Bands need to get bet­ter at fol­low­ing the num­bers stream

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

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

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