Continuing the discussion from Qobuz Integration:
Lucy Rose is a 26-year-old British singer-songwriter. She started by recording songs in her parents’ living room.
“We put a video up and it was only from people sharing that YouTube video that actually anything happened with me. I was unsigned, playing small gigs, but that was a real big break for me.”
After her videos and songs got millions of plays on streaming sites, a record company took her on, and began to promote her, even in countries where she didn’t have a physical record out.
"We got flown out to do some shows in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and China, and that was only possible because these streaming services were exposing my music to people that probably wouldn’t have heard it otherwise.
“I feel like it’s getting harder and harder to survive in the music industry and to get established in any way. Not as many people are buying records as they used to, which makes things a lot harder for us. Because if people don’t buy my record… I will get dropped by my label.”
“I was interested in the number of streams I got on Spotify and I think it was around five million plays of the entire album from start to finish, in America, which for me was really exciting. But at the same time I didn’t see any money from that… so I don’t think it’s actually made a difference how the company sees me as an artist.”
Spotify says that for five million individual plays, it pays $25,000. But they don’t pay artists directly: instead they pay the artists’ labels and publishers who own the music.
All things considered, it seems to me that streaming is bad for everyone other than perhaps Apple - artist’s aren’t seeing sufficient money to make a living plying their craft, streaming companies are making massive unsustainable losses (yes there’ll be consolidation… and then we’ll end up with a monopoly dictating what we get to listen to) and record co’s are probably not seeing much in the way of market share and/or profits either.
Frankly, I care nought about the record and steaming companies, my concern lies with the artists who are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. In a world where everyone can be a musician and everything is available online, how do truly good artists (go away bieber et. al) become recognised, earn a decent living and make a viable career out of doing something they love that gives millions pleasure? If they can’t solve this dilemma, it’s not just the artists that will suffer, but as consumers we will be left only with content, produced, controlled and streamed by a monopolistic faceless industry, dross passed off as music. Isn’t it time we, as consumers, started being a little more careful about how we purchase and consume music? Wouldn’t a world where you pay the artists you enjoy directly (or a representative organisation that has the artist’s interests at heart) be a better one? Streaming would still be possible, it may cost a little more, only it would benefit both the artists and you as consumer. I’m not saying for a second I have the answers, but I guess I am saying we can ignore what’s going on at our own peril where continued availability and enjoyment of great music is concerned.