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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says working musicians can no longer release music only “once every three to four years.” Spotify's stock value hit all-time highs of $50 billion this summer.


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There is no profitable music streaming service.

It is a bad business model.

Not only for business people but also for consumers.

Ek has never made a living as a musician and that should be enough to convince you he's full of shit.

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"your art must conform to to the market, specifically the type of market that I control" the absolute narcissism of the rich

Never used Spotify, never will

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1 hour ago, dcom said:

What Ek is doing is creating a narrative fallacy of his own, claiming that artists are required to engage with their fan base; he wants to reject any other reality and substitute it with his own (with a nod to Adam Savage) so that the dominant paradigm is to feed the insatiable novelty cycle the tech platforms thrive on. Of course he wants artists to release early and release often so that their output can become fodder for his service to grind. I think it's a fallacy that artists owe their fan base (or tech platforms or tech bros for that matter) anything - artists are not required to "continuously engage" and have "continuous dialogue" with their fan base. Ek is an extraction capitalist, he's pumping both the musicians and their audiences for resources (music and data) to make a buck, plain and simple; just another douche of the highest order seeking to "disrupt" - naturally he wants to control the narrative for his own benefit.

Fuck this guy in particular.

this is why I'm so disappointed with the direction of the web.  if cryptocurrencies had become mainstream by now, and serving hardware decentralized and easily accessible and set up to everyone, and all source code in the world free and open source, each artist, even if they weren't a programmer, could create and host their own website for their music, which automatically connects to larger music aggregator sites controlled by nobody in particular, from which listeners can consume their music and pay them for it according to the artist's desired payment method

we don't need these platforms, they put power into the hands of the few.  labels aren't needed, each listener can be a "label" themselves through their curated music library and rating system, which others can observe and subscribe to through simple technologies like RSS feeds, and groups can merge together and splinter apart to create other curations of music

instead it's centralized, controlled by capitalists, and therefore artists and listeners are herded and corralled in

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to eliminate the harms of mind worms like "profitability" from limiting the mind of the artist, capitalism itself must be abolished and people like this must be removed from power and their capital turned into communal resources

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they want to herd us into behavioral patterns which meet the needs of their capital

they want to eliminate extendable microSD storage slots from their phones and keep the internal storage space intentionally low so that we rely on their cloud platforms which allows them data analysis over our data and data consumption habits

they want to then convert their hosting of our data, a service with limited utility which is easily replaced by extendable storage slots which cost next to nothing for them, into a direct stream of income for themselves

it should be no surprise that as long as capitalism exists, everything that can be done to make a profit will be done, no matter who it hurts, as long as it's not hurting those with the capital most capable of inserting itself between the producer and purchaser of a commodity

nothing is sacred, nothing is sacrosanct, they happily inject invisible, inaudible, resilient watermarks into all data streams in order to identify re-distributors and copiers

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36 minutes ago, ooqpoo said:

Spotify was terrible to begin with, now it's big, greedy AND crap. 

I don't understand why anyone would use Spotify when there's so many better options available; good old Piratebay, Bandcamp etc. or the artists very own website are way better. And listening to music from a phone is odd in the first place too unless it's YouTube or something which can't always be readily converted to mp3 and put on an mp3 player.   

 

*spotify doesn't pay artists enough, so i'll download their stuff illegally, for free instead*

while i wholeheartedly agree with how spotify's business model is as disgusting as daniel ek's quote, i gotta disagree with how a lot of posters seem to think it offers a bad user experience etc. etc. i was a subscriber for several years, tried to do without it for a number of months, and ended up resubscribing because of the convenience offered. (@dcom i've also thought of convenience as a problem, but haven't heard of the article. looks interesting)

i'm not an extremely busy person, but finding new music, buying/downloading it and putting it on my 32GB iphone (which, in reality, leaves no more than 15GB for music) actually takes an inordinate amount of time that i simply don't have (or want to spend) on moving, backing up, organizing files etc. not to mention selecting, transferring, "digging", which is done extremely fast on more user friendly, integrated services like spotify. i got other stuff i also want to do. also, you could argue that i'd have to buy a new phone/mp3 player in order to conveniently fit my music onto a portable device, which is also undesirable from an ecological/anti-capitalistic standpoint. finally, you don't have to subscribe to algorithmically generated playlists. you can use the service however you want.

call it hypocrisy if you want. i'm sure a lot of you are buying into things you're also opposed to. living in the 21st century is tricky

 

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2 minutes ago, splbt said:

*spotify doesn't pay artists enough, so i'll download their stuff illegally, for free instead*

On the topic of piracy - I personally don't do it at all, due to being comfortably privileged in having a job and a monthly salary - and being on the clock at the moment I'll elaborate only with a link to a particularly good exposition on the subject:

Ruen-web.jpg

Quote

As the battle rages over piracy, copyright, and the future of the Internet, which group argues on the right side of history? Searching for the truth, Freeloading roams the spunky streets of Brooklyn to glean real world consequences of digitization for today’s musicians, indie record labels and fans; then re-evaluates the pivotal controversies and ideas that have long dominated file-sharing debates, with a keen eye for practical solutions.

Freeloading ranges from Napster to the SOPA blackout; Marshall McLuhan to Adam Smith; and the pitfalls of social media to how corporate patronage of “indie” music spread as record sales sunk. It takes a critical, cool look at a near-pervasive phenomenon that involves almost everyone who taps a keyboard: beyond that, it’s a reminder of the truism that for every action there are consequences. What happens when we pirate a favorite work of art—a song, book, or movie? And as importantly: what, if anything, can or should be done about it?

Internet piracy has created unlikely allies. On the one hand, there are original creators of content, including artists and corporate copyright holders—on the other, legions of freespirited consumers who see themselves in the hacker/OWS tradition.

 

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10 minutes ago, dcom said:

On the topic of piracy - I personally don't do it at all, due to being comfortably privileged in having a job and a monthly salary - and being on the clock at the moment I'll elaborate only with a link to a particularly good exposition on the subject:

Ruen-web.jpg

 

i've given some thought to how piracy, and most likely cloud services, and the following availability of the content offered makes art less dear to us and how we simply add things to playlists/download and catalogue them without actually enjoying them. maybe because we stream/download things we'd otherwise not buy, or because there's just so much other stuff to go through we feel we don't have time to give to the stuff we've already got. as consumers, we become less picky. or maybe it's just me. i've got so much shit in my backlog i don't feel like going through.

9 minutes ago, plugexpert said:

Can't you guys get a real job? 😬

what's that supposed to do? working 40h a week is probably the main reason i'm using spotify. if i worked less i'd have more time for my interest in music. but maybe i'm missing your point.

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1 hour ago, cyanobacteria said:

they want to herd us into behavioral patterns which meet the needs of their capital

they want to eliminate extendable microSD storage slots from their phones and keep the internal storage space intentionally low so that we rely on their cloud platforms which allows them data analysis over our data and data consumption habits

they want to then convert their hosting of our data, a service with limited utility which is easily replaced by extendable storage slots which cost next to nothing for them, into a direct stream of income for themselves

it should be no surprise that as long as capitalism exists, everything that can be done to make a profit will be done, no matter who it hurts, as long as it's not hurting those with the capital most capable of inserting itself between the producer and purchaser of a commodity

nothing is sacred, nothing is sacrosanct, they happily inject invisible, inaudible, resilient watermarks into all data streams in order to identify re-distributors and copiers

Yes. The whole cloud thing always rubbed me the wrong way. It's nice to have your stuff on a gadget that isn't linked to anything other than when you link it by USB to fill it up with tunes.

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Dick move, but the optimist in me can't help but think the alternative would be worse. Pre-Spotify/early days of streaming, almost every casual listener I know would torrent their music or literally even download YouTube rips, so surely a (very) small income is somewhat better than zero income?

But don't get me wrong, it'd be rad to see a bunch of labels hold a mass walkout and pull their shit from these services (except beautiful lil Bandcamp) to negotiate some better terms.

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I agree that DSPs are a very ineffective way to get paid as a musician and I understand the opposition to them, but let's be clear for a moment: YouTube started this and is still the most evil company regarding music consumption. It pays much much less than all the other DSPs and is all pervasive. You can't really be a musician without at least a track uploaded to YouTube. For example - M B V by My Bloody Valentine isn't on DSPs, but I can listen to it freely on YouTube. Spotify at least pays a little, even if the littlest of little.

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3 hours ago, Squee said:

Second of all, Spotify has yet to make a profit (well, they did for a very short moment). How can you still be open for business when your net income is € -193 million?

I'm sure a lot of the money is being funnelled into the shadow economy of tax havens. Reporting losses to the government leaves you less taxes to pay. It's all a ponzi scheme for the uber rich getting richer.

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7 hours ago, aencre said:

Surely I’m not the only one who’s also concerned about the ecologic costs of streaming?

This. It's not talked about enough how much global warming these servers produce for redundantly streaming the same shit over and over again that could be saved on your harddrive.

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12 minutes ago, dingformung said:

This. It's not talked about enough how much global warming these servers produce for redundantly streaming the same shit over and over again that could be saved on your harddrive.

Indeed. Energy costs for data centers are atrocious.

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1 hour ago, Kennylogg Bubblebath said:

Dick move, but the optimist in me can't help but think the alternative would be worse. Pre-Spotify/early days of streaming, almost every casual listener I know would torrent their music or literally even download YouTube rips, so surely a (very) small income is somewhat better than zero income?

But don't get me wrong, it'd be rad to see a bunch of labels hold a mass walkout and pull their shit from these services (except beautiful lil Bandcamp) to negotiate some better terms.

Yeah I agree they may be getting rich off artists work but at least they're stopping piracy and funnelling that money(Ok, some) back to artists rather than artists getting nothing.

 

I'm far from a ludite but the real issue is that the internet has made it so easy to distribute and share music which means people no longer need to pay anything at all. So the only reason they will pay is for convenience which streaming services now provide, and artist do make at least some money off that now.

 

Can't help but feel like some people complaining are just pissed off that they can no longer make a living making mediocre music because the barrier to entry has been lowered so much that it shows how mediocre they really are, so they don't get enough attention to make money. And then they go and compare Spotify stream prices to record prices and whinge about it online.

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3 hours ago, cyanobacteria said:

they want to herd us into behavioral patterns which meet the needs of their capital

they want to eliminate extendable microSD storage slots from their phones and keep the internal storage space intentionally low so that we rely on their cloud platforms which allows them data analysis over our data and data consumption habits

they want to then convert their hosting of our data, a service with limited utility which is easily replaced by extendable storage slots which cost next to nothing for them, into a direct stream of income for themselves

it should be no surprise that as long as capitalism exists, everything that can be done to make a profit will be done, no matter who it hurts, as long as it's not hurting those with the capital most capable of inserting itself between the producer and purchaser of a commodity

nothing is sacred, nothing is sacrosanct, they happily inject invisible, inaudible, resilient watermarks into all data streams in order to identify re-distributors and copiers

There should be laws prohibiting this and law enforcement should have the means to enforce these laws. All this stuff isn't unsolvable. The problem is that the political class has been corrupted through lobbying and "donations" and is mostly pretty incompetent and only listens to experts if it suits their power interests, even choose the experts that only tell them what they wanna hear.

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7 hours ago, ignatius said:

throwing a shit ton of 320bit rate mp3s on a phone takes no time.

Takes 5 minutes more and it costs more money to aquire the music that way, even if it was just as quick as searching in Spotify the average person wouldn't spend the extra money and that's not laziness.

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2 hours ago, vkxwz said:

Yeah I agree they may be getting rich off artists work but at least they're stopping piracy and funnelling that money(Ok, some) back to artists rather than artists getting nothing.

 

I'm far from a ludite but the real issue is that the internet has made it so easy to distribute and share music which means people no longer need to pay anything at all. So the only reason they will pay is for convenience which streaming services now provide, and artist do make at least some money off that now.

 

Can't help but feel like some people complaining are just pissed off that they can no longer make a living making mediocre music because the barrier to entry has been lowered so much that it shows how mediocre they really are, so they don't get enough attention to make money. And then they go and compare Spotify stream prices to record prices and whinge about it online.

it's just piracy by another means imo. i the money is so little for most artists that it's trivial. i'd rather people download off soulseek than give money to spotify. It's part of the reason i made most of my releases 'name your price' on bandcamp. people who are broke can download for $0 and people who feel like it can pay $5 or whatever. 

i don't think the requirement of internet or data to listen to music is at all convenient. but i get it.. the writing is on the wall. i just don't think it's a sustainable situation for artists. 

2 hours ago, vkxwz said:

Takes 5 minutes more and it costs more money to aquire the music that way, even if it was just as quick as searching in Spotify the average person wouldn't spend the extra money and that's not laziness.

it's devaluing to music and art in general. the price is set so low that people expect it to be free. it's not sustainable. 

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A universal basic income would both enable more people to spend money on art and also enable artists to not be existentially threatened by arbitrarily changing policies of tech companies. Workplace democracy and abolishion of CEOs would make company policies less arbitrary. It's both doable, just the political will is missing.

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1 hour ago, ignatius said:

It's devaluing to music and art in general. the price is set so low that people expect it to be free. it's not sustainable. 

More music is being made than ever, so apparently it is.

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just to echo some previous comments - I've never liked streaming services as I always enjoyed searching out new music myself. reading articles/reviews on music sites, getting recommendations from other people who had similar taste in music (like a lot of you here), then listening to samples before deciding to buy is all part of the fun process of discovering something new. I don't view this as irksome or time consuming, but a hobby I choose to spend my time on. I also value the album as a whole, and would prefer to have the entire thing to listen to as the artist intended.

but to each their own... I get that people who aren't as invested, don't view collecting music as a hobby, or don't have the time to spend doing this would instead prefer to be recommended what to listen to next based on a track they liked or favorited (or however it works). I don't want to wade too far into the money making/capitalism debate, since I'm not as knowledgeable on this side of it, just throwing out thoughts as to why I don't want to use a streaming service. 

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