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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 1618
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:19 pm 
 

Methuen wrote:
People will always want something for nothing, and Spotify's creators launched their product at just the right moment - shortly after the fag end of the Napster / Morpheus / Kazaa boom in stealing music - they arrived on the scene to legitimise getting music for nothing.

That they've grown and grown and grown is testament to people's desire to get something for nothing, or at least as close to nothing as they can get it. Anyone using it is beyond objective criticism, because of course 'I pay my 9.99 fee', 'it's legal', 'they pay the artists', and so on.

There's an argument that 'oh but people can't afford to buy music blah blah blah', but then of course the music industry didn't grow enormously based on fresh air in the 1950s - 2000s. Someone was paying for things.

I used to be quite angry about Spotify and it's users, but now I've grown up and it's a resigned shrug - if people don't want to support their favourite musicians, that's fine - they can square their own conscience away I'm sure.


There is so much self-righteousness hoozing from this post, it's not even funny.

Now of course it's easier to make strawman fallacies and address non-arguments to feel better about oneself, but there is far more to this than what you're trying to reduce it to.

Now you mean to tell me that you buy all the music you listen to? All of it? I'm asking because as a music lover, I simply couldn't be able to buy every single album I listen to. I still do buy music, go to concerts and buy merch, mind you, but I also have a Spotify Premium account for all the music that I want to listen to and discover but that I might not buy in the end.

Now of course it's easier to make this a sweeping judgement on an entire group of people you seem to understand basically nothing about, but you could also try to have a calm, decent, intelligent discussion with people who do use these streaming services so you might understand things a little better.

Very nice homophobic slang too, btw. Classy.

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c_
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:15 am
Posts: 80
Location: Redhorn
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:29 pm 
 

I think the thing to learn here is: you shouldn't make heavy metal and expect to earn a living from it, and to be honest, most heavy metal bands probably don't assume they will be able to make a living from it. I'm not saying that an artist shouldn't expect to make a living from their art, but if their art appeals to 0.000000001% of the population, then well....ya. Like someone above posted, metal is niche and whether someone releases something physical or just allows their music to be streamed over Spotify, they won't be making much money anyways.

I think most of us forget how underground most of the music we listen to is. I remember seeing that Hooded Menace was coming to play in my town and remember thinking, holy shit Hooded Menace, how are we lucky enough to have such a badass act play here?? Then at the show there was like 25 people, and it was sort of a sad wake-up call. Then a couple years later Gorgoroth came to town and I was like, holy shit Gorgoroth.... 50 people. The bottom line is, no body gives a shit about the music we love.

I think the best option is to offer a purchasable digital download, release a limited number of cds, and even more limited number of vinyl, print shirts to order, stream on Spotify and don't quit your day job.

And for the record, I've spent over 300 euros in the past 4 weeks on new black metal releases and old school death metal first press cds...

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OpsiusCato
Mexican Metal Inquisition

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:42 am
Posts: 2893
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:33 pm 
 

CoconutBackwards wrote:
OpsiusCato wrote:
Spotify is fucking cancer. Fucking parasitic platform.

I love Spotify.

You're an enemy of Metal.
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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 1618
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:39 pm 
 

OpsiusCato wrote:
CoconutBackwards wrote:
OpsiusCato wrote:
Spotify is fucking cancer. Fucking parasitic platform.

I love Spotify.

You're an enemy of Metal.


Point Godwin of any discussion on streaming and music.

Rip thread./

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Osore
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:55 am
Posts: 296
Location: Serbia
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:00 pm 
 

:snipe: Spotify

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Ace_Rimmer
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:30 am
Posts: 1297
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:21 pm 
 

I have no strong opinion but I have read multiple times that most artists see pretty much nothing from it. True? Well it was in print on the internet so it must be.

Are you able to hear different versions of the songs? Or if the latest release was a brickwalled remaster is that all you get?

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Tekdeth
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:31 pm 
 

c_ wrote:
I think the best option is to offer a purchasable digital download, release a limited number of cds, and even more limited number of vinyl, print shirts to order, stream on Spotify and don't quit your day job.


Yeah, I see this all the time on Bandcamp. Probably the best thing to do indeed. There are still a lot of artists that don't seem to take Bandcamp seriously though. They just use the stock template for their page, don't add links to their social media, don't even add a description to their albums. I'm pretty sure things like that make quite a difference when it comes to how well your albums sell.
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narsilianshard
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 2303
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:36 pm 
 

HeavenDuff wrote:
Now you mean to tell me that you buy all the music you listen to? All of it? I'm asking because as a music lover, I simply couldn't be able to buy every single album I listen to. I still do buy music, go to concerts and buy merch, mind you, but I also have a Spotify Premium account for all the music that I want to listen to and discover but that I might not buy in the end.

I refuse to listen to an album in full unless I own it, because I believe streaming royalties are fundamentally immoral. I buy five or so digital albums a week and a handful of vinyl records a month, in addition to going to shows and buying merch. Music, and the welfare of those who make it, is literally the most important thing in the world to me, so I have no problem with the majority of my disposable income being spent this way. I know not everyone is in the position to be able to do this, but people like us do exist.
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Temple Of Blood
Veteran

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
Posts: 2880
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:57 pm 
 

narsilianshard wrote:
Please provide a single example of Bandcamp encouraging this.


Sure, but I don't want this thread derailed by going back-and-forth with you about this. Let's focus on Spotify here.
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jimbies
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:32 pm 
 

narsilianshard wrote:
HeavenDuff wrote:
Now you mean to tell me that you buy all the music you listen to? All of it? I'm asking because as a music lover, I simply couldn't be able to buy every single album I listen to. I still do buy music, go to concerts and buy merch, mind you, but I also have a Spotify Premium account for all the music that I want to listen to and discover but that I might not buy in the end.

I refuse to listen to an album in full unless I own it, because I believe streaming royalties are fundamentally immoral. I buy five or so digital albums a week and a handful of vinyl records a month, in addition to going to shows and buying merch. Music, and the welfare of those who make it, is literally the most important thing in the world to me, so I have no problem with the majority of my disposable income being spent this way. I know not everyone is in the position to be able to do this, but people like us do exist.


I truly used to buy so much music, it was absurd. I'm very glad people like you (and who I was) still exist. If I was in a different financial / living situation, I might still be doing the same.

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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 1618
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:57 pm 
 

narsilianshard wrote:
I refuse to listen to an album in full unless I own it, because I believe streaming royalties are fundamentally immoral.


But you do listen to them prior to buying them. You at least realize that they have this function of making more people hear the music, right?

And what is fundamentally immoral about streaming royalties specifically?

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BastardHead
Worse than Stalin

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 9615
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:59 pm 
 

I don't really have a fully fleshed out position here because I absolutely understand the concerns of people who don't like the current streaming services (there's no doubt that Spotify actually pays artists basically nothing) but I also agree that it really isn't any more awful than the bygone era of labels ripping off everybody in sight, and if nothing else it's significantly more convenient and expansive than anything beforehand.

The thing I think is interesting though is that I can't help but notice a lot of the anti-streaming folks are the same people who were against the subscription/patreon model in the Wintersun thread last month (or at least share the same mindset), but now the concern is totally inverted. With that argument there was a constant undercurrent of "this isn't how it's supposed to be done because artists shouldn't get money when they aren't releasing music, merch, or touring", and now there seems to be a constant undercurrent of "this isn't how it's supposed to be because artists make very little money and fans are basically getting free music". Yeah yeah the cheap shot is that the Oldnoob mindset is that everything should've just stayed how it was in the 80s, but I still find it kinda fascinating that two of the new business models in the current era are looked down on for reasons that are both totally opposite yet identical. It feels like it boils down to "either the bands or the fans are getting things for free and that's no good" when that's really not the case either way, even if the distribution is unbalanced with regards to how much music fans get for cheap versus how much money bands get via subscriptions.

I think for me, it boils down to me not agreeing with the Randian bullshit that everything is a commodity to be exchanged and if money isn't pooling into the "correct" hands then something is wrong. A lot of artists feel this way as well, and you can find examples all over the place in any direction. So for something like Spotify, I realize that I'm generally not giving a whole lot of money to the bands I listen to via my measly ten dollars a month, but it's certainly more than the definite zero they got in my pirate days.

Which brings me to the other thing that kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth, which is the weird subtle classism of the whole debate. I really can't abide by this unspoken but heavily implied notion that if you can't afford to buy physical albums then you don't deserve to listen to the music in the first place, which is just lol fuck you. Not everybody has the spare money to be buying everything they want to hear, and if they wind up not liking it then they're stuck with it, which just seems dumb for something like art*. If you can afford it, that's awesome, more power to you and I really respect that, but I think it's asinine to see it as a requirement. This ties in with my idea that not everything in the world needs to be a fucking transaction, and sharing/exploring art is a wonderful thing that shouldn't have a fuckload of roadblocks in the way. I had a decent collection at one point, but stopped buying a dozen albums a week once I hit a really rough patch financially and wound up selling it all in order to pay my bills. The idea that I lost my right to listen to that music once I lost my job is needlessly cruel and vindictive.

Anyway the weirdest part to me is that Bandcamp sort of circumvents this whole problem by giving the artists so much control and such a huge cut of sales. That is absolutely the best case scenario when it comes to easy worldwide distribution, and being against that as well simply puts you in that camp of Oldnoob Luddite Fuddyduddery that simply hates that things aren't the same as they were in 1986.


* - As an aside itch I want to scratch, I think this is a big reason nostalgia for shitty things is so prevalent. If you fucked up and bought something shitty, you really had nowhere else to turn to so you just learned to love it. The main reason so many people love Sonic Adventure 2 is because their parents didn't have enough money to just buy a PS2 instead so they could play games that didn't suck, and I see the same mentality with music here and there. I don't get how simply having more options means people won't appreciate what they have, and if the fear is that you wouldn't have listened to your favorite albums as much if you could just listen to anything at any time, then maybe your favorite albums aren't actually that good.
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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 1618
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:08 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Yeah yeah the cheap shot is that the Oldnoob mindset is that everything should've just stayed how it was in the 80s, but I still find it kinda fascinating that two of the new business models in the current era are looked down on for reasons that are both totally opposite yet identical. It feels like it boils down to "either the bands or the fans are getting things for free and that's no good" when that's really not the case either way, even if the distribution is unbalanced with regards to how much music fans get for cheap versus how much money bands get via subscriptions.


This. And I really think it kills the discussion to look at this in such a black & white perspective. I don't know if people who are so conservative on that regard do this out of ignorance or out of fear of the unknown, but there's truly no good coming out of an analysis that just presents streaming as a whole as if it was the devil. Streaming, download, the Internet age, it changed the game, and like you said, it brought some negative things for the bands, but good things too, as it basically ended the era of almost absolute label control over the artists.

BastardHead wrote:
The idea that I lost my right to listen to that music once I lost my job is needlessly cruel and vindictive.


Amen


Last edited by HeavenDuff on Fri May 22, 2020 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Amerigo
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:30 pm
Posts: 320
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:11 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:

I was just kinda gawking at the inevitable shitshow in this thread, and then finally a nuanced and articulate take on the subject!

Agreed on all points!
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
Posts: 1440
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:49 pm 
 

HeavenDuff wrote:

Very nice homophobic slang too, btw. Classy.


"Fag end" is a British expression for a cigarette butt, or colloquially for the dregs of something.

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/fag-end.html

Used in this context it's quite correct and not intended to have a sexual connotation.
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DrWBreen
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:30 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:47 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Which brings me to the other thing that kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth, which is the weird subtle classism of the whole debate. I really can't abide by this unspoken but heavily implied notion that if you can't afford to buy physical albums then you don't deserve to listen to the music in the first place, which is just lol fuck you. Not everybody has the spare money to be buying everything they want to hear, and if they wind up not liking it then they're stuck with it, which just seems dumb for something like art*. If you can afford it, that's awesome, more power to you and I really respect that, but I think it's asinine to see it as a requirement. This ties in with my idea that not everything in the world needs to be a fucking transaction, and sharing/exploring art is a wonderful thing that shouldn't have a fuckload of roadblocks in the way. I had a decent collection at one point, but stopped buying a dozen albums a week once I hit a really rough patch financially and wound up selling it all in order to pay my bills. The idea that I lost my right to listen to that music once I lost my job is needlessly cruel and vindictive.


There's a lot more to this in particular. I, for instance, managed to get an alright physical collection, out of which around half came from a certain dude who moved abroad and sold me for pennies/gifted me a good chunk of records; another decent part came from a record store over 1500 KM away, and a couple came from a record store in a different continent. If I really want to buy a physical album, I need to take a tour of the city (Considering I don't own a car), seek a few very specific places, pray they have something cool in store and fork over a lot of money. One CD is worth about one week of food for me. Yeah, sure, I do earn enough to buy maybe one or two records per month, but the time investment is really hard to get around. On the other hand, most of my friends do not earn NEAR enough to afford one record per month, let alone more. Should they not listen to music? Yeah, no.

And buying on bandcamp or other digital retailers... well, if they don't offer a special conversion rate to my local currency (Like Spotify does) the price range goes waaay up if I have to pay in dollars. It's not only a classist issue, it focuses a lot on "first world countries". As you said, 6 years ago I was either pirating or listening on YouTube where many bands didn't even have an official channel yet. Hell, without piracy I would have never turned a metalhead in the first place...

Is the system shit for the artists? Yeah, it is. Then we should strive to change the system, not bend over and accept things as they are.
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
Posts: 1440
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 1:07 am 
 

I understand the class argument, and in many ways it's a good one. I have a big physical collection - in the thousands. But I've been collecting since I was a kid and I'm over 40 now. If I were starting from scratch now, would I do it that way? Maybe not. But it's worth noting that many bands are "paid" in a certain percentage of the pressing of an album, which they then sell. If nobody is buying physical copies, and the revenue stream (such as it is) from streaming has not been properly negotiated with the label, that business model isn't viable. It surely must suck to live in a country with such a terrible currency exchange rate, and I do remember when our currency was very low (as it is again now). But the creator has to pay bills in their local currency also.

There are some other elements to consider also. Here in Australia we have a phrase, "the tyranny of distance" which is a holdover from when it took 3 months on a ship to sail out here. That same geographical isolation is a factor in the argument about "Don't worry about selling albums, make money off gigs". That's coming from a mindset which assumes bands live in densely populated and geographically accessible areas like the US or Europe where it's possible to jump in a van and tour. Obviously that isn't the case for AUS/NZ bands, and it's looking more and more like the days of affordable air travel are over.
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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 493
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 2:01 am 
 

HeavenDuff wrote:
[There is so much self-righteousness hoozing from this post, it's not even funny.

Now of course it's easier to make strawman fallacies and address non-arguments to feel better about oneself, but there is far more to this than what you're trying to reduce it to.

Now you mean to tell me that you buy all the music you listen to? All of it? I'm asking because as a music lover, I simply couldn't be able to buy every single album I listen to. I still do buy music, go to concerts and buy merch, mind you, but I also have a Spotify Premium account for all the music that I want to listen to and discover but that I might not buy in the end.

Now of course it's easier to make this a sweeping judgement on an entire group of people you seem to understand basically nothing about, but you could also try to have a calm, decent, intelligent discussion with people who do use these streaming services so you might understand things a little better.

Very nice homophobic slang too, btw. Classy.


I can totally see how that sounds self righteous - Knowing a few new, small bands, where the conversion of those 1000 Spotify plays into album sales would make the world of difference - they can't buy gear / order merch / buy on to small tours / pay for diesel in the van based on exposure on Spotify - I sound self-righteous because I care a lot about it, but I've come to realise that others just don't. My view doesn't make me feel better about myself, it's actually very sad; Spotify users aren't some subculture that I need to understand - Spotify users are the great masses, five minutes with Prof. Google shows that, and are very easy to understand in that context. I don't think that's hysterical or unintelligent ?

Do I buy everything I listen to ? Pretty much, yes - I use magazines / reviews / this site / other sites to find things I like the sound of. Sometimes I just buy stuff cheap in shops that I like the artwork on. Sometimes a friend will play something, and I'll go get it. It's really easy. I've ended up with several hundred LPs, and I'm into four figures on CDs now. Absolutely worth it, too - if life goes wrong it's my retirement fund :lol:


BastardHead wrote:
Which brings me to the other thing that kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth, which is the weird subtle classism of the whole debate. I really can't abide by this unspoken but heavily implied notion that if you can't afford to buy physical albums then you don't deserve to listen to the music in the first place, which is just lol fuck you. Not everybody has the spare money to be buying everything they want to hear, and if they wind up not liking it then they're stuck with it, which just seems dumb for something like art*. If you can afford it, that's awesome, more power to you and I really respect that, but I think it's asinine to see it as a requirement. This ties in with my idea that not everything in the world needs to be a fucking transaction, and sharing/exploring art is a wonderful thing that shouldn't have a fuckload of roadblocks in the way. I had a decent collection at one point, but stopped buying a dozen albums a week once I hit a really rough patch financially and wound up selling it all in order to pay my bills. The idea that I lost my right to listen to that music once I lost my job is needlessly cruel and vindictive.


I'll be unpopular - the emotional / politics thing does otherwise rather stop the discussion dead, as everyone has had some hardship at some point in their life - I'm not unsympathetic, but it does make the conversation about the monolith harder ?

To address the experience point, since it is a good one - plenty of other things, produced by other people at a given cost, will be unavailable to you if you've lost your job. That's shit, the world is organised badly, and a UBI / post-capital system can't come fast enough. However, we don't live in that world. I know I probably sound like one of those early 2000s "You wouldn't download a car!!!" propaganda ads, but in all seriousness - could the bar owner give you free craft beer that you want to try that week / the cinema let you watch for nothing some imported underground film / the football stadium give you free seats to a classic / airfix give you free models / art stores give you free paints / Maserati give you a free sports car / [insert your hobby of choice] ?

It's absolutely not a case of 'should they', since I agree that the world should be better - Given that it isn't, it's 'could they' ? I don't say that you shouldn't have access to any music, more that there are better ways to do that than support the Spotify model.

For example - what's wrong with listening to a radio ? In the context of this thread, radio royalties are a great deal compared to Spotify https://soundcharts.com/blog/radio-royalties. Unless the US has some strange pricing structure, a cheap radio is much cheaper for you than Spotify, too. Loads of stations, some good, some better than good. Been there, done that. Discovered some great music, too. Most of it hair metal, but still :lol:

Scorntyrant wrote:
HeavenDuff wrote:

Very nice homophobic slang too, btw. Classy.


"Fag end" is a British expression for a cigarette butt, or colloquially for the dregs of something.

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/fag-end.html

Used in this context it's quite correct and not intended to have a sexual connotation.


Thank you kindly ! Two nations divided by a common language and all that !

DrWBreen wrote:
Is the system shit for the artists? Yeah, it is. Then we should strive to change the system, not bend over and accept things as they are.


Agreed. Right now there are plenty of better options out there for your music fix.

Scorntyrant wrote:
There are some other elements to consider also. Here in Australia we have a phrase, "the tyranny of distance" which is a holdover from when it took 3 months on a ship to sail out here. That same geographical isolation is a factor in the argument about "Don't worry about selling albums, make money off gigs". That's coming from a mindset which assumes bands live in densely populated and geographically accessible areas like the US or Europe where it's possible to jump in a van and tour. Obviously that isn't the case for AUS/NZ bands, and it's looking more and more like the days of affordable air travel are over.


I always thought that the 'tour and sell merch' position was a touch wrong, but I could never put my finger on it (spoiled by living in the UK where every band at least shows up in London and Manchester). You've got it in a nutshell - 'tour and sell merch' is a great position to hold if you live in a place with visiting bands, or are in a band with funding that means that you can do that without needing the revenue from music sales.

'don't sell music, tour and sell merch' a very strange view to hold if you're not in that position, but understandable if you're justifying your massive Spotify / other streaming collection to yourself.



NB - Many edits, as I want to make clear that I have no problem with individuals having views / opinions / experiences, but that I disagree with Spotify's model completely, and use & will promote sensible alternatives.
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kytokinesis
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:42 pm
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:11 am 
 

I'm tired of storing CD's and paying $13-$15 per CD plus shipping costs. I was debating between spotify premium or just buying digital. I'm leaning towards just buying digital albums that I really want. Being able to download whatever I want for $10 a month sounds pretty nice, but how much of that will I really cherish and listen to regularly? People's hard drives are overflowing with shit they've downloaded and listened to once or will never get around to listening to at all. Streaming services try to legitimize that desire for sheer quantity.

I knew or met some people growing up that were just crazy about a single band. That one band did everything they needed and they weren't interested in much else. I didn't understand that at the time because I've always loved exploring and finding new bands. Now I'm playing around with the thought that maybe those guys were headed in the right direction. They had stronger relationships with those bands of theirs than I probably ever will with any band. Maybe people need to go back to focusing on a few bands they truly love. Back in the day, wealthy patrons would support artists they valued. Obviously that's the idea behind Patreon and similar platforms. Bands need to come up with more creative ways for their most die-hard fans to support them directly. Wintersun is an extreme example of this, but the general idea is represented there.

Bands need to produce more material. IMO it's similar logic to novelists that self-publish. Usually the ones that become successful write and publish several books a year. I don't see how an independent band can think that they can make any kind of living releasing an 8-9 song album every 2-3 years like bands supported by labels have traditionally done.

Spotify pays orders of magnitude less than 1 cent per stream. It's built for the big artists and rewards sheer quantity of listeners. Smaller bands would need to produce much more music than they currently do to earn any money from it. Even if you find their shortest song and stream it on a loop 24/7 while you're at work, while you sleep, etc. A 3 minute song would theoretically pay out about $700 a year from you. But of course that's an absurd thing to do and spotify would probably stop you.

The best thing you can probably do is buy your favorite bands' music on bandcamp and subscribe to their patreon (if they have one) if you really care deeply about supporting them personally.

BastardHead wrote:
* - As an aside itch I want to scratch, I think this is a big reason nostalgia for shitty things is so prevalent. If you fucked up and bought something shitty, you really had nowhere else to turn to so you just learned to love it. The main reason so many people love Sonic Adventure 2 is because their parents didn't have enough money to just buy a PS2 instead so they could play games that didn't suck

I liked Sonic Adventure 2 because I thought Shadow was badass and I had a comic book that showed his back story too. Then they gave him his own game with guns lmao. You can't imagine how elated edgy 10 year old me was.

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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:52 am 
 

Methuen wrote:
I can totally see how that sounds self righteous - Knowing a few new, small bands, where the conversion of those 1000 Spotify plays into album sales would make the world of difference - they can't buy gear / order merch / buy on to small tours / pay for diesel in the van based on exposure on Spotify - I sound self-righteous because I care a lot about it, but I've come to realise that others just don't. My view doesn't make me feel better about myself, it's actually very sad; Spotify users aren't some subculture that I need to understand - Spotify users are the great masses, five minutes with Prof. Google shows that, and are very easy to understand in that context. I don't think that's hysterical or unintelligent ?

Do I buy everything I listen to ? Pretty much, yes - I use magazines / reviews / this site / other sites to find things I like the sound of. Sometimes I just buy stuff cheap in shops that I like the artwork on. Sometimes a friend will play something, and I'll go get it. It's really easy. I've ended up with several hundred LPs, and I'm into four figures on CDs now. Absolutely worth it, too - if life goes wrong it's my retirement fund :lol:


See, I never made the "paying in exposure" argument. I was merely pointing to the fact that music sales are directly affected by the amount of exposure that artists get. If people like the music, there are more chances they will buy the music, buy concert tickets or merch than if these people were not exposed to that music. And like BastardHead pointed out, the argument that you only have the right to listen to an artist if you paid money for it is flawed at it's very core. If you go to a bar and they have music playing there, you're not paying for that music. If you go to a friend's house and they have an Electric Wizard record playing, maybe they bought that, but you didn't. Listening to music on Spotify might not be exactly the same as the tape trading of the 70's and 80's, and it's not exactly the same as the CD burning of the 90's and 2000's, but there is always the same variable here, and it's that music, bands and artists strive because people get to hear their music before buying it.

Now agreed with my previous statement is not the same as agreeing that everything is perfect with Spotify. The royalties they pay is ridiculous, but in a way they are kind of like the shitty labels of the 80's, only they have less of a say on the album production of the music. Not to mention that there are other streaming platforms like Bandcamp who help artists in a more significant way.

I'm also a hundred percent with you that we should support music that we like directly. There is nothing wrong with what you're doing, quite the contrary. And I do think that a lot of people don't care. But they don't care any less than people used to care 30 years ago. It's just different. But bands not managing to make ends meet and struggling to pay for their recording and touring, that's not Spotify-era stuff, it's been like that for a while. This is not something that was born out of the Napster-era "getting things for free" mentality.

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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:38 am 
 

People who buy merch will still buy it because of Spotify. If your album isn't on Spotify people will just download it or don't listen to it at all. Not being on Spotify will only make your band more difficult to reach and you'll get to less people who are willing to go to your shows and/or pay for your merch. For underground bands Spotify is jus a way to attract potential fans who will maybe at one time buy your other stuff. I'm sorry but "you got 1000 Spotify plays and that means 100 people didn't buy your merch" makes no sense to me. That's not how music works ar all nowadays, it's "you got 1000 Spotify plays and 30 of those made someone check your Bandcamp and buy the new album".

That said, I don't use Spotify. It's justo so messy and full of different versions of the music. Apple Music and Tidal are a lot better organized and their music streams at a better quality. I don't use any of those either, I buy most of my stuff from Bandcamp.

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androdion
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:19 am 
 

I have a question for everyone here. Do you think that the broad and legal availability of a million songs has made the love and passion for music wane because of how easily accessible music has become? Or, do you think that since all music is so readily available what's been diluted or lost is the concept of ownership of the music since it's all cheap and easy to get?

Most people have been pointing out at the first answer, but more often than not I think I'm more geared towards the second, though in all honesty it's most likely a mix of A and B, with a touch of some C I'm not even thinking of right now. But the feeling in the back of my mind is this, why should this generation give a crap about anything, music in particular, if everything is of such easy access? We used to value buying a potentially crappy record and eventually spin it into liking it because of a lack of both availability and money to get more. Nowadays it's the opposite as most of us by some means can get access to mostly anything. So are we getting desensitized from art in particular because it has become so accessible that we have no willingness to give it a proper appreciation?
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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:25 am 
 

androdion wrote:
I have a question for everyone here. Do you think that the broad and legal availability of a million songs has made the love and passion for music wane because of how easily accessible music has become?

Definetely not. If anything, it's made it easier to find stuff that you love. Why would it be the other way around? I'm a lot more excited when an album I want to check gets uploaded to Bandcamp than I was 15 years ago when I had to wait more than a month for an album to arrive home just to listen to it a few times and dislike it.

androdion wrote:
But the feeling in the back of my mind is this, why should this generation give a crap about anything, music in particular, if everything is of such easy access? We used to value buying a potentially crappy record and eventually spin it into liking it because of a lack of both availability and money to get more. Nowadays it's the opposite as most of us by some means can get access to mostly anything. So are we getting desensitized from art in particular because it has become so accessible that we have no willingness to give it a proper appreciation?

I feel it's actually the other way around. The fact is that this generation instead of not giving a crap chose to buy more vinyl and merch than ever shows that the current situation is better than it ever was. Sure, big bands don't sell albums in the millions but how is that a bad thing? Look at how many amazing records are released every year and a lot of people still buy them and care about them. Metallica don't need to get more money, this change has been for the better for underground bands which are the ones that really matter. It's a lot easier to record stuff and reach to people.

It's also a lot easier to just check the stuff that you really like without intermediaries. You don't need to read anywhere which stuff you should buy, you can just listen to it and decide for yourself. You no longer need to spend a ton of money in stuff you may or may not like. Music and art in general are a lot more easier to access nowadays and if you think that's bad then you may not really care about the music itself. All of this is just a big FUCK YOU to intellectual elitism and the "I only listen to kvlt casettes limited to 10 units so I'm better than you" mindset.

Just to clarify, what I've said doesn't mean the actual system is perfect and I definetely think artist should get a lot more money from streaming platforms but that's what Bandcamp's for. The fact that some bands still complain and won't use it because it takes away 10% of what they make is ridiculous. Labels used to take a lot more back in the day.

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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 8:45 am 
 

Ace_Rimmer wrote:
I've never used Spotify but from looking at my godson and his brothers the idea of buying music is nearly incomprehensible. They have come of age in the age of free music and the concept of getting giddy over finding an old out of print release at a record store isn't in their milieu. I don't think they use Spotify though, mostly just YouTube.
Quote:

Yeah, YouTube is bad in very similar ways for artists. In many ways it is the same: artists choosing to give away all their music for essentially free.

Like I said before, I think the best way for artists (especially indie metal artists) to navigate this climate is to give away only singles on Spotify/YouTube and encourage their fans to buy a full digital/physical release. It would earn them hundreds of times more money if even a select number of these fans bought the album, I think.

Artists today and increasingly in the future won't be able to ignore YouTube/Spotify/Bandcamp entirely though, but will need to carefully navigate them if they intend to BREAK EVEN. I'm not saying anyong can make a real living off of playing metal anymore, the only realistic goal here to to break even and not go in the whole making music.

Quote:
For me if it doesn't have a physical release I'm not going to pay for it or listen to it most likely.


Same here.

I am picky about music, after hearing so much after so many years, but when I like something I really want a physical copy. I do find myself occasionally buying digital music when those aren't available though so I see the value in that.
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 8:50 am 
 

jimbies wrote:
It's not even about not supporting the artist or money, it's literally like WHERE THE FUCK am I putting all this STUFF?


The solution to that is digital downloads, not Spotify unless you intend to not pay for all the music you're getting.

The fans can't strip-mine their favorite artists in perpetuity without hurting them and the future of the metal scene in general. It's not sustainable.
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Methuen
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:12 am 
 

HeavenDuff wrote:
Methuen wrote:
I can totally see how that sounds self righteous - Knowing a few new, small bands, where the conversion of those 1000 Spotify plays into album sales would make the world of difference - they can't buy gear / order merch / buy on to small tours / pay for diesel in the van based on exposure on Spotify - I sound self-righteous because I care a lot about it, but I've come to realise that others just don't. My view doesn't make me feel better about myself, it's actually very sad; Spotify users aren't some subculture that I need to understand - Spotify users are the great masses, five minutes with Prof. Google shows that, and are very easy to understand in that context. I don't think that's hysterical or unintelligent ?

Do I buy everything I listen to ? Pretty much, yes - I use magazines / reviews / this site / other sites to find things I like the sound of. Sometimes I just buy stuff cheap in shops that I like the artwork on. Sometimes a friend will play something, and I'll go get it. It's really easy. I've ended up with several hundred LPs, and I'm into four figures on CDs now. Absolutely worth it, too - if life goes wrong it's my retirement fund :lol:


See, I never made the "paying in exposure" argument. I was merely pointing to the fact that music sales are directly affected by the amount of exposure that artists get. If people like the music, there are more chances they will buy the music, buy concert tickets or merch than if these people were not exposed to that music. And like BastardHead pointed out, the argument that you only have the right to listen to an artist if you paid money for it is flawed at it's very core. If you go to a bar and they have music playing there, you're not paying for that music. If you go to a friend's house and they have an Electric Wizard record playing, maybe they bought that, but you didn't. Listening to music on Spotify might not be exactly the same as the tape trading of the 70's and 80's, and it's not exactly the same as the CD burning of the 90's and 2000's, but there is always the same variable here, and it's that music, bands and artists strive because people get to hear their music before buying it.

Now agreed with my previous statement is not the same as agreeing that everything is perfect with Spotify. The royalties they pay is ridiculous, but in a way they are kind of like the shitty labels of the 80's, only they have less of a say on the album production of the music. Not to mention that there are other streaming platforms like Bandcamp who help artists in a more significant way.

I'm also a hundred percent with you that we should support music that we like directly. There is nothing wrong with what you're doing, quite the contrary. And I do think that a lot of people don't care. But they don't care any less than people used to care 30 years ago. It's just different. But bands not managing to make ends meet and struggling to pay for their recording and touring, that's not Spotify-era stuff, it's been like that for a while. This is not something that was born out of the Napster-era "getting things for free" mentality.


Come on, no-one was comparing music being played in bars to buying a CD - that's a bit absolutist - though the payments the artists get via that are probably still better than Spotify :lol:

I think we're probably on a similar wavelength - The thread just asked for views, so I've put mine in the ring. My house is full of music, my wife plays most anything with a string or two, and my friends are largely all in bands / play something. Even my boss at work is a pianist :lol: The idea of being a fan, and not in some way contributing to their ability to make magic is just totally alien to me.
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snarg
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:29 am 
 

Why do people keep mentioning not paying for music on spotify?

You need to pay a subscription or you will have very limited access. Part of that money goes to the artists that have their music there.

Now, you can claim that the money artists get is not enough and it's unfair. I get that and agree, but to claim people are getting music for free is just pure ignorance on how it works.

It's in the bands best interest that Spotify and other streaming platforms grow (having competition is good, more platforms, better rates you can negotiate).

Once it becomes standard to have music available for streaming, the more money bands start to make from each listening there.

Just look at Twitch. People make a living out of streaming on Twitch, i know streamers that lead very good lives with 15k viewers a stream. Don't tell me a good heavy metal bands can't get way over that much listenings on their albums all over the world. They easily can if the music is good enough.

All people need to do is embrace the same model for music and acknowledge that a band can make money from each time someone listens to one of their songs. Once that happens and grows, bands revenues can become even bigger than before and without the cost of having to print physical copies, logistics, and ways to promote their albums that don't even reach everyone as easily and are more expensive for bands/labels.

And nothing of that means bands cannot release physical copies of their material on top of it.

It's a win win for everyone involved once you get rid of the outdated notion that just because you don't own something physical, you don't pay for it.

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Methuen
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:34 am 
 

snarg wrote:
Why do people keep mentioning not paying for music on spotify?

You need to pay a subscription or you will have very limited access. Part of that money goes to the artists that have their music there.

Now, you can claim that the money artists get is not enough and it's unfair. I get that and agree, but to claim people are getting music for free is just pure ignorance on how it works.


No, it's relative - many people have made the point in exactly this way - You have all of Spotify for a month, for the average price of one album. That's effectively free. 'Part of that money' doesn't go to anyone, it goes to Spotify - if you stream something, then a tiny percentage of a tiny percentage goes to the artist, eventually. There are some good links on page 1.
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:39 am 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
Although I understand why people focus on what Spotify and similar services pay to artists, I think the bigger impact is on people's relationship with music. With free access to everything, people are likely to spend less time listening to any one thing in particular. Though I didn't grow up in the 80s, you always hear stories about people spending their lunch money on vinyls rather than food, and you would only get 1 or 2 albums a month, so they'd sit there and listen to them constantly. Add to this the fact that you used to physically have to get up change sides to a vinyl and there was very appealing artwork, and it's clear why the current medium isn't as engaging. Obviously this was true in the downloading era; Spotify has just made it easier to consume music than it was via downloading.


I'm all for ease of access. I don't think everything was better before. There are a lot of advantages in today's music scene.

Quote:
Still, my point is mostly that I don't think people consider music a significant form of entertainment anymore. Very few of my friends go to concerts. Even at metal shows, most people seem to use it as an excuse to party rather than being there for the music. If you go to any of those amiptheater shows in the summer from big classic bands of the 70s and 80s (metal or otherwise), they're filled with middle aged people hanging out on the lawn wanting to drink.


This is true. I think one reason for this is the lower quality of music these days, and one reason for that is the far smaller amount of money there is to make in music these days. These things are (in most cases) related. Artists used to use producers. Artists used to go to experienced recording engineers. Bands used to be able to hire musicians to join their band. For most metal bands these days these are not really possible anymore. You are stuck with whoever you can afford, and it ain't much.

Quote:
Spotify was a great solution from a legal perspective, but it also accelerated the rate of adoption of getting music for free.


I totally agree.

Quote:
Though I still buy CDs en masse, I'm continually frustrated by labels who can't get any distribution.


Understandable. If bands made a lot more money on sales than they do, I bet you'd see an increase in attention to these problems though.

Quote:
You actually can't even buy the new Firewind in Canada. I feel like I'm being punished for being a huge fan and wanting to own physical media, rather than just streaming it.


Seems like Canada has its own mailing problems. I can't believe how expensive it has gotten to mail a CD there and I am very frustrated by that as well. In general, it is just too expensive to mail CDs anywhere, but I guess that is a topic for another thread.

Quote:
So I don't blame people who adopt these services.


I do, because digital downloads are available everywhere and the artist still gets paid for their work something far greater than 1/100 of a penny.
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snarg
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:50 am 
 

Methuen wrote:
snarg wrote:
Why do people keep mentioning not paying for music on spotify?

You need to pay a subscription or you will have very limited access. Part of that money goes to the artists that have their music there.

Now, you can claim that the money artists get is not enough and it's unfair. I get that and agree, but to claim people are getting music for free is just pure ignorance on how it works.


No, it's relative - many people have made the point in exactly this way - You have all of Spotify for a month, for the average price of one album. That's effectively free. 'Part of that money' doesn't go to anyone, it goes to Spotify - if you stream something, then a tiny percentage of a tiny percentage goes to the artist, eventually. There are some good links on page 1.
you missed the point which is made with the remaining of my post

Let's assume you and I both love the same album.

You pay for it once and then listen to it for as many times as you want, the band gets your initial payment and then nothing more.

I pay a subscription, every month, for the rest of my life. Everytime i stream the same album the band gets something.

20 years from now, i probably paid more for the same album than you did and the band got more money over time for their release without having to buy a cd, print it, pay for the booklet and cd case and so on.

People that would otherwise never listen to your music, might play it just for a while and then decide they don't like it. Those people will never buy an album, but the listenings do add up over time.

That why the 2nd part of my post you missed was important. It's about allowing the service provided to grow and it becomes more profitable for everyone.

But then again, metalheads are some of the most stubborn and do cling to the 'old is good' a lot more than the average person, so yes, maybe spotify isn't for metal.

Similar services work just perfectly for pretty much anything else these days though.

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jimbies
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:06 am 
 

BastardHead wrote:
* - As an aside itch I want to scratch, I think this is a big reason nostalgia for shitty things is so prevalent. If you fucked up and bought something shitty, you really had nowhere else to turn to so you just learned to love it. The main reason so many people love Sonic Adventure 2 is because their parents didn't have enough money to just buy a PS2 instead so they could play games that didn't suck, and I see the same mentality with music here and there. I don't get how simply having more options means people won't appreciate what they have, and if the fear is that you wouldn't have listened to your favorite albums as much if you could just listen to anything at any time, then maybe your favorite albums aren't actually that good.

This is so true. Back in the late 90's/early 2000's, I would download 1 or 2 songs off file-sharing networks. If I liked what I heard, I'd order the CD (usually an import) to my local store. Sometimes I would do this blindly, based on an interview or cover art in a Zine, so having another album from the same band that I liked. I ended up with A LOT of shitty stuff I paid over $20 for, and some of it is still nostalgic now, because, well, I paid like $25 for this thing, I may as well take it to school in my discman this week.

Temple Of Blood wrote:
jimbies wrote:
It's not even about not supporting the artist or money, it's literally like WHERE THE FUCK am I putting all this STUFF?


The solution to that is digital downloads, not Spotify unless you intend to not pay for all the music you're getting.

The fans can't strip-mine their favorite artists in perpetuity without hurting them and the future of the metal scene in general. It's not sustainable.


Literally the sentences in my post after the one you quoted were:
I've purchased music through bandcamp. But I think my days of buying a lot of physical music are done. Especially now, since I am going through a divorce and have moved residences 3 times in the last 12 months (all my stuff is still at my old house, I have no room for it where I live now).

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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:14 am 
 

From the last page of this thread: By 2018, Spotify is at an impressive $0.000473 per play - get 330000 streams to hit $1500.

For the purpose of this example, I picked two underground extreme metal bands. I'm pretty sure they have extra jobs. They are well respected and they tour a lot. The first one is from New Zealand. The second one a band from Iceland. None of these bands are pretty big. I've seen them both live and the New Zealand band didn't get 100 people in the venue they played where I live. New Zealand gets 43969 monthly listeners each month from all over the world. Iceland has 16119 monthly listeners. Monthly listeners are people that follow the next criteria:

Quote:
- They’ve listened within a rolling window of 28 days. We use a rolling window of 28 days because the number of days in a calendar month can vary, and because people listen to music differently depending on the day of the week. This means an equal number of days of the week are included—so, the same number of Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc.
- They are unique listeners. If someone plays your music multiple times in a 28-day period, they only get counted once.


https://artists.spotify.com/faq/stats#w ... -listeners

330000 streams is $1500. That means if they got only 1 play from each listener New Zealand would be getting $199.81 a month. Iceland would be getting $73.26.

Let's say 50% of those people liked the song they played and decided to play a whole 10 album song just once that month. They completely forgot about the band and they never listened to that album ever again. Let's say 25% of their listeners really liked what they heard and played it 10 more times that year.

New Zealand:

a) $199.81 each month (at least one of their fans listens to 1 song).

b) [43969 listeners x 0.5 (half the people) x 10 listens (1 album)] + [(43969 x 0.25 x 100 (10 songs per album, 10 times an album gets listened in a year)]= 219845+1099225 plays. Total 1319070 aditional listens. That's $5995.77.

c) ($199.81 each month x 12 months) + $5995.77 = $8393.49 a year.

Iceland:

a) $73.26 each month (at least one of their fans listens to 1 song).

b) [16119 listeners x 0.5 x 10] + [16119 listeners x 0.25 x 100] = 80595 + 402.975. Total 483570 listens. That's $2198.04.

c) ($73.26 each month x 12 months) + $2198.04 a year.

This is just some silly example because I'm bored. So let's say New Zealand earned $8393.49 a year and Iceland got $2198.04 a year. Let's say each album is sold for $12. $2 go for making the CD. Bandcamp takes "15% for digital, 10% for merch".

https://bandcamp.com/pricing

The label and the band split the 90% in equal parts, soy they get each 45%. The band got $4.5 for each CD they sold.

New Zealand needs to sell 8393.49 / 4.5 = 1865 CDs each year to earn that much.

Iceland needs to sell 2198.04 / 4.5 = 488.45 CDs each year to earn that much.

But here's the thing. The next year, both bands didn't release new music. If people still listen to their music and the novelty hasn't worn off, they'll still make money off Spotify. But they aren't selling as many CDs because people already bought their albums and they can listen to it as many times as they want.

Maybe everything I've done is wrong and artists actually get a lot less than that from Spotify but if my numbers aren't completely wrong Spotify in the long run could make you earn more money than selling CDs (assuming bands get $1,500 for each 330,000 streams). Let's make an even simpler number: 10000 fans listen 10 times to your 10 songs album. That's 10.000 x 10 x 10 = 1000000 streams. That's $4545,45$ each year. You'll need to sell 1000 CDs each year to make that much. 1000 CDs is a lot. 10,000 people listening to 1 of your albums 10 times each year is nothing, Mgla have 50598 monthly listeners. That's more than 50000 people that listen to just one song each month. Who in the metal community listens to one song and just forgets about the band? In the old Last FM (I know, Last FM is outdated) 58500 listeners meant 4400000 scrobblings.

My point here is selling CDs is not much better than putting your music on Spotify. Pretty sure bands get a lot more money from selling shirts, playing shows and selling shirts at those shows.

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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:53 am 
 

Selling shirts is of course the most profitable of all ... just like selling action figures after a blockbuster movie. The movie take a ton of money to make, an action figure not so much so the action figure is far more profitable, as George Lucas discovered.

The point is that recorded music drives shirt sales. If people don't like your recorded music, they won't buy the shirt. The recorded music is the horse and the follow-on sales are the cart that it pulls. Same as if someone hasn't first seen and enjoyed your movie they won't buy the toys that are inspired by the movie.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:33 pm 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
androdion wrote:
I have a question for everyone here. Do you think that the broad and legal availability of a million songs has made the love and passion for music wane because of how easily accessible music has become?

Definetely not. If anything, it's made it easier to find stuff that you love. Why would it be the other way around? I'm a lot more excited when an album I want to check gets uploaded to Bandcamp than I was 15 years ago when I had to wait more than a month for an album to arrive home just to listen to it a few times and dislike it.

androdion wrote:
But the feeling in the back of my mind is this, why should this generation give a crap about anything, music in particular, if everything is of such easy access? We used to value buying a potentially crappy record and eventually spin it into liking it because of a lack of both availability and money to get more. Nowadays it's the opposite as most of us by some means can get access to mostly anything. So are we getting desensitized from art in particular because it has become so accessible that we have no willingness to give it a proper appreciation?

I feel it's actually the other way around. The fact is that this generation instead of not giving a crap chose to buy more vinyl and merch than ever shows that the current situation is better than it ever was. Sure, big bands don't sell albums in the millions but how is that a bad thing? Look at how many amazing records are released every year and a lot of people still buy them and care about them. Metallica don't need to get more money, this change has been for the better for underground bands which are the ones that really matter. It's a lot easier to record stuff and reach to people.

It's also a lot easier to just check the stuff that you really like without intermediaries. You don't need to read anywhere which stuff you should buy, you can just listen to it and decide for yourself. You no longer need to spend a ton of money in stuff you may or may not like. Music and art in general are a lot more easier to access nowadays and if you think that's bad then you may not really care about the music itself. All of this is just a big FUCK YOU to intellectual elitism and the "I only listen to kvlt casettes limited to 10 units so I'm better than you" mindset.

Just to clarify, what I've said doesn't mean the actual system is perfect and I definetely think artist should get a lot more money from streaming platforms but that's what Bandcamp's for. The fact that some bands still complain and won't use it because it takes away 10% of what they make is ridiculous. Labels used to take a lot more back in the day.

You make a very valid point with your positive approach. I've read most of your math on the other post too, and I can see how in terms of being an artist the idea of having your music on such a paid streaming platform can be profitable. And I'm not even in the slightest against it, I mean if bands can make a cut out of these services then more power to them. There's still a middle man though, it's the platform itself. ;)

My post and my question were more in line with the side of the question which includes the consumer and not the artist, so I was questioning it on the side of the ones which actively contribute with plays and that have a million songs to choose from and limited time to play them. Let me put it like this, I have around 1200 CDs in my shelves that I've paid for and if I don't play them I'm not making my collection "profitable" because I've spent money on stuff I'm not listening. But even if I want to play 1200 CDs even once per year I'd have to play 3 to 4 different discs a day every day of the year, without repeated listens. Sounds like a bit of a stretch right? Now let's assume I have a paid subscription on Spotify that costs me those 10€ per month, likewise if I don't have enough plays on it I'm not making the money spent on it "profitable". OK, so here's the catch. If I already have a really hard time picking what to choose to play with 1200 discs and I barely have enough time to listen to all of them then how am I going to manage a potential playlist/library with 10 times as much or even more?

So my point being that as a consumer you can subscribe to it and have an incredible amount of access, but in the end how does the fact that you have access to all of that changes your perception of ownership and your view of how you value the music you have available? From a consumer side more for less is always a good thing, there's no denying that. But the more I think about it the more it feels like the more you have the less time you're able to spend with each individual thing, in this case songs/albums/artists.

There's no denying the potential reach and exposure a platform like this can bring to an otherwise small independent and unknown band, but the curiosity to me relies in how the amount of availability of so many of those affects the relationship of the end consumer to each individual one. Because sometimes, like good people that you keep close to you, less is more. But I fear that I may be way into a tangent already. :D
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interstellar_medium
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:41 am
Posts: 124
Location: Russia
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:08 pm 
 

The problem with streaming, as compared to "owning", is that you cannot readily use something like Sonic Visualiser to help you figure out how certain things are played. You'd need to record the stream etc. Lots of hassle, potentially illegal, too.

Moreover, most streaming services out there only offer lossy compression. It's okay for background use, but when you actually want to focus on listening to it, you may run into compression artefacts.

What's worse - in my experience, even when you buy digital files from the "capitalists", sometimes you will run into tracks being mislabeled (can be remedied by using musicbrainz picard, but mightily annoying) or plain badly encoded. Maybe that's just me, and/or due to the fact that I am in Russia, but - say, early Edenbridge albums I bought off iTunes are mislabeled as hell, and at least one track off the debut 51koodia album sounds like a skipping CD (no it's not "artistic choice", it's bad encoding). I can only hope different files are used for the Apple streaming service...

And then, with streaming, you need to be online. I have an older media player that has a nice DAC but no internet access. It sounds way better than any phone I can afford. I'd rather either rip a CD to FLAC or buy FLAC directly from bandcamp and listen to these files on my media player, then.

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Chinese_Whispers
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:35 pm
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:00 pm 
 

There is so much to unpack on this topic, and I am so severely under-qualified to have an informed enough perspective, so I’ll just share some personal opinions and throw some of my other thoughts out there (that I don’t particularly have any strong answers for, but I’d love someone with a bit more knowledge to address them). Warning: rambling ahead.

I don’t use Spotify often and still buy physical (where I can) the majority of the music I listen to. I don’t have a problem with Spotify - I’ll use it to sample stuff, and my better half will use in much the same way you would listen to radio in the past, only you have more control and a bit more diversity. And that’s the way I always tended to view it (especially now that they are really leaning into Podcasting), as a replacement or more on demand radio.

In a lot of ways I’d be interested into the long term viability of Spotify - only because I’ve read somewhere that their profitability is iffy, I don’t know the specifics or how sustainable their business model is - and even with services like Tidal and their more exclusive roster popping up, whether we start to see more exclusive rights, at least for bigger artists, and a splintering of the market. I honestly don’t know, just spitballing and considering the on-demand movie/television industry which is adjacent in many ways. Or does a streaming platform become more like the new record label?

As far as buying physical media, I think for an old fart like myself, it just an ingrained habit at this point. I remember watching an interview with the producer Oddisee, and he mentioned all his collection is digital - literally 0% physical - and he outlined all the reasons why, and logically it all makes sense. I think my brain is still getting hit with that dopamine when I purchase a physical album, plus it is tied to a lot of good memories, that I still actually enjoy the activity of searching out ‘new’ (to me) music - the research, the digging. Yeah, it’s hardly life altering but it makes me feel good, like any other hobby I suppose, it’s just my thing and I get it’s not everyone’s thing. I don’t know if it’s healthy, but at least it’s better than a drug habit I suppose :)

As far as the viability of being a professional musician, I know some guys who make a living off it, but it is a grind much like any other job and you definitely have to have some amount of business savvy. Is that conducive to being creative? I don’t know, I’m sure my friends who have made it work feel like it is. I never had the acumen to make it a profitable endeavour (beyond maybe recouping expenses) so resigned to the fact that it was a creative outlet rather than a career and I’m fine with that, it’s still fulfilling personally. The harsh truth is probably very, very, very few of us are gonna make it. But we’re too stupid to stop.

TL;DR: Spotify is fine by me.

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DrWBreen
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:30 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 5:35 am 
 

Methuen wrote:
No, it's relative - many people have made the point in exactly this way - You have all of Spotify for a month, for the average price of one album. That's effectively free. 'Part of that money' doesn't go to anyone, it goes to Spotify - if you stream something, then a tiny percentage of a tiny percentage goes to the artist, eventually. There are some good links on page 1.


I would, again, raise the objection of regional price adjustment. Spotify is currently around $400 local currency and we get 4 different accounts (With wildly different tastes) for that price. This january, I bought a few records at $800 each and one at almost $1500- It's far, far, faaaar more than "the average price of one album" (And vynils are in the 2k to 5k range)

Yes, this issue only affects some countries, but, hey, we are still people that want to enjoy our music.
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Temple Of Blood
Veteran

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:50 am 
 

Guys, I am in no way saying that artists should make enough from Spotify to quit their day jobs. I don't think that is possible with or without streaming, especially if you ever plan on marrying or having kids. I might even argue that it is better for the metal scene if bands DON'T do it for a living.

All that I care about here is bands BREAKING EVEN from their recording costs and MAYBE having enough to invest to make future albums.
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jimbies
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:46 am 
 

The other thing I don't think anyone has mentioned yet is this:

Sometimes songs, albums or entire artists get pulled from Spotify, for one reason or another. I remember for the longest time (at least in Canada), Demons & Wizards records disappeared, as did Halford's solo stuff. Fear Factory's "Archetype" records still isn't on spotify. Satan's Hollow never showed up. The Storyteller isn't on there. Dismember has been off-and-on.

I'm very, very glad I own all these albums and have imported them as files on my computer. If you rely directly on spotify alone, your favourite stuff can disappear without warning.

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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2462
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 12:56 pm 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
Guys, I am in no way saying that artists should make enough from Spotify to quit their day jobs. I don't think that is possible with or without streaming, especially if you ever plan on marrying or having kids. I might even argue that it is better for the metal scene if bands DON'T do it for a living.

All that I care about here is bands BREAKING EVEN from their recording costs and MAYBE having enough to invest to make future albums.


Understood, but you should likewise consider that there is a trade-off here that needs to be considered, especially when introducing the idea of either going back to or otherwise basing a business model off the physical medium approach of the gilded age of the recording industry. Sites like Spotify, while not economically lucrative for the majority of artists, eliminates a past barrier to entry that limited a lot of bands during the 80s and 90s and arguably prematurely ended a number of careers. Independent artists were at a massive disadvantage in terms of distribution, whereas those who tried to go the label route were often saddled with deals that led to near equally poor promotion and distribution of their work.

The advent of home studio technology coupled with streaming services has significantly lowered the costs of producing a decent product, even if a lot of it turns out to be somewhat derivative given a tendency to rely upon preset production templates from big names like Andy Sneap and Mark Lewis. You don't need to take out a second mortgage in order to procure studio time anymore, and crowd-funding sites have given artists yet another avenue for supplanting label hegemony, resulting in a greater level of creative freedom.

It feels kinda funny being a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian and saying this, but economics is not only measured in gross revenues, you also have to take into account some of the less obvious factors involved in music creation and distribution. Sure, there are avenues for abuse in just about every method of distributing a product, but I'd say that things are better for the metal scene now that labels have to deal with competition from sites like Bandcamp, and frankly I'd sooner put out my own music for free and have it heard while working my day job rather than make some label owner a bunch of money.
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