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David Byrne editorial in NYT on music streaming


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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/opinion/sunday/open-the-music-industrys-black-box.html

 

This is worth the read, even if you have to clear your cookies (or, god forbid, pay for the content).

 

Everyone should be celebrating — but many of us who create, perform and record music are not. Tales of popular artists (as popular as Pharrell Williams) who received paltry royalty checks for songs that streamed thousands or even millions of times (like “Happy”) on Pandora or Spotify are common. Obviously, the situation for less-well-known artists is much more dire. For them, making a living in this new musical landscape seems impossible. I myself am doing O.K., but my concern is for the artists coming up: How will they make a life in music?
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Free Market Economy my ass.

 

The man has always screwed the artist. We are still attempting to raise small amounts of money to buy headstones for blues artists who passed away in the 20th C.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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Free Market Economy my ass.

 

The man has always screwed the artist. We are still attempting to raise small amounts of money to buy headstones for blues artists who passed away in the 20th C.

 

I'll bet that went over like a Led Zeppelin.

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A quick read though seams to be agreeing with Chris's view that it's not the streaming services which are screwing the musicians per se, it's the labels - just as it always has been!

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I'll bet that went over like a Led Zeppelin.

 

 

Don't get me started on LED ZEP, those guys owe a lot of money to a lot of people.

 

But, I owe a lot to the British Blues influenced bands of the 1960s. This American white boy would never have heard any original blues music where he grew up.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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The man has always screwed the artist. We are still attempting to raise small amounts of money to buy headstones for blues artists who passed away in the 20th C.

Michael Hill, one of my favorite bluesmen, penned a line in one of his tunes that says it all:

 

"Maybe someday our heroes will get paid while they're alive".........

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A quick read though seams to be agreeing with Chris's view that it's not the streaming services which are screwing the musicians per se, it's the labels - just as it always has been!

 

Hi Eloise,

 

Couldn't agree more.

 

David Byrne is a favourite artist of mine and he hits the nail on the head when he states: "It’s easy to blame new technologies like streaming services for the drastic reduction in musicians’ income ... (however) ... many streaming services are at the mercy of the record labels (especially the big three: Sony, Universal and Warner), and nondisclosure agreements keep all parties from being more transparent."

 

It's not the streaming technology but the way it is abused by the labels to further milk the artists, who according to Mr Byrne aren't even party to the deal. I therefore disagree with Mayhem's free market theory (although as a small business man I am in this camp) because here big business is simply abusing its "buying power" and screwing the little guy. The music industry is an an oligopoly and I'm sure there is plenty of collusion going on between Sony, Warner etc on determining who gets what - another name for that is "price fixing" and it's illegal in Australia.

 

The major record companies have a well known history of using their buying power to rip of their suppliers (artists). We have a similar situation in Australia where the two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, screw over the diary industry, which has resulted in a government inquiry.

 

Apple, with its billions in the bank, has shown absolutely zero concern for the artists by requesting a 3 month moratorium on payments while it starts up its new streaming service .... I'm not anti Apple as I'm writing this on a MAC.

 

IMO the other factor is that the premium service price is too low. I'm only paying the equivalent of US$9/mth in Aus for Spotify and another US$11/mth (I think) for Netflix.... $20 per moth for all the music and movies and TV shows you could ever hope to watch compared to our one satellite company, Foxtel, who wants over $100 per month for a fairly ordinary service but which includes my passion for sport so I subscribe to it.

 

In summary we the consumer aren't paying enough and the labels are taking too big a cut, because they can through their royalty agreements and oligopoly. Imagine the pressure on a young artist in the past trying to survive and follow his dream only to come up against the record company exec and his experienced corporate lawyer buddy equally driven for their "bonus". Hardly a level playing field.

 

IMO the way out of the oligopoly will be to simply by pass the music labels altogether via technology and the internet - constructing inexpensive home studios using software like pro tools combined with inexpensive high quality ADCs and getting exposure through organisations such as Peter Gabriel's "Society of Sound".

 

The music labels continue to mis understand how to move forward, and have been hell bent on protecting their existing business model of screwing artists and increasing their royalties, and as such will loose out in the end. Sooner or later the musicians will say enough enough and the David Byrne's and Peter Gabriel's of the world, who genuinely love music and have a real passion for fostering talent, will get together with similar minded artists and simply by-pass the record companies.

LOUNGE: Mac Mini - Audirvana - Devialet 200 - ATOHM GT1 Speakers

OFFICE : Mac Mini - Audirvana - Benchmark DAC1HDR - ADAM A7 Active Monitors

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Music is an act of love, not commerce. The vast majority of musicians have always survived on a pittance. If you want to make money, take up merchant banking, not music.

 

 

 

This is the saddest post I have ever seen on the internet.

 

Eat Love.

Drive Love.

Wear Love.

Pay your rent with Love.

Provide for your family with Love.

 

Buy a goddam 35K$ Amplifier with love.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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This is the saddest post I have ever seen on the internet.

 

Eat Love.

Drive Love.

Wear Love.

Pay your rent with Love.

Provide for your family with Love.

 

Buy a goddam 35K$ Amplifier with love.

 

And yet, for every "star", there are a thousand musicians eking out a living in little bars and clubs and on street corners. They don't need a goddam 35K$ amp - their music always sounds just like the real thing, 'cause it is.

 

"We can live for a long time on joy" - Siddharta Gautama

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Einstein

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A quick read though seams to be agreeing with Chris's view that it's not the streaming services which are screwing the musicians per se, it's the labels - just as it always has been!

 

If you watch Muscle Shoals it does seem like Jerry Wexler of Atlantic records is a bit like Marlon Brando in the Godfather without the rocks in his mouth......

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place". George Bernard Shaw.

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