Musicians Increasingly Realizing That Streaming Services Are Actually A Really Good Thing


For over four years now, we’ve been somewhat mystified by the hatred from some musicians and labels towards streaming services like Spotify. The general complaint seems to be that “it doesn’t pay enough,” but “enough” is often at ridiculously high standards. I’ve now seen three separate analyses that show that, on a per listener-per play basis, Spotify pays more than any other source. The problem, it often seems, is one of expectations. Part of it is simply that musicians seem to forget that their labels take a giant chunk of their earnings, and that the payments that eventually trickle down to musicians are often months or years late. Also, those doing the complaining often seem unable to comprehend that these services take time to grow, and as they grow, the payouts get bigger and bigger. But the biggest mistake of all seems to be the idea that not having your music where your fans want it is somehow a good idea. 

I am not an expert on the revenue model from streaming companies such as Spotify, but I would not be surprised if musicians find a way to make these services work for them.  Spotify has a large catalogue already, but perhaps local orchestras and choral organizations can find new revenue sources in this manner without having to produce traditional albums.

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