Stats & Facts Must Just Be Bias Demand

Word Round Town is That Stats & Facts Must Just Be Bias Demand

I don’t know about you but the music industry can seem little confusing sometimes. Each day cases, lawsuits, statistics, company rivalries, and so much more hits are presented to us in various formats (magazines, newspapers, blog, forums etc). Today I’d like to carry on with the streaming music issues that have arisen.

The argument has been going on for so long, but who is right? No, really. Who is right? We are hit right and left with so many contradicting ‘facts’ and statistics’. Are these real, or just lofty opinions? We have to ask ourselves this question before we take any side in supporting artists or streaming companies.

Here are some examples:

Cary Sherman, head of RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) told Re\Code reporter

“They will not just take down all 100 copies. They’l take down only the file that we’ve identified. We have to find every one of them, and notice them,…”

Vs.

YouTube’s director of global music partnerships Christopher Muller’s report in The Guardian

“thousands of labels and rightholders have licensing agreements with YouTube to actually leave fan videos up and earn revenue from them.”

The announcement of Gabriela Vatu on behalf of SoftPedia regarding a brand new study on YouTube,

“A brand new study indicates that the popular video streaming site is the reason why record labels lose millions of dollars each year.”

Vs.

YouTube‘s claim,

“…where radio does pay royalties, we pay at least twice as much.”

Blondie’s public complaint in The Guardian

“YouTube has enabled a flood of unlicensed content into the marketplace, driving the market price down and using their monopoly-power to pay next to nothing.”

Vs .

YouTube’s statistics,

“Only 0.5% of all music claims are issued manually; we handle the remaining 99.5% with 99.7% accuracy. And today, fan-uploaded content accounts for roughly 50% of the music industry’s revenue from YouTube.”

Musicians and labels complain that file-sharing, streaming and piracy don’t benefit the industry at all. However, statistics (whether their real or not) indicate that it actually increases revenue by acting a a promotional tool (that costs the company nothing by the way). For instance,

“a funny video of a Ben Affleck interview helped propel Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence to the Top 10 Hot Rock Songs chart 50 years after it was released.”

Many people will say Spotify do not pay enough. Spotify pay out 70-75% of their revenue back to the artists and or record company (whoever is in charge of the accounting). If you didn’t know, 1% of artists receive up to around 77% of the revenue earned in the music industry (radio, live, stream, downloads, merchandise, ads etc). Maybe that is one reason why Spotify isn’t good for new artists. Of course it will be hard for any new artist hoping to promote themselves these days, when there is so much competition with so many people aspiring to be full-time paid musicians and artists. But, in my option, it is also down to the fact that generally people listen to what they know (commercial pop icons) or what is directly fed to them (commercial pop icons).

One thing is for sure though and that is Nothing is for sure in the music industry.

 

Elmo pic taken from Best Elmo rap song – big bird goes crazy – YouTube

 

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Streaming is Changing…for the better?

Word Round Town is That “Streaming is Changing”.

The world of streaming is changing, and it’s hard to say whether or not it’s for the better. For artists, not necessarily record labels, the newly introduced changes will most likely impact them positively if all goes according to plan. Tidal’s and Apple Music’s latest means that users will have to pay for their streaming. This principle favours the artists by increasing their revenue and at the same time users receive a package of continually updates offers and services. Even Soundcloud have followed the similar principle for profit (of which will be addressed later).

However, for the user, the fan, the listener, this recent “development” cannot be all so good. It’s fair to say we may soon see the end of free streaming services. Competition is HOT! And all major services all seem to want exclusivity. They want their listener to be totally loyal to them and them alone. The listener will of course have to if all major services begin charging and if artists continue to exclude themselves from certain services (e.g Taylor Swift removing her music from Spotify).

My hope is that Spotify, as they are currently still doing, will remain true to their mission to release free music while still providing revenue for artists through ad-support and the option of paid subscription.

Just as the world leaders may squeeze society into newly developed technologies or procedures (e.g. forcing people to carry out their traditional activities online as opposed to traditional methods , as such methods decrease in society – reservations/bookings/registration, payments, CV/job searching, coursework, essays, news) so streaming is gradually bringing society into a place where music can no longer be viewed as free to listen to, unless listened to illegally.

Apple Music, in January this year, ended their free streaming of iTunes radio leaving station users with either of these messages “READY TO PLAY WHEN YOU ARE” or “Get on our Wavelength” and prompted to join the payed subscription. Of course those who pay will receive more than what they were given whilst using the free service. Subscribers will receive on -and offline listening, radio stations, social ties and tailor made recommendations, the use of Siri (voice command), expert-created playlists, a blog and a social network (“Connect”) that gives artists a platform to share content with their followers.

Soundcloud has changed drastically, and surely not for the better. Soundcloud have robbed themselves of the very thing that made the streaming service unique – favouring the undiscoverable and independent. Make a song, distribute it free of charge (up to 2hours of uploading space). Not only has it been great for music but also podcasts, spoken word and other audio based material.

On a social platform with a level playing field for all artists and other site-users, users can upload their own material, repost the material of others, follow account holders, and comment on and “Like” uploads. Undiscovered/independent artists have been recognised by major artists through Soundcloud (e.g. Snoop Dogg discovering Iza Lach, the unknown producer Boots working with Beyonce).

Now that Soundcloud are making users join a paid subscription, it is less likely such unique aspects of Soundcloud will be considered the place for independent artists and create such opportunities for these artists.

YouTube have also decided to pull the plug on free music…almost. YouTube are moving closer and closer into an exclusive tier. Recently YouTube forced revenue earning users to comply to the new terms and conditions with the site with a slight blackmail stating “videos will no longer be available for public display or monitization in the United States” if revenue earners refused to comply (small clips will still be viewable). ESPN had to remove most of their content from all formats of YouTube in the United States.

There we have it. Streaming may be gradually fading into an all-pay no-say service. However there is still hope with the likes of Spotify.

 

unrelated Elmo picture found at Elmo’s World: Music – Muppet Wiki – Wikia