Streaming is unstoppable and artists should just jump in
IT SEEMS we’re destined to write about Spotify every other week. But the Swedish music streaming service, particularly the details of how much it pays artists, is the story that has dominated the music business beat in 2012.
The latest twist centres on two online posts. In the first, Galaxie 500’s Damon Krukowski talked about how little he and his bandmates were getting for streams. This kind of gripe will be familiar to longtime Spotify watchers.
However, in a superbly clear-headed and bullshitfree post, David Macias also wrote about his experiences with Spotify. Macias runs Thirty Tigers, a Nashvillebased label services company. Macias collects and distributes money for artists so, he notes, he knows what they get paid because he writes the cheques.
Macias starts by correcting Krukowski’s maths (the singer was off by a multiple of 100 in his calculations) and goes on from there. He clearly and thoroughly debunks the myths, challenges the allegations and makes a lot of sense. Macias also makes the case that artists should really be getting het up instead about the attempts by the radio industry to reduce their payments to songwriters.
But in the case of the streaming services, the damage is already done. For everyone who reads what Macias has to say, there are hundreds who have read Krukowski’s misinformation or the retweeted links and summaries and concluded that Spotify are the bad-ass mofos in all of this.
But artists and their cheerleaders who adhere to this position are missing the bigger picture. The music consumption landscape has changed and streaming is where everything is going. The only way around this is to withhold your music from Spotify, Deezer, Eircom Music Hub et al. King Canute might have words of wisdom for you about that.
David Macias, founder of Thirty Tigers