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  • Jun 24th, 2015 @ 9:31am

    Wow you completely missed the point

    At first I didn't want to respond to your article but I would really think about what you write before you post it. You completely missed the point, so let me discuss the nuances to your nuances.

    "But here's the problem with all of this: it's hogwash, meaningless blather that doesn't change a thing and will have no lasting impact."

    So you are saying that anyone who attempts to address a problem to a little degree shouldn't bother because it doesn't solve a larger problem.

    "First, if your album is a success, there are all sorts of ways to make money beyond the royalties from Apple Music's streaming service."

    You missed her point completely. She can support herself at this point in her career on her shows alone; most artists cannot. They need all the sources of revenue they can get. This includes any small royalties they get from streaming.


    "And why does she make that much money live? Well, as Tom Conrad rightly points out, her career was built on terrestrial radio play -- which is a free service (the kind that Swift has attacked Spotify over) and which doesn't pay the performers anything at all in the US."

    First of all, you missed the fact that radio royalties are paid to the songwriter and not the performer. So in Swift's case she was paid for radio as she writes most of her songs. Most independent artists are also songwriters. Second, you minimize the fact that Swift like many artists built their careers on radio play AND shows.

    "That's because the industry's biggest secret, which it always tries to hide from these debates, is that the vast majority of musicians basically make absolutely nothing in royalties. This is due to a combination of factors, starting with the fact that if you're signed to a label, the label is likely keeping nearly everything you get from streaming."

    For many artists that sign to a big label, they often sign away the copyrights. However for independent artists on independent labels (the exact kind Swift is championing and Swift herself), they still hold their own copyrights. Your point is misleading at best.

    "Three months is a long time to go unpaid. But not getting paid by Apple Music does not mean "going unpaid." It just means one small revenue stream is limited while it aims to get up to speed"

    What kind of word twisting is this? If you don't pay one of your bills for 3 months no matter how small it may be, the company involved will mark them "unpaid" and might send you to collections. Just because the revenue might be small for the average artist does not mean that they do not deserve to paid nothing and that they shouldn't be allowed to complain about it.

    "As already discussed in point one, for most musicians, this isn't going to move the needle one way or the other."

    So the chance that streaming will not make an artist a millionaire means you can minimize their revenue streams even further? It might be $20 a month, but that's a good meal for a "starving artist."

    "Any musician out there relying on the royalties from Apple Music to make or break their musical career has no musical career."

    No one but you is arguing this point. What Swift is arguing is that most artists need all the revenue streams they can get. Period.

    "And, of course, for label-affiliated artists, much of it will go to the label anyway, and the artist won't see any of it. "

    Again, the term "independent artist" seems to eluded your understanding. Like Swift herself, some artists still have control of their copyrights.

    "And that's really unfortunate, because here's another chance to do things right by focusing on business models that let them connect directly to fans and give them a reason to buy something. Demanding others pay you money is no substitute for convincing others to willingly pay. One is sustainable, one is not. "

    Er, what? Copyright Law specifically has set up the system where payment is required for songs. It's not "demanding" of artists that the law be followed. The only business model that is in jeopardy with streaming is the big label system. With streaming, artists could bypass them altogether and have a decent if not stellar career with the help of streaming.

    "But because of this "success," people will still cling to the false notion that the "solution" to content creators' failure to build their own successful business model is to demand that other successful companies give them money."

    What kind of world do you live in where you think that if you play someone's song, it's "giving" them money. No, in this world, you have to pay them for their song. That's how copyrights work. So when you go to the movies, is there a "donation" box in the front of the theater? No that's a ticket box. You are required to pay to see the movie. It's not a gift.

    "This is wrong on so many levels, but that's another post for another day. But this notion of "a savior" magically swooping."

    Oh, now I see the problem. Someone complimented Swift on her "journalism" and you immediately got hurt because it devalues your job as a journalist. So you had to attack her for it. Get over yourself.