Why Pulling Music From Spotify Only Holds Back The Artist Doing The Pulling

from the 1.-Eliminate-revenue-stream-2.-Gripe-about-it-3.-???-4.-Profit! dept

David Byrne, former lead singer of the Talking Heads, has pulled "as much of his catalogue" as he can from Spotify. Why? Because it's the thing to do these days. Abused math and sins of omission have led to headlines declaring Spotify to be the worst ripoff since the major labels, paying only pennies for millions of plays. Many artists have done it. Some are insulted by the low payoffs. Others believe it will cannibalize their sales.

Byrne's editorial for the Guardian names a few of these artists -- the Black Keys, Aimee Mann, Thom Yorke, etc. These artists have withheld their music from the super-popular streaming service simply because they've deemed the payout too low, and the risk of losing sales too high, to take part in the way people listen to music at the present. A rather strange about-face for Byrne, who previously lauded Radiohead's pay-what-you-want experiment and other efforts along that same line.

Dave Allen, formerly of Gang of Four and Shriekback (among others) has posted a very thorough and thoughtful response to Byrne's editorial. (And there's plenty to respond to. When you state, "The internet will suck all the creative content out of the world," with a straight face, you can expect to be thoroughly riposted -- from multiple angles.)

Along the way to what I feel is the simplest, most succinct point to be made in this Spotify "debate," Allen also points out how Byrne (along with Thom Yorke and others) are clouding the issue by couching the discussion of dispassionate themes (economic and technological shifts) in emotional language ("fairness," "ethical internet"). Critics of Spotify insist the royalty payouts are too low -- proof that the streaming service is evil -- despite the fact that these payouts are 70% of Spotify's revenue.

As for the decline of the recording industry -- which Allen takes pains to point out is not the same thing as the "music industry" -- it's been a long time coming. This doesn't mean music is dying -- only the industry that attached itself to musicians in a remora-like fashion and sucked as much income out as possible over the past several decades is dying. As Allen puts it in his post, the recording industry simply made it possible for artists to "pay off the mortgage, but never own the house" by providing advances in exchange for copyright control.

The industry was set up to fail -- an untenable construct that began to disintegrate upon the first sign of friction. What the industry considers to be right and fair and normal -- selling music to make money -- is nothing more than a blip on the timeline, as no less an old-school artist than Mick Jagger has stated.

[T]here was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone.

So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the time they didn't.
But here's the ultimate point:
One thing is certain: When artists remove their music from Spotify they are simply ensuring that they will receive zero royalties from that service. They will also ensure that they are not in a service that provides massive distribution of their work that is not a walled garden like FM radio is. And remember, not all artists are popular therefore not all artists receive the same amount of royalties from airplay or from streaming services. It is worth noting that Spotify has one billion playlists created by users. Musicians are not the only creators. Internet users most likely make far more content to post to the Web for free than all musicians combined. It’s a societal phenomenon that can’t be denied.
The first sentence is key. As has been stated here before, you cannot achieve a positive result simply by removing a negative. Labels and movie studios may spend tons of money fighting piracy, but that doesn't budge the needle towards a purchase. If millions of people are happy "renting" their music through streaming services (or YouTube), you can't push them towards a purchase by removing your music. They'll likely just find someone else to listen to, and when that artist tours or runs a Kickstarter or whatever, it's the artists they've been listening to that will receive that additional support.

All these artists are doing is shutting down a revenue stream under the mistaken impression that they'll pick up the money elsewhere. It may only be pennies, but it's pennies they don't need to lift a finger to collect. For every artist that has pulled their music from Spotify and pointed to first week sales as "proof" that ditching the world's most popular streaming service "works," there's another list of artists that have sold just as much without resorting to cutting out streaming revenue.

Giving music fans fewer reasons to use Spotify is also short-sighted. As a streaming services, its high end is only limited by the number of users. If enough artists pull out, the service loses some of its ability to attract users. Artists should want millions more to join, which is the most efficient way to increase royalty payouts. More users is more money. If Spotify manages to find a way to attract more paid users, the amounts will increase exponentially.

Cutting Spotify out doesn't make sense, no matter how small the checks are. You can't "force" sales, especially not when your attitude fails to sync with a majority of your potential customers.

[Bonus: here's some Shriekback for your listening pleasure, just in case your estimation of Dave Allen needed to be increased...]



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    miatajim (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    Thanks for the reminder David. Take getting nothing(PB download is completed)is better. ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    perhaps the artists would get a better deal if their own greedy labels weren't demanding so much?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    You know, the sweet Irony here is, that the video you linked is not available in germany, thanks to GEMA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    They act like radio paid so much more.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:34am

    So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    "Critics of Spotify insist the royalty payouts are too low -- proof that the streaming service is evil -- despite the fact that these payouts are 70% of Spotify's revenue." -- SO? Spotify adds nothing, and, just estimating at a mere 5% of revenue, that's SHEER PROFIT for doing nothing!

    "All these artists are doing is shutting down a revenue stream under the mistaken impression that they'll pick up the money elsewhere." -- YOU are mistaken that's the reason. -- What is it about Spotify that provokes this reaction? -- Spotify is getting SOME money while paying almost nothing to those who MAKE it possible! No one likes others getting rich off their work -- not even people already rich and don't need more; this isn't greed, it's just plain not wanting THIS bunch of grifters to get rich FOR NOTHING.

    Artists have every right to withdraw their products from wherever they want. You arrogant kibitzers like to advise people who've been in the biz longer than you've been alive, but this is one time you should listen to the experts.

    And whatever happened to Mike's notion of selling direct? It's turning out in practice that some middlemen are necessary, right? So your ranting about middlemen as such was all wasted. -- You should instead argue on Populist terms that the amounts current (or any) middlemen get are too high for near nothing efforts. -- Because in practice all you're arguing here is FOR middlemen, NOT artists.

    Visit Mike's other sites at least once a year, fanboys!
    http://insightcommunity.com/
    05:33:25[g-090-7]

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Twernt no lie, it's salesmanship!

    > Artists have every right to withdraw

    You also have the right to aim a shotgun at your own foot and blow it clean off. It doesn't mean that it's in your best interests though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Does anybody know how much artists get from spotify in comparison to royalties from record labels, actual dollar amounts, not percentages, and over the same period? I suspect the attacks on spotify are more to its existence threatening the existence of the labels than lack of income to the artists.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Re: David Byrne won't see a difference between MICRO-cents and NOTHING.

    @ miatajim
    Thanks for the reminder David. Take getting nothing(PB download is completed)is better. ;)


    Obviously you haven't looked at the rates Spotify pays, but for sure, even if you listen to his tunes a thousand times, it's not going to affect him.

    But I do appreciate you making it clear that Techdirt is nothing but a pirate site, habited by sleazy little thieves who actually want to hurt artists if possible because of perfectly legal and reasonable choices of where they market THEIR music.

    Pirate's checklist:
    x Hide Identity [x VPN x Proxy x TOR]
    x Excuses [x Didn't know x Wasn't me x IP isn't ID x Just Sharing]

    05:46:19[g-117-1]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:47am

    Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    By your reasoning, no artist should let their music be played on the radio, as like spotify it adds nothing and makes money from other peoples works.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    You can choose to get something, or nothing, but you can't cut me off

    I probably shouldn't mention this...

    Spotify allows you to drag your "local files" into the Spotify app, and add them to your playlists, and push them out to all your mobile devices. No other service supports seamlessly blending their files with your files, as far as I'm aware.

    So if a track is withdrawn from the marketplace, I download the music video from YouTube, and push that up to Spotify. I still get to listen to the song, but now the artist gets nothing, rather than something. That means money that would have gone to them will go to some other artist instead. If that's their choice, then I respect that.

    (ObDisclaimer: I don't listen to any Talking Heads music on Spotify or otherwise)

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: Twernt no lie, it's salesmanship!

    @ "JEDIDIAH"

    Twernt no lie, it's salesmanship!
    > Artists have every right to withdraw

    You also have the right to aim a shotgun at your own foot and blow it clean off. It doesn't mean that it's in your best interests though.


    You have NO say in what others choose to decide is in their interests so long as doesn't affect you. For instance, it'd be in YOUR best interests to be forced to labor on a farm from sunup to sundown, eating only natural foods, no entertainment except books. But I doubt you're pleased by do-gooders telling you what's in "your best interests". So just extend to others the rights you wish for yourself; it's the Golden Rule that makes civilization possible.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Considering I haven't heard a new song from him ANYWHERE since 1985 I don't see how he's helping himself here other than getting his name in the news to pretend he's still relevant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    Your arguments are only relevant if we ignore that the alternative to Spotify is either doing the distribution yourself or go back to the labels.

    The first one, though having the greatest potential profit, since you don't need to share royalties with anyone, is unlikely to be feasible. Distribution is hard...unless you just drop it on bittorrent and let the world be your distribution device. But this notion will probably be unappealing to you.

    The label alternative is even worse, IMHO. The labels add virtually nothing, eat a huge chunk of the profits and pay you whenever they feel like it. And their accounting practices guarantee that you'll get screwed.


    You often accuse Mike of not providing a solution for problems. It's your time to shine: what is YOUR solution to the distribution problem?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    @ Anonymous Coward

    By your reasoning, no artist should let their music be played on the radio, as like spotify it adds nothing and makes money from other peoples works.


    That is NOT my "reasoning", that's your stoopid misconstruction. I simply state that artists have the right to choose where their products will appear. They may sign it away, of course, but initially true, under common law and statute.

    All Spotify has to do is pay the rates wanted, or do without. That's the societal deal for mere entertainments, besides that Spotify is a business, and if can't afford to buy the products it must have in order to get ANY income at all, that's tough. Spotify is just itself greedy and trying to force VERY LOW RATES onto artists, and here you are, sticking up for grifters, NOT the artists.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Why only Spotify?

    It blows my mind that all these arguments against Spotify are completely counter to what is actually happening.

    Google Music is $10 a month and I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want, and as often as I want. Isn't that exactly how Spotify works?

    Last month I got offered a Youtube partnership with a company called Fullscreen. They offered a deal where I could cover over 100,000 songs and still get most of the money from the advertisements. How much money could the artist, or for that matter the studio, possibly get from what's left over?

    Why would the studio make these deals of Spotify is such a horrible thing?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Gnomes are freaking geniuses when it comes to profit!

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re: You can choose to get something, or nothing, but you can't cut me off

    I'm not 100% sure what all Spotify does, but I'm fairly sure that Google music does the same exact thing, down to letting me upload my own music that isn't available or is no longer available.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    @ AC:

    You often accuse Mike of not providing a solution for problems. It's your time to shine: what is YOUR solution to the distribution problem?


    No, it's still Mike's turn, smartypants, or yours. Mike has been on this for FIFTEEN years and claims to be an expert in economics. You aren't going to fob his responsibility off onto me. -- BUT in brief: the solution to the distribution problem is to teach pirates that it's OTHER PEOPLE'S PROPERTY and they've no right to just take it. By whatever means needed, 'cause I'm not at all supporting pirates who start with the notion they can take whatever they want.

    As for middlemen getting too Rich, here's a tag line which covers them and everyone:

    The solution for most societal ills is HIGH INCOME TAX RATES. -- WAGES should not be taxed at all! Income originally meant unearned income.
    06:03:21[h-10-3]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: David Byrne won't see a difference between MICRO-cents and NOTHING.

    Reported... moving on.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    You live in a world so separated from reality that you could probably make millions of dollars selling the technology you use to break the barrier between dimensions.

    We aren't talking about people taking something for nothing, we're talking about copyright owners (we're not talking about artists at this point) agreeing to get payed a set amount and then bitching when they get exactly what they agreed upon.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    Good Lord, how do you live without a functional brain???

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    "BUT in brief: the solution to the distribution problem is to teach pirates that it's OTHER PEOPLE'S PROPERTY and they've no right to just take it."

    That's a nice rant, but that doesn't solve the distribution problem.

    The distribution problem is how you get your song from whatever hell-hole you live in to, well, everyone in the world who might want to buy it or otherwise experience it.

    You need a distribution channel, be it Pandora, the labels, pirates, or your pet camel. My point is that unless you distribute it yourself (and most certainly not reach all of your potential audience) or let the "pirates" distribute it for you, you're going to need "middleman" (or middlecamels).

    "As for middlemen getting too Rich, here's a tag line which covers them and everyone...The solution for most societal ills is HIGH INCOME TAX RATES. -- WAGES should not be taxed at all! Income originally meant unearned income."

    That's another great rant, but that doesn't put money in the pocket of the artists, which is the core issue we are trying to tackle here.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Streaming is a new technology, the companies building on it are still relatively small businesses who are trying to create a new business model.

    Yes, there are problems but what business model did not have problems in it's infancy? Comments from the likes of Yorke and Byrne (who, don't forget, have vested interests in maintaining the old business model) are not helpful. They are just rants and do not make any suggestions on how to develop the streaming model to make sure it is viable for new artists.

    Also, another article about why David Byrne is wrong

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/16/why-david-byrne-wrong-spotify-thom-yorke?c ommentpage=2

    And Pink Floyd's Nick Mason on his band's Spotify experience

    http://www.classicrockmagazine.com/news/pink-floyds-nick-mason-labels-must-work-harder/

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Twernt no lie, it's salesmanship!

    So just extend to others the rights you wish for yourself; it's the Golden Rule that makes civilization possible

    I hadn't realized it was so easy! Okay, here goes:

    I extend to authors the exclusive rights comprising copyright (eg reproduction, distribution, etc,) against non-natural persons, as defined and limited in 17 USC and applicable case law.

    I extend to authors the exclusive rights comprising copyright against natural persons, as defined and limited in 17 USC and applicable case law, only in such instances where natural persons are engaged in commercial activity, as determined only by the presence of commercial factors beyond the mere otherwise-infringing activity; Otherwise-infringing activity does not itself compromise commercial activity, nor do effects upon the commercial viability of the work, nor may non-commercial factors be considered.

    Well, that was no problem at all, and now I guess, according to your post, I can pirate whatever I like, and share it with the world, so long as I just pirate and don't make money or try to recoup my costs. After all, I don't want any more than that for myself, and this is indeed how I would like to be treated by others.

     

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    mmrtnt (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:26am

    Mr Byrne, I Think I Might Have Spotted a Problem

    The major record labels usually siphon off most of this income, and then they dribble about 15-20% of what's left down to their artists. Indie labels are often a lot fairer sometimes sharing the income 50/50.

    As an artist, if you didn't associate yourself with a record label, would you get 100% of the payout from Spotify?

    PS: Love your music, have bought many of your albums.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    What isn't addressed in Byrne's article is that Spotify actually provides income as opposed to piracy. How many Spotify listeners are former pirates?

    And I take issue with the notion that a musician might expect a minimum wage income from Spotify simply by recording a 4 minute song.

    But the most promising thing in this article is the notion of a Content Creators Coalition. For too long musicians have been letting the RIAA work on their behalf - but it's always been for the label's benefit, not the musicians. Perhaps Byrne should have written about that instead?

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    "What isn't addressed in Byrne's article is that Spotify actually provides income as opposed to piracy. How many Spotify listeners are former pirates?"

    And how many go on to purchase the music on vinyl, CD or download after they decide whether or not they like it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:33am

    Re:

    The major labels are the primary shareholders in Spotify. It certainly is not the case that they want Spotify to fail; they want it to be the only game in town so they can get a piece of the entire revenue pie. I suspect their royalties from Spotify plays are inconsequential compared to what they stand to make by being shareholders in the entire enterprise; they also don't have to split those earnings with their artists.

    Thom Yorke is right, mostly. The general idea of streaming isn't as problematic as the fact that Spotify is simply an extension of the old music industry gatekeepers' reach into artist's pockets.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:44am

    Re:

    And I take issue with the notion that a musician might expect a minimum wage income from Spotify simply by recording a 4 minute song.


    That's an odd stance to take. In most cases, a four minute song has much more work behind it than four minutes. And they usually produce much more than just one four minute song.

    Besides, you could look at input time from the other end. If the four minute song in question was played one million times, that's four million minutes of labor/service that Spotify is reaping the majority of the benefit from. Also keep in mind that Spotify does very little to expose an artist, the musician will still have to put in all the labor of marketing and promotion to get people to seek and stream the track in the first place.

    Now, I don't totally agree with Yorke or Byrne on all of this, but I think the debate is being painted in a disingenuous manner. Spotify is the major labels. That was what I took from Thom Yorke's 'rant.'

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    So you're saying I should seek out the most expensive way to acquire music because I have so much respect for musicians?

    Spotify pays, but not enough. Does iTunes pay enough? Do I buy the CD from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, where it costs even more? Why isn't there a service that lets me pay $20 to download a 4 minute song?

    You never seem to understand that it's the market that sets the prices, not the artist or the label. And Spotify is not piracy.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re:

    Which also helps explain why they're so against Pandora.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re:

    "that's four million minutes of labor/service that Spotify is reaping the majority of the benefit from."

    Wow, is that wrong. That's four million minutes of service that Spotify is providing. They provide the severs and the Internet connectivity powerful enough to provide those four million minutes plus the four million minutes for thousands of other songs.

    While it may have taken more the four minutes to make the song, there's no way in hell that it took four million minutes. You can't claim four million minutes of labor unless you actually did the four million minutes.

    As has been pointed out before, most of the money that Spotify makes goes to paying royalties.

    "Also keep in mind that Spotify does very little to expose an artist"

    A recent bitch fest about Spotify is users being allowed to make and share playlists. They provide a platform for users to share the music they like with others. Word of mouth is a vary powerful thing that doesn't cost a damn thing (except to the people who built the platform). Spotify also has a vested interest in getting more and more people to use their service. That means showing potential paying customers what they can get out of the service.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    Just because you're not paying attention doesn't mean David Byrne isn't relevant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    Besides, you could look at input time from the other end. If the four minute song in question was played one million times, that's four million minutes of labor/service that Spotify is reaping the majority of the benefit from

    Another example of MAFIAA maths in action, somehow every replay of a recording is equivalent to the original labour. A more accurate equivalent of labour, allowing that maybe a mo0ths work went into creating and recording a song would be (20 * 8 * 60) / 1,000,000 = 0.0096 of a minute pay per replay. (note assumed 5 working days of 8 hours in a month).

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re:

    If the four minute song in question was played one million times, that's four million minutes of labor/service that Spotify is reaping the majority of the benefit from.

    No it's not. While it might've taken longer to create a song from first idea to when it hits shelves, the amount of time it takes, and the amount of work put in, is not based on its popularity. That's just ridiculous.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    How many Spotify listeners are former pirates?

    /raises hand
    Me.

    98% of my music listening time is now spent on Spotify.

    The other 2% is occasional channel swapping to the single terrestrial radio station that (sometimes) plays music I enjoy between NPR segments.

    My $10 a month to Spotify is all I ever plan to pay for music ever again - and it's more than I spent on recorded music while a teenager or in my 20s.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re:

    I wish I got paid each time people walk along the pavement I finished laying the other day.

    However I only got paid to lay the pavement, it doesn't matter how many times people use it.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re:

    Spotify is the major labels.

    Since when have the major labels ever given the artist 70% of their revenue?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Spotify also takes and recommends artists to you based on your playlists and what you listen to. Seems to me that helps promote artists as well. I found a few artists I'd never heard of that way. Bought their music too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re: Why only Spotify?

    The studios never made a deal with fullscreen:

    http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/06/fullscreen-sued-by-nmpa/

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    What I don't understand is that the record labels are taking the lion's share of the revenue from spotify, and the artists blame spotify?

    Unless I'm missing something, if I were in their place, I would put all my future releases directly on spotify. Why would I need the labels when spotify can reach a wider audience then they can?

    Didn't I read somewhere that you can sell a million albums and STILL OWE the record labels.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    If he was relevant I shouldn't have to pay attention because I'd be hearing him everywhere.

     

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  43.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: David Byrne won't see a difference between MICRO-cents and NOTHING.

    I am what you consider a pirate, true...but I'm not only that.
    I buy DVDS.
    I buy Blu-rays.
    I buy PC games on disc.
    I buy console games on disc.
    I buy PC games through Steam.
    I buy console games through their respective online networks.
    I am now paying for streaming anime via Crunchyroll.

    In short, I buy an insane amount of entertainment, paid for with cold hard cash. Care for a rebuttal?

     

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  44.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    Good lord I thought I was used to Blue's insane ramblings...

    Mike's responsibility? Since when? Why? How? Why is it MIKE MASNICK'S SOLE RESPONSIBILITY to fix copyright law? Just because he's been talking about it for years? So fucking what?

    As for your tag line - so no wages should be taxed, but unearned income should be? What the fuck is unearned income? Money you stole? So in your insane world, the average worker who earns his monthly salary doesn't pay taxes, but the pickpocket who lifts wallets on the high street should be reporting what he stole and paying taxes on that?

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    Re:

    I can second this. As an American listener, I don't get much exposure to European music, but Spotify regularly suggests artists I would never have heard of, but are awesome.

    I also subscribe to Rhapsody and MOG, but they're not anywhere near as good at this as Spotify.

    UNFORTUNATELY, the absolute best streaming service, bar none, was Yahoo's Launchcast which got shut down as a result of the Copyright Royalty Board's 2007 rates. I still miss it.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re:

    MOG is so much better. Deeper catalog at half the price for the same stream quality.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Why only Spotify?

    The NMPA doesn't represent all studios just like the RIAA doesn't represent all studios. If you're signed up with Fullscreen, there's a list of songs that they allow you to use. If someone uses a song outside of that, then shit happens.

    Specifically, it's Universal Music that has the agreement with Fullscreen.

    I also think it's mildly funny that Techcrunch's noscript page is 404ed.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re: David Byrne won't see a difference between MICRO-cents and NOTHING.

    You'll never get one. As an Insider you should know better than to feed the troll.

     

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  49.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Funny, I hear him all the time.

    Getting played on radio and TV doesn't mean you're relevant.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re:

    yes, Yes, YES ! ! !
    THANK you, THAT is exactly what has beetled my brow during this whole tempest in a teapot: THE LABELS are taking the lion's share of the 'royalties', and giving 'their' artist's a pittance (as per usual), and the idiot artists are blaming SPOTIFY/et al, INSTEAD of the labels ? ? ?

    i'm sorry, that just sounds like the stupidest rationalization i have ever heard... i mean bone-deep stupid...

    when i hear the (MOSTLY rich, MOSTLY 'entitled') musicians say this shit, i think: good thing they can make a living off of playing/singing, 'cause they sure aren't cut out for the real world...

    i guess they are so stupid as individuals, they *really* do need lawyers, and accountants, and stylists, and managers, and valets, and personal assistants up the ying yang, because evidently they are incompetent thinkers who are unable to take care of themselves...

    proof that dinosaurs still walk among us...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  51.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    Spotify adds nothing, and, just estimating at a mere 5% of revenue, that's SHEER PROFIT for doing nothing!


    That's as dumb as saying that your local grocery store adds nothing to the food supply chain and they make SHEER PROFIT for doing nothing.

    For someone who argues all the time about sunk (or fixed) costs, you have a really huge blind spot when it comes to developing and maintaining anything that involves technology. It's like you think magic elves build and program all that stuff and mystical unicorns pay for those rooms full of servers and all of that bandwidth.



    And whatever happened to Mike's notion of selling direct? It's turning out in practice that some middlemen are necessary, right? So your ranting about middlemen as such was all wasted.

    Now you are really showing your dumbass colors, Blue. Mike has never argued against middleman and has even argued that many of the middleman are absolutely required. What Mike has argued against are gatekeepers who attempt to place artificial restrictions on a market. There's a huge difference between the two. Get you facts straight before admonishing other people, otherwise it just makes you look even more ignorant.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    well, the market is *supposed* to set the prices, but in monopolistic type situations (*just like* the labels who effectively collude to maintain high prices) that doesn't work: one party holds all the cards (guess who that is), and can enforce whatever terms they feel like...

    the mafiaa will only respond slightly to 'market' pressures, when they know they have the full weight of a bought-and-paid-for gummint to do their enforcement...

    just more gatekeepers trying to hold back the tide of his story with a teaspoon...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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    Cpt kangarooski, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    Unearned income basically means income which you didn't earn from your labor. IIRC (I'm not an economist or tax specialist, so I may be off here) --

    Income from investments into a business, whether as dividends or by a sale of the investment after it has increased in value, is a classic one.

    Benefits programs -- from welfare payments to life insurance payouts to pensions -- are unearned income.

    Gifts and inheritances are unearned income, as are gambling winnings.

    And the other big category is income made from property other than from the ordinary selling of inventory in the course of a business. For example, rentals, royalties, licenses, mineral rights, etc.

    Which means, perhaps ironically, that OOTB wants musicians not to be taxed for income derived from their labor eg if they got paid to play a gig, but does want them to be taxed on their copyright royalty income if they sell records.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    LOL. I was going by the common sense definition of unearned income. In my opinion, I would have thought that income from business investments would be earned, since you paid money in legitimately in the hope of a return, ditto with gambling.
    As for property, rentals would be earned income as well in my books, since you can call it the selling of use of a property for a limited time. I'm renting where I live, my landlady is selling me the usage and space, which is a scarce commodity.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I wish I got paid each time people walk along the pavement I finished laying the other day.


    I like bring up the Master Plumber scenario in these types of arguments.

    To become a Master Plumber you usually need an Associates Degree and years and years of work experience working your way up from Apprentice to Journeyman to Master Plumber. Then you need to pass a licensing test. Master Plumbers are of extreme importance to our modern society. (ie: you really want to go back to crapping in a hole in the ground or carting water from a nearby stream?)

    Does a Master Plumber get to charge for every time you flush your toilet? No, they don't. So why do musicians believe they deserve compensation every time you listen to a song? I'm am seriously asking this question, because I really don't get the mindset behind that thinking.

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    n my opinion, I would have thought that income from business investments would be earned, since you paid money in legitimately in the hope of a return, ditto with gambling.

    No, it's too passive. Think of the difference between John Smith, who works in a coal mine every day for a paycheck, and earns a living, vs. Lord Snobbington, who merely owns the land the mine is on, and collects money from it without having to have his servants lift one of his fingers for him. Merely investing money, or buying a lottery ticket, is way over toward the passive side of things. It's not work to pay money and expect to be repaid, plus more, later on, if you do nothing in between. At least a shopkeeper actively works at selling his inventory.

    As for property, rentals would be earned income as well in my books, since you can call it the selling of use of a property for a limited time.

    Again, it's too passive; property maintenance services is a job, and so is working for a property rental company as an agent, but collecting a check from a lessee every month merely because you own the property is not a job.

    the usage and space, which is a scarce commodity.

    She didn't make it scarce and she doesn't keep it scarce; she just profits from it happening to be scarce.

     

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    AnonCow, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Let me give Mr. Byrne a very specific example:

    I recently discovered a talented young singer/songwriter on Spotify. After listening to his debut album on Spotify (for which he was paid), I purchased a vinyl copy of the same album. About a month later, I bought two tickets to his show at a venue in a nearby town. About a month later, he announced a show in my town. I bought two tickets to that show the day they went on sale.

    Without Spotify, I would have never heard this guy and the artist would have lost out on record sales and concert ticket sales and a lifelong fan.

    For what?

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Getting played somewhere means you are. When no one but a fanboy hears you it means you aren't.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The master plumber doesn't get paid every time you flush, but the water department does. The toilet is the ipod and the flush is the music. And apt comparison!

    Nobody thinks the artist should get paid every time you hear a song. They think the artist should get paid every time a business plays the song for you to hear. They think the business needs permission to broadcast that song, and permission often includes payment. Hence licensing.

    Of course, radio gets away with broadcasting music for free without permission, but streaming services don't, which is one big point of controversy.

     

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  60.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    Imagine if the Talking Heads could have prevented their music from ever being played on the radio in the 80s (for which they would receive no royalties).

    Nobody would know who David Byrne is today.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nobody thinks the artist should get paid every time you hear a song.

    Not rational people, but if the RIAA had their way they would get paid every time you had a song repeating itself silently inside your head whenever it gets stuck there.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Spotify is just another proprietary form of music distribution. Why are we so enraptured by it? You don't need to agree to terms and conditions and make an account to listen to FM radio. Why do services that limit the rights of listeners and artists deserve defending?

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nobody thinks the artist should get paid every time you hear a song. They think the artist should get paid every time a business plays the song for you to hear. They think the business needs permission to broadcast that song, and permission often includes payment. Hence licensing.

    I'd disagree.

    Performing artists (as distinguished from songwriters) have never been paid royalties on terrestrial radio and have never been in a position where their permission mattered.

    Since this doesn't seem to have had negative effects on the music performing segment of the industry, and since that segment had been pretty healthy overall, and since there is no reason to believe that ending that policy will cause that segment of the industry to blossom tremendously, there's no need to change it.

    It's like paying squeegee men on the street; if they do something without a promise of compensation, they've no justification for complaining when they don't get compensated after having done it. Performing artists are willing to let their sound recordings be played for free, whenever the radio station wants to. If they weren't, they wouldn't cut records. I say we leave things the way they are and not readdress the issue unless there's some reason to believe that the public would be left better off by making a change.

    Likewise, the US permits many businesses to play the radio publicly without having to get permission or pay royalties, under certain circumstances. Even though this was adjudged to violate our international treaty obligations, we have kept the so-called homestyle exception.

    If artists really cared, they'd do something significant enough to make the public feel that the public interest is best served by changing our policies. But they appear not to care enough to do that. So why should we change it, if it serves the public interest now and the alternative doesn't look to be an improvement?

    All I see is a money grab with no muscle behind it. It's like being mugged by a kitten; who would stand for it? When the artists can show that doing something in their interests is in the public interest, then we'll have something to talk about. Until then, they just seem to want us to ignore the public interest, and that shouldn't happen; it's far more important than any other.

    (As for digital radio, they got screwed by short sighted terrestrial radio lobbyists, who thought that the new segment of the industry could be destroyed by the NAB siding with copyright holders. They were fools, as the argument of unequal treatment is now being used against terrestrial radio. They ought to wise up and get the law changed to give digital radio the same advantages as terrestrial; better some competition at that level than getting dragged under.)

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Re:

    Because the service offers much more than FM radio ever could since you have more control over it and can customize it to your tastes (which is why you have to have an account).

    All you can do with radio is change the station and hope they're playing something you like.

     

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  65.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you have enough fanboys, what does it matter?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I was stating the position of the copyright holder i.e. record labels, not the position of the artists.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 16th, 2013 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Not to mention that with an FM radio, you're limited to whoever's broadcasting in your area. Not so with something obtained via the Internet.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You can keep spinning it anyway way you want, but "was" and "is" are never going to mean the same thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    If you don't want to be reportrayed as an idiot, not being an idiot to begin with helps. In your case it won't help a lot, but it's better than nothing.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2013 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    out_of_the_blue logic states that everyone thinks about food, so solving the world hunger problem is your responsibility.

    What a fucktard.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 12:25am

    Disappointing, especially as it means that the album of Byrne's I have queued will join the Atoms For Peace album in the list of "albums I'd like to check out, but it they're not on Spotify I'm not interested enough to play these games".

    I don't have time to read the editotial thoroughly, but the following summary makes me think they're missed the point:

    "These artists have withheld their music from the super-popular streaming service simply because they've deemed the payout too low, and the risk of losing sales too high"

    Their choice of course, but they will have failed to consider the following use cases:

    - People who have bought the albums already but find Spotify's playlists more convenient
    - People who have already bought the albums, want to listen to the album but didn't sync it when they synced their device
    - People who listen from work as well as at home, and do so with Spotify rather than trying to stream from their home network
    - People who want to listen to an album but don't have room on their device to download from iTunes at that time
    - People who never buy an album blind, but don't have any other legal way to preview the album

    ...and so on. The problem is that they only seem to consider 2 use cases and thus 2 types of revenue. Buying an album OR listening via a stream. It's worth noting that most of the ideas I've listed above (all of which I've done myself) represents revenue IN ADDITION TO an album sale, not as a replacement for it.

    I can't say for sure that the scenarios I present are the majority, but it's clear that in some cases they're actively refusing money from existing fans in the hope of getting more money elsewhere.

    That's their choice, but my reaction to not being able to play one of their tracks next time the urge arises is not going to be "wow, I have to buy the album now!". It's going to be "OK, who else is on Spotify instead then?".

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 1:10am

    Re:

    "Why do services that limit the rights of listeners and artists deserve defending?"

    Erm, what listener rights are being limited?

    With FM radio, I have to listen to whatever the DJ chooses to play. On most mainstream radio stations, that usually means whatever a major label has to try to market right now, often accompanied by illegal bribes to get them prioritised.

    With Spotify, I choose what I want to listen to when I want to listen to it, from a choice of more albums than I could ever listen to sequentially in my lifetime.

    Pray tell, how is the latter infringing on my rights more than the latter?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 1:11am

    Re: Re:

    *former

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 1:20am

    Re: Re:

    "As an American listener, I don't get much exposure to European music, but Spotify regularly suggests artists I would never have heard of, but are awesome."

    Hell, you don't have to wait for them to suggest it. If you go to the "top lists" section, you can see the top 100 songs and albums in each country where they operate. I'm not sure if the app selection is the same worldwide, but I currently get UK publications such as NME and The Guardian, and apps for BBC and San Miguel playlists have recently appeared. There's even apps aimed at helping you learn a language by playing songs in that language. Try doing that with FM radio.

    Sometimes, I honestly can't help but feel that some of these artists are just falling for a FUD campaign, perpetrated by those who are scared of how much control these services take out of their hands.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 1:45am

    Re: Re:

    "that's four million minutes of labor/service that Spotify is reaping the majority of the benefit from."

    This idiotic statement that bears no relationship to reality is a great example of why this argument is so skewed. If you honestly believe this, you're delusional and a huge part of the problem.

    Actual labour/service from the artist = however long it took to write and record the song, be that 30 minutes or 3 months (great songs can be named that took either length of time).

    4 million minutes of playback time on Spotify of that song = ZERO additional hours of labour from the original artist.

    However, 4 million minutes of playback from Spotify = 4 million minutes of service and labour from SPOTIFY!

    The artist is entitled to royalties from those playback and to be paid for their initial work (plus more!), but you have to be totally out of whack with reality to equate every playback with labour from the artist.

    "Spotify is the major labels. That was what I took from Thom Yorke's 'rant.'"

    ...and he's wrong.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 2:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If he was relevant I shouldn't have to pay attention because I'd be hearing him everywhere."

    So, you're saying that only people who are promoted in the mainstream by major labels are "relevant"? Do you only think that something being sold by a major corporation counts for anything? That's a pretty stupid assumption, and leaves you blind to most modern reality.

    Oh, and maybe it's different where you are, but how have you avoided at least hearing his collaboration "Lazy" with X-Press 2 over the last decade? That thing plays *everywhere*.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 2:34am

    Re: Re: Re: David Byrne won't see a difference between MICRO-cents and NOTHING.

    He won't answer, but this is a great insight into his tiny mind. People can pay to use a perfectly legitimate, perfectly legal service that's fully licensed with the support of most of its content providers. But, people who use it are still "thieves" and "pirates" because he feels that not enough money has been extracted from you to listen to the content you've paid for.

    He's living on a fictional plane of reality, and is unable to deal with the fact that he's arguing with legitimate customers of the industry he's supporting. Yet, in other threads, he attacks Mike for being a corporatist because he said something nice about Google. Amazing, but this is the best the industry has as a defence? No wonder they're scared.

     

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    Pragmatic, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: David Byrne won't see a difference between MICRO-cents and NOTHING.

    I see Blue has "seen the light" and gone back to her "The Rich" -loving corporatist ways.

    Basically, you get a free pass to be "The Rich," to carry out mass surveillance, and to screw the public into the bargain as long as it's for copyright.

    So basically, if Teh Googlez was a member of the MPAA/RIAA, she'd never complain at all.

     

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    Pragmatic, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Twernt no lie, it's salesmanship!

    Or, "It's Official: OOTB Supports Slavery!"

    For instance, it'd be in YOUR best interests to be forced to labor on a farm from sunup to sundown, eating only natural foods, no entertainment except books.

    No, it wouldn't. You've never worked on a farm, have you?

     

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    Pragmatic, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 3:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So why should artists enrich this grifter, either?

    "BUT in brief: the solution to the distribution problem is to teach pirates that it's OTHER PEOPLE'S PROPERTY and they've no right to just take it."


    That is wrong on so many levels. Music is not property, nor is performance. That it's being TREATED as property is the problem.

    Paying the artists is a separate problem and can easily be resolved by explaining to them about market forces and the fact that they should be as subject to them as the rest of us are. Why should artists be cushioned from the same realities as other producers?

     

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    Tim Griffiths (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 4:54am

    Re: You can choose to get something, or nothing, but you can't cut me off

    Google music allows for you to upload/match 20,000 of your own files for free which you can then stream to the app or through a browser. If you have All Access you can also pin any and as much music from the service to your device (sadly not your PC as far as I know) as you want for offline listening.

    It's not exactly comparable to what spotify does and I wouldn't say one is distinctly better in that regard, it's just personal taste. I really like how Google integrates both my own music and the all access stuff in to the same space. An EP I brought from a small local band I went to see the other week is no different to some new artist I found through the radio and pin to my device etc. And I much prefer the UI, radio, and integration offered but that comes with hangs ups... there is for example no way to 'just' log in to google music as far as I know meaning that using it for a party is a pain... but ya... I like it.

     

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    Stig Rudeholm (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:12am

    Hey look....

    Here's me not listening to David Byrne. I wonder how much money he's making from that...

     

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  83.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Regardless of his relevance, you're the one that's missing out because he's released some great albums, and even a great book.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No thanks. There's a whole world of far better music out there that's more easily accessible, but feel free to enjoy his work wherever he'll let you listen!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So, you're saying that only people who are promoted in the mainstream by major labels are "relevant"? Do you only think that something being sold by a major corporation counts for anything?"

    I don't listen to any major label music, nor do I listen to the radio, and I cut the cable cord 6 years ago. So the answer to both questions are "No". I am very much in touch with the modern reality that the internet is the best way of discovering new, quality music, and I avoid any "corporate music" at all costs. It's all crap. There's nothing ground breaking coming from the regurgitated pap the major labels pump out year after year. That always begins in the underground which is where I find all my music.

    Never heard "Lazy" anywhere before and never heard it until now. 30 seconds of it on YouTube was all I could handle. Interesting that the one example you gave was over a decade old and he had to partner with someone else to make it a "hit"... though one I've never heard.

     

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  86.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, at this point you're just being willfully obstinate. Nice chatting with you.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sometimes it's just best to agree to disagree and call it a day. We've spoken before and I have agreed with you in the past on other topics. Nice chatting with you too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So the answer to both questions are "No". I am very much in touch with the modern reality that the internet is the best way of discovering new, quality music, and I avoid any "corporate music" at all costs."

    In that case, it's strange that you missed Byrne's most recent activities being mentioned. I wonder which sources you use, because they're clearly very different from mine.

    So, what are your criteria for being "relevant", then? It seems very strange that you will simultaneously block yourself off from a large number of outlets then reject a person's opinion just because you never hear their music.

    "Interesting that the one example you gave was over a decade old"

    It was released 17 years after the 1985 cut off date you gave. But, it's not a valid example because it's too old now. Right.

    I just mentioned the first song that came to mind, and one that was fairly ubiquitous in most bars, clubs, gyms, background music in TV shows and numerous other places even if I didn't deliberately watch or listen to mainstream music outlets. Maybe where I live is different but that damn thing was everywhere for a couple of years.

    There are other songs and albums I could mention, but you're clearly not interested in addressing anything outside of your little bubble. It's just a shame that some people will outright reject the opinions of people for such arbitrary reasons. I disagree with Byrne's stance, but "I didn't listen to him recently so he can't be relevant" is not a good reason.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I wonder which sources you use, because they're clearly very different from mine."

    Obviously. I have numerous sources all across the web. Far too many to list, but I stay away from major label promoting sites like Billboard.

    "So, what are your criteria for being "relevant", then?"

    Being active and still having the ability to make some ground breaking music that isn't just a cookie cutter copy of everything they've done in the past. That's the point where "is" turns into "was" as far as relevance goes as I see it. Once you stop appealing to new listeners and only appeal to longtime fans, I believe relevance becomes a thing of the past in the wider picture of things. Then the point is reached of being a "has been". I'm no fan of Madonna, but she has always been a master of reinventing herself, attracting new fans and this is what has kept her relevant all these years even though she doesn't appeal to me. Also in my original comment I said "still relevant" I never said that he never was.

    "I just mentioned the first song that came to mind, and one that was fairly ubiquitous in most bars, clubs, gyms, background music in TV shows and numerous other places even if I didn't deliberately watch or listen to mainstream music outlets. Maybe where I live is different but that damn thing was everywhere for a couple of years."

    I don't know where you live, how old you are, what you like to do for enjoyment, or anything, but it's obvious we live in two different worlds. I've never heard that song in any bar or TV show and I don't hang out in clubs or gyms. I've been a musician for over 30 years myself so I do pay attention to the world of music around me which includes things I like as well as things I don't like. A night out for me is typically a night of live music, not DJs or jukeboxes. Just because David Byrne is still present in your bubble doesn't mean he's still in everyone else's bubble as well.

     

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  90.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Obviously. I have numerous sources all across the web. Far too many to list, but I stay away from major label promoting sites like Billboard."

    OK, that doesn't really narrow it down except to confirm that you've probably been hanging out in the *least* likely places for Byrne to be covered. Great. Those people would be the most likely to reject him as a has-been or whatever, hence my original faulty assumption about you.

    "Being active and still having the ability to make some ground breaking music that isn't just a cookie cutter copy of everything they've done in the past."

    Cool. So how does that translate into "I haven't heard anything from Byrne recently so he's irrelevant now"?

    "I've been a musician for over 30 years myself so I do pay attention to the world of music around me which includes things I like as well as things I don't like. "

    Which makes me wonder how you could miss such a big hit, but hey, as you say you're not into that kind of music. Fair enough.

    "Just because David Byrne is still present in your bubble doesn't mean he's still in everyone else's bubble as well."

    I wouldn't necessarily say he's 100% relevant in mine either, I was just questioning your faulty logic. He's definitely still working, and is hardly doing so as a cookie cutter top 40 artist, which undermines your premise.

    Either way, that's cool. As long as you accept that "he's not relevant in my life" doesn't translate to "his opinion is not relevant in any discussion on the subject of his industry".

    I'm not saying Byrne is a huge artist whose opinion is very important, I just tire of the "I don't like him/I've never heard of him" excuse for rejecting someone's stance outright. You rejected him in this way because you'd not personally heard anything from him in several decades. I merely wanted to point out that a great many people have, so your excuse for rejecting anything he says was rather silly.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So... now my logic is faulty because, why? Because you said so? I think Spock would disagree. Let's look at some real numbers from the easiest place to gather them.

    Facebook has 1 billion users. Some quick searches on there brings up these numbers... (number of likes divided by 1 billion to get the percentage).

    David Byrne - 112,187 Likes (.01% relevant)
    That's from his Wiki entry since he has no actual presence there.
    Talking Heads - 28,444 Likes (.003% relevant)

    Doesn't say much for someone who's been making music for 39 years. X-Press 2 comes up even worse.

    X-Press 2 - 10,111 Likes (.001% relevant)

    Now lets compare him to some others from the same era. Overall 70s-80s New Wave music hasn't aged well.

    The B-52's - 414,527 Likes (.04% relevant)
    Blondie - 1,534,427 Likes (.15% relevant)
    Elvis Costello - 459,092 Likes (.05% relevant)
    Depeche Mode - 6,695,265 Likes (.67% relevant)
    Devo - 293,777 Likes (.03% relevant)
    Duran Duran - 1,826,776 Likes (.18% relevant)
    Eurythmics - 451,845 Likes (.05% relevant)
    INXS - 883,386 Likes (.09% relevant)
    Cyndi Lauper - 1,287,598 Likes(.13% relevant)
    Men at Work - 139,037 Likes (.01% relevant)
    Nena - 209,414 Likes (.02% relevant)
    Pet Shop Boys - 938,161 Likes (.09% relevant)
    The Police - 3,796,679 Likes (.38% relevant)
    The Pretenders - 144,240 Likes (.01% relevant)
    Scandal - 121,276 Likes (.01% relevant)
    Siouxsie and the Banshees - 371,501 Likes (.04% relevant)
    Spandau Ballet - 216,470 Likes (.02% relevant)
    Violent Femmes - 282,002 Likes (.03% relevant)
    Wham! - 172,849 Likes (.02% relevant)

    Compared to classic rock bands from the same era things get even worse...

    AC/DC - 26,612,045 Likes (2.66% relevant)
    Aerosmith - 12,497,629 Likes (1.25% relevant)
    Alice Cooper - 2,319,136 Likes (.23% relevant)
    Bad Company - 283,498 Likes (.02% relevant)
    Black Sabbath - 9,141,356 Likes (.91% relevant)
    Blue Oyster Cult - 516,385 Likes (.05% relevant)
    Boston - 1,124,056 Likes (.11% relevant)
    Bruce Springsteen - 3,590,736 Likes (.36% relevant)
    David Bowie - 4,906,538 Likes (.49% relevant)
    Deep Purple - 2,447,086 Likes (.24% relevant)
    Dire Straits - 2,457,078 Likes (.25% relevant)
    Doobie Brothers - 681,786 Likes (.07% relevant)
    The Doors - 14,072,463 Likes (1.41% relevant)
    Eagles - 3,522,563 Likes (.35% relevant)
    Electric Light Orchestra - 766,632 Likes (.08% relevant)
    Elton John - 3,863,678 Likes (.39% relevant)
    Eric Clapton - 6,321,156 Likes (.63% relevant)
    Fleetwood Mac - 2,880,808 Likes (.29% relevant)
    Foreigner - 1,494,401 Likes (.15% relevant)
    Genesis - 1,167,020 Likes (.17% relevant)
    Grand Funk Railroad - 213,918 Likes (.02% relevant)
    Grateful Dead - 1,710,533 Likes (.17% relevant)
    Heart - 1,221,397 Likes (.12% relevant)
    Iggy Pop - 996,777 Likes (.10% relevant)
    Jefferson Airplane - 766,741 Likes (.08% relevant)
    Jethro Tull - 593,284 Likes (.06% relevant)
    Jimmy Buffett - 1,072,359 Likes (.11% relevant)
    Joe Walsh - 354,518 Likes (.04% relevant)
    Journey - 4,684,563 Likes (.47% relevant)
    Kansas - 823,173 Likes (.08% relevant)
    KISS - 10,521,419 Likes (1.05% relevant)
    Led Zeppelin - 10,483,889 Likes (1.05% relevant)
    Lynyrd Skynyrd - 3,348,346 Likes (.33% relevant)
    Meat Loaf - 1,019,321 Likes (.10% relevant)
    Moody Blues - 583,475 Likes (.06% relevant)
    Nazareth - 255,384 Likes (.03% relevant)
    Peter Frampton - 981,475 Likes (.10% relevant)
    Pink Floyd - 25,171,028 Likes (2.52% relevant)
    Queen - 22,767,199 Likes (2.28% relevant)
    Rainbow - 488,704 Likes (.05% relevant
    REO Speedwagon - 909,484 Likes (.09% relevant)
    Rod Stewart - 2,281,181 Likes (.23% relevant)
    The Rolling Stones - 15,975,933 Likes (1.60% relevant)
    The Runaways - 272,188 Likes (.03% relevant)
    Rush - 2,375,071 Likes (.24% relevant)
    Scorpions - 4,018,593 Likes (.40% relevant)
    Sex Pistols - 1,273,186 Likes (.13% relevant)
    Steve Miller Band - 935,583 Likes (.09% relevant)
    Styx - 1,019,294 Likes (.10% relevant)
    T. Rex - 305,632 Likes (.03% relevant)
    Ted Nugent - 1,402,435 Likes (.14% relevant)
    Van Halen - 4,451,437 Likes (.45% relevant)
    The Who - 4,845,026 Likes (.48% relevant)
    ZZ TOP - 2,838,143 Likes (.28% relevant)

    This list is in no way a representation of my musical tastes, just a comparison of many of the bands from the same time period. A billion people have indirectly spoken and put into perspective how irrelevant David Byrne is from his era of time plus 3 people I randomly asked today of which 1 simply said "Who?" and 2 said "Who's that? The Talking Heads guy?".

    Hell, even John Denver kicks his ass with 501,274 likes (.05% relevant)

    I await your response void of opinion and with numbers to counter my research.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 11:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Damn. Decimal point in the percentages needs to be 2 more to the left so there's 2 zeros missing in each percentage which only makes the numbers smaller, but that doesn't change the comparison ratios.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 3:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Christ, you did this? I'm just checking through my emails to see what appeared in the days I didn't manage to check in and you were still obsessing over this? FFS, in your rant you didn't even manage to get the correct genre for the one he's been working and collaborating in. Where's the electronic, experimental and dance music acts in your list, particularly the ones from the 80s and early 90s who are still working (there are many) that would be most relevant to his last 2 decades of output?

    Stop it now. You stated that Byrne wasn't relevant because he hadn't had a song you heard since 1985. I mentioned that he has indeed had at least top 10 UK/#1 US dance hit that played constantly in the mainstream. Trolling Facebook for page likes isn't going to change that.

    Plus, I do find it interesting that you initially responded by defending yourself against the accusation that you were interested only in the mainstream. Yet, your defense now consists solely of a list of how popular those acts are with the mainstream. Hmmm...

    "I await your response void of opinion and with numbers to counter my research."

    This is what Byrne's been doing in his career:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Byrne_discography

    You will notice a significant amount of work following your 1985 cut off date, some of which has charted well, some not. But, he's released a significant amount of work whether you personally heard it or not.

    So, unless you want to pretend that mainstream success is all that matters (thus proving you a liar above), Byrne is relevant to *some* people, even if not you personally.

    It's amazing that you argue this point so strongly, when all I've said is that while I don't agree with his opinion, his relevance to you personally isn't the sole criteria for whether it's relevant. You still haven't countered this point, only argued the toss over the fact that he's had popular songs you didn't happen to know about.

    I will thank you for one thing, however. I listened back to a few of X-Press 2's albums (on Spotify, no less) as a result of this silly argument. Brought back some memories of a couple of good summers in the mid 90s and early 2000s. Involving acts and genres you actively avoid, apparently, so obviously they're irrelevant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2013 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    1. Check the dates. That response was hours later not days. FFS, you're the one who came back a week later.

    2. Whether you want to admit it or not, those numbers make it pretty clear that there's not too many people in the world paying attention to anything he's doing, no matter what the genre.

    3. I don't give a rat's ass about mainstream music and specifically stated that wasn't a reflection of my musical tastes. While I've done my best to keep my comments strictly about David Byrne, you've stretched it a bit to take personal digs at me.

    4. I'm not reading anything but more opinion here so goodbye. We are never going to agree on this topic but perhaps in the future we'll agree on something else that actually matters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 28th, 2013 @ 4:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "1. Check the dates. That response was hours later not days. FFS, you're the one who came back a week later."

    I was just amazed that you went to these lengths to find data that still didn't prove what you were saying - and actually managed to shine doubt on your other statements. I mentioned it had been a few days since I checked my email so it was known that was the reason for my late reply.

    "2. Whether you want to admit it or not, those numbers make it pretty clear that there's not too many people in the world paying attention to anything he's doing, no matter what the genre."

    Not really. You picked a metric out of your arse, then used a comparison of that metric against people working in other genres. I wonder how many of your "non mainstream" favourite bands would fare in a similar matchup? I bet you don't use that to measure their worth, huh?

    Even if the metric had been chosen and used correctly, it still wouldn't explain why Byrne's opinion as working musician is meaningless as you claimed, and how popular he is compared to the Eagles doesn't really matter a jot. If you're arguing that Facebook popularity is a metric that matters, you're arguing for mainstream musicians to be more valid than underground ones, and that's a fact.

    Here's the real metric: Byrne is a working musician who's sold enough albums and singles at various points in his career to break the top 40 in various charts around the world over several decades. While not all his work has been as successful, he has continued to work in the industry as a professional musician. Spending your time searching random unrelated bands in Facebook doesn't change that.

    "perhaps in the future we'll agree on something else that actually matters."

    Perhaps. What mystifies me is why you're so intent on arguing the toss over a factually untrue statement you made if you agree it doesn't matter. If you'd merely have said "yeah, Byrne did have some hits since 1985 even I hadn't heard them, and his popularity as a working musician doesn't determine the validity of his opinion", we'd have been done. You already admitted to deliberately ignoring the genre he's largely been working in for the last couple of decades, so there's not even any shame in not being aware of his work.

    But you couldn't bring yourself to admit that for some reason, and instead started using metrics like Facebook popularity to try and argue a point - a very strange tactic for someone "not interested" in the mainstream. We can hopefully agree in the future, but "the opinion of a musician working for several decades is irrelevant because he doesn't have a high enough number of Facebook likes" is not one of the things we'll ever agree upon. Again, I think he's wrong, but I'm not rejecting his arguments based on such flimsy excuses.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 4:38am

    Pop Whores

    You list is selective. Where is Jimi?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    Perseus Traxx, Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 1:26pm

    Get real - streaming sites have no business model and devalue music. They claim they are giving exposure. My landlord doesn't give a damn about me telling people he's a great landlord. I'm not all about the money either, but ffs, if its going to be given away and I get nothing, I'd rather those decisions were left to me and I wasn't helping fund cars I can't even dream of. If everyone making bugger all cash from this bullshit pulled their music, the thing would collapse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 4th, 2014 @ 12:56am

    Re:

    "Get real - streaming sites have no business model and devalue music"

    Two lies straight off the bat. At least you bothered to identify yourself, even though I've never heard of you or your music before. Yet I have done now, purely due to Spotify, who you claim give you no exposure? Well, you don't seem to know that you can't sell music to people if they've never heard of you, so there's that...

    "if its going to be given away and I get nothing, I'd rather those decisions were left to me"

    You get *something*, even if your greedy ass wants more. This isn't piracy, it's a legal agreement between you (or your label) and Spotify. Don't like it? Don't put your music on Spotify. Just don't whine to us when you lose other business because radio is somehow evil and scary when labels aren't paying for your music to be broadcast for free.

    "If everyone making bugger all cash"

    Some people are making plenty of money. If you're not one of them, try to work out why. Here's a hint: if I search for you on Spotify, not only are you there (meaning you've agreed to have your music there, or you have an agent/label who has done it for you), but you only have 26 followers. Just 26 people interested enough in you as an artist to want updates from you from a potential pool of at least 20 million (according to the latest figures I can see on a quick Wikipedia scan, 5 million of whom are paying a subscription fee). That's not Spotify's fault. Nor is it Soundcloud's fault that you've uploaded your music there for free. Nor presumably any of the other resources you willingly use while whining about them.

    That's ultimately the problem. Whining about demonstrable losses from a changing market is one thing, as is the understandable (if wrong-headed) complaint that Spotify don't pay purchase levels of royalties. But, whining about not being paid for music you're willingly giving away for free, while simultaneous complaining there's no additional value to doing so? What a hypocritical ass you are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    identicon
    Tellef Ogrim, Apr 10th, 2014 @ 11:48pm

    Dynamic Spotify handling

    Interviewing independent label-managers here in Norway about this lately I found some interesting strategies in relation to Spotify. Some of the smaller that was took all recordings off Spotify a couple of years ago are now back because they did not see any increase in sales in download while they were away. Others maintain a policy where they keep new records out for 3 years before putting what is then a back catalogue back on. They insist this is good for business, but do not say it would be the best for all labels regardless off musical styles. For one, KKV, the oldest independent record company in Norway, it makes sense because so many of their customers, even in tech savvy Norway, still wants CDs AND because in some years sell as much as half of their records in countries like Germany and the US, where streaming is still generally small, but especially small for their repertoire.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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