Bands need to get better at following the numbers stream
Certain complaints pop up in music interviews again and again. Talk long enough to any band who’ve been burned by the music industry, for instance, and you’ll hear a litany of woes about what happened and what-could-have-been.
When acts grumble about things that went sour with record deals, you tend to sympathise a little. Many didn’t have a clue what they were getting into and never quite grasped the idea of independent advice.
It’s a much different situation today. One of the most welcome aspects of the move to digital sales and revenue is that every single digital platform can provide you with a spreadsheet of your sales per week, per territory or per whatever other metric comes to mind. Acts and labels may be drowning in data as a result but at least, they have the facts and figures to hand.
All of which makes the new survey from Dan Le Sac and Complete Music Update about artists and streaming revenues so interesting. Fifty per cent of artists know how much their label is receiving per play from Spotify, but the same doesn’t apply to other platforms such as Deezer, Rdio, Vevo or YouTube.
Naturally, the survey shows that most artists believe streaming royalties to be too low, but it’s fascinating that the majority are not aware of what they get from the biggest streaming platform of all.
YouTube is the go-to for many people when they want to check out an act or song, and yet the artists have prioritised Spotify, chiefly perhaps because that service has become the whipping boy in the streaming royalty debate.
At a time when artists have all the forensic data they need to hand, they really should take the time to study it. They might not like what it says, but they ignorance of the facts are not grounds for grumbling.
Number cruncher: Dan le Sac