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Temple Of Blood
Old Man Yells at Cloud

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
Posts: 3053
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 2:24 pm 
 

As far as I can tell young listeners don't buy much music at all and get most everything they listen to for free from Spotify.

Us older metal guys are probably less likely to buy music as we get older. I also think if we do buy it, we are less likely to discuss it online and promote it. This is at least what I have observed.

Now Spotify has just paid a ton of money for exclusive rights to Joe Rogan's podcasts. I think this is a harbinger of things to come, and will eventually filter down to music artists. I think this will make Spotify even more of a go-to place for music, even for older metalheads.

I think we all know that realistically Spotify pays 99.9% of new metal artists nothing. It's certainly nothing at all compared to having someone pay for a digital download, CD, or LP. I think that platforms like Spotify (and even Bandcamp) encourage the artist to give away all their music for free. This relationship is largely one-sided and doesn't benefit the artist much at all IMHO. One-sided relationships like these will ensure that metal's future will not be very bright.

So what are your thoughts about the present and potential future impact of Spotify on metal music?
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LycanthropeMoon
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:53 pm
Posts: 705
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 2:49 pm 
 

Bands are probably going to have to focus more on merch sales than album sales if they wanna make money - I'm pretty sure things have already started shifting in that direction anyway. If they put more focus into selling t-shirts or whatever, I'm sure bands can have the chance to (financially) survive - Idle Hands have been doing a good job with this, actually. There will always be collectors, however - vinyl sells pretty well with people that still listen to rock-based music, be it metal, punk or...y'know, good ol' fashioned rock 'n roll. I still buy physical copies whenever I'm able to (mostly on CD simply because it's cheaper), though I use Spotify all the time too and certainly can't deny its convenience.

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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 726
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 3:43 pm 
 

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.
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Temple Of Blood
Old Man Yells at Cloud

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
Posts: 3053
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:00 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.


Well said. I agree with all of this.
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thewrll
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:33 am
Posts: 152
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:16 pm 
 

Depends on the metal, most of what I listen to will never appear on spotify, I buy all my online music from bandcamp.

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Ace_Rimmer
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:30 am
Posts: 1427
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:17 pm 
 

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.

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

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jimbies
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 2302
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:38 pm 
 

I started collecting CDs in the mid-90's at 10 or 11 years old. Since I turned 15, I've never traded, sold or given away a CD. My collection is well over 3000, but I completely stopped buying them in 2013.
I started my vinyl collection KIND of in 2001, just collecting old beat-up copies of some favourite Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and Metallica records. Then I started really collecting and buying brand new in about 2011. I have well over 1,000 pieces in my collection, but even those, I stopped buying 2018.

It's not even about not supporting the artist or money, it's literally like WHERE THE FUCK am I putting all this STUFF? I spend my money on a lot concert tickets and merch at shows (well, at least before 'Rona). 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).

I'll probably eventually still pick up a handful of vinyl a year of my favourite records of the year, but I haven't purchased a physical album since February of 2018, and since then I've been gifted two records. I would have never, ever thought I'd stop.

Spotify just makes way more sense for me these days. I was totally against it at first, as well.

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Spiner202
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 2152
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:50 pm 
 

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.

On a similar line of thinking, it's also less work to get into music. You can listen to one song and immediately have a Spotify playlist with tons of recommendations. In the past, people would flip through vinyl for cool artwork or scour the liner notes to see what bands get thanked. Like many things in life, the more you put into something, the more you get out of it.

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.

Spotify was a great solution from a legal perspective, but it also accelerated the rate of adoption of getting music for free. Though I still buy CDs en masse, I'm continually frustrated by labels who can't get any distribution. In the last few months, new releases from Havok, Warbringer, Testament, and Traveller were unable to find their way to be within 2-4 weeks of the release date. 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. So I don't blame people who adopt these services.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:51 pm 
 

I love buying physical albums and all, but I got a lot already and am not planning to stay in one place for much longer at this point, so digital purchases have made more sense as of late, usually through bandcamp when it's available and all. I use Spotify to sample things to see what I want to buy later. If I settle somewhere, I'll see about more physical purchases then for sure. It's just the change in the industry, using Spotify. I think people will figure it out in the future and metal (usually a project of passion anyway) isn't really in danger in any big way.
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Curious_dead
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:13 pm
Posts: 216
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 5:50 pm 
 

I use Spotify. I used to purchase a lot of albums, but life being what it is, I started using digital services instead due to lack of space and having for bills to pay. Honestly if artists got a better cut, I'd be willing to pay more for my subscription, though. Once space becomes less of an issue, I might get a vinyl collection too, I always loved those.

The upside is that it has allowed me to discover a lot of bands and listen to albums I couldn't get my hands on physical releases. It's also less plastic in the world, so there is that.

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narsilianshard
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 2377
Location: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:00 pm 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
I think that platforms like Spotify (and even Bandcamp) encourage the artist to give away all their music for free.

Please provide a single example of Bandcamp encouraging this.

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Dudeguy Jones
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 6:15 pm
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:13 pm 
 

As a purchaser of music, who cant afford to keep a huge vinyl collection anymore, I prefer to buy my stuff through Bandcamp.
I think it provides the artist with the most amount of income aside from buying stuff at a show directly from the band.

Can anyone confirm this?

Ive never used Spotify. Ive no issue with anyone using it, but I also dont feel like its an avenue I want to pursue.

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LithoJazzoSphere
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
Posts: 1055
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:07 pm 
 

I held out on it for a long time, but eventually gave in. I guess it's ultimately futile to resist, because even though I have thousands of CDs and hundreds of records and tapes, and still purchase them occasionally, I've also downloaded even more, and effectively used Youtube as a streaming service for quite awhile, which isn't really much different, just not as well organized.

I have a lot of mixed feelings, as on one hand it's made it even easier to check things out, but there's something missing from losing some of the thrill of the hunt. I still remember when there were certain CDs you couldn't find here, so I had to pay extra to import them from Europe. While expensive and inefficient, that did make me treasure those discoveries much more than just a few of a mouse. I still like picking up a record, watching the vinyl spin, looking at the larger cover art, and it makes it a tangible experience that isn't anywhere near the same when you're just looking at alphanumerical characters on a screen.

I also worry a little seeing all of the bands that for whatever reason don't have any presence on it though. Maybe for some it's by choice, some it's on the label or distributor's end. To an extent for a lot of people now if it's not on a major streaming service, it effectively doesn't exist, and some great music will become lost to time.

This really almost becomes its own topic, and somewhat of a tangential spin on a prior one of mine, but music feels increasingly disposable in culture. People don't often have it as nearly an integral part of their lives (people here are something of an exception), and it just becomes sonic wallpaper for many.

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Hecatomb867
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:56 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:38 pm 
 

I'm seeing a lot of misinformed comments here. Spotify is NOT free music, it's a PAID subscription streaming service. Spotify DOES pay money to artists. Artists are essentially paid a small sum per stream. It is a very small cut, to be sure, but the more streams a song/album gets those small cuts can add up. And every artist is paid the same per stream. There is no conspiracy against metal artists where they're getting paid nothing while country musicians and rappers are getting paid a lot.

Think of it this way, if you buy a vinyl for say $25-$30 and listen to it 1000 times how much is the artist really making off that purchase once record labels, distributors and retailers take their cut? In the vast majority of cases the artist receives very little, if anything at all. While if you streamed that album on Spotify the same number of times that artist would be getting substantially more (theoretically) as it's cutting out a lot of these middle men (distributors and retailers).

Physical media has a much lower profit margin than most people like to believe, not to mention it's a one-time purchase. Streaming is continuous income. The potential exists for metal artists (or any artist for that matter) to financially prosper from streaming services.

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thewrll
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:33 am
Posts: 152
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:11 pm 
 

narsilianshard wrote:
Temple Of Blood wrote:
I think that platforms like Spotify (and even Bandcamp) encourage the artist to give away all their music for free.

Please provide a single example of Bandcamp encouraging this.

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thewrll
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:33 am
Posts: 152
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:17 pm 
 

thewrll wrote:
narsilianshard wrote:
Temple Of Blood wrote:
I think that platforms like Spotify (and even Bandcamp) encourage the artist to give away all their music for free.

Please provide a single example of Bandcamp encouraging this.


Yep what a stupid thing to say, uniformed beyond measure.

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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
Posts: 6341
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:31 pm 
 

You're right in your assessment that bands with lot of streams will see more money at the end of the day. On the other hand, what about niche bands with just a few fans? Won't they see more money from the few physical media they produce than from having a few hundred streams? Honest question here.

One thing I can't understand about the usage of paid streaming services is this. Why pay a fee every month to be able to ear something I can buy once and listen as many times as I want for the rest of my life? Many times the argument made is that it's more portable to stream than it is play physical media, but it really isn't when I can just rip any CD I own into MP3 and listen to it on the same smartphone that'd be running Spotify. And I don't spend neither money on the platform's monthly fee nor do I have any data usage (which also costs money). Again, honest question here. I'm not trying to flame streaming users but I'd like to understand what's the appeal. Unless its appeal is the immediacy in how new music that you still don't own is available. Still, most if not all albums nowadays are streamed for free on Youtube and in legal ways. Labels stream their stuff on their own channels, on Bandcamp and whatever else, so it's not like you must have a paid service to do what paid services do. I can't see why I should give my money to streaming companies, that's all.
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CloggedUrethra
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:30 am
Posts: 476
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:45 pm 
 

Artists can't even upload their music to Spotify, they have to pay a distributor to do it, then spotify pays the distributor and the distributor pays the artist. It's a scam, they're all leaches.
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LithoJazzoSphere
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
Posts: 1055
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:13 pm 
 

Hecatomb867 wrote:
Physical media has a much lower profit margin than most people like to believe, not to mention it's a one-time purchase. Streaming is continuous income. The potential exists for metal artists (or any artist for that matter) to financially prosper from streaming services.


Thinking about this thread a little since posting in it, and noticing this, it brought to mind this video I watched a little while ago which is pretty relevant. I don't agree with all of his points, but there are some interesting things to ponder.

Spoiler: show


Last edited by LithoJazzoSphere on Thu May 21, 2020 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OpsiusCato
Mexican Metal Inquisition

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:42 am
Posts: 2914
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:23 pm 
 

Spotify is fucking cancer. Fucking parasitic platform.
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Unorthodox
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:08 pm
Posts: 1916
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:46 pm 
 

I don't really like Spotify, but I think Joe Rogan's podcast is gonna pull me into it. Fucking crazy- he got $100+ million contract to go there. A tenth of a billion. If you consider the mantra of "you work hard, you make it in a capitalist society", and consider that he's on his 1478th episode as of today, every episode gave him eventually $67,659 of that 100million dollar contract (100million/1478). That's not including whatever revenue he may have been generating while on YouTube.
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Zodijackyl
63 Axe Handles High

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:13 pm 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
I think we all know that realistically Spotify pays 99.9% of new metal artists nothing.


How is this different from many of the labels metal bands of the past have dealt with? Many bands who are now underground legends talked about how their labels never paid them royalties and called them ripoffs. Bands would get paid an advance to cover recording costs, but that was often a pittance, and only by necessity to actually record something halfway listenable.

Consider all the extreme metal classics on Wild Rags - wasn't the label infamous for bands not seeing a dime, despite the owner being a die-hard and passionate fan/promoter who would often give away lots of physical releases? Another example is Turbo Records sending Beherit a $50 advance for The Oath of Black Blood, which was just a compilation of a demo and an earlier 7" because the band couldn't even afford to record anything.

Or perhaps, since I know Temple of Blood is more of a trad metal guy, a heavy metal example: Liege Lord recorded a demo, send it to Iron Works who put it out as a "Demo LP" (as well as some gimmicky shaped records that were cut by the stack in a dude's garage), then got a bit of an advance (I believe from Black Dragon) to record three more tracks to make an album. However, they couldn't even get back the master tapes from the label, so six of the nine tracks on the debut were cut using that demo LP as a source, and to match that sound, the engineer had to apply a tremendous amount of reverb.

Much of the Black Dragon Records catalogue is similar - incredible releases, but I don't think the bands ever saw any money beyond an advance that covered part of the recording costs. Candlemass, Heir Apparent, and Liege Lord managed one album on that label. Hell, Liege Lord signed to Metal Blade for their next album, and they ran out of money while recording it - there's some uneven volume levels and other things that could've been fixed in a day of mixing and mastering.

Or, if you don't mind me asking @Temple of Blood, you self-released CDs in 2005 and 2008 - was there really any significant amount of money to be made (or returned on the investment of recordings costs) back then, or was this really just a project of passion and that was the best way to get it out there? It seems to me that the fuel there was passion, and there likely wouldn't have been much of a financial difference releasing them ten years earlier or later.

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~Guest 454771
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:01 pm
Posts: 527
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:42 pm 
 

You guys really need to re-read capital some time. The situation now is fundamentally the same as the situation then. The bands and musicians are the "workers" who provide the labor that produces value, in this case their musical offerings, and the "capitalists" are the ones who enjoy legally sanctioned ownership of the "means of production" which in this case is the tools for distributing music. Whether that is distributing physical records or digital files, the relationship between the two parties is the same. This relationship cannot be non-exploitative because if it was then the workers in this scenario, the bands, would just keep all the fruits of their labor and the capitalists here would get squat. That obviously can't happen because they are the ones deciding the rules. If these tools were a public utility then the bands and artists with the most individual merit would rise to the top instead of some suit deciding who gets what. So, the lesson is if you are against socialism then you hate metal. :D :P

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Hecatomb867
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:56 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:12 am 
 

androdion wrote:
You're right in your assessment that bands with lot of streams will see more money at the end of the day. On the other hand, what about niche bands with just a few fans? Won't they see more money from the few physical media they produce than from having a few hundred streams? Honest question here.


There's really no way to quantify this to a certainty, but I think it's safe to say that a small niche band with few fans will receive almost nothing from either physical media sales or streams. And an important thing to consider with physical media is that there is zero guarantee that a physical release will be profitable for an artist at all. It's very easy for a band to end up sitting on boxes and boxes full of unsold units that will surely wipe out any profits from units that they do sell, financially handicapping the artist in question.

So with that in mind, I'd wager that a small band with just a few fans is probably safer forgoing any physical releases and relying instead on streams (or better yet, a digital only release through bandcamp). Worst case scenario with physical media is going into massive debt. Worst thing that'll happen with streaming is nobody streams it and the band is basically right where they started.

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hots_towel
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:19 am
Posts: 419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:47 am 
 

You guys are pretty lucky if you're finding everything you want to listen to on spotify and apple music etc. A lot of artists and albums I like are not available on any streaming service, so their selection alone is enough for me to continue buying physical media. Also I mainly listen to it while commuting. It's not so easy for me to flip around artists and playlists while I'm driving. If I want to change the playlist but I cant get a red light to change safely I'll flip over to the radio until I get a moment to do so. My point there is streaming apps are convenient, until they aren't.

Another thing is spotify's free version is almost not worth it. When I was using it for free I always ran out of my hourly skips just to get to one song I wanted to listen to on a given album. Even if you "like" a song the shuffle is still just as random. If it was any good then paying for a subscription wouldn't be worth it.

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MetallicaMegadethIronMaiden
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:35 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:02 am 
 

Hecatomb867 wrote:
I'm seeing a lot of misinformed comments here. Spotify is NOT free music, it's a PAID subscription streaming service. Spotify DOES pay money to artists...

Very true. I have three Beastie Boys CDs and pretty much every Pearl Jam CD and I'd listen the heck out of them. I would even take them on the bus, not caring what others thought of a skinny 15 year old kid with a huge ass CD Walkman in his lap. Now after all the middleman shit was over how much did Eddie Vedder get from those CDs? I couldn't tell you, but it probably wasn't too much. Spotify pays I believe 1 cent per every 7 listens on a song to that artist, but I could be wrong. With the sheer amount of fans that Pearl Jam has, Eddie probably has mad stacks from Spotify. Now vinyl is some dope ass quality but they take up so much space. Plus if the album has only like one or two songs I like in it, and 15 others I don't, I'm not going to listen to it (granted I've heard the songs and not just heard of them, then decided I don't like them). If I had a CD/vinyl for every song I have on Spotify, I'd literally have no where to put it. We're talking multiple thousands of songs, and I'd have to keep up with the playback device, and find each CD I want to listen to. But I'm going to be using my phone/computer anyways so might as well turn on Spotify.

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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 726
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:51 am 
 

Hecatomb867 wrote:
Physical media has a much lower profit margin than most people like to believe, not to mention it's a one-time purchase. Streaming is continuous income. The potential exists for metal artists (or any artist for that matter) to financially prosper from streaming services.


Your point is about physical media being low-margin for bands is fair - unless you're buying from underground bands, and have the opportunity to buy from them directly. If you must be digital, Bandcamp pays artists 85%. Compare this to Spotify below.

The below has some interesting stats on making money from streaming - for small metal bands ? not a chance.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2019/oct/31/best-streaming-service-mp3-pays-artists

MetallicaMegadethIronMaiden wrote:
Hecatomb867 wrote:
I'm seeing a lot of misinformed comments here. Spotify is NOT free music, it's a PAID subscription streaming service. Spotify DOES pay money to artists...

Spotify pays I believe 1 cent per every 7 listens on a song to that artist, but I could be wrong. If I had a CD/vinyl for every song I have on Spotify, I'd literally have no where to put it. We're talking multiple thousands of songs, and I'd have to keep up with the playback device, and find each CD I want to listen to. But I'm going to be using my phone/computer anyways so might as well turn on Spotify.


Here we see the points / observations made above.

Spotify is essentially free at the point of use, when compared to actually buying your music collection. 9.99 p/m for access to all of that ? That's essentially free. It's also actually free if you are one of those people that game the trial periods. It's even cheaper if you're a student. You can download music for that price.

Now, in terms of paying artists. Spotify pays artists a percentage of it's income and profit (it doesn't make any profit), via distributors. So there's no direct link there as there is with Bandcamp, or buying direct from a band's site. On the pay an artists receives - "Spotify says that its average payout for a stream to labels and publishers is between $0.006 and $0.0084, but Information Is Beautiful suggests that the average payment to an artist from the label portion of that is $0.001128 – this being what a signed artist receives after the label's share."

By 2018, Spotify is at an impressive $0.000473 per play - get 330,000 streams to hit $1,500.

Source - https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/03/how-much-musicians-make-spotify-itunes-youtube

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Spiner202 wrote:
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.


I agree with that first point completely - having access to all of the music at all times means that it eventually becomes just background soundtracks for a lot of people, rather than anything meaningful. So many people I work with don't relate to music, it's just a mechanical part of what they do in the gym / in the car / dance to in a club / etc.

Zodijackyl wrote:
How is this different from many of the labels metal bands of the past have dealt with? Many bands who are now underground legends talked about how their labels never paid them royalties and called them ripoffs. Bands would get paid an advance to cover recording costs, but that was often a pittance, and only by necessity to actually record something halfway listenable.


At this point in time, a thread on 'all labels are bastards' would be pretty redundant, no ? :lol:
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Zephirus
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:11 am 
 

spotify has a pretty good format i think. i don't pay for it but if i did i'd like having all that music organised with images etc
i've recently discovered PLEX and i'm enjoying their app. you get band Bios and album reviews. if you pay for premium you can get lyrics.
my PLEX library is made from my own MP3 collection which i've spent several months sorting it (had a disaster with music brainz picard, another story :thumbsdown: ).
i still don't want to pay for a cloud service but i'm warming to a digital collection. i buy less CDs these days and i don't get the same joy from a new CD coming through the post. i get some small excitement for a while then it just goes on shelf :scratch: . i mainly buy CDs so i can listen to them in the car, but i think now you would struggle to buy a new car with a CD player!
i can see me ripping all my CDs and moving them over to my PLEX , just a lot more convenient i'm finding.

as long as artists are getting their share from spotify i don't think there will be much impact on metal music
i think for this question it would be great to hear from an artist with music on spotify to see if it's helped or hindered them

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Dudeguy Jones
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 6:15 pm
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:05 am 
 

Methuen wrote:
I agree with that first point completely - having access to all of the music at all times means that it eventually becomes just background soundtracks for a lot of people, rather than anything meaningful. So many people I work with don't relate to music, it's just a mechanical part of what they do in the gym / in the car / dance to in a club / etc.


BAM. That explains exactly why its not for me. Its too much. Too much of everything degrades even the best of things. Music is one of my most favorite things. When I used to grab stuff from Napster and Limewire years ago, I was fevered and excited, but years and years later I dont recall that much. Sure I like Broken Social Scene as a result, but I dont recall the whole story. Yet over 20 years ago I can deeply remember the whole experience of getting into hardcore and punk as a skateboarding teen. Finding that one store that had the best stuff that no one had. Not being able to buy it all. Sometimes buying something that sucked!! Man. Those memories are worth a lot more to me than having endless music. Not to mention the details I recall from all those records compared to modern days.

The "Digging" is way different now, but the time spent listening is still the same. And having that one album line up with a moment in your life is all the worth needed. That doesn't seem to happen when you are constantly moving to the next thing.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:13 am 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
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.


Guaranteed there were lots of people back then too who didn't care much about music and just played the radio or only skipped through their albums for the songs they liked. Music is like anything else, people always have varying degrees of interest.

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.


I don't think that's really the case. Just depends what bands you go see. The 80s classic metal bands will always draw older crowds nowadays. Younger people have moved onto other acts.

I totally get the idea of Spotify and all that being "too much." It's a bit jarring at first. But I think of it as just a really easy way to try shit and not have to worry about shitty low quality downloads missing tracks or fucking up or whatever.
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CoconutBackwards
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:02 pm
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:24 pm 
 

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


I love Spotify.
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overkill1978
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:11 pm
Posts: 111
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:30 pm 
 

I'm a collector and seller. I buy music that is limited and that I can profit off of to help make a living. I collect/sell a lot of limited vinyl. I used to support bands by going to 100s and 100s of shows over the last 25 years but, who knows how that's going to go now. I try to only buy things that will be worth money so I can liquidate if I need to for good money. Probably a bad deal for musicians, but, it is what it is. Gotta look out for yourself in this life, sadly. Basically, my bottom line is all I can be worried about. I do have Spotify as well. I pay for it. Thousands of bands I listen to at my fingertips, can't go wrong w/ that. If bands aren't making enough from it, move on.... It's a free market. Gotta do what you must to survive. It's every man for himself.

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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 726
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:42 pm 
 

overkill1978 wrote:
Probably a bad deal for musicians, but, it is what it is. Gotta look out for yourself in this life, sadly.Basically, my bottom line is all I can be worried about. I do have Spotify as well. I pay for it. Thousands of bands I listen to at my fingertips, can't go wrong w/ that. If bands aren't making enough from it, move on.... It's a free market. Gotta do what you must to survive. It's every man for himself.


Nothing wrong with the buying & selling world - but the rest ? Making several points all at once there, thanks :lol:
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overkill1978
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Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:11 pm
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:47 pm 
 

Methuen wrote:
overkill1978 wrote:
Probably a bad deal for musicians, but, it is what it is. Gotta look out for yourself in this life, sadly.Basically, my bottom line is all I can be worried about. I do have Spotify as well. I pay for it. Thousands of bands I listen to at my fingertips, can't go wrong w/ that. If bands aren't making enough from it, move on.... It's a free market. Gotta do what you must to survive. It's every man for himself.


Nothing wrong with the buying & selling world - but the rest ? Making several points all at once there, thanks :lol:


Yep. and all of them I fully believe. Why would you post your work on a site you feel you aren't getting paid enough for? That's like working at Wal-Mart. The pay sucks and the job sucks. Do something else. Life is full of options. Don't limit yourself to mediocrity. People that hate on Spotify because they don't pay artists enough should NEVER shop at Wal-Mart, McDonalds.... hell anywhere where the employees get paid and treated like garbage. If you shop at any place where employees make terrible money and can't make a living, then you are a hypocrite for saying that Spotify "sucks" because they don't pay artists enough. Hell, at least the artists making music enjoy what they are doing if they aren't getting paid well. Tons of employees at jobs break their fucking backs every day for slave wages. It's not my job to teach anyone how to make money or worry how they get their money. That is their problem.

Truth is, this life is survival of the fittest. Making money is hard (for some people...). Learn how to do it or fail. Those are the facts of life. Call me an asshole if you want, but, you can't deny the truth.

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hells_unicorn
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:08 pm 
 

I have a personal library of just under 3,000 albums on CD, some of them collector's items, but much of it a combination of second hand stuff purchased over the years and maybe a few hundred that were bought new either through The Wall or Sam Goodie back in the 90s. Throw in a few assorted cassettes I still have from the late 80s and some vinyls I got just for the sake of having, and my room has all the makings of a fully stocked warehouse. I stopped buying physical albums in bulk when it stopped being fun.

I only jumped on board the Spotify train since late 2017, but frankly speaking, I view it as little more than on-demand radio minus the annoying DJ. It's allowed far more music to be heard, so I think in an objective sense, it's been a positive for metal. I don't really miss the old days where I was at the mercy of big labels or MTV to find metal, which was a loser's bargain once the death metal craze fizzled out. Occasionally I'll buy an album in physical form in order to help a band that I really care about, but I'm out of the business of buying physical albums just to help Lars Ulrich continue decking out his mansion. Most bands were never going to reach that level of profitability, and the advent of websites like Big Cartel have made merchandising a lot easier for smaller bands looking to pay some bills.

For all the guys who say that Spotify is the spawn of the Antichrist, I'd love to hear your take on the scumbag label executives who fleeced unsuspecting bands on a daily basis throughout the golden days of the RIAA.
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:54 pm 
 

It's a false dilemma to say that we must either accept every bad thing about record executives in the old days or we must accept that the artist should give away all their music for very close to free.

I made a Spotify playlist and have been using it to try to understand The New Normal. In many ways, it is like YouTube in the sense that most everything you want is on there. I think its interface is more tedious, but it's not a huge gripe. I think it really makes buying music seem pointless when brand new albums are there to stream in full as soon as they're released. At least with YouTube someone can get a strike for posting someone else's work ... on Spotify artists do this to themselves.

It really is artists hurting themselves with all of this, and that's OK if few here agree.

I think the best position for the artist is to make their singles free on Spotify/YouTube/etc., use those platforms as a promotional tool only, and offer sales of full albums elsewhere.

It's ironic to me too, that so many people around here think newer metal is still of a really high quality, but then still don't want to pay for it. Sure, people buy some of the metal they listen to, but nowhere close to as much as they actually listen to. I'm speaking in general terms here, not in every specific instance.
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narsilianshard
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:23 pm 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
I think the best position for the artist is to make their singles free on Spotify/YouTube/etc., use those platforms as a promotional tool only, and offer sales of full albums elsewhere.

This is really naive, you don't seem to grasp why Spotify/Youtube rips exists in the first place. People use them because they don't want to spend money on digital music. For the vast majority, it's essentially an easier way to torrent. Not only that, Spotify doesn't even allow artist to add links pointing to their Bandcamp. So not only are Spotify users not going to go out of their way to pay for something when it's not free, they're sure as hell not going to take the time to research other platforms where the band's material might be available.

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overkill1978
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:11 pm
Posts: 111
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:46 pm 
 

narsilianshard wrote:
Temple Of Blood wrote:
I think the best position for the artist is to make their singles free on Spotify/YouTube/etc., use those platforms as a promotional tool only, and offer sales of full albums elsewhere.

This is really naive, you don't seem to grasp why Spotify/Youtube rips exists in the first place. People use them because they don't want to spend money on digital music. For the vast majority, it's essentially an easier way to torrent. Not only that, Spotify doesn't even allow artist to add links pointing to their Bandcamp. So not only are Spotify users going to go out of their way to pay for something when it's not free, they're sure as hell not going to take the time to research other platforms where the band's material might be available.


This is true, in addition, within any medium, smart people will go where the product is offered cheapest, unless there is perceived future value hike or rarity for them. I use Spotify and buy limited LP runs because there is something in it for me. CDs hold no value for the most part (there are super rare CDs and people still make money selling them, but nowhere near as much as 2 decades ago) so the market has fallen greatly on them. Digital is more convenient and limited vinyl offers a lot of cool extras for the collectors out there. People have become smarter about purchases with the advent of the internet. Selling a $15 beer coaster that plays one album when you can have millions of songs at your fingertips, wherever you go for $15 a month.... yeah, of course that's going to kill the market. You have to provide your customer with rarity or value to entice them to buy a physical product. 95% of modern day CDs provide none of that, therefore sales are terrible.

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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:00 pm 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
It's a false dilemma to say that we must either accept every bad thing about record executives in the old days or we must accept that the artist should give away all their music for very close to free.


Nobody is saying that artists have to give away anything, and sites like bandcamp do provide an avenue for people who want to sell in digital format for a cheaper price than what the average CD goes for. Spotify isn't really forcing anything, it's simply a superior outgrowth of the concept of radio. Scarcity tends to drive up the price, and I would argue that the hyper-inflated price that new releases experienced during the latter days of the CD craze (some albums were going for nearly $20, which is probably closer to $40 by today's standard of value) was due to an artificial scarcity that was maintained by monopolistic record executives, who ended up pocketing most of the money themselves. The advent of the internet has simply cut out a useless middle man who was gobbling up about 90-95 cents out of every dollar made from every album sale, I'm perfectly at peace with that even if it means that certain artists who were able to turn that 5 cents per dollar into millions of dollars have to go with a slightly lower paycheck.

Quote:
I made a Spotify playlist and have been using it to try to understand The New Normal. In many ways, it is like YouTube in the sense that most everything you want is on there. I think its interface is more tedious, but it's not a huge gripe. I think it really makes buying music seem pointless when brand new albums are there to stream in full as soon as they're released. At least with YouTube someone can get a strike for posting someone else's work ... on Spotify artists do this to themselves.


Our divergence on this probably lies with the term "New Normal", I don't subscribe to such a concept existing. The music market, like any other market, is in a constant state of flux due to the rapid pace of technological development, both in recording and distribution. As such, the price of an entirely digital commodity is even more subjective than a physical product since it can hypothetical be reproduced infinitely. The only issue I see here is the issue of intellectual property rights, but if an artist is voluntarily foregoing profits in one area in order to heighten the profit margin in another (i.e. on tour or through other merchandise), I see zero problem with this. I occasionally get nostalgic for the days of delayed gratification where you saved your money and purchased an album on its release date, but when putting things in perspective, music was more scarce then so the difference in how it was procured had a logic to it. I don't really see the need to go back to that, even if there are aspects of that era that I miss.

Quote:
It really is artists hurting themselves with all of this, and that's OK if few here agree.


How so? What's the difference between millions hearing your albums for free and you taking a small check versus a few hundred thousand hearing them, a record label guy pocketing most of the money and you taking a similarly small check? As far as I'm concerned, I'd be stoked at having a larger audience even if it didn't correspond with the excessive wealth that less than 1% of artists would ever even attain, let alone maintain.

Quote:
I think the best position for the artist is to make their singles free on Spotify/YouTube/etc., use those platforms as a promotional tool only, and offer sales of full albums elsewhere.


Some bands do this (Mob Rules is one example of a band I follow doing so), and they tend to market most of their albums through bandcamp, which is also a viable medium for digital only music while still also being supported by a small label for physical distribution. I don't see how having a choice available to go for bigger promotion via free media in order to potentially boost concert attendance or merch sales is such a bad thing.

Quote:
It's ironic to me too, that so many people around here think newer metal is still of a really high quality, but then still don't want to pay for it. Sure, people buy some of the metal they listen to, but nowhere close to as much as they actually listen to. I'm speaking in general terms here, not in every specific instance.


I can only speak for myself, but as someone who is always hungry for new music, Spotify is kind of a godsend and also allows me to spread awareness about newer material via my writing hobby. I don't see a correlation between a willingness to pay and the product's quality, everybody desires to get the most out of something at the lowest possible price, it's sort of a hallmark of human behavior. I will admit that there was a certain uniqueness to the older bands who had to deal with all of the past barriers to entry, but a lot of those bands never enjoyed the distribution that would have allowed them to continue on the way those select few who hit it big did. I'd say about half of the bands from the 80s and 90s that I now know of would have probably sailed right under my radar if YouTube didn't exist, some of them have reformed and started recording new music because of the renewed interest sparked by their out of print material being freely available.
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snarg
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri May 22, 2020 4:25 pm
Posts: 173
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:09 pm 
 

I feel like some people don't fully grasp the idea behind Spotify and it gets a worse rep than it deserves.

While at the time Bands get very little money from it, if people keep listening and sharing music, then those rates will go up and so are add revenues and so on.

Nothing wrong with collecting Vinyls or other physical music albums, but unfortunately, with the availability of smartphones and the easy network access, streaming platforms are understandably on the rise.

It's up to the fans, as well as the bands to adapt and accept that going forward this is the best way to get your music out there, it's a lot cheaper as well.

Once everyone buys into the idea, both fans and bands will benefit.

More, there is nothing wrong in paying a Spotify membership and still buy a physical copy if you deem it worth it. You can listen one at home and enjoy the streaming version when on the road.

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