Stream­ing is unstoppable and artists should just jump in

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

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

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