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Thought Provoking Article: "The coming implosion of the record business…"


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30 minutes ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

So you read the article?

I'm afraid today it won't be possible.

That's why I was asking..

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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Fake news, fake social media information, virus disinformation, Russian trolls, trolls in general, climate change deniers, Party over country (big lie etc), CHICOM hackers, and now fake music.  

 

As my drill Sgt used to say...WTF over.

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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I've long lamented the lack of artists taking the issue of music quality to the talkshows, podcasts and their own influential channels. If only they'd put their influence behind hi-res downloads, instead of waiting for Apple to push it once 5G coverage is extensive enough. iphones have supported flac for a while now, and the memory is sufficiently large. Just waiting for that final 5G piece, then Tim Cook will announce that Apple has magically discovered better sounding music - come rebuy your catalog at the Apple store.

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14 hours ago, Archimago said:

Wow, this part of the article really stuck out to me:

 

From a supply-demand perspective, isn't this simply also an excess of supply? I mean, how many of those 60-100 thousand albums/week is actually "needed" or of "value" in this world? We're oversaturated with entertainment media these days between movies, TV shows, music, video games, YouTube, social media, etc... Vast majority of those albums obviously will not make much (if any) money!

 

 

 

The fact that it's easier to put out stuff means there's a lot more "crap" out there, but hopefully also some things of value. 

my blog

 

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10 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

The fact that it's easier to put out stuff means there's a lot more "crap" out there, but hopefully also some things of value. 

 

Yes, agree. However, with less filtering of what's "good" and what's "crap", it could also make it tough to allow good artists to be recognized. Imagine how many person-hours it would take to sift through 60,000+ albums a week! Literally looking for needles in haystacks. With work, family life, enjoying other entertainment, I doubt I would be able to fairly sample 60,000 albums in a lifetime, much less the idea that this volume comes out weekly.

 

Even worse if there's actually a brilliant song or two that deserves to be heard in what's otherwise an OK album easily dismissed.

 

Oversaturation.

Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

Free The Music - No MQA!  :nomqa:

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1 hour ago, Archimago said:

 

Yes, agree. However, with less filtering of what's "good" and what's "crap", it could also make it tough to allow good artists to be recognized. Imagine how many person-hours it would take to sift through 60,000+ albums a week! Literally looking for needles in haystacks. With work, family life, enjoying other entertainment, I doubt I would be able to fairly sample 60,000 albums in a lifetime, much less the idea that this volume comes out weekly.

 

Even worse if there's actually a brilliant song or two that deserves to be heard in what's otherwise an OK album easily dismissed.

 

Oversaturation.

 

That's addressed in point 9 of the article, and the answer is unfortunately "algorithms" 

my blog

 

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19 hours ago, Archimago said:

Wow, this part of the article really stuck out to me:

 

From a supply-demand perspective, isn't this simply also an excess of supply? I mean, how many of those 60-100 thousand albums/week is actually "needed" or of "value" in this world? We're oversaturated with entertainment media these days between movies, TV shows, music, video games, YouTube, social media, etc... Vast majority of those albums obviously will not make much (if any) money!

 

Nonetheless, clearly, there are many things unfair about the streaming model nicely highlighted in the article.

 

With modern technology, recording, producing, editing audio these days isn't difficult and there's a lot of talent around to compete for a set number of $$$ the public is willing to spend!

 

 

Are we missing the point that many of these 100000 "music albums" are computer generated and are not actually human produced music?  I would hope that there would be some humans involved beyond pushing a button on a random discarded bit coin mining computer.

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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On 9/25/2021 at 6:36 AM, PeterG said:

 

I read the article closely--both because I like math and because my son is an artist with a modest Spotify following.  I agree with the general point that the industry is brutal for all but a few, but I disagree with you and the author on the math.  I hope you'll advise if I am wrong (for my son's sake!)

 

You point out that Taylor gets a sliver of your payments even if you don't listen to her.  Good point.  But this ignores that some people listen to Taylor every day, and she likely gets a smaller fraction of their fees than she is due.  My understand of the math from the article--if she is 5% of the streams, she is 5% of the money paid out.  Therefore, your overpayment and the Swifties underpayment balances out.

 

Similarly, Whalen asserts in his point #3 that a single Taylor stream pays more than a single Whalen song stream.  Once again, I do not understand how this can be if the streaming is split pro rata.  Doesn't every stream get paid the same half cent?

 

Looking forward to your thoughts on the math

 

Not disputing your math, but I'm not understanding how Taylor Swift should be getting any money from what I spend on audio streaming services.  It's grift as far as I'm concerned.

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It is the latest grift, is all. mQa is the other

 

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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3 hours ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

Not disputing your math, but I'm not understanding how Taylor Swift should be getting any money from what I spend on audio streaming services.  It's grift as far as I'm concerned.

 

I don't think it makes a difference, because it all balances out at the end.  Here's an extreme example of splitting on a % of streams basis--Let's say there are only 3 artists on Spotify--Taylor, Shakira, Bruno.  And only two listeners--you and me.  I listen to nothing but Taylor, you listen to nothing but Shakira--we both listen to 1,000 songs.  At the end of the month, they put our $15 in a pot, and split it $7.50 to Taylor and $7.50 to Shakira.

 

 

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On 9/25/2021 at 2:03 PM, NOMBEDES said:

 

 

Are we missing the point that many of these 100000 "music albums" are computer generated and are not actually human produced music?  I would hope that there would be some humans involved beyond pushing a button on a random discarded bit coin mining computer.

 

Would love to see if there's a study on just how many albums of this nature. Could actually be an interesting project to say grab at random 200 of the albums released last week and count the number from totally unknown artists or appear to be algorithmically generated "music".

 

Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

Free The Music - No MQA!  :nomqa:

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15 hours ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

Not disputing your math, but I'm not understanding how Taylor Swift should be getting any money from what I spend on audio streaming services.

Or any money that I don't spend on streaming services for that matter 9_9

 

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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On 9/25/2021 at 11:03 PM, NOMBEDES said:

Are we missing the point that many of these 100000 "music albums" are computer generated

I've always had a feeling that the whole Bach are just algorithms turned into music ;)

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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13 hours ago, PeterG said:

 

I don't think it makes a difference, because it all balances out at the end.  Here's an extreme example of splitting on a % of streams basis--Let's say there are only 3 artists on Spotify--Taylor, Shakira, Bruno.  And only two listeners--you and me.  I listen to nothing but Taylor, you listen to nothing but Shakira--we both listen to 1,000 songs.  At the end of the month, they put our $15 in a pot, and split it $7.50 to Taylor and $7.50 to Shakira.

 

 

 

How does you math work when I listen to zero contemporary music acts? The lesser acts get no access to the "pot", so how do they get any of the money I pay to streaming services?

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14 minutes ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

How does you math work when I listen to zero contemporary music acts? The lesser acts get no access to the "pot", so how do they get any of the money I pay to streaming services?

Every act has "equal" (will caveat in a moment) access to the pot.  If an artist has 5% of the streams, she gets 5% of the royalties.  If another artist has 0.0000005% of the streams, she gets 0.00000005% of the pot.  It is not that the lesser acts have no access to the pot, it is that very few people stream their work, so their revenues are miniscule. 

 

One funny thing about the article is that it mentions a significant number of artists with zero streams.  Frankly, I do not understand how this is possible.  They didn't even listen themselves?  Or send links to family and friends?  But the total stream numbers are posted from every song, and the artists get detailed breakdowns--they even know how many people are listening at a given moment.  so I do not think the numbers reported are bogus.

 

But I concur with your general point about small artists having a tough time.  Some artists are more equal than others.  When Taylor or Kanye release a song, their labels flood the zone with advertising, pitches to Spotify for playlist inclusion,  and other support, thus creating momentum that feeds on itself with the algorithm.  Of course, in the good old days, these top tier artists had huge support in other ways, and it may have been even more difficult for the little guys, relatively speaking.

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1 minute ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I'm struggling to get through this article. I got to this one and couldn't go on. 

 

 

"The average income of a musician in the UK pre-COVID was about 20,000 pounds a year (about $27,500 USD). Now, according to PRS, that figure is about 8,000–10,000 pounds a year. Without government help, many musicians cannot survive without working outside of music."

 

I'm all for people making a living at doing whatever it is they want to do, but at some point people need to get another job it what they want to do doesn't pay the bills. Nobody is entitled to make a dime doing what they love. 

 

 

The other thing that the article overlooks here is that musicians' plummeting incomes during covid are primarily driven by the dearth of live performance opportunities.  This is not a streaming issue

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Just now, PeterG said:

 

 

The other thing that the article overlooks here is that musicians' plummeting incomes during covid are primarily driven by the dearth of live performance opportunities.  This is not a streaming issue

 

Absolutely. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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