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The UN Report on Streaming....(not so good if you are a musician)


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Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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<sigh> "There oughta be a law."


A couple of years ago many artists started performing more and recording less in order to have an income, but covid changed that. 

 

When companies are so short-sighted and greedy that they are prepared to destroy their 'product' in order to profit then something has to change. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

These arguments are often made by musicians. I have always felt they are dubious, and suspect they are put up to it by record companies and rights holders who I think are the real problem (and always have been). Most streaming services pay between 50 - 70% of gross revenue to rights holders and make a loss, so its hard to imagine a lot more being wrung from them. A dose of reality is useful too - have a look at music revenue trends less streaming and contemplate how that would look. I actually think the recent 'vinyl revival' which isn't really that significant revenue-wise (in overall terms) would have been much SMALLER without streaming - most buyers wouldn't have even heard of the artists without YouTube, Spotify etc. This article is one of the few that looks a the whole issue in a non-partisan way and with some historic context:

 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1461444820953541

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5 hours ago, Bevok said:

Most streaming services pay between 50 - 70% of gross revenue to rights holders and make a loss,

"rights holders" is mostly not the musicians and songwriters. It's the record labels, etc. It's not about squeezing more from the streaming services, it's about the actual creative artists getting a fair share - a living wage.

 

Most of the steaming services are largely owned by the record labels and other large corporations. Their "losses" aren't real - they are just playing with the books and juggling income to show losses and profits where it's deemed beneficial. If Sony owns a large part of a streaming company and extracts payments as a "rights holder", then Sony is just deciding to show it's in house music business as profitable, and the outside company as a money loser. The shareholders are making money even though the "streaming service" isn't. So is the management of the streaming company.

 

In addition, the value to to companies like Amazon and Google is also user info and keeping the user inside the ecosystem, not necessarily the "profit" of the stream itself.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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On 9/17/2021 at 8:07 PM, firedog said:

"rights holders" is mostly not the musicians and songwriters. It's the record labels, etc.

You've hit the nail on the head there and my point is that they are a bigger part of where the problem lies, and I don't think streaming changed things much from before. Certainly there isn't a lot of decent evidence of this. The article discusses this.

The whole industry is really problematic although this isn't unusual in our capitalist system - its very common for those doing the actual creating or producing to receive a tiny share and those in the middle to take a big share. 

It looks like we are entering another era where other platforms like Facebook Tik Tok etc will lessen the revenue importance of MSPs which might provide more leverage for "rights holders" to extract more from MSPs. I doubt musicians will receive more as a result though. Be interesting to see how that goes - there will probably be some consolidation etc. Unfortunately if they have to increase their subscription rates significantly we'll probably be back to rampant piracy again.

 

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On 9/18/2021 at 2:48 PM, Bevok said:

and I don't think streaming changed things much from before.

And you are wrong. 

In the days of physical media, songwriters were paid enough that a hit song gave them a significant income. A million sales of a song meant from $20000-$90000 (rising over time during the decades of the previous century).

Today a million streams gives them very little, about $1000. How many songs do you think have 90,000,000 streams, which would give that same $90000?

A CD sale paid the artist a dollar per CD. 

So even a hit single paid signicant money. Something like $100K for a million seller. 

 

The money these days is in performance and merchandise sales, not streaming and songwriting. Songwriters get close to zip from performance. 

 

A million streams results in a few thousand in royaties for the performing artist.  $100K means tens of millions of streams. Again, almost never happens. 

 

And yes, I realize most records/CD didn't sell a million. Doesn't matter. It gives you an idea of the different royalty rates.

 

And sure, back in the old days the record companies took a big share. But the advent of non phsical media enabled them to cut the share going to the artists. It's really not complicated. They used the change to enhance their position in terms of royalty payouts. And that's without taking into account that they also own a good portion of the steaming companies themselves. 

 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Which streaming companies do they own a good portion of, and what is the share? I know of Spotify where they own a combined 8%.

 

You've given some information on the absolute amount of income from physical sales which is really interesting (would like to read some more on that). Sorry if I wasn't clear but I was referring to the share of income to creators vs other stakeholders like record companies (e.g. the pie chart on page 6 of http://www.promus.dk/files/midia_consulting_-_the_death_of_the_long_tail.pdf) rather than absolute income. There doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that that has changed significantly.

 

"But the advent of non phsical media enabled them to cut the share going to the artists" This is the bit I'm interested in - most of the articles I read (independent research) don't seem to back this up. I'm happy to be corrected though.

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