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Today I ended my Spotify premium subscription Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 19th December 2010
  #31
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...I have some sympathy for Spotify's tiny royalty rate, however. Well, actually sympathy is totally the wrong word. But look at it this way:

Say Spotify paid me a dollar per play of my song. Well, I would simply set up a Spotify playlist that played my music 24 hours a day. I would have it running in the background 24/7. I would encourage all my friends and colleagues to do the same.

Spotify would end up having to pay stupid amounts of money out, and go bankrupt. They'd struggle to convince advertisers that people were actually listening.

That's the problem with "radio on demand", which is what Spotify effectively is. It exists in this limbo between music ownership and music broadcast. Until they figure out some way to reconcile the two, I don't see how they can keep musicians, advertisers and themselves all happy at the same time.
Old 19th December 2010
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sound_music View Post
the mere fact that they pay anything to artists allows them to put themselves on a pedestal next to the pirates--it's an illusion of legitimacy. pretty clever and lucrative for spotify, but by no means a sustainable revenue stream for the artists they rely on.
I'm playing devil's advocate here but:

it's not an illusion of legitimacy. It's entirely legitimate: you, as a musician, agree with your distributor to put your stuff up on Spotify. You don't have to.

Furthermore, it's not Spotify's role to provide a sustainable revenue stream for the artists they rely on. It's their role to provide a sustainable revenue stream for themselves. It's an artist's role to provide a sustainable revenue stream for an artist. An artist votes with his/her feet: they either put up with it or they don't.

We may not like this, but that's how it is.
Old 19th December 2010
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm View Post


- Figure out a subscription fee model that makes it really fair to everyone


This just isn't to happen if there's a third party involved like spotify. Why would company decide feel sorry labels and artist and decide give them their own money... They wouldn't. Something else will come along it always does I just hope that whatever happens the money filters down to artists, engineers, producers, songwriters etc and makes the industry a bit healthier in all areas.

Spotify has obviously had it's day. The only way it would is if the label own
something similar to spotify. That said they'd probably drive the prices up.
We can't just stop illegal downloads but if someone can offer a fair compromise then I'm sure peolple get onboard. Spotify was half way it just had the people start it.
Old 19th December 2010
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
it's not an illusion of legitimacy. It's entirely legitimate: you, as a musician, agree with your distributor to put your stuff up on Spotify. You don't have to.
on paper it is technically legitimate, agreed, but there's something you need to understand to see the issue in context:

these giant aggregate deals most online publishers put together deal with the "content" in the same way bean counters at corporation x or y deal with checks and balances. it's x numbers of songs or albums from their catalog vs. y # of plays = z # of minuscule renumeration. as these deals become more common, it's become difficult for joe artist to keep track of where exactly their music is "licenced" (lol, if we can loosely call the spotify model fair "licencing"), let alone negotiate the rates or have a say in where their stuff ends up. it's all done in bulk, via online forms and automatic spreadsheets, and i'm sure half of the distributors couldn't even tell you the names of most of the "content" they're pimping. under some agreements i've seen, if an artist wanted to be present on itunes and not spotify or amazon, it would be impossible--they'd have to lose the deal altogether and be distributed nowhere online. the aggregate online distribution deal has largely taken the matter out of the hands of the creators of the music in most cases. especially indies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
Furthermore, it's not Spotify's role to provide a sustainable revenue stream for the artists they rely on. It's their role to provide a sustainable revenue stream for themselves. It's an artist's role to provide a sustainable revenue stream for an artist. An artist votes with his/her feet: they either put up with it or they don't.
agreed, that's true for any party in any business--but see point above to undestand why many are "putting up with it" as you say. there's not alot of choice in the matter these days. but more importantly, the royalty rates have been intentionally devalued to such drastic lows that companies like spotify are soon going to be facing a drastic lack of quality music/recordings/bands to push. (many would say that's already happened). once all the content sucks because there's no investment in it anymore, their clever little storefront isn't going to have much value either, is it?

ask anyone in any bussiness if the following is true: a succesful business relationship has to be fruitful for all parties involved, otherwise they don't last. with the0.000167p per play royalty structure spotify offers, where is the money to produce new music going to coming from? please don't tell me it's touring and t-shirt sales... i'll barf and die of exasperation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
We may not like this, but that's how it is.
you're right things are as they are for the moment, but that doesn't mean we have to accept it. criticism of existing models, brainstorming, encouragement of new models, etc etc are the only way the future is going to get any brighter for musicians and composers.
Old 19th December 2010
  #35
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Music is entertainment, if you want it to be art, so be it, but art doesn't come in MP3 format for $0.99

It's to entertain, nothing genius about it. Sorry.
Old 19th December 2010
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booob View Post
Music is entertainment, if you want it to be art, so be it, but art doesn't come in MP3 format for $0.99

It's to entertain, nothing genius about it. Sorry.
I'm sorry, but if you thought that was somehow a clever thing to say, let me assure you it wasn't. Sorry.
Old 19th December 2010
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booob View Post
Music is entertainment, if you want it to be art, so be it, but art doesn't come in MP3 format for $0.99

It's to entertain, nothing genius about it. Sorry.



it's entertaining when the screen name corresponds perfectly with the comment. heh
Old 19th December 2010
  #38
I'm in the US, so I wouldn't be able to legally use Spotify.

But since 2004, I've had three subscription services -- liking each one better than the last -- which is lucky because the second one, Yahoo, bought the first one, MusicMatch, to get its streaming-on-demand technology but then seemed to forget they went to the trouble, never advertising or promoting and so apparently not growing their customer base and finally folding out of the game.

Now I'm on Rhapsody, which I had resisted (because of its connection to RealNetworks) but which I was immediately delighted by (finally, classical/serious music on demand without having to pick through horribly repackaged-for-the-pop market pandering).

And since I got their app for my Android phone (available for iPhones, and some Blackberry models as well), I can either stream on demand to my phone or DL and store it to the phone (the latter being easier on batteries as it cuts down on airtime). I've been with them pushing a couple of years now, I think, and I like it better all the time.

I truly love Rhapsody. It's the most recorded music, conveniently accessible, I've ever had access to.
Old 19th December 2010
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I truly love Rhapsody. It's the most recorded music, conveniently accessible, I've ever had access to.
the streaming thing is awesome from the consumer point of view, as you say it's the most recorded music, conveniently accessible, anyone could ever hope to have access to... so totally, that piece of the "new model" puzzle is starting to take shape--it rocks.

now the trick is finding a way of paying fairly for the artists' work these amazing services are based on. there's a long way to go in determining what that piece of the puzzle is going to look like. IMO it looks like crap at the moment...
Old 20th December 2010
  #40
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I think the ideal eventually is that the pie just becomes so big that artists do get paid. If everyone including grandma who has never bought a cd is opting in for music service along with cable tv and other utilities, you have a huge portion of the population kicking in their monthly fee. Since this doesn't increase the cost of distribution (other than the streaming), it's more income without more overhead. Now, assuming the system doesn't get corrupt (as things often get in the music business where the major labels figure out how to get all the money), there is now a large pot of money to be negotiated for.

If the Lady Gaga story that's being circulated is true, $167 of royalties, that's really unfortunate and just not sustainable to artists in the long run. Even though artists and songwriters are used to functioning in worlds where they get royally screwed, this is exponentially more screwage than ever before.

As of last February, Edgar Bronfman rejected streaming as a functional model for the US. He felt the numbers just weren't there.
Old 20th December 2010
  #41
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I'm curious, for those people who have been using Spotify, has it negated your desire to purchase music or caused you to discover artists and buy their music?

Is this service encompassing enough that it can become the sole source of music for most people?
Old 20th December 2010
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
If this is true then someone's made a big mistake. Spotify don't put up any music without the owner's permission. They have a page on their website stating this very firmly. Think about it: if they just ripped music and stuck it up there, they'd have lawsuits coming at them from all angles.

Ask the musician what distribution deal they have. Are they signed with a distributor? Any of those aggregate online distributors, that deal with things like iTunes, CDBaby or whoever? If so, that'll be what's happened: that distributor will have put your music on Spotify.

Exactly the same thing happened to a friend of mine: he found his album on Spotify and was outraged. It then transpired that his distributor had licensed it, as part of their online distribution package.

If you haven't seen any money from it, ask your distributor. Bear in mind that Spotify royalties are tiny: you'd have to get thousands of plays to even make a dollar's worth of a royalty.
That is a very good point and thank you for commenting. A few of the albums were owned by other labels and so the artist couldn't comment on these. However, the 2 albums that I had worked on were signed to the artists own label, however I can't comment on the distribution deal. One of the albums in mention was recorded to raise money for a charity that the artist was involved with and he owned all of the recording rights. As far as I know, there was no reason that the tracks should be put on Spotify without his knowledge and the artist was very much irritated by this (paricularly considering the album was released on order to raise money for a charity close to his heart). Unfortunately I cannot comment on the distribution agreements but to me it seems like there has been some unethical (if not illegal) actions taking place.
Old 20th December 2010
  #43
The lady gaga article is true!
Given the choice I imagine that she wouldn't even have her material on Spotify. But like some are saying the labels want the incoming cash flow from different sources so the artist is forced to allow their music distributed online. Speaking of online distribution she may as well give her music away in exchange for joining a mailing list that she could build a pretty expansive database and target her promotion to fans that will most likely buy her albums. So that little bit of money she does get really doesn't matter if she could sell k of her records. Saying she probably say how much she's got from iTunes.

By the way you only get the 0.000167p if the whole track gets played. The Markdown will be how much percent of the song hasn't been played or something like that i can't remeber exactly.

So if you do use Spotify play whole track for the artist's sake!
Old 20th December 2010
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
I'm curious, for those people who have been using Spotify, has it negated your desire to purchase music or caused you to discover artists and buy their music?

Is this service encompassing enough that it can become the sole source of music for most people?
I use Spotify everyday and think it's amazing.

Yes, I've discovered a wealth of fantasic music (old and new) and it has in no way diminished my desire to buy music (cds and downloads).

If anything, I'm buying more. After being heavily into indie and alternative rock in the 80s I spent most of the 90s and 00s investigating Jazz, Soul, Classical and Folk music; I completely neglected the alternative rock scene. Now I am making up for lost time. Needless to say, there's an awful lot of it and Spotify is a great way to discover this stuff. The best gets bought.

I don't really understand the people who don't like it. I admit that the sound quality leaves a bit to be desired, but I spent most of the 80s and 90s listening to music on less than ideal equipment (and loving it) and my ears are fairly adaptable!

AS for artist remuneration, well,that has nothing to do with me. It's between the artists and their record companies and the distributor (whoever they might be). I don't think that stopping using nascent services such as Spotify as a protest against their(allegedly) meagre license payments really helps anyone. Another poster (sorry, can't remember who) said something about 'a bigger pie' and this is probably right. The more popular something like Spotify becomes then the more leverage the artists and their representatives will have to negotiate better payments.

Old 20th December 2010
  #45
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I think Spotify is brilliant. First place I go to check out an album, and then if I like it, I then go and buy it.

I've ended up buying loads of albums just because I listened to them on Spotify first.
Old 20th December 2010
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sound_music View Post
the streaming thing is awesome from the consumer point of view, as you say it's the most recorded music, conveniently accessible, anyone could ever hope to have access to... so totally, that piece of the "new model" puzzle is starting to take shape--it rocks.

now the trick is finding a way of paying fairly for the artists' work these amazing services are based on. there's a long way to go in determining what that piece of the puzzle is going to look like. IMO it looks like crap at the moment...
Well, they do get paid... or, rather, the IP administrators/publishers/etc get paid. It is, of course, a tiny slice on a per play basis.

But there is a fairness in that, if one looks at the actual process.

How many albums in your collection work out to a dollar a play per track? If you're like a lot of us, you probably have a bunch of records you maybe played all the way through once or twice.

Do you really want the people who put out that crap to get a buck a song-play while your favorite record that you played the grooves (or lands and pits) off nets your favorite artist only a tiny, tiny slice of the per-play that horrible album you wish you'd never bought got?
Old 20th December 2010
  #47
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So, Prettygone, Erasedcitizen and anyone else, I'm curious if you have Spotify, why are you still buying the music?
Old 21st December 2010
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
So, Prettygone, Erasedcitizen and anyone else, I'm curious if you have Spotify, why are you still buying the music?
Three reasons:

1. Habit - I've been buying LPs and CDs since about 1985. I really miss having a good browse in a shop but compensate by anticipating the day they drop through the letter box. I never really got into buying downloads although it's great when you just want one song.

2. I like to own the physical object.

3. Better sound - Like I said, I do a lot of investigating. Some stuff I'm happy to listen to once at less than ideal quality and would never have bought the CD (or possibly given the particular artist any attention beyond a cursory listen), but if I find something I really like I want to enjoy it at better quality than Spotify offer. (btw I'm a free user as I don't think the higher premium bit rate would even stream properly where I live).

In fact, if I find an artist I really like then I'll stop listening on Spotify and wait for the CD to arrive.

So, for example, I just got into Radiohead (yeah, I know I'm late to that particular party). I listened to a bit of OK Computer and loved enough of it (and knew that it would sound better in CD quality) to realise that I would want to play it again.

I then quickly checked out their other albums and decided that I would also prefer to own and listen to Pablo and Bends on CD. Kid A and Amnesiac didn't ring my bell so won't buy (or listen to them again). I also didn't much like Hail To The Thief but did love 2+2=5 so I bought a download of that song. I've now bought OK and Pablo and plan to buy Bends when I've got the cash.


I think that services like Spotify could well become the sole source of music for some people. Truth is, I wouldn't want to live without it now. If they stopped the free access tomorrow I would certainly subscribe (even if the quality remained the same as the free service - but don't tell them!).

I do think that they need to work on the pricing structures. In the absence of micro-payments (which would solve a whole bunch of internet problems) they need to recognise the different types of users and charge them accordingly. I don't know many people that actually want unlimited access to an entire catalogue of millions of pieces of music. Only a minority of serious obsessives want that sort of thing - and would be prepared to pay more for the privilege, certainly as much as they might spend on CDs in any given month. I'm sure many people would be quite satisfied with a limited access (by time/song numbers, genre or whatever) possibly bundled with their broadband bill.

Like I said above, the more people that use it the better - bigger pie. More money to artists and more money to invest to improve the tech. Judging by the adverts that I get to listen to between songs (the same two or three over and over again) they don't have a big enough free user base to attract many advertisers at the moment (or advertisers are still unsure about the whole thing). But this is still a new technology/service and will take some time to become accepted.
Old 21st December 2010
  #49
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Hi all and thanks for taking your time to spend some of your thoughts on this topic.

I've not run Spotify for a few days now, guess what, all of a sudden I am discovering my DVD concerts again and I am having a great time, the audio quality does not get me on my nerves, no Windows to manage, no ads, no fan noise, no searches, no buffering, no alerts or popups, just some really good entertainment combined with some good tasting beer. The emotional listening experiences have returned!

I just hate the way music is being handled these days. I generally don't like all these new "mobile" devices coming out and especially not how they try to pack entertainment into them, that experience is simply not cool. I have an Apple iPhone 4 and it does non-entertainment stuff pretty well, but for music combined with whatever online music service, no thanks...

So the problem is that services like Spotify manage IT well, but not music. Music has been adopted to IT, that's the issue, it should be exactly the other way around: IT should adopt to music! For instance, if playing back virtual 3D surround sound remotely is the music requirement, then producing an IT service to meet that requirement is the solution. But this is not happening, instead music is being "shaped" to meet IT requirements, things like being able to take music into a new IT format (mobile device) over a certain bandwidth type and shape the music to fit that format. This has really nothing to do with music, there's simply nothing cool about this from a music point of view.

Hopefully we'll start seeing some new IT services coming out that really sets music at the center point, IT services that simply are designed to meet music requirements. Spotify is currently far from such a service. Spotify is an IT solution, not a music solution and that's the difference.
Old 21st December 2010
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Well, they do get paid... or, rather, the IP administrators/publishers/etc get paid. It is, of course, a tiny slice on a per play basis.

But there is a fairness in that, if one looks at the actual process.
if you're saying that the per play royalty is based on the ad reveue generated during the actual "playtime", i guess one could say that it's a "fair" way of going about it. except that there's no way of verifying any of that, and the artist (and often the distributor) has absolutely no say in the value of their copyright or the royalty rate.

all i can say about it is that from personal experience (my own royalty statements), and from the experiences of literally every other artist or composer i've spoken to on the subject, the tiny amount of internet based royalties that pop up on quarterly statements are about 1/15th of any other media, and often far less. if this is the future, how are artists going to continue their careers, feed their families, and keep making records on less than 6% of what they formerly earned? (and don't forget the 6% we're talking about here is based on the best case scenarios i've seen to date--it's actually far worse)

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
How many albums in your collection work out to a dollar a play per track? If you're like a lot of us, you probably have a bunch of records you maybe played all the way through once or twice.
no one's looking for a dollar royalty per play on the internet (or anywhere outside of television for that matter!), that would be outrageous to even dream of, it could never be sustainable.
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