Only 12% Of Music Revenue Goes To Actual Artists

from the rent-seeking-is-profitable dept

Back in 2010, we posted an infographic from The Root showing just how little money that was spent on music actually went to the artist:

In 2015, using a report put out by Ernst & Young, we put together our own graphics showing how much of streaming went to the actual artists:

You may be noticing a pattern? Very little of the money being made actually goes to the artist. Now we have even more data on this. Citibank recently released a massive and incredibly thorough report on the entire music industry showing how and where the money is made. There's lots of interesting and useful information in the report, but the headline grabbing fact is that musicians end up with just about 12% of global music revenue. As I said, the report is incredibly thorough (and a really useful read if you want to get a sense of just how convoluted and complex the music business really is), but the key is that there was ~$43 billion spent on music in 2017. Approximately $25 billion of that went to everyone (outside of the labels) who helped make the music available: digital streaming services, retail stores, concert venues:

That leaves $18.2 billion in money distributed out to the labels. But of that amount, only about $5 billion actually goes to artists, which means right around 12% goes to artists:

Of course, it's especially notable that a significant chunk of that revenue going to artists actually comes from... live performances:

This shouldn't be a surprise. Hell, we've spent the better part of two decades here talking about how artists need to embrace "scarcities" where they can make money, with live shows being a big part of that. And we kept having people from the recording industry scream about us saying that, but the numbers above don't lie. Citibank notes that one of the big reasons live drives so much artist revenue: You don't have the same amount of monopolistic middlemen sucking the artists dry:

If we divide artists’ incomes into four groups — Concerts, Music Platforms (Spotify, Apple, YouTube, Sirius, FM radio), Music Publishing, and Music Sales (CD, digital downloads) — it’s clear that concerts have, by a wide margin, contributed most significantly to the growth in an artist’s income. That’s because music labels don’t directly participate in concert economics. But, they do participate in the revenues collected by the various music platforms (like Spotify, Apple, Sirius and YouTube).

That statement isn't 100% accurate, as many artists these days are signed to so-called 360 contracts, in which some of their live revenue also goes to the labels, but the general concept holds. In short, reading through this report, you see that the entire music ecosystem is a huge mess. And it's not hard to see how this developed. Basically with each new layer of innovation, rather than rethinking how we handle music and copyright, we simply slapped on another set of royalties and rights. That's why there are so many different kinds of royalties that have to be paid to do basically anything in music (synch rights, mechanicals, performance rights and more for each the sound recording and the composition). In the Citibank report they show this nice graphic, which I'd argue overly simplifies the reality:

But each of these really seems to be a use of copyright to prop up another set of middlemen, and remove the effects of competition and innovation from ever touching them. And so we keep building this ever more convoluted house of cards, built on a giant mess of a copyright system, where massive inefficiencies mean that these propped up middlemen end up taking home most of the money.

And, as the Citibank report nicely summarizes, thanks to the internet, artists could connect much more directly with fans and take home a lot more money:

Oh, and the real kicker in all of this? For years, the record labels (and some musicians) have been screaming about how piracy is to blame for people no longer spending on music. Except, of course, that's hogwash. As we pointed out a few years back with our very own Sky is Rising report (and, to a lesser extent, with our Carrot or the Stick? report) there's still plenty of spending happening on music. Indeed, the Citibank report shows consumer spending at an all time high:

In short, lots of money is still going towards music, but thanks to a ridiculous historical legacy of copyright law that kept piling on new rights, rather than cleaning out obsolete ones, there's a massive inefficient infrastructure whose only purpose basically seems to be to collect a bunch of the money for themselves, leaving 12 cents on the dollar for the actual artists.


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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 8:38am

    Some clarification please

    A couple of questions. What is the difference between a songwriter and a publisher? Does a publisher collect the songwriters portion and then (after their expenses and profit) pass something along to songwriters? Aren't the songwriter and artist often one in the same? I do understand that sometimes they are not, but when they are, isn't the percentage the artist receives then higher, when they also wrote the song?

    Next up is what portion of the platform's revenue is spent on licensing? I don't follow it closely, but we hear about platforms complaining that they don't actually make much because the labels keep insisting that they need more, in the form of licenses. Then, along the same lines, are those license fees passed along and included in the portion paid to artists, or are they included in the portion assigned to the labels? Or both, which would mean it is listed as part of label income, but also as part of their expenses?

    Then there is the question of what portion of total music expenditures is independent vs label related? We keep talking about how much easier it is today for artists to self publish and earn more by connecting with fans and giving them reasons to buy. But, given the whole market, what portion is independent? Any studies about how well the independents are doing? And what about a breakdown of their expenses vs actual profit? Then of note would be what methods are they using in the CwF/RtB, and which seem to be more effective, which does not preclude someone trying something else, and making it work? Those charts seem to ignore independents, or are they included but not broken out? If included, which portion are they included in?

    I am not suggesting that Techdirt, of any of the community has the answers to these questions. I am suggesting that the studies listed don't give as complete a picture as they would like us to believe.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:56am

      Re: Some clarification please

      Next up is what portion of the platform's revenue is spent on licensing?

      It right there in a labeled graph, they manage to a whopping of 20.8% of their revenue, from which they have to pay their bills, and the labels get to keep a miserly 45.6%, from which they have to pay for record keeping all after tax. Guess which party is struggling to survive?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re: Some clarification please

        Well, the labels are always going to end up richer simply because of the amount of releases they have; like a small indie with only 10 artists is still going to make the most because they get paid on all 10, while the artist, even with a 50/50 split with the label, only gets paid for their own release.
        The solution for most artists is to sign better deals with labels, ones where their payout per stream is a fair split with the label. Copyright isn’t really an issue with what we’re talking about here, except in the sense that it is the only thing that at least guarantees the artist some amount of payment for their work.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 23 Aug 2018 @ 6:32am

          Re: Re: Re: Some clarification please

          Copyright isn’t really an issue with what we’re talking about here, except in the sense that it is the only thing that at least guarantees the artist some amount of payment for their work.

          Well, no, copyright has never been a guarantee that you will get paid, at most it's a 'guarantee' that you have a possibility to be paid, though that possibility exists without copyright too.

          On the other hand copyright can be used to ensure that an artist doesn't get paid for a work, for example a band could sign a contract that means the label gets the copyright to any music they make, such that even after they leave the label they're still not going to make any money from the song(s) they made because they're no longer theirs.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2018 @ 1:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some clarification please

            That would be a very stupid contract for the artist to sign, wouldn’t it?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2018 @ 2:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some clarification please

              The artists are chasing contracts with labels, rather than labels chasing artists to contract, and that was even more true before the Internet took off. This gives the labels the advantage in selecting contract terms.

              To get a decent contract with a label you have to be famous, and nowadays, if you are famous, do you need a label?

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 23 Aug 2018 @ 5:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some clarification please

                To get a decent contract with a label you have to be famous, and nowadays, if you are famous, do you need a label?

                Took a little digging but finally found the freakin' article...

                Anyway, pretty much that exact situation happened(several times) to a musician TD covered a few years back, Alex Day.

                Managed to place very high in the charts for (at least) one of his albums, and several labels came sniffing around in turn, resulting in several meetings where they apparently tried to play the 'well if you get better we might want to sign you on' card, and at least one where the rep 'just wanted to say hi' and 'find out his secret' among other things.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 9:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some clarification please

                  A successful artist without being signed to a label could become a flood, and that is when the labels go under. So naturally the will try and sign success.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 23 Aug 2018 @ 3:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Some clarification please

              Just a titch, however there's two extenuating circumstances, old and old(ish?) that can explain why someone might sign one like that.

              First, the old. Before platforms like Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify(to name a few) came about, and your only real chance to be heard beyond a local shop with an open mic was to sign with a major label those labels had enormous bargaining power, 'our terms or nothing' level. In a case like that you either signed with them or you kissed any chance of beyond heard locally goodbye, and as such many would sign just for the chance at success, because it was either that or nothing.

              Moving on to the oldish, a problem that existed back then and still exists now is that people can be blinded by the pyrite that the labels offer, wowed by the sparkle, and miss out on what it's tied to. A major label is likely to have a team of lawyers on call, ones well versed in presenting a contract that looks good on the outset, but might(and likely will) have any number of hooks that aren't obvious at first glance, and unless the musician/band has a similarly skilled lawyer on call it's all too possible that they'll only realize the full details of what they signed after the fact.

              Or in tl;dr form: Yes, a contract like that would be pretty bad, but it's only recently that any real alternatives became widely available, and even now people can be fooled by the glamorous image presented by a label and miss the hooks nestled just beneath the surface.

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    • identicon
      responder, 21 Aug 2018 @ 11:21am

      Re: clarification please

      yup, lotsa facts and context missing

      If "musicians end up with just about 12%" -- what is the "proper" percentage they should get (?) --- and just how would you determine that proper percentage?

      What percentage of total profits should movie actors get for their work in Hollywood motion pictures?

      Do musicians hire Music publishing firms -- or do Music Publishing firms hire musicians? This is the standard Principal-Agent problem in formal economics.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: clarification please

        Sorta like charities, we must oversee their accounting in order to preclude any possible criminal activities.

        iirc, by law, charities have to pass on a percentage of their take and that number is in the single digits. The rest of the money goes into "administrative fees" - lol

        What if any laws apply to the music money collectors?

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      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re: clarification please

        Well, determining that that isn't the point of the report, or the discussion. The article was about highlighting that Middlemen consume the majority of the revenues from music, as opposed to the musicians or the platforms delivering music to the public. and suggests that perhaps some innovation could change this. This is not to define a shelf or ceiling on earnings, but to start a discussion. But good attempt to demand numbers in responce to a call to test and innovate and develop new financial relationships.

        Also, traditionally, Labels sign artists. Very few artists ever had the clout to choose a label, because they could not get significant fans and therefore have a choice of labels until they had access to the marketing and publishing arms of a Label. The Label then defines the music publisher (which can be an arm of the label, but is a separate role from a copyright perspective).

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 5:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: clarification please

          "" Labels sign artists. Very few artists ever had the clout to choose a label ""



          ... so thus the musicians are effectively "Hired Help" (employees) to the Music Companies.
          Employees anywhere are not expected/entitled to share profits with their business owners.
          Employees receive specific compensation for their labor services, which rarely includes any significant profit sharing. Employees are free to take it or leave it -- and if they take it they don't see better alternatives elsewhere.
          Employers/Owners invest all the big money in establishing the business and assuming all the risks (losses/no-profits) -- and thus are fully entitled to the major share of profits. These "middlemen" provide very valuable resources between musicians and ordinary music consumers.

          If selling mass music was easy -- musicians would all be rich, doing it themselves. But it ain't easy... and requires a lot of up front cash and business skill.
          (te Marxist Labor-Theory-of Value is bogus)

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 2:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: clarification please

            "If selling mass music was easy -- musicians would all be rich, doing it themselves. But it ain't easy..."

            ...which has a lot to do with how the music industry has been dominated by a few major corporation who also owned the promotion and distribution channels for a long time.

            Mass music? Why is it more important to have that than have quality music that thousands of people still pay for and listen to? As for rich? Most actual musicians care more about making a living from being creative than they do about that. The muppets who get signed by major labels to mime or act as glorified karaoke singers to sing other peoples' music might care about that, but that's the problem most people have with a lot of pop music - it's production line mediocrity.

            But, of course, you care more about people getting rich from selling mediocrity than you do about actual talent getting the reward they deserve for it. Which is why the major labels are always whining about losing revenue - when given the option, a lot of people go for quality rather than what happens to be paid for by major labels to play on the handful of radio stations available in your area they're bribing, as used to be the case. Not everybody for sure, but a lot of people do.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: clarification please

            Ok, then why do they attempt to invoke compassion and charity on behalf of the starving artists that simply want to be compensated for their work? Does this mean their diatribe just a bunch of bullshit?

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    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 12:58pm

      Re: Some clarification please

      Did you read the full 88 page report, of which Techdirt covered only a small portion? I haven't read it all yet, but I imagine many of your questions are covered in there.

      Yes, if the artist is the songwriter they get a higher share. It is however not common among the larger pop acts, and in bands rarely is the whole band considered the songwriter. Looking at the graphs, I guess it might go as high as 20 if you write your own songs.

      Also, a publisher is the one doing the buiness of selling the song/album (the label develops and markets the talent), rather than writing it.

      From the digs I am doing into the methodology explained in the paper (not the summary here), the revenue is the amount retained after pass through, which is well highlighted in the Fig 15 image in the article.

      I imagine how the report handled Independents is also in there. Haven't been able to read it all. Really, if you want to shit on the 88 page study for not giving a complete picture., at least read it.

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  • icon
    hij (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:02am

    Depends on your point of view

    In short, reading through this report, you see that the entire music ecosystem is a huge mess.

    It is only a mess if you are am artist or a consumer. For everyone else it is just as it should be, by design.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John Smith, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:39am

    The Boolen version of the article:

    1. Music companies rip off artists

    2. Therefore, piracy is okay because you're ripping off evil corporations.

    3. Music should be a hobby anyway since artists who are motivated by money aren't real artists anyway. Their hard labor wants to be free.

    Pretty clear where they keep trying to lead the audience by the nose with these anti-copyright articles.

    Don't like it? Don't steal it.

    Demanding a free trial? Don't steal that which doesn't meet your narcissistic consumer demand.

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    • identicon
      ryuugami, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      You either have a learning disability, or have never in your life read a Techdirt article.

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

    • identicon
      carlb, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:48am

      Re: stealing?

      If you are so offended by "stealing", why aren't you complaining that the nice prison in the 'Blues Brothers' picture is currently sitting empty instead of being filled with greedy record company executives, in chains, breaking rocks?

      While you're at it, why not throw the ticket scalpers from the live performances in Joliet with them? That's just one more bit of rent-seeking that should be on these pie charts.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      2. Therefore, piracy is okay because you're ripping off evil corporations.

      Can you point out where I have ever said this?

      Thanks.

      If not, can you apologize for being a blithering idiot and making up shit that I have not said?

      Thanks.

      3. Music should be a hobby anyway since artists who are motivated by money aren't real artists anyway. Their hard labor wants to be free.

      Same questions as above.

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      • identicon
        Michael, 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re:

        "2. Therefore, piracy is okay because you're ripping off evil corporations.

        Can you point out where I have ever said this?

        Thanks"

        You just did in that post - while at the same time copying someone else's post. Now we have all seen it.

        You are a crazy, inhuman, copy-loving machine.

        Plus, you are a Google shill and I think you dislike cats.

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      • identicon
        John Smith, 21 Aug 2018 @ 2:49pm

        Re: Re:

        You got quite a mouth from behind that monitor, Mike

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And you got a pretty mouth...boy.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 11:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And you forgot your period at the end of the sentence, grammar Nazi.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 9:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You got quite a mouth from behind that monitor, Mike

          No different than in person. But I will accept your failure to point out where I said that completely bullshit things you pretended I said, and accept your apology and acknowledgement that you a blithering idiot. And will treat you accordingly.

          Next time, maybe try not to lie about what I've said.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 6:44pm

        Re: Re:

        Hey Mike, should that read, "blathering" idiot? Just wondering!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      1. Therefore, piracy is okay because you're ripping off evil corporations.

      2. Music should be a hobby anyway since artists who are motivated by money aren't real artists anyway. Their hard labor wants to be free.

      I must have missed those points in the article. Can you refer me back to where those things were stated (or even implied)?

      anti-copyright articles

      This article isn't anti-copyright. It's anti-middlemen. It's saying that it's a horrible setup when only 12% of the money actually goes to the people making the music. Copyright itself doesn't cause that problem; the industry's abuse of it, and the continued efforts to entrench the industry into the system, cause the problem.

      Demanding a free trial? Don't steal that which doesn't meet your narcissistic consumer demand.

      I don't demand a free trial, but I do find it very consumer friendly when one exists. I've recently bought a few video games from Steam - without a free trial - and have been very satisfied with my purchases.

      More specifically to music, all of my purchases over the past few years have been bands that get zero radio airplay in the US. I didn't even know these bands existed until someone did a youtube video of the Lord of the Rings movies compressed down to 9 minutes, set to "Ghost Love Score" by Nightwish. Then I put Nightwish into Pandora and discovered the symphonic metal genre. I've since spent hundreds of dollars. All thanks to a bit of may-or-may-not-be-fair-use and some free trials (free to me, at least).

      Doesn't seem like a bad deal to me.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        John Smith, 21 Aug 2018 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re:

        "Therefore, the artists shouldn't complain about theft of their work."

        Don't like someone's work? Don't steal it.

        1. Middlemen are bad.

        2. If you use a middleman, you deserve to be pirated and lose control over your work, but dont' worry if we like what we steal we'll pay for it.

        We don't need marketing help, we need the alws eeforced. If you want free samples that's fine, and you'll get them if the artist wants you to. If not, don't buy the work.

        OR,

        Just put everything in th4e public domain and let it come down to marketing and distribution, which means whoever owns the biggest websites and has the best techies, wins.

        Copyright law exists to protect people like me from people like pirates. If I choose to use a middleman (sometimes i do, sometimes I don't), that's MY decision, not anyone else's.. Let's say I don't like one search engine's policies on fascist governments, and ask to be de-indexed so that a better engine has my content.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 7:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow, there's so many strawmen there - do you own a farm?

          Copyright isn't bad. The current legal implementation of copyright law is. Middlemen aren't necessarily bad (There's another post somewhere in these comments that talks about the costs that a label might incur related to a new artist, and it's reasonable for them to recoup some of that cost out of the artist's revenue). The current music industry middlemen, their "hollywood accounting" practices, their nearly (if not already) obsolete business model, and their attempts to use copyright law to entrench themselves to stave off their inevitable extinction - that's what's bad.

          If it were possible to restructure the music industry and/or copyright law in such a way that you were getting more than 12% of the revenue generated by your work... wouldn't that be a good thing?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 2:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "We don't need marketing help"

          Some people clearly do (see evidence in the post you're bitching about)

          "alws eeforced"
          "th4e public domain"

          Maybe if you calmed down and listened to what people are saying you wouldn't lose the ability to type in English?

          "If you want free samples that's fine, and you'll get them if the artist wants you to"

          ...and if he doesn't then he'll be OK with the lost sales but then bitch about the new sales brought to him by people who had taken the "samples" without permission? Was he also ranting when people used to record from the radio, share mixtapes, live bootlegs, etc.?

          "Copyright law exists to protect people like me from people like pirates"

          Ohhh... I get it. You another one of those failed artists who has to bitch constantly about "pirates" when it was his own lack of talent that did it. An actual artist would use the numerous free ways to advertise his quality work for people to pay for that this site affords. No, you'll just use an unimaginative pseudonym to act like a fool and attack people who have probably never heard of his work.

          "Let's say I don't like one search engine's policies on fascist governments, and ask to be de-indexed so that a better engine has my content."

          Do that. Just don't then whine that you lost a bunch of sales/traffic when you realise that most of your customers were finding you through that other engine.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re:

        “Middlemen” is way too general a term and just sends the conversation off the rails. How about some specifics? There probably are some that take too big a cut, but others that might not. Bringing music to a mass audience is the only way to actually make any money, and it isn’t an easy task.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 11:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Bringing music to a mass audience is the only way to actually make any money,

          Qualification, if you are a label. A musician giving live performances can be supported by a smaller audience, so long as there are enough of them in an area to fill a venue. Also anybody relying on patronage can make a living from a smaller audience, but then they are not any middlemen taking 908% of the income.

          Also, history shows that the recording career of a musician is usually quite short, as when they run out of new material they run out of income. Giving concerts on the other hand allows continued use of old material, and is often what the fans expect.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 10:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Live performance comes with its own set of middlemen. As just one example, check out how much a venue takes from a band when they sell merch at a show. It ain’t pretty.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 7:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Right... and how do they get the audience numbers to attend their live performances?

            I don't speak for everyone, but if I don't know a band at all, I'm very unlikely to spend money on tickets to their live performances (the exceptions being if they're playing at a bar I happen to be going to).

            The point? They way to reach a Mass Audience is through some publishing medium - i.e., record labels with the motivation to put marketing $$ behind you, or if you're lucky, being discovered on something like youtube.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 8:34am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              >I don't speak for everyone, but if I don't know a band at all, I'm very unlikely to spend money on tickets to their live performances

              How long does it take to Google the band, and see if they have any free recordings online, when the concert is an option for a night out?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 9:29am

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

                Why would I Google a band I've never heard of?

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 9:52am

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

                  Because the idea of going to a concert is appealing, and it will not take many minutes to find who is playing where, and what sort of music they play.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              and how do they get the audience numbers to attend their live performances?

              Marketing.

              I don't speak for everyone, but if I don't know a band at all, I'm very unlikely to spend money on tickets to their live performances

              Exactly, which is why in addition to having your music available to a mass audience, you have to market it to get people to buy it and/or come to your concert.

              They way to reach a Mass Audience is through some publishing medium

              You mean like iTunes, Google Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Youtube, etc...?

              record labels with the motivation to put marketing $$ behind you

              You are conflating a publishing medium with a marketing company. Granted record labels sort of do both, but they are still reliant on brick and mortar stores and online services to actually publish the music to, so it is available for people to purchase. Given that anyone can publish their own stuff online for free, in minutes, the only thing you gain from signing with a record label is their marketing department. Given that, with some work, you can run your own marketing campaigns, or sign up with monthly services for sub-$100 that will help do it for you, now the only thing records labels have to offer is whatever pittance of street cred they have left.

              if you're lucky, being discovered on something like youtube.

              This is not as uncommon as you may think, and even if you aren't "discovered" by a big label, you can still make a decent living by producing quality content, diversifying the platforms your stuff is available on, and running your own marketing campaigns or with the help of a paid marketing service.

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              • icon
                Toom1275 (profile), 25 Aug 2018 @ 2:02pm

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

                Wintergatan
                Diego Stocco
                Ray Koefoed
                Miracle of Sound
                Redvox
                Nick Kwas / Pyrofiliac
                Alex Mitchell
                Walt Ribiero
                Bobby Yarsulik
                ibenji
                Toby "Radiation" Fox
                Gorillaz
                Symphony of Science
                Vitamin String Quartet
                Voltaire
                Ok Go

                Some of the musicians/bands whose music I bought after having first discovered them on Youtube.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Bringing music to a mass audience is the only way to actually make any money, and it isn’t an easy task.

          ...Post songs and albums directly to Amazon, iTunes, Google Music, Spotify, Youtube, etc... It's mostly free, takes just a few minutes, and you've now made your music available to a massive audience for which you get paid every time somebody buys your work or through whatever royalty you negotiate with a streaming service.

          HOW IS THIS NOT AN EASY TASK??????????

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 10:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Being available on a streaming service is not the same as actually capturing the attention of a mass audience. Very different things.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2018 @ 7:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, but that's not what the OP said now, is it?

              He said, and I quote (emphasis mine): "Bringing music to a mass audience is the only way to actually make any money, and it isn’t an easy task."

              My comment was directly addressing his blatant and obviously false claim that it is not an easy task to "bring" music to a mass audience. It is, in fact, quite easy for all the reasons I stated.

              Now if you want to change the topic of discussion to "capturing" that audience, that's an entirely different discussion. You are right, capturing an audience is harder, it requires that A) you have a quality product or service that people actually want, and B) you are able to successfully market said product or service so that people know about it.

              But even if you succeed at A, and even B, you don't have to capture a large audience to make some cash. Look at people on Patreon, or Youtube, there are only a very select few that manage to make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, but there are many others who still manage to make a few hundred, or even a couple thousand, and even manage to live off that meager amount.

              So while you're correct, bringing art to a mass audience and capturing that audience are two very different things, that's not originally what was being discussed, and neither of those two is all that hard if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and do a little hard work.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 7:22am

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

                What nonsense. Posting something to a service that has literally millions of options to sift through is NOT bringing your music to a mass audience. You might get lucky and someone might happen upon your submission, but most people are looking for specific music and not playing russian roulette with their music selection.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 8:40am

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

                  Jamendo for one does categorize their music, and it costs nothing to play a sample or two. Also, the old fashioned way of discovering music, listening to radio and TV shows was also Russian roulette, and you got to hear the whole show without being able to stop the track and try something else.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 8:53am

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

                  What nonsense.

                  Right back at you.

                  Posting something to a service that has literally millions of options to sift through is NOT bringing your music to a mass audience.

                  When said service exposes your music to literally billions of people, how is that not bringing it to a mass audience? What then do you consider a "mass audience"? Trillions of people? Quintillions? Also, then please explain why record labels are so eager to get the music they've signed onto said services?

                  You might get lucky and someone might happen upon your submission, but most people are looking for specific music and not playing russian roulette with their music selection.

                  Please explain how this is any different than any other traditional or legacy way of purchasing music. When people go to the music section of Walmart, Barnes and Noble, or some dedicated brick and mortar music store, they're presented with hundreds, if not thousands of options in music. No way they are sitting there going through every single option, they are looking for something specific as well.

                  Further, people actually do play russian roulette with their music selections. It's called recommendations. All of those online services provide additional recommendations on music they think you might like based on your listening and purchase history. You can even set it to make suggestions outside of your typical interests if you want to broaden your listening options. Just because you don't make use of it doesn't mean no one else does either.

                  Pro tip, if your music is not on available on the market, no one is going to buy it, period. This is different than MARKETING which is how you get people interested enough in your stuff to search out and buy. Putting it on said online services is bringing it to a mass audience, getting that audience to actually find it on there and buy it is marketing. See the difference?

                  Obviously you did not actually read my comment because I explained all of this in it already.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 9:38am

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

                    Your claim is that posting the music is enough to get you income, with very little effort. I think that's an extremely overly optimistic.

                    I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but with the number of choices available, I sincerely doubt that a given artist's chances are very good of making a living without more effort. And you're not bringing anything to a "mass audience" if the audience doesn't know you exist.

                    Some aspects may be easier now than in the older record label business model, but in real life it typically takes much more effort to be a real, sustainable success.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 10:32am

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

                      Your claim is that posting the music is enough to get you income, with very little effort. I think that's an extremely overly optimistic.

                      No, that's not my claim, never has been my claim. In fact, in all my prior comments I have EXPLICITLY stated that posting your music on said services is not the same as getting people to buy your music. Stop trying to twist my words into something I never said, or ever intended.

                      At the extreme risk of repeating myself a 3rd (or 4th? I've lost track now) time, the original statement I was responding to was that it was not an easy task to make your music available to a mass audience. That doesn't mean said audience is actually buying your music, for that you need marketing, but it is at least available to the masses should they wish to purchase it. I merely pointed out that it is an absolutely trivial task to make your music available to billions of people in a matter of minutes. AGAIN, that is not the same thing as those people knowing about your music and purchasing it, it just means it is available to them. Do you understand now?

                      I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but with the number of choices available, I sincerely doubt that a given artist's chances are very good of making a living without more effort.

                      Exactly! Which is exactly why I stated, multiple times, that once your music is available you have to market it so that people know it exists and want to purchase it. But marketing is different than publishing or making it available.

                      And you're not bringing anything to a "mass audience" if the audience doesn't know you exist.

                      Yes, you are. The fact that the audience doesn't know you exist does not change the fact that it is available to them. Bringing == make available. Now let's be clear, again, that doesn't mean just because it's available someone will purchase it. It just means they can, and at that point, you have brought it to an audience. From there it's up to how well you do marketing it on whether they purchase it or not.

                      Some aspects may be easier now than in the older record label business model

                      Every aspect is easier now. Seriously. Try it, it will blow your mind.

                      in real life it typically takes much more effort to be a real, sustainable success.

                      It absolutely takes effort to be a real, sustainable success. This doesn't change because you got signed to a major record label. You still have to produce quality content people want. The internet has just made it easier to do the jobs that record labels used to be the only option for on your own. You can now do everything a major record label does, on your own. Publishing is trivial. Marketing may not be as trivial as letting a record label handle it for you but, here's the thing, now you actually CAN handle it on your own where before it would have been near impossible.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2018 @ 10:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That is why connect with fans is so important. You do that by having an active presence on Twitter, Facebook, the sites you publish on, if they have a comments system. Having your own website also helps, as does getting on podcasts etc.

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    • icon
      Gary (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:46am

      Re: Internet=Theft

      I think Mr. Smith makes a valid point. He seems to feel that he would be better off if the internet was shut off:

      1) Eliminate Section 230 Immunity. This would prevent most user submitted content. This would prevent anyone from saying anything bad.
      2) Take down and stay down. This would eliminate all other user submitted content, since it would be technically infeasible to check *everything* for possible copyright violation in advance of upload. This would prevent anyone from uploading copies of his book. (This would also mean no more email attachments, of course.)
      3) Once the post office is restored to it's rightful place as the sole controller of "mail" all letters will be opened and searched. All thumb drives and CD's will need to be scanned, and encrypted disks automatically shredded just to be safe.

      Am I missing anything, Mr. Smith?

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        identicon
        John Smith, 21 Aug 2018 @ 3:03pm

        Re: Re: Internet=Theft

        "Therefore, the artists shouldn't complain about theft of their work."

        Don't like someone's work? Don't steal it.

        1. Middlemen are bad.

        2. If you use a middleman, you deserve to be pirated and lose control over your work, but dont' worry if we like what we steal we'll pay for it.

        We don't need marketing help, we need the alws eeforced. If you want free samples that's fine, and you'll get them if the artist wants you to. If not, don't buy the work.

        OR,

        Just put everything in th4e public domain and let it come down to marketing and distribution, which means whoever owns the biggest websites and has the best techies, wins.

        Copyright law exists to protect people like me from people like pirates. If I choose to use a middleman (sometimes i do, sometimes I don't), that's MY decision, not anyone else's.. Let's say I don't like one search engine's policies on fascist governments, and ask to be de-indexed so that a better engine has my content.



        Australia and England have no Section 230. How does the internet survive there? Without Section 230 you'd have a defamation-takedown similar to the DMCA. Distributor liability applies offlien. Alternatively, eliminate all libel law so that those who are defamed can respond in kind. Let's also eliminate false-advertising laws since search engines and websites are immune.

        For copyright law, I'd rather see illegal downloading classified as an ASCAP (minor) violation that would not be worth it for the troll-factories to sue, but which would be worth it for the indies. "Piracy" should be plagiarism, i.e., passing off another's work as their own, not making an illegal copy, which should be restricted to damages of say triple the price.

        Search engines don't even need to exist. Youc ould have human-directed portals. Guys like Mike could run the "tech law portal" with manual links that eliminate the problems of automated engines, and which would spread the wealth.

        I can play by any set of rules, though it helps if I know them before I spend my time creating works. Those who created works under one model have been retconned and ambushed by the lack of protection. Going forward, it's easy to adapt.

        If I write a book that has great information that can enrich someone's life (or someone else does it if you don't think I can), don't gbe surprised if you see one copy on sale for $100,000 just like the Wu Tang Clan album that they know would be pirated if sold to the masses. Also the "books" you see would be marketing copy.

        Concerts are hard labor and it's not fair to force artists to perform when the audience is listening to recorded music, plus many who help produce recorded music do not profit at all from concerts.

        This doesn't impact me much anymore but in the past twenty years it's cost me millions in lost revenue, easily provable. the courts have sided with the other side and I accept that and move on,s ince not adapating would cost me even more. Too much money to be made in the future to be distracted. That doesn't mean I think what we have now is a good idea.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 6:03pm

          in the past twenty years it's cost me millions in lost revenue, easily provable

          How much of that “lost revenue” was actual revenue instead of potential revenue?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 11:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Internet=Theft

          If I write a book that has great information that can enrich someone's life

          That sounds kinda dodgy, as if the Information was that great, you would be rich without having to write the book, and perhaps that is why the book will not sell.

          It is almost certain that anybody complaining about how piracy means that they cannot sell is using piracy as an excuse for their own failures to generate content that has a market value, or their own failure in marketing.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 2:32am

          Re: Re: Re: Internet=Theft

          "Concerts are hard labor and it's not fair to force artists to perform when the audience is listening to recorded music"

          Are you actually too stupid to understand that the former is not only far more valuable and lucrative, but that it's an utterly different experience and most fans will be doing both?

          Also, please feel free to send that message to most of the people who do work for a living, and never get anything apart from an hourly rate. I'm sure that would go well.

          "don't gbe surprised if you see one copy on sale for $100,000 just like the Wu Tang Clan album that they know would be pirated if sold to the masses"

          That was a nice gimmick, but as I understand it the album is now technically public property in the hands of the government. But, it's nice for you to admit - you don't give a shit about the art, only the dollar amount. Most real artists would be happier that their music is being listened to by a lot of people than they would knowing that their music is locked up to be listened to by only one person.

          "This doesn't impact me much anymore but in the past twenty years it's cost me millions in lost revenue, easily provable"

          I await the proof, in that case.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Internet=Theft

          "Concerts are hard labor and it's not fair to force artists to perform"

          Hard labor, do you know what this term actually means?

          How are they being "forced"? Is there a gun to their heads? They could quit - right .. or is this indentured servitude? I used to think that was illegal but then I read about our modern private prison industry.

          If you knew anything about the music industry you would realize that most musicians earn their keep from touring not sales of plastic disks or downloads of their stuff. The money from these sales is minuscule and certainly insufficient to support a band.



          "millions in lost revenue, easily provable"

          Have you been counting your chickens before they hatch?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2018 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Internet=Theft

          Australia and England have no Section 230. How does the internet survive there?

          There's no DMCA in Australia or England, either. You might as well have said "there's no Google in China, how does the Internet survive there"?

          Or how about, "there's no copyright that lasts lifetime + 70 years in certain countries, how does any art get created"? Seriously, this is one of the shittier parallels you've made in attempting argument.

          For copyright law, I'd rather see illegal downloading classified as an ASCAP (minor) violation that would not be worth it for the troll-factories to sue, but which would be worth it for the indies

          How? If you take away the money factor - which is the biggest draw for the troll-factories - how do you want to motivate indies to pick up the tab? Does your plan also account for the prohibitive costs of bringing someone to court? Because if it doesn't, you just literally gave indies absolutely no reason to support your alternative.

          "Piracy" should be plagiarism, i.e., passing off another's work as their own

          This comparison fails because, once again, you're trying to bring two dissimilar things in order to evoke an emotional appeal. Nobody goes onto the Pirate Bay to download Peter Sunde Photoshop. You're also not the first one to try this gimmick; I've seen this exact argument used in IP education given to children. Which they can see through, so that's another fail for you.

          Search engines don't even need to exist. Youc ould have human-directed portals

          Right. Never mind how fucking inefficient that would be, let's recap what happened when Google News pulled out of Spain after the local media insisted that Google was making billions off their news snippets. Suddenly nobody was getting led to their websites because search engines couldn't lead people there. The media companies ended up begging for Google News to come back.

          And in case you'd like to argue that the issue is corporate monopoly over search engine results, how the hell would having human librarian-gatekeepers be any different? The only change would be that the human(s) who take the money also direct the results. So all you're doing is literally making the system inefficient. Genius move!

          If I write a book that has great information that can enrich someone's life (or someone else does it if you don't think I can), don't gbe surprised if you see one copy on sale for $100,000

          Sounds like someone is pissed he didn't make the career jump to motivational speaker.

          You realize those guys make money off giving talks and tours, right? And being overly-compensated celebrities, living off a gullible fanbase?

          Concerts are hard labor and it's not fair to force artists to perform when the audience is listening to recorded music

          Your definition of a concert is to play recorded music?

          Never mind that, you think that fans should not only pay through the nose for a concert ticket, but also be forced to the exact same experience as listening to a CD, and the artist shouldn't have to lift a finger?

          Wow, and you wonder why you have such a fucking bad reception around here.

          This doesn't impact me much anymore but in the past twenty years it's cost me millions in lost revenue, easily provable

          Yeah... except that you won't give any actual names or figures. I can see why you find Hamilton such a kindred spirit. Throw names around, claim billions of dollars and thousands of inventors/musicians in damage, but won't actually prove it.

          the courts have sided with the other side

          You can thank your precious RIAA for doing the damage. Unfortunately for you, screaming "copyright infringement!" is no longer the automatic win button it used to be, now that judges are viewing such cases with a healthy bit of skepticism. Same goes for public perception of copyright enforcement. It's hard to feel sorry for an industry that boasts increasing revenues and dying artists at the same time, while they make their bread and butter off suing children.

          Too much money to be made in the future to be distracted

          Then what the fuck are you doing here?

          That doesn't mean I think what we have now is a good idea.

          No, what you think is that any move that doesn't make you look like a douchebag might threaten your supposedly shrinking bottom line, so we should keep the status quo of trolls and fear. Fuck that noise.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Internet=Theft

        Possibly this is their goal, their utopia so to speak - changing the internet into cable tv v2.0

        In their small minds this would put the cat back in the bag .. the genie back in the bottle and all their troubles would slip away, Hahahahahaha, I can not wait for the movie.

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    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 12:27pm

      Re:

      Less mendacious version:

      Pirates are tolerable, as on the whole they're more willing to fairly pay the artists than the labels are.

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        identicon
        John Smith, 21 Aug 2018 @ 2:52pm

        Re: Re:

        "Therefore, the artists shouldn't complain about theft of their work."

        Don't like someone's work? Don't steal it.

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        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 4:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did you know?

          That there's no requirement that you strawman every argument like that.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          commit infringement against the rightsholder*

          Idiot

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What if I do like someone's work?

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What if you've never heard someone's work so won't know until you hear it, but the dickhead's made it so that you can't ever hear it without paying him a risky premium?

            You'll probably never know and move on to something else in that highly competitive market.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 9:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Pretty sure that without various 'try before you buy' options, some cleared by the artist(bandcamp, official YT accounts) some not(non-official YT videos) my music purchasing would be almost non-existent, because like many people I'm simply not going to buy a song or book sight unseen, and certainly not if I'd never heard of the artist before.

              As has been noted before, obscurity is a greater threat to success and a creator getting paid than copyright infringement ever is. Copyright infringement means you're not getting paid now, though you might in the future. Obscurity means you're not getting paid ever.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 1:27pm

      Re:

      Infringement*


      Don’t be a pedant, punk, unless you want it thrown back into your face.

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    identicon
    John Smith, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:42am

    it *should have* been easier for indies to make a living by self-publishing, but piracy had the opposite impact.

    It's like the NFL referee who says it wasn't pass interference because the pass was not "catchable" due to the cornerback having shot and killed the wide receiver fifteen yards earlier.

    Eagerly awaiting the next piracy-is-okay article that says "it's okay to break federal law and steal from those who don't give in to my demand for a free trial."

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      Whether an indy can make money or not depends on how large an audience they can attract, and how ell the interact with that audience. It also depends on how many new works that they can produce, which is why the people who have had long, 30 plus years, in the music business are dominantly performing artists. People will buy a music track once, but go to several concerts, even if they hear the same music every time.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 2:46am

        Re: Re:

        "People will buy a music track once, but go to several concerts, even if they hear the same music every time."

        Or even *demand* to hear the same music every time. People who go for the old hits often get bored or annoyed when new album tracks are played.

        Of course, someone who was actually popular enough to attract an audience would know this, but this guy is just bitching on the internet about how he doesn't want to work to earn money, because he wants to still be paid for the crap he did decades ago, apparently.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 6:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          because he wants to still be paid for the crap he did decades ago, apparently.

          Isn't that what all copyright maximalists demand, an income for them, their children and grand children, from a few works done in their youth. Meanwhile they blame piracy for those old works not selling anymore.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Pretty much. This one certainly doesn't understand that whining about "hard work" when touring doesn't particularly impress possible fans. You know, the types of people who might have bough a record 20 years ago, but would be more willing to part with their own hard-earned for a live gig than they would another copy of what they already have.

            No, he did work 20 years ago, and now feels he's owed "millions" for sitting around, rather than go out and work for it like the people in his audience would have to.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 7:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Isn't that what all copyright maximalists demand, an income for them, their children and grand children, from a few works done in their youth."

            If taken to its ridiculous conclusion, over a large time period, this is not sustainable and will collapse under its own weight.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Aug 2018 @ 10:09am

              And yet, that is the copyright system we have in place right now, precisely because copyright maximalists believe a copyright should still exist on a work after the death of its creator.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 1:30pm

      Re:

      It’s like making a really bad analogy because you’re old and those damn kids just won’t get off your lawn.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2018 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      it should have been easier for indies to make a living by self-publishing, but piracy had the opposite impact.

      Tell that to Ed Sheeran who managed to make a living and get famous solely BECAUSE people pirated his work, and that he actually encouraged said piracy.

      Or maybe ask all the other indies out there who are desperately handing out their music for free, just to get their name out there so that people will find out about them, like their stuff, and buy more.

      It's called marketing, John.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 23 Aug 2018 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re:

        I can think of two bands offhand that I only know about because of copyright infringement, both of which I ended up buying from, and I'm sure I am far from the only one in that position.

        Obscurity is a far greater roadblock to a new artist/musician/author's success than copyright infringement has ever been.

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    identicon
    Terry Bullogic, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:52am

    Only obliquely correct: without copyright, artists get NOTHING.

    In short, lots of money is still going towards music, but thanks to a ridiculous historical legacy of copyright law that kept piling on new rights, rather than cleaning out obsolete ones, there's a massive inefficient infrastructure whose only purpose basically seems to collect a bunch of the money for themselves, leaving 12 cents on the dollar for the actual artists.

    1) No, that's partly reasonable overhead of promotion and production.

    2) Your ever-favorite strawman. It's not argued that gatekeepers and middlemen -- such as Youtube and Spotify -- get too much of the "revenue".

    But do you EVER even slightly suggest that the NEW --repeat NEW -- gatekeepers and middlemen shouldn't be allowed to operate in this "free market"? -- NO, you stop well short of any actual suggestion.

    Your purpose here is to attack copyright itself AND try to undermine the OLD gatekeepers and middlemen in favor of the NEW.

    Solution is clearly A) tax the hell out of The Rich so they cannot get outrageous proportion of the value 2) break up the mega "platforms" so must compete for artists content.


    "YouTube's Content ID - A Case Study"

    1 view pays $0.00006343496 - It takes 157 views to make 1 penny - 1 dollar is made after 15,764 views

    The reason that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is so flawed is that it is impossible to have your music NOT on a platform. Meaning there is only an opt-in but no opt-out as the DMCA created a "safe harbor" which should now be obvious to anyone was a gift to the tech industry.

    If Azabache decided to leave the YouTube program there would be no way to make it so our music would be off the YouTube platform. In what way does that qualify as the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries? There is nothing exclusive in terms of copyright when dealing with YouTube. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons for the huge income disparities in our society.

    From CounterPunch.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:58am

      Re: Only obliquely correct: without copyright, artists get NOTHING.

      lol

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:44am

      If copyright can be broken down and destroyed by computers and the Internet, copyright deserves that fate.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 9:57am

      Re: Only obliquely correct: without copyright, artists get NOTHING.

      It's not argued that gatekeepers and middlemen -- such as Youtube and Spotify -- get too much of the "revenue".

      Haha, what?

      First off, I've never heard of Youtube and Spotify being classified as gatekeepers and middlemen, just, what kind of rabbit is that and what hat did you pull that out of? Enablers yes, since it costs $0.00 to post your own content to those platforms.

      Second, then you obviously know nothing about what you're talking about. Youtube and Spotify have been CRUCIFIED by the legacy entertainment industry for not paying said industry more than what they are. Despite the fact that they actually pay them millions, if not billions of dollars every single year.

      Seriously, climb out from under your rock once in a while. You'll look less foolish when you open your mouth.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 9:59am

    More money

    artists could connect much more directly with fans and take home a lot more money:

    Over 700% more, if people paid the same. Another possibility is for fans to give less money. The artists could see a 300% increase if people spent half of what they do now. Fans could use that to support more musicians or other forms of art.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 10:25am

    When an artists sells the rights to their work, where does that revenue show up in those charts and graphs?

    On average, how does the money from selling rights compare to the lifetime revenue generated by the work?

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      Well, you sound like you are talking about a songwriter, someone who creates the backend and sells the rights to the song. They end up in the Songwriter category. If instead you are talking about a performer, a singer or guitarist, they generally don't just sell rights to a recording. But even if they do, it would qualify under the 12% artist's take.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 11:22am

    and people only just admitting to/recognising this fact? it isn't the artists who want to keep locking people up, fining them, ruining families and even causing suicides, it's the greedy, self- motivated, bone fucking idle 'we must glean every single dime possible from everything, for as long as possible, so we dont have to actually work for a living' studio executives that are doing that!! if only the artists would grow a set of balls and put up some sort of collective fight, maybe, just maybe the music business would be that again, instead of a means of making a very few people mega rich at the cost of everything else! let's face it, even the massive music business couldn't take on ALL the artists!! it would result in total meltdown!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 11:46am

    Apparently there is a reason they are referred to as "starving artists" - who knew?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 2:56pm

    The second-last graphic would be more to the point if the caption "The Music Industry" was changed to "The Copyright Industry".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2018 @ 3:28pm

    Further clarification needed...

    I was unable to follow all the money (likely by design) but do these stats include the money paid to the musicians by others to make the music, or are we only tracking profits off royalties here?

    Because most musicians sell their music as a work for hire, which would explain why they'd get so little of the royalties.

    Now another discussion is how the producers claw that money back once they've "given" it to the musicians. But I'm still unclear as to what's being included in the numbers here.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 21 Aug 2018 @ 6:21pm

    No the pirates are stealing all of the real money & the poor labels have to take the lions share to make sure they don't make it easier for people to buy content & encourage piracy.

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

  • identicon
    David, 21 Aug 2018 @ 11:09pm

    What I want to know:

    How much of those 12% goes to "the artists" after they are already dead?

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

  • identicon
    me, 22 Aug 2018 @ 6:28am

    The Music Industry needs to die

    This study is just one more nail in the coffin, musicians should self publish and make the parasites irrelevant.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 9:36am

    I'm actually surprised the music artists get that much!! Because they only get pennies on each CD sold. Where they make their money is in performing LIVE in a concert and selling Merchandise.

    This is why some artists are their own labels so that they get a much bigger chunk of money.

    https://diply.com/article/musicians-who-started-their-own-labels

    There are many more than what's on that list.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2018 @ 9:56am

    Is this "money to the artists" counted before, or after going through the "recording industry accounting" process?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Aug 2018 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      Before I'd guess, which means the actual amount that they get could be much lower, possibly in the 0% range.

      'Oh, looks like you haven't recouped yet(despite the fact that our cut has more than covered what we paid you), guess that means we'll be taking your share again. Better luck next year.'

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 25 Aug 2018 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Sounds about right. I was wondering about how artists could be getting a whole 12%, yet some bands say that they get their first royalty check for $0.14 20 years after the album was released.

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

  • icon
    Yogesh (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 10:17am

    Premium aps are freely available at https://spotify-premium-apk.com/ and thus due to growth of such website the artist are not getting their actual revenue.

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


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