Streamyopia

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I confess that I’m affected by a rare new disease, and I’m afraid it’s incurable. It started developing when I realized how much streaming platforms were the true enemy of indie music and artists.

I tried to get away from it, as I wrote in a previous blog where I said I was opting out and told my reasons for it. But it looks like it was not enough.

BTW, I’m talking about Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Deezer, Pandora, you know, these platforms who strive by screwing artists from their royalties, right? Surely, you’ve heard of them?

For those of you who don’t know yet, they are the ones who would make you believe that the pipes are more important than the water you use, the cables more important than the electricity, the plate more important than the food, the server, software and network more important than the content. Because from what they are paying the content owners, it sure is what they mean.

Now it got to a point where the more I receive these kinds of links, - be it in DM from bands I just followed, or in my stream, or anywhere really -, the less I see them… I think I am at the last stage of streamyopia! Meaning I’m afraid I will no longer be able to repost/share any of these links anymore, sorry! I might still love the bands/artists who are pushing them, but I cannot help my blindness, so I call it a change of perspective instead.

Actually the only links I see are to bands’ websites, or radios and shows and blogs and supporters of indie music, these look crystal clear to me, so I will keep posting them and sharing them and pushing them as much as I can.

Who knows? We’re still in the early discoveries of this affection but it might be contagious! Now wouldn’t it be something?

26 comments

  • Retr0nite

    Retr0nite MENASHA, WI

    May your illness be cured, and your debts forgiven.. MM MWWSASZZHAHAHZS

    May your illness be cured, and your debts forgiven..
    MM MWWSASZZHAHAHZS

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    I have no debts. And I'm not sure I want to be cured TBH, Retr0nite! :D Still, your link is pretty accurate! ;)

    I have no debts. And I'm not sure I want to be cured TBH, Retr0nite! biggrin
    Still, your link is pretty accurate! wink

  • Cozmic Debris

    Cozmic Debris The Indie Cozmos

    Been reading up on the PRO's quite a bit over the last week. After all, they are negotiating the ridiculously low royalties paid by the streamers, while making it incredibly hard to provide alternatives to the Spotifys of the world. The artist is stuck in the middle with no recourse.

    Been reading up on the PRO's quite a bit over the last week. After all, they are negotiating the ridiculously low royalties paid by the streamers, while making it incredibly hard to provide alternatives to the Spotifys of the world. The artist is stuck in the middle with no recourse.

  • Ross Seddon

    Ross Seddon Berwic Australia

    Yes, system So so broken hard to and end to the lack of financial rewards for 99.99’/, of muscians in popular music. Our audience has abandoned their financial obligation by FREE music from all sources. Even the indie radio stations whilst not pretending to pay for our material have no financial model to contribute. The corporate giants don’t care as only about $’s not the product. The bottom dwellers in scene also rampant at draging money and hope from talented and no so talented equalily. I left industry in early 80’s and the main change are even worse outcomes for artists, seriously less opportunities, no record sales, same gig payment (crap), and fully FREE music. No going well eh.....end of rant

    Yes, system So so broken hard to and end to the lack of financial rewards for 99.99’/, of muscians in popular music. Our audience has abandoned their financial obligation by FREE music from all sources. Even the indie radio stations whilst not pretending to pay for our material have no financial model to contribute. The corporate giants don’t care as only about $’s not the product. The bottom dwellers in scene also rampant at draging money and hope from talented and no so talented equalily. I left industry in early 80’s and the main change are even worse outcomes for artists, seriously less opportunities, no record sales, same gig payment (crap), and fully FREE music. No going well eh.....end of rant

  • Lee Puss

    Lee Puss Wales U.K.

    C'mon indie peeps let's get some solidarity and a mass organised boycott on the cards for 2018! By consenting to use these parasites we not only agree to the debasing of our own music but to the debasing and exploitation of all of us. Paying to use these services and promoting them is supporting this exploitation of artists so people should just be clear about that if they choose to sign up. If you truly care about the future of new music...support the artist not the pimps!

    C'mon indie peeps let's get some solidarity and a mass organised boycott on the cards for 2018! By consenting to use these parasites we not only agree to the debasing of our own music but to the debasing and exploitation of all of us. Paying to use these services and promoting them is supporting this exploitation of artists so people should just be clear about that if they choose to sign up. If you truly care about the future of new music...support the artist not the pimps!

  • Whatsisname (@seismictc)

    Whatsisname (@seismictc) UK

    I can't argue with any of this, but I can't see any alternative. Time constraints are my main consideration. A full-time job means that music has to take a back seat to other considerations. Without SoundCloud many artists would have no medium available to expose their sounds to the wider world

    I can't argue with any of this, but I can't see any alternative. Time constraints are my main consideration. A full-time job means that music has to take a back seat to other considerations. Without SoundCloud many artists would have no medium available to expose their sounds to the wider world

  • Uncle Duke

    Uncle Duke SC, USA

    I have been researching this for some time but one question has never been answered. What if I listen to a song for only 30 sec. to 1 min. then skip to something else? Does that count as a stream that the services have to pay for or do they get to slide on that one? On average (note the word average because in reality, the rate is different for almost every artist) spotify pays a royalty rate of .003589881 per play. In other words, 278 plays to earn $1. Now ask yourself if 278 of your fans bought a track from bandcamp or even iTunes for $1.29 or even $.99, how much would you make? It would not surprise me if these streaming services were not actively trying to discourage smaller artists from distributing their music on their service.

    I have been researching this for some time but one question has never been answered. What if I listen to a song for only 30 sec. to 1 min. then skip to something else? Does that count as a stream that the services have to pay for or do they get to slide on that one? On average (note the word average because in reality, the rate is different for almost every artist) spotify pays a royalty rate of .003589881 per play. In other words, 278 plays to earn $1. Now ask yourself if 278 of your fans bought a track from bandcamp or even iTunes for $1.29 or even $.99, how much would you make? It would not surprise me if these streaming services were not actively trying to discourage smaller artists from distributing their music on their service.

  • Laughing With The Raindrops

    Laughing With The Raindrops London, UK

    I caught that disease soon after I stupidly signed my album 'distribution' deal with CDbaby. To think you pay $49 for a page on their website and few music files to be transferred to the pimps (as Lee Puss rightly names them)! I find it very sad when people are really excited and start looking at me respectfully because 'my album is on Spotify' (as if it were a sign that I am a 'real' musician and I have made it). How did those exploiters manage to convince millions of people that paying a monthly subscription or even getting music for free was more hip than buying downloads/albums/EPs/singles/CDs/vinyls? It's the con of the 'unlimited' access that baffles me. I researched this and found the average 'engaged' listener is spending 148 minutes per day on Spotify for a sub of $9.99 per month, that would mean listening to roughly 3 albums, depending. If an average engaged spotify user spends their 148 minutes listening to my album, I get $0.031 but the subscription costs them $0.33 per day to do so (more than 10 times what I get). They get screwed I get screwed ... I still can't believe the audiences have been conned into thinking it is hip not to buy music... I mean, is it hip to go shoplifting in the supermarket? We keep being sold 'ethical products', everyone is banging on about 'ethical commerce' and yet the most exploitative, unethical industry is happening right now, right here, legally, and with very a respectable, friendly and hip image. It will have to change.

    I caught that disease soon after I stupidly signed my album 'distribution' deal with CDbaby. To think you pay $49 for a page on their website and few music files to be transferred to the pimps (as Lee Puss rightly names them)!
    I find it very sad when people are really excited and start looking at me respectfully because 'my album is on Spotify' (as if it were a sign that I am a 'real' musician and I have made it).

    How did those exploiters manage to convince millions of people that paying a monthly subscription or even getting music for free was more hip than buying downloads/albums/EPs/singles/CDs/vinyls? It's the con of the 'unlimited' access that baffles me. I researched this and found the average 'engaged' listener is spending 148 minutes per day on Spotify for a sub of $9.99 per month, that would mean listening to roughly 3 albums, depending. If an average engaged spotify user spends their 148 minutes listening to my album, I get $0.031 but the subscription costs them $0.33 per day to do so (more than 10 times what I get). They get screwed I get screwed ... I still can't believe the audiences have been conned into thinking it is hip not to buy music... I mean, is it hip to go shoplifting in the supermarket?

    We keep being sold 'ethical products', everyone is banging on about 'ethical commerce' and yet the most exploitative, unethical industry is happening right now, right here, legally, and with very a respectable, friendly and hip image. It will have to change.

  • Jon Magnusson

    Jon Magnusson Stockholm

    I do agree that the low royalty level for the artist is a big problem, but besides that I think you miss the goal. The big problem is that people don't wanna pay for the work of artists because they are so used to getting it for free. But at least with Streaming they have to pay something (even if 10 dollars a month for free access to all music is a joke) and at least we as artist gets payed something compared to the era of pirate downloads. I've been using Spotify as a consumer for almost 10 years and the simplicity of it is unbeatable. If someone want's me to listen to a song of theirs I can just put it in a playlist and I have access to it where ever I go. Compare this to "Get the download link", "Pay for something I don't even know that I like", "Download the Mp3", "Upload the Mp3 to my Phone", "download it to all the different units from which I listen to music" etc etc. And I'm a big fan of indie radio like RKC - Radio Kaos Caribou, Limehead Radio etc etc. but that still leaves you in a position where someone else decides if your music is worth playing. With streaming you can build you own fan base by interacting directly with people on Twitter, Facebook etc. And if I hear a song on indie radio that I like, the first thing I do is finding it on Spotify and putting it on my own indie playlist and hence promoting it even further. So for me Streaming is a part of the modern music industry, whether you want it or not and it is in it self neither good or bad. It has some big flaws (especially that the big companies has gotten way to much control over it) but it also have some great pro's and it's what most of the music consumers use, whether there are mindless drones that's just listening to whatever shitty Max Martin song that's on the top list or more dedicated fans listening to great indie music like your self. With that said, I love how you goes against the stream and you challenges my own ideals, and your a great friend and musician!

    I do agree that the low royalty level for the artist is a big problem, but besides that I think you miss the goal. The big problem is that people don't wanna pay for the work of artists because they are so used to getting it for free. But at least with Streaming they have to pay something (even if 10 dollars a month for free access to all music is a joke) and at least we as artist gets payed something compared to the era of pirate downloads.

    I've been using Spotify as a consumer for almost 10 years and the simplicity of it is unbeatable. If someone want's me to listen to a song of theirs I can just put it in a playlist and I have access to it where ever I go. Compare this to "Get the download link", "Pay for something I don't even know that I like", "Download the Mp3", "Upload the Mp3 to my Phone", "download it to all the different units from which I listen to music" etc etc.

    And I'm a big fan of indie radio like RKC - Radio Kaos Caribou, Limehead Radio etc etc. but that still leaves you in a position where someone else decides if your music is worth playing. With streaming you can build you own fan base by interacting directly with people on Twitter, Facebook etc. And if I hear a song on indie radio that I like, the first thing I do is finding it on Spotify and putting it on my own indie playlist and hence promoting it even further.

    So for me Streaming is a part of the modern music industry, whether you want it or not and it is in it self neither good or bad. It has some big flaws (especially that the big companies has gotten way to much control over it) but it also have some great pro's and it's what most of the music consumers use, whether there are mindless drones that's just listening to whatever shitty Max Martin song that's on the top list or more dedicated fans listening to great indie music like your self.

    With that said, I love how you goes against the stream and you challenges my own ideals, and your a great friend and musician!

  • Matt Boydston

    Matt Boydston WA

    It's a larger conundrum, coffee shops, open mics where you play for "experience" and bars where you "pay to play". The big industry streaming dogs simply followed where music already had gone. People got used to walking in a door without a ticket and getting "free" music. As a musician I too would play for free because I love it so much, but I drew a line in the sand and decided I would only play where tickets are involved. Our stand not only needs to be against the Streaming thieves (who are actively lobbying to reduce what they pay) but also against any venue that want the band to be about as important as the door mat. But, alas, there will always be hungry players with stardust dreams who'll play away their paycheck just to be on a stage, waiting to be discovered. Follow your heart, make your own DIY business model, and rock on!! Gotta admire your decision to draw your own line in the sand and to stand firm. My two cents.

    It's a larger conundrum, coffee shops, open mics where you play for "experience" and bars where you "pay to play". The big industry streaming dogs simply followed where music already had gone. People got used to walking in a door without a ticket and getting "free" music.
    As a musician I too would play for free because I love it so much, but I drew a line in the sand and decided I would only play where tickets are involved. Our stand not only needs to be against the Streaming thieves (who are actively lobbying to reduce what they pay) but also against any venue that want the band to be about as important as the door mat. But, alas, there will always be hungry players with stardust dreams who'll play away their paycheck just to be on a stage, waiting to be discovered. Follow your heart, make your own DIY business model, and rock on!!
    Gotta admire your decision to draw your own line in the sand and to stand firm.
    My two cents.

  • Al Yardy  KB Radio

    Al Yardy KB Radio london, ontario

    I have truly mixed feelings about this subject. I view spotify as a way to listen to music, but I view their charts and tracking as total bull shit. The biggest numbers aren't accurate because like so many other social media platforms, they are jacked up by corporate money and bought votes. Yes there is a need for a good place to listen and purchase music be it from Indie artists or not. But its human nature. Once we find one system others are often abandoned no matter what. Early video the highest quality was a Beta system, but the masses went to VHS because it was cheaper. We are creatures of habit. At some point a new system will come along, and we will all flood to it. I could go on but I think the bottom line is to find what each individual is comfortable with, what works best for them, and they are happiest with. Who am I to argue with someone if they are happy with it. Cheers Al

    I have truly mixed feelings about this subject. I view spotify as a way to listen to music, but I view their charts and tracking as total bull shit. The biggest numbers aren't accurate because like so many other social media platforms, they are jacked up by corporate money and bought votes. Yes there is a need for a good place to listen and purchase music be it from Indie artists or not. But its human nature. Once we find one system others are often abandoned no matter what. Early video the highest quality was a Beta system, but the masses went to VHS because it was cheaper. We are creatures of habit. At some point a new system will come along, and we will all flood to it. I could go on but I think the bottom line is to find what each individual is comfortable with, what works best for them, and they are happiest with. Who am I to argue with someone if they are happy with it. Cheers Al

  • KiKi Skinner

    KiKi Skinner UK/US

    Now we see why @prince wrote the word "slave" across his face as this industry FORCES creators to do as the executives see fit, I mean, they leave no other choices if you want promo your talent. And since we pour blood, sweat, and tears into out crafts, we are forced to feel like "Oh, well, at least it is some kick back from the money I put in my project." We settle for less. Just give the artists, the creators of their own music CONTROL - that's all we ask. If someone do not mind streaming services, let them do that; if someone else prefer their music sold in a store on vinyl, let them do that. Fairness for talent - that's the cure. Besos, KiKi

    Now we see why @prince wrote the word "slave" across his face as this industry FORCES creators to do as the executives see fit, I mean, they leave no other choices if you want promo your talent. And since we pour blood, sweat, and tears into out crafts, we are forced to feel like "Oh, well, at least it is some kick back from the money I put in my project." We settle for less. Just give the artists, the creators of their own music CONTROL - that's all we ask. If someone do not mind streaming services, let them do that; if someone else prefer their music sold in a store on vinyl, let them do that. Fairness for talent - that's the cure. Besos, KiKi

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey Coz! Thanks for your comment! I'd be happy to read more about the PRO on your blog! ;) I think you need to take into account that PRO are country based, when streaming platforms are globals, and they are trying their best, and fighting in court on every front to pay less and less royalties. So who's to blame in the end? I don't know but I sure don't like to endorse any of them.

    Hey Coz! Thanks for your comment! I'd be happy to read more about the PRO on your blog! wink
    I think you need to take into account that PRO are country based, when streaming platforms are globals, and they are trying their best, and fighting in court on every front to pay less and less royalties. So who's to blame in the end? I don't know but I sure don't like to endorse any of them.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Thanks for the visit and comment Ross! I agree that this is a pretty screwed world and your rant is on point, man!

    Thanks for the visit and comment Ross! I agree that this is a pretty screwed world and your rant is on point, man!

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey Uncle Duke! Thanks for your visit and comment! I'm not sure exactly whether a 30 sec play is considered a play. I think your estimation is pretty high though. You would need much more than 278 plays to get $1 if I look at the latest numbers. In any case, buying a track will at least compensate artists to a much higher percentage.

    Hey Uncle Duke! Thanks for your visit and comment! I'm not sure exactly whether a 30 sec play is considered a play. I think your estimation is pretty high though. You would need much more than 278 plays to get $1 if I look at the latest numbers. In any case, buying a track will at least compensate artists to a much higher percentage.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey Seismic! To be true I don't have much against Soundcloud. You are in charge of how your music is played there at least and can choose whether you allow download or not. In any case it is not the worst platform of them all.

    Hey Seismic! To be true I don't have much against Soundcloud. You are in charge of how your music is played there at least and can choose whether you allow download or not. In any case it is not the worst platform of them all.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey V! Thanks for your comment! I think you touched to the bottom of the problem, which is really an ethical issue. Things have to change but if no one is moving then were not going anywhere. The path of least resistance is what most will take and it's been having dire consequences throughout history. Hopefully more and more people will choose to resist the status quo.

    Hey V! Thanks for your comment! I think you touched to the bottom of the problem, which is really an ethical issue. Things have to change but if no one is moving then were not going anywhere. The path of least resistance is what most will take and it's been having dire consequences throughout history. Hopefully more and more people will choose to resist the status quo.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey Jon! The low royalties is not the problem, it's the symptom, and I think you are missing that point. The issue here is ethical, and that you choose to ignore it, believing that you can circumvent it and use it to your and others advantage, is your prerogative, but I think it's wrong and just fuels the problem. I respect you as an artist and friend but we're coming from 2 very different perspectives here.

    Hey Jon! The low royalties is not the problem, it's the symptom, and I think you are missing that point. The issue here is ethical, and that you choose to ignore it, believing that you can circumvent it and use it to your and others advantage, is your prerogative, but I think it's wrong and just fuels the problem. I respect you as an artist and friend but we're coming from 2 very different perspectives here.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey Lee! Thanks for the comment. I agree: support the artists, not the pimps! Well said! :D

    Hey Lee! Thanks for the comment. I agree: support the artists, not the pimps! Well said! biggrin

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey Matt! Thanks for the visit and comment! I agree that streaming is only one part of the problem. This is global and coming from a mindset where music has no value anymore. And yes, we should follow our hearts in all case.

    Hey Matt! Thanks for the visit and comment! I agree that streaming is only one part of the problem. This is global and coming from a mindset where music has no value anymore. And yes, we should follow our hearts in all case.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Thanks for your comment, Al! Yes Spotify is a way to listen to music. It's also a way that wants you and any radios dead. I think it's just wrong for artists to support them in any way. I see it as an ethical issue, really. I'd rather support radios like yours than these guys. It's a choice I make and I engage others to do the same but as you said human nature is what it is...

    Thanks for your comment, Al! Yes Spotify is a way to listen to music. It's also a way that wants you and any radios dead. I think it's just wrong for artists to support them in any way. I see it as an ethical issue, really. I'd rather support radios like yours than these guys. It's a choice I make and I engage others to do the same but as you said human nature is what it is...

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey KiKi! Thanks for your comment. Indeed, it's a free world (or so we are meant to believe ;)), and everyone should make their own choice, but I think choices should be made knowing what they truly mean.

    Hey KiKi! Thanks for your comment. Indeed, it's a free world (or so we are meant to believe wink), and everyone should make their own choice, but I think choices should be made knowing what they truly mean.

  • Ana

    Ana

    Amen man! I second that 100%! And I'm always surprised by how little listeners (and seeing here, even radio stations?) know about and protest against the cynical ways artists are being screwed out of their money, rights and dignity by these giant faceless platforms. It's as if a farmer would be working all year seeding, growing, watering, investing work and money, and harvesting, and some intermediator would take all these crops for nothing and sell them for big bucks to restaurants, who make a fortune on them (from clients paying their due ammounts fair and square), while the farmer gets zero cents, but instead... "exposure"... or wait, maybe the illusion of it? How can this even be legal? There's great need for a new online legislations against these crooks.

    Amen man! I second that 100%! And I'm always surprised by how little listeners (and seeing here, even radio stations?) know about and protest against the cynical ways artists are being screwed out of their money, rights and dignity by these giant faceless platforms. It's as if a farmer would be working all year seeding, growing, watering, investing work and money, and harvesting, and some intermediator would take all these crops for nothing and sell them for big bucks to restaurants, who make a fortune on them (from clients paying their due ammounts fair and square), while the farmer gets zero cents, but instead... "exposure"... or wait, maybe the illusion of it? How can this even be legal? There's great need for a new online legislations against these crooks.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Thanks for your visit and comment, Ana! I agree that this should be illegal, however these corporations are global and above most country legislations, which is all the more reasons to fight them and get the general public to know about that.

    Thanks for your visit and comment, Ana! I agree that this should be illegal, however these corporations are global and above most country legislations, which is all the more reasons to fight them and get the general public to know about that.

  • HUBRISmusic

    HUBRISmusic

    I think im infected too Ghostly!

    I think im infected too Ghostly!

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Hey Hubris! There are worst things, like not being affected at all! ;)

    Hey Hubris! There are worst things, like not being affected at all! wink

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