally free. It was called broadcast radio. Of course we still have that but it's a shadow of it's former self (thanks Internet!).

Clear Channel and others were messing up broadcast radio before the internet had any significant impact.
The problem with broadcast radio, and the music industry in general, is the lack of diversity in what is generally promoted. If you don't listen to mainstream pop, country, R&B or hip-hop good luck finding anything of interest on the radio. (Much of that goes back to the radio conglomerates like Clear Channel wanting to play the same crap on hundreds of radio stations)
Most of the music I have purchased over the last couple of hears is a result of hearing the artist on a streaming service. In most cases I would not have even heard of them (or if I had heard of them, not become familiar with their music) if it hadn't been for the various music streaming services.

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (0)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 10 months ago | (#45982029)

Broadcast radio was so fucking bad it gave me cancer. They play the same play list every day around the same time, usually each song getting several plays a day. a typical hour of radio goes like this:

3 x Idiots shouting stupidity into the mic
Ad x 6
Pointless ad for station you are listening to
1 song you've heard every day this week

And that just repeats all day long with the occasional break for a "news update" or similar crap.

I stopped listening about 30 years ago, but I still get a dose of it every so often from shops, passing cars, etc. The only people who listen to radio are the same ones who thought it was cool in the 70s / 80s and didn't notice they are still playing the same songs from that period.

Re:"Streaming" is not new.. and it used to be free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983363)

Pointless ad for station you are listening to

To be fair, the pointless ad is a pretty clean way of doing the legally required Stantion Identifications (which exist for good reason)

-a HAM

Say what? (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | about 10 months ago | (#45981493)

Lost in that noise is a voice that is seldom heard: that of the record companies.

This must be a report from some other planet, because on the one I live on, the record companies are frequently the only voice that is heard.

Who makes the product? (5, Interesting)

melchoir55 (218842) | about 10 months ago | (#45981745)

Let me preface this by saying I am totally on board the RIAA and record company hate train. I'm the guy pulling the whistle even. Choo Choo! They are greedy organizations who will ruthlessly do anything for profit.

That being said, I have become convinced over time that the artist-record company relationship is actually fair. Artists don't make the majority of the money that gets plunked down for their songs. But, you know, what? They aren't really doing much of the work either. Artists write and perform the song.This takes work, surely. Let's be generous and say each individual song takes a full person year to write and get good at. Record companies dump enormous resources into promoting it. This includes the work of hundreds (thousands?) of people resulting in the expenditure of many years of person effort. It seems to me like the record company is actually the one contributing more value. What happens to artists who try to succeed without record companies, or grants from universities? A tiny percentage of them earn enough to subsist. There is a reason for this.

To be frank, at the end of the day professional musicians who make a good living aren't really any better than many of the ones who are struggling. I've seen so many really talented musician friends go through school to finely hone their skills, only to find no one in the real world cares (ie they can't make money). The reason no one cares isn't because people don't value music. They do. That is why so much money goes into buying music. The problem is that reaching the threshold at which most people consider you "good" is attainable by a VAST portion of the population. Probably roughly the same percentage of the population who can be considered good at physically lifting things and then setting them down elsewhere. Good musicians are a dime a dozen.

I know the musicians out there are going to crucify me for this. You'll all point out it is possible to discern the difference between the violinist who makes 10 mil and the one who can't get a job. I'm sure you can. The point is that most of society can't, and doesn't care to. This is why most of you make nothing and have to pursue other careers. I wish you would all wake up to it before dumping a decade or more into it. Unless of course you are wealthy enough to pursue it whether it brings you income or not.

Music and the arts are for everyone, as a hobby, because any human can be good at them to some degree. The skills it takes to do them are part of what it is to be human. They have been pursued professionally by the rich, or friends of the rich, historically. This is because the rich can afford to spend 20 years getting good to maybe get paid well at the end. If you are a middle or lower class person trying to pursue music you are being irresponsible. You are more than likely wasting your time, except for the rare people who value the honing of skills higher than standard of living.

Re:Who makes the product? (3, Insightful)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 10 months ago | (#45982133)

A year for each song? Most pop music wouldn't even take the better part of an afternoon to write. It's a 4 chord song which follows a fairly standard pattern. The melody is generally the only unique part, and that's because that's what the copyright is based on. Nearly all lyrics are truly banal crap with little to no meaning. The vast majority of songs are limp love songs with tepid pointless sappy lyrics.

There are exceptions, of course, but if we're talking rock / pop then and especially anything that charts, then it's all drivel. Some examples:

Baby baby
Are you listening?
Wondering where you've been all my life
I just started living
Oh baby
Are you listening?

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

I live for the applause, applause, applause
I live for the applause-plause, live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that cheer and scream for me
The applause, applause, applause

Yeah girl, I just had me,
One hell of a work week.
It's been driving me crazy,
Not enough of you baby.
And I been a-thinkin',
'Bout breakin' in the weekend
Not doin' any sleepin'
So get in, let's take a ride

Such insight! Such clever prose and phrasing! Truly these gems will shine till the sun itself have burnt out...

Re:Who makes the product? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982803)

That's why he says he's being generous....

Re:Who makes the product? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45982593)

You'll all point out it is possible to discern the difference between the violinist who makes 10 mil and the one who can't get a job. I'm sure you can. The point is that most of society can't, and doesn't care to.

I'll bet most of society could, especially if you limit to only those who are paying to hear that violinist.

Re:Who makes the product? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983453)

Huh? If you limit it to those who are paying you already drop 95% of those who CAN. Even the ones who can't get a job might have trained for years. Take a random person and he wouldn't be able to hear the difference. The absolute well paying top is so tiny not even the top 1% of violinists fit there. Most likely not even the top 0.0001%. I'm sure I could not hear the difference between a 0.001% top and 1% top violinist.

Re:Who makes the product? (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 10 months ago | (#45983663)

That being said, I have become convinced over time that the artist-record company relationship is actually fair. Artists don't make the majority of the money that gets plunked down for their songs. But, you know, what? They aren't really doing much of the work either. Artists write and perform the song.This takes work, surely. Let's be generous and say each individual song takes a full person year to write and get good at. Record companies dump enormous resources into promoting it. This includes the work of hundreds (thousands?) of people resulting in the expenditure of many years of person effort. It seems to me like the record company is actually the one contributing more value. What happens to artists who try to succeed without record companies, or grants from universities? A tiny percentage of them earn enough to subsist. There is a reason for this.

This is entirely true for your Bieber's, Beoynce's and Skrillex's. But it wasn't always the case. This is largely due to the fact that music has pretty much died and what we've been left with requires so much post production and marketing to sell, the "artist" is almost unnecessary. The only reason they still need real people is because of the uncanny valley. If we could make an image indistinguishable from a real person, record labels could get rid of the useless meat.

Long gone are the days where bands would write a new record almost entirely on tour, then produce it in a studio over 3 months and it would be mastered a short time later mainly because the band needed to get back on tour to earn money. I'm using Nirvana's Nevermind as an example, recorded between May and June 1991, Mastered on the 2nd of August 1991 and released on the 24th of September 1991. Between the 2nd of May and the 2nd of August, they produced one of the worlds greatest albums, a period of 4 months and half of that was recording. Most of the work was done by Cobain, Novoselic, Grohl and the producer, Butch Vig.

A far cry from today where most of the music is not only fixed by computers, it's actually generated by computers. Beyond the initial recordings, the "artist" (I'm using that term very loosely) isn't required and doesn't really have any input. We now have pop and rap which is largely the creation of computers but dubstep and electronic music is entirely the work of computers. This is why it has become so expensive and time consuming to produce a studio album. You dont start with a band using instruments to produce a near finished product, you have to create that from scratch.

And we're all suffering because of it.

Previously bands would work their way up, playing at parties, weddings, just about anything to get noticed, to get fans. Now so called "artists" are relying on marketing and saturating radio coverage to get people to like their crud. Music is albeit dead now, replaced with rap, dubstep and electronic substitutes. Soon the man with the guitar will be an endangered species.

ah... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#45981749)

Artists with music label contracts hate streaming because their record deals are so ridiculous they'd likely be illegal in any other industry. Artists that are too small to have a label or have simply chosen not to have one, love streaming. I've found more unique and interesting artists via streaming radio that I ever could have otherwise.

Older (1, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about 10 months ago | (#45981785)

The last CD I ever paid money for, that I didn't buy from the artist himself, was in the pre-Napster days. Once Napster hit the scene I never looked back. Downloaded everything I wanted and a lot of what I hadn't heard of before and thought I'd try. It's lived with me on hard drive after hard drive since. Every once in a while when it rains or the sun shines a certain way and I'm feeling nostalgic I'll listen to a random selection, but mostly I don't. A recorded track is always the same, always what I've heard before, and it loses its appeal over time. Most of the time, I don't miss music at all. The only times I really enjoy music any more are live performances, by artists I've never heard of before, performing songs I've never heard before. Maybe it's a universal symptom of getting older, but it feels like something more akin to a post-musical existence wherein the human connection, music-as-communication in real time, is what makes it meaningful.

Fuck the artists (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 10 months ago | (#45981885)

There's no guarantee your music will make you money just like any business venture. Music label contract scams have been know for ever yet you signed up because you dreamed your product is going to make you famous, well you knew what the end result would be. You're too afraid to publish your self because you keep dreaming of 15 min of fame and you think you and you product will get you rich.

Re:Fuck the artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45982185)

Destroy the labels - artists today don't need big label companies to get their music out there.

They need to go the way of the dodo birds.

The solution for the artists is simple. (1)

MarcoPon (689115) | about 10 months ago | (#45981913)

They don't need the majors label anymore. They can deal with the streaming services themselves, or even with the public directly.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45981921)

Really... why buy it... i mean really why? I will buy music (directly from the artist) but other then that... NOPE

Careful Conclusions (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 10 months ago | (#45982113)

> "make 15% more per year, on average, from paying customers of streaming services like Spotify or Rdio than it does from the average customer who buys downloads, CDs or both."

I should point out that people should parse that sentence very carefully to understand the situation. The summary says the labels make 15% more per year, on average, from paying customers of streaming services. Most people aren't paying for streaming services. Here's one source that says that only about 25% of Spotify's regular users are actually paying customers: http://paidcontent.org/2013/03/12/spotify-hits-6-million-paid-users-as-market-for-music-streaming-heats-up/ [paidcontent.org]

There's also the fact that people who are free-users of Spotify might be buying less music because of it (i.e. the existence of Spotify might be lowering music sales among the "not paying for spotify" group).

So, should the labels love streaming music? I don't know. But, I'm very skeptical of the notion that the labels should love streaming music over regular music sales (at least as it existed 15 years ago).

What do artist think of the following? (1)

3seas (184403) | about 10 months ago | (#45982505)

A service that has a better deal?
http://mbsy.co/MGhN [mbsy.co] Tunecore

tier one solar (-1, Offtopic)

Bramdoncrooz (3436127) | about 10 months ago | (#45982771)

Contact us | Tier One Solar LLC | Tier one Solar, tier one solar, san diego, Tier One Solar, LLC Low Cost Energy Solutions.

Pirate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45983405)

If everyone would just Pirate all music, the music label/distro titans would finally fall. Then and only then will Artists finally have a chance in this world.

They're paying customers now? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45983503)

make 15% more per year, on average, from paying customers of streaming services

They pay the customers and make more money? It's win-win!

Should be careful (1)

Alarash (746254) | about 10 months ago | (#45984095)

Majors should be careful. Pretty soon they won't be able to argue that what they care about is art and the artists. In any case, pretty soon there won't be a need for majors. Most people will self-produce, and if they make enough money by selling direct to the customers/fans (which should be easier than going through a major which takes WAY more than a fair share), then they can go to producers and record in a studio. Then all you need is a proper agent to setup tours and stuff. I genuinely believe that in a modern world major companies are really not that needed. Only the really motivated and good musicians will get ahead of the pack, and that's for the better. Too much shit music these days.
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