Jump to content
ignatius

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.

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, rhmilo said:

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

there's always been a lot of music. yes, more recording than ever.. largely due to the availability of relatively low cost home recording solutions. but do we need to talk about the signal to noise ratio of what's out there? saying "but there's so much music" doesn't really have much to do with streaming. anyone can make a hundred shitty tracks and put them on spotify w/o much effort. quantity doesn't equal quality. also, there's a discussion about professional vs hobby in this somewhere. it's easy to see in the future that there could be very few professional musicians who do it full time and make a living at it enough to dedicate themselves to it. this could happen for any number of reasons but things like near zero income from streaming services play a part. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zero said:

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. 

Yes, this. Also, I like to listen to music I enjoy many times, often aspects about the music only reveal themselves after years of listening, I don't need a constant stream of new unheard music that I listen to once and then never again. But then again, I found a lot of starting points to discover music on my own on YouTube.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dj PC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Oops

 

Edited by zkom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, vkxwz said:

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

I'm splitting hairs here, but it's a valuable disctinction: You don't acquire music with Spotify. The service gives you access to a collection.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it’s making new music less exciting. Looking at the Pfork cover what seems like this week’s latest high school talent show doesn’t seem as substantial as watching a non canonized band’s new music video in 1997. There will be no stars, no one will seem very important. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of off topic because I think this thread is about the shitty systems that we have for compensation for art going to the wrong people...

 

I'm not an artist in any sense of the word and I don't have any artistic talent at all (wish I did), so maybe I have a different view on the larger aspect here of artists getting paid for art.

I'm an engineer, so my views are very pragmatic.  People should be paid for what they contribute to a society, and it seems like art always comes near the end of the list after more "essential" needs are met.  Art to some is essential, but it seems that is not the majority and as such it has always been relegated to a place where most people see it as a "nice to have" and "I'll pay what I want for it."  For people who love and need to make art, that sucks, but it's the reality.

However, it seems that some artists feel that they are entitled to be paid for their work regardless of whether or not a lot of people want to consume that art.  Obviously, I don't know what the best system is to distribute art and compensate artists fairly, it seems like we've never had a good system for that (maybe that's the biggest problem here), but it seems that a pragmatic approach would be for artists to find jobs tangentially related to what interests them and do art in their free time.  Then they could contribute to the well being of our society and if their art takes off and they start making enough money to live off of that, they can count themselves among the lucky few to get paid for what they love doing.

I love to build Lego, I'd do it in my sleep, but if nobody wants to pay to watch me build Lego I'm not going to demand that they do.  I'll get a job where I build "other stuff", not as satisfying but somewhat satisfying, and build Lego in my free time.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, randomsummer said:

but it seems that a pragmatic approach would be for artists to find jobs tangentially related to what interests them and do art in their free time. 

Sure, that's pragmatic under the current system though I think that everyone should receive a minimum of resources not only if they work but simply because they exist. A universal basic income is affordable when there is a financial transaction tax. Such a tax would fix other problems, too, but that's for a different topic. If anyone, like the great majority of people, wants more than their basic needs covered (food, shelter, access to healthcare and social/cultural participation), then a daytime job would be required.. Anyway, the amount and quality of art would change, also the willingness to pay for art.

Edited by dingformung
butchered text fixed
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

im quite hungover and so bloody ready to unload my thoughts on this topic. Strap on IN..in..strap in..christ, my head hurts...

 fuck spotify, spotify is shit. its shit for musicians and its shit to use because it lulls you into a sense of security thinking all the music you want will magically be there which half of it just isnt..they dont tell people that though

as a musician putting music on spotify you're just licensing your stuff to their terms..its a loosing deal, the house always wins. that being said, its a bit churlish to treat spotify like the be all and end all of a music career, its a supplement..a coverage vehicle AND NOTHING ELSE..its basically a big advert rather than an alternative to selling music BUT it isnt sold that way to its customers. it should be treated like the trial version of music consumption, leading people to go on to support artists directly. or like a convenient way to consume music in times when you arent able to access your paid music.

also, fuck spotify, that "3-4 years" or whatever quote is one of the most abusive things he could've said. speaks waves about how detached the CEO's are to their actual business. the 20 US cents i get every month from them really bring a warm fuzzy feeling to the table, at least a dollar or two was made off my music and im only seeing peanuts of it..mm yeah thats just encouraging. ALSO, i thought spotify wouldve jumped on the bandwagon with some perks due to the ol 'rona sitchiation, like bandcamp, mixcloud and even soundcloud made some semblance of effort (even if it is just a paypal link..🙄) but spotify couldve got some outstanding PR material for waiving some of their extortionate cut..but i guess they just didnt realise what was going on in the outside world past everyone suddenly using their services all day every day because theres fuckin nothin else to do. 

"Mr Ek! Our company is reaching an all time high of $50Bn value!"

"Those customers sure are generous this quarter, Jenkins, if theres one thing me and my company need its simply just more money! Our 100 million dollar a month real estate locations across the globe are in need of real attention..the European HQ's Gilded Bidets arent shiny enough.."

Remember, Mr Ek, without musicians you're nothing. So just do everything in your power to make us all feel cheated and insignificant..pah, as if we have any power..its fun to pretend

Ek wants to make people believe that music isnt a craft..what he's setting out to do with spotify is to plant this idea in consumers heads that music is just a thoughtless service, carried out for the benefit of no one...changing the perception of music to that of a factory line where products seemingly just appear and can be sold for a quick buck but the workers on the line see a few dollars a day, totally disproportionate to the amount that the item they just built are consumed by the customer for. 

im not going to stop using spotify as an artist. in my eyes, its just another advert for my music. im never gonna see anything past peanuts from it but if it means 1 more person can love or hate what im dumping out then im happy. It's an awful, manipulative and criminal business..leeching off the backs of hard working craftspeople like a fucking money parasite but sadly theres no alternative to just playing along with their abusive games.

I hate the current climate of music consumption, i hate the people involved with manipulating consumers into abusing the people that make the music that makes their lives brighter and more fulfilling and most of all, i hate the fucking guy who's running the whole operation..changing the landscape of wider music consumption for the absolute worst, providing a twisted idea of how to fairly enjoy on of the greatest things we humans have to celebrate. Music is more than just a fucking cattle auction, its one of the most deeply ingrained human experiences, and its being slaughtered for a quick buck.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The same way tapes and CDs are a thing of the past, times change.  I decided to embrace Spotify instead of vilify it and to be honest it seems much better to me than throwing an EP on bandcamp on some shitty net-label or self releasing and seeing it gain zero traction.  (Which I did for probably a decade).

Never forget a musician for thousands of years was mainly a traveling miscreant that barely made enough money to survive.   I think the ability for people to make a living off of music has grown exponentially, you just have to play the games.  Which I see no harm in.

A lot of socialist utopian views in this thread.  Where everyone gets paid thousands of dollars for their shitty IDM.  Sorry it never did and never will happen.  
 

You don’t think artists were annoyed for decades that only 1% of music hit the radios?  That some corporate exec said just play Red Hot Chili Peppers today 250 times instead of great music that was out there?  
 

People will always find something to complain about.  Always.   
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so if Spotify increases the fees for the music creators, would that increase be universal? Your favorite band/musician/composer would get a higher percentage, but so would the Taylor Swifts and Kanyes Wests, who already get huge royalties thanks to their aggressive business models from other sources, not even counting Spotify. So while the small musicians get more, the major pop stars would get even more. Is that ok?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dingformung said:

Sure, that's pragmatic under the current system though I think that everyone should receive a minimum of resources not only if they work but simply because they exist. A universal basic income is affordable when there is a financial transaction tax. Such a tax would fix other problems, too, but that's for a different topic. If anyone, like the great majority of people, wants more than their basic needs covered (food, shelter, access to healthcare and social/cultural participation), then a daytime job would be required.. Anyway, the amount and quality of art would change, also the willingness to pay for art.

I agree in principle, but is a universal basic income sustainable in our current society?

I am an altruist by nature but I'm also a realist, and I'm not sure if it's sustainable not from a monetary point of view, but I feel like if we had a UBI we'd have a hard time filling a lot of the low-tier jobs that still need to be done.  I admit that I'm severely uneducated on these things, and I'd love to be proven wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, randomsummer said:

I am an altruist by nature but I'm also a realist, and I'm not sure if it's sustainable not from a monetary point of view, but I feel like if we had a UBI we'd have a hard time filling a lot of the low-tier jobs that still need to be done.  I admit that I'm severely uneducated on these things, and I'd love to be proven wrong.

So am I, but I’d *guess* those low-tier jobs will either be automated away *or* we’d simply start paying more to do them.

Or it would turn out that, you know, they’re simply not worth doing.

Sales people? Replaced by vending machines.

Sanitation workers? Pay hike.

People that put other people’s groceries in plastic bags*? Get real.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spotify, LOL, I just use these (+ bandcamp/beatport/juno/bleepstores...) till the death of my soul.

70c55885c4b38a6b942cb7642efe43a4?fmt=pjp

Also, white airpods aren't essential to my listening experience neither. Kids these days 🙄

  • Like 2
  • Farnsworth 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, randomsummer said:

I agree in principle, but is a universal basic income sustainable in our current society?

I am an altruist by nature but I'm also a realist, and I'm not sure if it's sustainable not from a monetary point of view, but I feel like if we had a UBI we'd have a hard time filling a lot of the low-tier jobs that still need to be done.  I admit that I'm severely uneducated on these things, and I'd love to be proven wrong.

The payment and working conditions of these jobs would have to get better for people to be willing to do them. That might mean less yields for the already rich investors. Something we can live with, I think.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, lyst said:

utopian views in this thread

The world we live in today would have seemed utopian 100 years ago and is reality now. Progress is possible. And in the US even universal healthcare is labelled as socialist utopia which has been implemented since 140 years in other places. It's all a matter of political will.

Edited by dingformung
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lyst said:

The same way tapes and CDs are a thing of the past, times change.  I decided to embrace Spotify instead of vilify it and to be honest it seems much better to me than throwing an EP on bandcamp on some shitty net-label or self releasing and seeing it gain zero traction.  (Which I did for probably a decade).

Never forget a musician for thousands of years was mainly a traveling miscreant that barely made enough money to survive.   I think the ability for people to make a living off of music has grown exponentially, you just have to play the games.  Which I see no harm in.

A lot of socialist utopian views in this thread.  Where everyone gets paid thousands of dollars for their shitty IDM.  Sorry it never did and never will happen.  
 

You don’t think artists were annoyed for decades that only 1% of music hit the radios?  That some corporate exec said just play Red Hot Chili Peppers today 250 times instead of great music that was out there?  
 

People will always find something to complain about.  Always.   
 

this is what putting up with the status quo reads like. besides, spotify could still pay better. it's not mutually exclusive

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't support Spotify's capitalistic and greedy ideas but I can't say spotify is complete garbage. I don't have a shit ton of money to spend on new music each year. There are top favorite artists of mine that whenever a release comes out, I'm buying it. But spotify is 15$ a month. Divide that by three people I use it with, makes it 5$ a month. 60$ a year. That's, what, maybe 8 full album purchases if I paid directly to the artist? And how much of that goes to them after a record label gets their cut.

Spotify this year, I've added over 400 new songs to library.  Probably at least 30 new artists that are new this year. I don't find all my music on spotify, but listening gives 30 new artists + stuff from previous years some revenue as opposed to 8 artists if I bought their record. An yes it is measly pennies, but it's better than no pennies. I'm not against anyone who opposes spotify but I think if you're gonna spend 60$ a year, it's not much worse for the artist than throwing 8$ to 8 artists. If I actually bought each album that I've found over the years on spotify, it would be a lot of fucking money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think that a big part of the problem is not that artists think that they're entitled to make a living from whatever they make (they do), but that the commodification of the arts, like music, has made the consumers think that they're entitled to everything without compensation or for a pittance - a stance that is fed and exploited explicitly by services like Spotify. The same entitlement is behind the thinking that piracy and freeloading is only against the greedy big corporations, when they basically cater only to the most popular taste e.g. make huge amounts of money from the most popular fraction of the long tail that is published music - then the same entitlement is transferred by proxy to independent labels and self-publishing musicians, because hey, it's all good, it's free and no-one gets hurt but the greedy bigwigs of the big publishers and the big-name artists who have tons of money anyway, right?

My childhood was financed by royalties from my mother's music career, not a big one, but sufficient enough for me to understand that artists need to get paid for their work, that making art is real work and not just something you do as side hustle, that art requires studying/training (10 years of classical music education and learning a handful of instruments taught me that I wouldn't be a professional musician) and not everyone is creative or talented enough to make a living as an artist or that all artists' art is good. This is why I buy all the music I listen to, and if something's not available or I don't have money for everything I'd like to have, I don't think for a second I'm entitled to pirate them because of it. YMMV.

It's engineers with a hard-on for efficiency and no real appreciation for the arts who come up with services like Spotify. Art is not efficient and utilitarian, unless the motive behind it is just to make money - then it's just going for the lowest common denominator to please consumers to optimize ROI. Like in the Tyranny of Convenience article I linked earlier, I think that there is inherent value in things that are hard, difficult and not just readily available - like a refined taste in music - otherwise you just know the price of everything and the value of nothing (with a nod to Oscar Wilde's cynic).

Edited by dcom
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've spent many hours messing around with sounds and I enjoy playing around with musical instruments, have friends who are trained musicians that I sometimes jam with, but I don't consider myself a musician or an artist. I distribute my works under Creative Commons license, hoping that other people use bits of it to create something good or just have fun with it.

I've met a jazz artist who has trained for many hours every single day for decades to become as good as they are now, so I'm a bit careful with the term "musician" these days. But in the end that's taxonomy, maybe a toddler drumming on a pot with a wooden spoon is a musician, too, in a way, I dunno.

 

24 minutes ago, dcom said:

The same entitlement is behind the thinking that piracy and freeloading is against the greedy big corporations

I've done that more than a couple of times to be honest, mostly with films that I couldn't find otherwise and at broke times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, dcom said:

My childhood was financed by royalties from my mother's music career, not a big one, but sufficient enough for me to understand that artists need to get paid for their work, that making art is real work and not just something you do as side hustle, that art requires studying/training (10 years of classical music education and learning a handful of instruments taught me that I wouldn't be a professional musician) and not everyone is creative or talented enough to make a living as an artist or that all artists' art is good.

All of this is true and none of it is relevant since Napster.

Musicians will have to play gigs to make money. Just as they always have.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I would summarize the problem as the exploitation of an immense surplus of people doing what they love. It has nothing to do with the non-essential nature or intrinsic value of art, there's an absolute, excessive surplus of goods being provided because people need to create and hope to connect to an audience, and Spotify is just the first of many exploiting this phenomenon as businesspeople, down a long line until you find the bar owner charging you for a gig "for the exposure".

There's no sane way you can discuss the intrinsic value of music when a life-long full-time artist like Portishead's Geoff Barrow's net income from 34 million plays is £1700. There is an immense demand being met that is valued at around 1/63rd of an onion at the grocery store (rough us price estimate). 

Under these circumstances, we will never have another Portishead. We are already seeing the effects - popular singers are trying to break into movies as fast as they can. Lots of industry heads are attesting to a huge scramble going on. 

I encounter more and more indie artists boycotting Spotify and redirecting you to bandcamp etc. I don't think this is the right solution as it removes you out of peoples' consciousness if you're not on their playlists. I think it'd be wiser to raise your visibility, focus on merch and other potential avenues. I enjoy supporting artists on BC but it's not the avenue it needs to be to compete. Sadly, today this necessitates using social media and posting videos of your music making constantly. It's just a giant shit show. 

My guess is that over time, this devaluing will remove the viability of music as a full-time vocation and the market will shrink, by how much isn't sure.

Edited by chim
  • Like 3
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, randomsummer said:

I'm an engineer, so my views are very pragmatic.  People should be paid for what they contribute to a society, and it seems like art always comes near the end of the list after more "essential" needs are met. 

It seems to me that the current state of things is that people whose main output is hot air (middlemen, managers, marketers, speculators, frauds, politicians) tend to get paid well and people who actually produce anything don't usually get paid as much

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...