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11:54 AM on 07/15/13
#2
Jason Tate
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Already own most of the Radiohead albums ... but removing the Atoms for Peace album really is the difference between me listening to it (which I have a few times) and not.

I like it alright, but wouldn't buy it.

O well.
01:05 PM on 07/15/13
#3
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There was a great discussion about this in two different threads on Reddit. First, there was an independent artist that broke down how he got paid by Spotify for a song he wrote that got over a million plays. He got only $16. It was all that much. The break down was very telling and informative, however a retort was submitted and upvoted the next day or so later. I think Spotify actually responded due to the traction the first article got. What they said was artists shouldn't view their service as a way of getting noticed or revenue. That comes from touring and gaining exposure in different ways other than just putting your song on iTunes and hoping it catches on. I can see both sides of the argument and, being a person who pays for Spotify's services, I'd say it's well worth the $10/month.
That was Pandora.

http://theunderstatement.com/post/53...han-16-dollars
01:10 PM on 07/15/13
#4
Jason Tate
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the point isn't that it is or isn't illegal. or that it is or isn't a realistic model. it's that spotify and investors are making big money while a tiny, teenie percentage of that is given back to the artists of which the company would not exist without.

thom and nigel aren't out there fighting for their money. they're fighting for small, new bands to not get screwed. taking their music down is making a statement that there's an issue. obviously it's getting press now. they're doing a good thing.
Without Spotify being a publicly traded company, I can't look up actual numbers ... but from everything I have read, the company isn't even profitable.
01:21 PM on 07/15/13
#5
Jason Tate
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Thank you for clarifying. Despite it being another service, I do think it's certainly relevant.
I believe Pandora's rates are different than Spotify in some degree ... and the linked article breaks it down compared to terrestrial radio, which shows the Pandora deal is actually better for artists than AM/FM radio plays.

My hunch is that it is virtually impossible to scale a streaming business to pay artists/publishing/labels/etc. a livable wage and run said business to a profit. As tech and bandwidth becomes better and cheaper it'll get closer, but I don't think many bands are going to be able to make a full living off of selling music (be it albums or streams) in the foreseeable future. I think there are opportunities to supplement income, and more favorable rates for independent artists not attached to a label may be a step in that direction. But even more favorable rates aren't going to translate into THAT much income ... you can look at big indie-label artists play counts on streaming services, and doing some napkin math figure out how much the service would need to pay for each member of that band to make a livable wage ... and for the foreseeable future, that's a pipe dream.
01:25 PM on 07/15/13
#6
Jason Tate
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Normally I agree with ya Clucky, but there's just way too large of a percentage of people out there (I believe) that have Spotify and give no second thought to the compensation of the artist they're streaming. I have a hard time believing that your average pop music consumer with a Spotify subscription thinks twice about something like that... And that's what this is all about: raising awareness for how people SHOULDN'T have Spotify accounts. It may give some exposure but it mainly serves a way for people to get all of the music they want without paying full price; essentially the same mentality that drives illegal downloading.
There is a reality that needs to be addressed through: The public perception of the value of music is forever changed. It is simply not valued in the market any longer at much more than free. Raising "awareness" that bands are getting paid shit isn't going to change the market value for a song. The next-best-alternative is going to still be close to free; fuck - basically that whole Atoms for Peace album is on YouTube.
01:43 PM on 07/15/13
#7
Jason Tate
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I'll agree with that, but I think that this is about getting other artists involved. If (and I realize the hugeness of this "if") enough artists got behind this then they would, essentially take back control of the value of their songs. By removing them from a widely popular service like Spotify, they're establishing the worth themselves. I think this is just one way for artists to redefine what a song is and should be worth. Whether or not it will catch like wildfire is a different story; I just don't like the idea of self-entitled people demanding that artists conform to satisfy their greed.
I disagree that they'd take back control of the value of their songs -- if every single artist gets involved and takes their music away from streaming services, we're back to the next-best-alternative: free and/or piracy for a large, large majority of music listening. I believe that boat has sailed.

Removing music from streaming doesn't re-value the music at iTunes level (which one could also argue isn't a sustainable livable wage for artists) -- if anything, it devalues it further -- to YouTube, mp3s, and torrent level.

I have a hard time thinking that the music itself is going to end up being a viable product for musicians to sell (this is a shitty realization) at a profit, but if the shift can be similar to a Gillette model (give the razor away - sell the blades) maybe that's simply what the music industry is right now.

I say this because if we look throughout history, I can't think of many products that lose their value due to industry disruptions that then regain an equal or greater value later. The product itself needs to change, either to change the margins and make it profitable again, or to add a value previously non-existent.

I don't see a change in royalty rates being the magic bullet to return labels and the majority of musicians back into the black.
01:52 PM on 07/15/13
#8
Jason Tate
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no. he's not saying that. he's saying EMI (or whatever) gets a payment every month based on the total number of all of its artists plays with no information as to which artist got how many plays. then it is divided how the label sees fit (after their cut, of course).
I'm pretty sure the numbers are divided out ... since that information is also publically available.
02:44 PM on 07/15/13
#9
Jason Tate
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but the thing is... spotify is FREE. there are a lot of people who don't want to pay for something that's already free. yeah, the "quality" is lesser of the 10 dollar a month premium option, but mp3 quality is always lesser than a physical entity, so then what? im not gonna spend 10 dollars a month just to listen to music on a streaming application that i would need wifi/3g (both of which would drain the battery of whatever device) to use on a more mobile basis. for 10 dollars a month, i would love to be able to download the mp3, or maybe get 1 or 2 physical cd's a month. but it doesn't work that way. thus i, and many other people i presume, will continue to use spotify for free. the problem isn't spotify; the problem is digital carbon copies of albums and songs aka mp3. minus points for thom yorke and nigel godrich. you guys should know better.
I know Rdio (and I think Spotify) allow offline syncing.
05:04 PM on 07/15/13
Jason Tate
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This is a good thing.
I've been using it for almost 5 years now and I really think it's a bad thing for the artist. I use it a lot, but nothing I've got control over will ever be on Spotify. If you don't withdraw your stuff - you're accepting the devaluation of music and that the profit should go to a soul-less third party.

This is not simply about "the artist getting paid" - it's about control and a fucking start-up raping you.
What profit? There is no profit.

The music has already been "devalued." Devoid of Spotify's existence -- the music is worth what people are willing to pay for it, and for a large majority of people, that's found itself to be close to zero. Spotify closing down tomorrow will not turn on fountains of so-far-unseen money for artists.

Quote:
What do you do for a living? If possible, try to imagine yourself in the same situation and keep in mind that it's generating plenty of money that simply isn't going towards the creator.
Throughout history this has happened in many different fields and industries -- it sucks, obviously, for lots of people involved -- but the disruption occurs anyway.

Not correct. That's for "social use" and definitely not the number of plays you get on your sheet.
How so? I just looked and can access the number of plays via the Spotify API -- if Spotify doesn't, itself, give this number to the labels - it's definitely available to them.
05:25 PM on 07/15/13
Jason Tate
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1. Uhh, ok. So that means the artists are not getting used? I've got friends who work for Spotify, hence me getting super-early invite and they're making ridiculous money based on artists getting screwed. That's what matters.
I didn't say artists aren't getting "used." I said there is no profit. Spotify is not a public company; however, as I pointed out in this thread via a different link: they're not making any money. I don't know what your "friend" is telling you, but if he is really telling you that the company is making "ridiculous money" then that is news that virtually every single tech website would love to have, and I recommend you submit that information to them. If this source is correct, you literally, will be breaking news.

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2. Oh, really? Wow. Never knew about that! Things change? Rad!
What's the point of the sarcasm? Your post was to envision a market change and what that would do for someone's livelihood -- I simply pointed out that it doesn't take much to look through history and see this is far from the first time it has (and will continue) to happen. The argument that it disrupts the current market is not, in my opinion, sound enough to put up road-blocks to innovation. We have historical evidence that supports that technology will prevail. You can't put the ketchup back in the bottle.

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3. Jesus christ man, that's not the number your royalties are based on.
Royalties are not based upon song plays? I thought they were based upon an artist's relative popularity/streaming compared to the service as a whole?

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They don't match up what so ever and it's all laid out in the contract. This is not an unusual thing. The royalties are so abysmal anyways that it's the least of our worries.
The original statement was that there was "no information as to which artist got how many plays" -- which is untrue. If royalties are calculated based upon something other than plays of a song, I'm curious what they are being based upon. Spotify's documentation seems to disagree with your assertion.
In general, however, Spotify pays royalties in relation to an artist's popularity on the service. For example, we will pay out approximately 2% of our gross royalties for an artist whose music represents approximately 2% of what our users stream. A popular song or album can generate far more revenue for an artist over time than it historically would have from upfront unit sales.


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Edit:
Your additions to the first quote are completely off-topic as far as I'm concerned. My point is not that the artist should swim in 80's style royalties. It's about control. I opt for giving away everything for free instead of putting it on Spotify and so does a lot of artists who criticize them.
I'm not sure how that's a solution when you talk about avoiding the "devaluation" of music? I can understand an argument about control, however, you have to weigh the pros and cons. Do you want to give up some amount of control to reach a larger audience or not. Even giving away your music for free -- for the majority of people -- they'll never find it. A centralized database of music offers greater discovery mechanisms than piece-meal "free" offerings from bands spread all around the internet.

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