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The royalties maze, or how creators' money is getting skimmed along the way 


If you're an artist wondering what's the deal with receiving quarterly royalties checks that aren't worth a coffee cup, or fans who are wondering why artists complain about not being able to make ends meet, you should have a look at the chart below, which attempts to clarify the meandering ways royalties are prevented to go into your pocket and instead end up in multiple third parties each taking their "royal" cut. 

This chart below from is specifically about the US, and to be honest, I'm not quite sure how the recently passed MMA bill is going to make things better, but just be aware that each country has its own byzantine way of screwing up artists when it comes to collecting royalties... The names of the entities involved will differ, whether you're in Canada, Australia, the UK or the EU, but everywhere the principles are the same: when it comes to royalties, why make it simple when it can be complicated enough to skim money from artists along the way?

Is the proliferation of indie streaming platforms hurting unsigned artists? 

A new blog post on Music Think Tank that you can read here:

FYI, here's a list (probably far from exhaustive) of streaming platforms, from big corporate to independent (I'm not advocating any of them but this is just so that you get a sense of the "proliferation" I'm talking about):

Big corporate platforms: 


Focused on licensing but also streaming: 

Pure streaming/discovery:

Coin based platforms:


The indie radios dilemma 


On Facebook today, I read the post of an indie radio owner asking an interesting question, and as much as I wanted to reply directly, I thought there were many aspects to this that couldn’t be summed up in a simple reply to his post.

The question was along the line of “is it fair some play by the rules while others advance by flying under the radar?“ This was referring to the fact that this particular radio was licensed (a laudable move, really, and much appreciated by the artists being played there) and was competing against others who aren’t, and thus are playing music without paying a dime of royalties. This is more common than you would think, whether it’s actual 24/7 radios or simple podcasts.

The thing is that these radios/podcasts are telling artists that they can’t afford paying any royalties, but that this is exposure anyway. That’s right. It’s the good old “exposure bucks” yet again! Now as much as I don’t like the idea of radios using that trick, I believe there are 2 distinct kind of radios that are in this case.

Case 1 / the crooks:

I’ve already written about how artists should pay very close attention to the terms and conditions, and licensing/rights grants that some radios are running under. Whenever you submit your music somewhere, you need to be aware of these terms and conditions, and if you ever read things like “You grant xxx  WORLD-WIDE, ROYALTY FREE, IRREVOCABLE, PERPETUAL license, …  to use, copy, modify, publish, edit, translate, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform …  SUBLICENSE such rights through MULTIPLE TIERS of sublicenses …  without any obligation to you, whether by way of compensation, attribution or otherwise … applies to any form, media, or technology now known or hereafter developed.” (this is taken from real terms of use from a real “platform” in case you’re wondering) then you know 2 things:
1/ these guys actually paid a lawyer to make sure they will own your music and will be able to do anything they want with it,
2/ they will profit from your music and you will not. Sometimes they ask you to click a checkbox saying you agree to these terms which are usually miles long and in fine prints, sometimes they will even send you a PDF to sign and return.
In any case, you know you don’t want to go there.

Case 2 / the little guys

Here is the little guy in his garage, who is passionate about music, and effectively doesn’t have any money to pay royalties, doesn’t have any sponsor and is doing it on his free time for the love of it. He might not have such a reach anyway, and there’s not even any terms or conditions to be found on his site, he might not even know of his obligations. Now, I know it’s not an excuse, but I consider that it’s different from case 1 and that he’s not really a big threat to you. Most likely his reach will not be that big and he will probably not bullshit you about the exposure, he just wants to play some music. In this case, I’d say why not? I mean it’s really up to you to see if you want to support this little guy or not. Because that’s what you will be doing by submitting your music to him, and maybe pointing some fans to his show. Perhaps later if this guy gets bigger, will you poke him gently and tell him that he should do the right thing...

Case 3 / the monsters

Now, as much as I hate the scammers of case 1, and how they will undoubtedly misuse your music and profit from you one way or another, it’s not even close to the biggest crooks of them all, the streaming platforms. The one that actually make billions of profit for their shareholders when artists see pennies, you know the ones… And yet, unsigned artists pay (via distribution platforms) to be featured there, and expect the famous exposure bucks that are really nothing more than a pipe dream, when these platform’s "search and discover" algorithm are bend towards the mainstream and big labels’ music.

So I believe the most immediate threat to indie radios are not the little guys, not even the scammers, although they could be perceived as such, but really these monsters who are hell bent on creating a monopoly and dictate what you should listen.


And BTW there’s another thing to know about internet radios competitors: did you know that in the US, terrestrial broadcasters (AM or FM stations) do not pay performers or sound recording copyright owners; they only pay the songwriters. That’s another unfair advantage that works against indie internet stations.


Now will the Music Modernization Act that just passed as law in the US make a difference there?
Not in the slightest.
There are indications that a lot of unclaimed royalties (for songs which are not registered directly with the US Copyright Office) will go to a black box that will later be redistributed based on market share, meaning that the 3 big labels will get the lion share again. They will also have a seat on the non-profit government agency that will create the database related to the owners of the mechanical license of sound recordings, so they will have little incentive to find the authors of these unclaimed royalties, because in the end it will go in their pocket.

The NOIs

It was already the case with millions of address unknown NOIs (Notice Of Intent of usage) filed by streaming services, which are cases where these services claim they didn’t find the owner of a song they use. There is actually a search tool you can use to search this database (you'd have to register there, but it's free to use) You will see that Spotify for example can’t always find Ed Sheeran or Bruno Mars or The Beatles. Doesn’t seem to me they are looking very hard…. Do you think they will put much effort in finding Ghostly Beard??? (Turns out I have a few NOI in there!).

Show me the money!

Finally, one final fact that is troubling about the internet radios licensing. After being played on some of these radio who claim to pay royalties , I have yet to receive one cent from SoundExchange or SOCAN, and this is a year and a half after releasing my first EP which was widely played… So what’s up with that? 

My guess is that although the radios are paying the royalties, these are just going into another giant pot and redistributed based on market share again. If that’s not the case, then I should at least have seen records of what’s been played even if it did earn me portions of a cent…

So where does the money go?

Article 13, MMA, are we confused yet? 

There’s a lot of talks in the unsigned world, and indeed in the world in general about two proposed pieces of law that could be changing some rules in the music industry. 

Now I’m not a lawyer so I have a hard time, like the majority of us, to understand all the fine prints and hundred pages of articles these proposed law changes are supposed to accomplish, but I’m trying hard to follow these things, because I believe that they are crucial to the future of recorded music in this world which has short changed creators in favor of Silicon Valley mega corporations.

First the Music Modernization Act, or MMA for short, which is a US Bill that comprises several pieces of legislation, mainly the MMA, the AMP act and the CLASSIC act. It has first been unanimously voted by the House of Representatives, and is now under scrutiny by the US Senate (which just released several amendments).

The MMA has been widely acclaimed as a necessary and important step in the right direction to clarify and standardize copyrights licensing of music and the various entities that are involved in managing publishers and mechanical rights. Problem is that this bill, from what I could read, is far from perfect and leaves some big gaps that streaming platforms in particular are going to exploit to further down their influence and wealth at the expense of creators, which is why I believe it’s a first step (although a possibly evil one in some details), and hopefully not the end of it… There is for example a problem with the minority of artists representation, when labels and streaming platforms have double the ranks when taking decisions. Then there is this proposal of a black box, that is going to hold unclaimed copyrights revenue, which will later be distributed based on market share to labels. Problem is that this creates a situation where the holders of this big pot will have no incentive to find the right owners, one could even say they will have every incentive not to find them, thus spoiling further the unsigned artists who are misrepresented and lack the legal power to enforce their rights.

So, as of now, this MMA bill, is both a blessing and a curse for unsigned artists, because it will regulate some of the Wild West situation in the US when it comes to copyrights, but will also create a new situation (that labels and streaming platform will deem ideal, of course) where they might have even less chances to get compensated correctly. If you are outside of the US, you might think this doesn’t affect you, but if you are a modern musician, chances are that you release your music worldwide, so this will affect your royalties anyway.

Now comes the Article 13, which is a EU directive that could affect the way some platforms have been hiding behind a “safe harbor” outdated law to avoid licensing costs or pay a lot less than others. Google/Youtube in particular, which is by far the biggest music platform, has been using this for 20 years to create an empire based on copyrights infringements.

Turns out that not that long ago, an Austrian court found Youtube liable for doing the very thing that they deny doing and that would give them the right to hide behind this safe harbor: they filter, edit, link, transform content every second of every day. They even have in place a system called Content ID that allows them to identify anything you post and monetize it, by putting ads on your videos. They hide behind DMCA rules, which puts the responsibilities of right owners to issue a take down notice when finding an infringement, when they should be held liable for the content they filter, edit, link and transform. Send a take down notice to Youtube and the content will possibly disappear, but will reappear the next day and Youtube will do nothing about it, in fact it will monetize it and make money out of it…

Following this Austrian ruling (which Youtube will most likely appeal), the European Commission has pushed further their Article 13 proposal, which aims to abolish in the EU the safe harbor for platforms that are clearly making editorial decision and are not just “transparent” user platforms. Of course Google/Youtube right now is pushing everyone with its enormous lobbying power (whether openly or under many disguises) to call out their MEP to vote against this directive…

Behind this directive though, many artists defense organizations, and even high profile artists are standing to support what could be a game changer in ending the value gap that YouTube has been exploiting for 20 years now, and has ripped off so many rights holders, among them unsigned artists being the most fragile and endangered of all, as they are being swept out as collateral damage for the good of the Silicon Valley monopoly.

You will read from Google subsidies that Article 13 is a danger to freedom of expression (which is the old claim that pirates have always held dear), or that this will kill internet memes, and other nonsense like that, when the article is including all sorts of provisions to ensure this is not the case. I believe the Google lobbying machine has no shame spreading lies to keep milking their golden goose, and they do so under many disguises.

I advise all songwriters and creators to look closer at the real content of these 2 pieces of law with objectivity and try not be influenced by the lobbying campaigns the various stakeholders are pushing at us. It’s time to open our eyes and fight for our artistic rights!

* In this post, I’ve left the links out because there are too many to choose from, a simple search in your preferred search engine (try something else than Google for a change and you’ll see different results, funnily enough, especially when it comes to Article 13, which menaces to take down their beloved safe harbor).

Exposing the exposure 


If you are into any kind of arts related circles, you’re bound to have encountered the mythic exposure bucks: It’s the kind of money that is offered by promoter/scam artists who want to use your art for no payment at all. Of course, by doing so they will themselves get some money, sometimes even asking you for it! 

Now that’s an offer that is hard to refuse, right? You get “exposure bucks” for a few dollars (or euros, or pounds or whatever your real money is). The rate is always fluctuating, and is set by the “promoters” themselves, it’s almost like crypto currency, and it’s been around even before that crypto scam was invented! And nowhere more than in the unsigned music world is it more prevalent.

It’s hard to navigate the unsigned world, but it gets even harder as soon as you encounter these people who will send you emails and private messages on social media, telling you about their “wonderful” opportunities, when it so happens that they have a promotion for you! (That’s right! They always have a fantastic/brand new promotion just for you!). 

But I would be very wary of anyone contacting you to “promote” your music. Spoiler alert: This is NOT how it works!


Now of course these con artists are just a little nuisance compared to the more greedy and powerful of them all: the streaming platforms. These platforms who manage to make you believe that they are going to pay more in the future (I actually heard some artists believing and repeating that!), when simple arithmetic will tell you that it’s simply not possible: the rate they pay is primarily based on what the average song value is, which is itself based on the number of songs they have in their catalog divided by the number of paying subscribers they have (minus all the expense they have, which are big, including royal payments to themselves). 

Problem is that EVERY DAY more than 24000 new songs are added to streaming platforms, and although they are adding new subscribers most of them are free listeners or get some kind of discount, so of course these corporations keep hemorrhaging money in every corner. How do you think their rates are going to get higher? Is that magical thinking from desperate artists? No, of course not, because this is where the mighty exposure bucks come to the rescue! Yay!

They will just tell you that you shouldn’t look at the money anyway… 
No, really! You should take into account the exposure they allow you to get. What with their millions of people listening, eh? Now that would be so true if their algorithms were not meant to discard you little ones in favor of the big ones from the big labels that they push on top of every searches. If they didn’t have big ties with labels to push the same artists on all their playlists. That might be true if the vast majority of the listeners weren’t listening to the same decades old catalog.

In the end, it still comes down to this: whether they are little con artists or big crooks, it’s really up to you to say no to exposure bucks, because one thing is for sure, you won’t be able to pay your rent with these.


Beware of the coin men! 


I’ve been reading about Blockchain lately… You’ve probably heard of it, at least you must have heard of Bitcoin, and have heard the latest crypto babble that the media enjoys so much. After all a good jargon is the wet dream of every journalist.

Now this technology is supposed to be the remedy to everything… Yes! Even the music industry! And well, if it can cure that, surely it will cure cancer!

Enter Musicoin and co

In the unsigned world, I see some people rave about Musicoin for example, and how this wonderful platform is going to pay out more than any streaming platform and materialize money out of thin air, without any ads, while still being totally free for listeners. That’s pure magic or I don’t know what!

Turns out that Musicoin is only one of the many new platforms with more white paper than sense, apparently. (Boy! Do they love their white papers! They are all chock full of technical jargon that is mostly included to confuse you even more than you were). Digging a bit, without too much effort, I then found out about other platforms like ArtbyteSoundchain, Emanate, eMusic, Bittunes, Voise, ChoonUjo (this one is funny, with Imogen Heap herself having released her “Tiny Human” song which sales amounted to a grand total of $133.20!) plus all these exotic new “currencies” dedicated to music like Musicoin but also Audiocoin, Songcoin, Metal Music Coin, Muse, Beatcoin… looks like they invent a new coin every day. Check out this website which references 1916 of these entries (as of today anyway!) Actually there is even a platform that allows anyone to create their own! Time for a BeardCoin?

My first contact with Musicoin was from links that some indie enthusiasts were sharing. Being curious I tried to listen, but the player would never want to play, so I went to the website and it looked rather messy to me. Not a really good impression overall. But OK. That’s another beta platform, right? <insert big sigh here>

Since their claim to being able to pay a decent amount per play was pretty extra-ordinary, I decided I would dig further… But I’m going to tell you straight up: I didn’t like what I found. At all.

Monkey money, monkey business

First, the value of Musicoin is in fact so fluctuant that what you read on their platform about the supposed earnings of the artists is never even close to reality. You see, first you have to exchange $MUSIC currency into another more accepted crypto currency (Like Bitcoin or Ethereum), using a convoluted process involving trading on a coin market or another (there are only a couple that can do this at the moment). The process is so ridiculously complex, involving installing a wallet application on your PC, opening an account on a couple trading sites, juggling with obscure hashes and calculating decimals, and gauging whether the time is right to “sell” your precious coins, that only seriously chronic nerds are going to want to go near it. I’m not joking, see this tutorial.

The real cost of Blockchain

The recommended process to ultimately withdraw your few Musicoin earnings is to trade them first against Bitcoin. Of course you will have to pay big fees to do so because the computing of your transaction involves a lot of computers in a pool, and it gets increasingly more complex as days go by, involving increasingly more processing power, and ultimately, increasingly more electricity. Fact is, Bitcoin today is already using 0.5% of the world’s electricity and by late next year, will be consuming more electricity than can be produced by the entire world solar panels. Let this all sink in for a moment. 

And then of course, once you get your Bitcoins fractions, you will have to trade them again on another coin market into some real money, which means a lot more transaction fees (up to 50% from what I’ve seen) and a lot more electricity consumption…

Techno magic

Reading further on the Blockchain craziness, it turns out there is a lot of approximation and misinformation around (but of course there is, it’s a big buzzword in the press, and most journalists have no clue about the underlying technological issues, which are apparently numerous). I also found some articles that took to debunk all this hype, for example this one about eMusic (a Musicoin competitor). Let’s just say that I don’t have all the background that this guy has, but I have the general feeling again (thanks Mom, wherever you are!) that when something looks too good to be true, it generally is! Anyway, the guy wrote a book about the Blockchain scam.

So, to sum up: you get your tunes on a platform that’s pretty buggy (it’s beta), people are going to listen to them for free, you get paid virtual coins that you need to exchange against other virtual coins using a complex process, opening many accounts on various platforms, leaving more of your private information everywhere, trade on a virtual market that is bound to spiral down when all is said and done (remember the internet bubble burst? I do) and is consuming electricity at an exponential rate, which will ultimately eat all our planet resources… what’s wrong with this picture?

The worst of it

All of this and I still have another issue with this whole thing. And it’s another big one: turns out that this whole mess is again making everyone believe that it’s perfectly normal to listen to music for free, that no one needs to pay for it. Aren’t we all tired of this refrain?

If the fact that it’s all based on more hype and technological magic than reality, the fact that it’s unsustainable long term, the fact that it’s endangering our planet resources, if all of that wasn’t bad enough they are also basically saying that music is not worth paying for. 

Finally, the terms of use pertaining to license grants on most of these new platforms were alarmingly similar to the ones I advised everyone to stay away from

In conclusion, you know what? I wish you all good luck with this, but you can count me out. I mean until they come out with something really significant of course, like a BeardCoin for example, at which point I might trade my Monopoly money for it.

License to steal 


The indie world is full of wonders! No, really! Every day, if you are an unsigned artist, you will get at least a dozen of marvelous opportunities in your mailbox, or via social media private messages… It’s amazing how everyone wants you on their platforms or radio, amazing how many people want to promote your music, and bring you in front of millions of potential fans!

Turns out that all of these so called opportunities are click baits and you will soon learn that for the discounted price of $$$ (they accept Paypal!) you will be the new star of a social media no man’s land, guaranteed!

I must be getting old, because I will repeat what my mama used to say: when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! That’s right, if you look closer, all of these wonderful opportunities turn out to not much… but hey, they are at a discounted price!

If you are new to this business, you will quickly learn to discard all these scams, they are not that hard to distinguish, really!

What might be a bit harder to wrap your head around are the countless platforms and radios who are not asking money upfront. You might think: “Great! These are not the scammers, finally! These are real genuine music lovers and they are going to help me reach an audience”.

Now is the right time to read the fine prints. 

They usually have that kind of things on a form you will need to sign or agree to when you submit, or as a “terms of use” on their website. Don’t skip that reading! There’s a lot of boring boiler plate stuff, but there’s usually a paragraph about Intellectual Property, or Ownership, or License, or License Grant, or something that defines who owns what, and what you agree to when submitting as pertaining to your content.


Here’s one of these paragraph, taken randomly from a radio website (that shall remain unnamed - XXX below -, but believe me, there are countless of the same clauses in the “terms of use” everywhere on a big majority of these platforms and radios), so here is just one example:

“With respect to any Content posted by or in connection with the Products and Services, you hereby grant XXX a WORLD-WIDE, ROYALTY FREE, IRREVOCABLE, PERPETUAL license, alone or together or as part of other information, Content and/or material of any kind or nature, to use, copy, modify, publish, edit, translate, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, and otherwise EXPLOIT such Content (specifically including through streaming, podcasting, online/broadcast and satellite radio, suggested playlists and user playlists, but specifically excluding through phonograph records), to publish and promote such Content in connection with the particular Products and Services (including, without limitation, for advertising and promotional purposes), to publish and promote such Content elsewhere within XXX or any other XXX website through links to XXX, and to SUBLICENSE such rights through multiple tiers of sublicenses, all without any obligation to you, whether by way of compensation, attribution or otherwise. Such license shall apply with respect to any form, media, or technology now known or hereafter developed.

I have highlighted here the part that they especially DON’T want you to pay too close attention to. Read it again. Let it sink in!

What this basically says is that you are granting these people the perpetual, irrevocable right to do anything they want with your music, to use as they see fit on their platform/radio or any other that they might be affiliated to and might create later. They might use it and license it somewhere else, without your knowledge and you will have no recourse against that. They will have NO obligation to you, not even the obligation to say that this is YOUR music. In short, it’s the good old “all your data are belong to us” again!

So I suggest you read all these “term of use” very closely. Each time you submit your music somewhere. You might have already submitted somewhere with these kinds of terms. I’m pretty sure you did, because they are everywhere. Now is time to think of how much you want that supposed exposure, are you prepare to forfeit your rights to your own music perpetually and irrevocably? What kind of compensation will you actually get from it?

So, again, think long and hard about where you put your music, because otherwise one of these days you will realize that they might not have a license to kill, but you might have granted them a license to steal!

How much is fair? 


On twitter this week, Indie Music Bus asked an interesting question to artists: What do you think is a fair amount of money to stream 1 of your songs?

I thought about it and I will try to elaborate my reasoning here.

Let’s say the average number of plays for someone buying one of your tune on iTunes or others at a price of $1 (let’s forget the taxes and such to make this simpler) is about 50. That’s a generous number, because I would think that most people will get bored with your tune before hearing it fifty times, some songs might get more love, but most would get less, so let’s keep it simple again, even if this is a gross exaggeration…

Now let’s say that on average the artist gets 50% of the $1. Again that would be an average, because if you sell on your own site, you will get 100%, on Bandcamp you would earn 85% on iTunes, around 35%. So it really depends where you would have sold the song in the first place… But let’s say that you get 50%… this means that you should get $0.5 for about a 50 plays, right?

So to me, the logical, basic, common sense answer on the artist side is $0.5/50 = $0.01 per stream… Now, compare that to the average (ponderated among all streaming platforms) of $0.0016 and you will see that we’re far from what would be considered fair right now.

You would say: but these streaming platforms have servers and development costs, employees to pay, offices to rent, etc. Of course! And I would never imply that they shouldn’t take their cut and cover their expenses and costs.

But let’s take Spotify for example: because they keep offering freemium subscriptions (which they have said will increase), spend their money on huge paychecks and royal accommodations while losing millions of dollars and letting scams undermine their own business model, it looks like their cut is never going to be enough. And this is why they are paying less and less royalties, use loopholes and lies to avoid paying royalties and are sued for not paying altogether… 

It’s hard to believe that they are acting towards making things right, nor that they have the will to do so in any foreseeable future. I don’t see streaming platforms in general working towards paying artists fairly, quite the contrary, and because of that, I believe we, artists, should not support them in any way.

So in the end, before asking what’s fair for artists, perhaps we should start exposing how unfair the current situation is and make every music lover aware of it.

EDIT: also check out this article on comparing the "Best streaming services" that has some interesting facts about "Fairness in royalties payments"

Piracy vs streaming 

One of the argument I hear often about the marvelous benefits of streaming is how it has been the music industry savior, after the Napster years of generalized piracy which killed the cash cow that labels were enjoying, selling CDs and CD re-releases at prohibitive prices…

Perhaps it’s true for big labels, who, although they’ve seen their margins drastically reduced since their heyday (but truth is that they were pretty guilty of milking that cash cow much too much), are now enjoying some renewed revenue from streaming, thanks to their partnership contracts, allowing them to collect most of the revenues generated (the top 10% of the streaming catalog from all providers is collecting 99% of the revenues). Not so surprising when the search algorithms and big playlists pushed to streaming platforms users are carefully tweaked to favorite the big labels and their artists.

Once again, it’s the independent labels and the unsigned artists who bear the brunt of the industry debacle. And I would argue that the supposed streaming savior has made no difference at all for these 90%, who are truly the collateral damage of this digital economy, as Maria Schneider, five time Grammy award winner, points out in her open letter to the NMPA (National Music Publishers Association) outlining her perspective on the MMA (Music Modernization Act). 

And not only didn’t streaming made any difference for independent artists, I would also say it made things worse.

But hey! Piracy has been vanquished, hasn’t it? Well, there are some indications that it’s actually not the case, as you can see in the chart above which lists the percentage of various types of copyright infringements by age group (based on consumer research from IFPI - the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). 

Combine Youtube free-for-all, – knowing they are by far the biggest streaming platform nowadays, with a pay per play rate far below any other thanks to infamous “Safe Harbor” loopholes –, with a rise of “stream ripping” tools, allowing anyone to download what’s played from free accounts on any streaming platforms, and you get a much more insidious kind of piracy, one that takes the guise of legality and one that is mostly benefiting the streaming giants.

Again, if big labels, and indeed streaming platforms can brush that off as simple losses compensated by their ad-generated huge profits, it cannot be the case for unsigned artists who are seeing their work stolen, or abused at a pay per play rate so low it’s laughable. What artists lose by believing in the streaming golden mirage is real physical and download sales that is fair pay for their craft, investment, time and efforts.

In the end, I would argue that piracy was better for unsigned artists, as it was mostly touching big labels, and it was after all, illegal, so actions could be taken against it. Nowadays, streaming is little more than legalized piracy and there’s not much we can do about it, or so it seems, short of opting out and educating our fans. I believe that opting out is our only option because it is our work that is exploited… Remove the work and that could ultimately force the industry to reconsider the digital economy landscape. If they don’t do it, then I suppose it’s time we do it ourselves.

But until we all remove our copyrighted work from all these places where everyone can access it and pirate it freely at no cost and with no consequences, there’s no doubt we are in fact just feeding the monster…

Ready for a change?

EDIT: Also see, published today, this article from Digital Music News

The true story of royalties 


I wanted to share my experience, what I call “the true story of royalties for unsigned artists”…

First, know that Radio airplay is considered a public performance. Public performances generate performance royalties for songwriters, which are collected by the PROs (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC in the US, SOCAN in Canada, PRS in the UK, SACEM in France, basically every country have their own Publishing Rights Organization). There’s an issue with FM/AM radios in the US not paying performance rights, only songwriters rights, but that’s a story for another day.

Now I’ve had various discussions lately with artists and some radios hosts, and some people argued that right now the issue with internet radios is that the vast majority of them is not paying any royalties. It should be illegal, right? For sure, but the reality is that there is so much of them that no law enforcement action is taken against them because of lack of clear regulations (some loopholes being used?) or simple lack of resources for the law to be enforced in the first place.

The internet is really like the old Wild West, and when it comes to trying to defend the artists copyright, there’s basically no sheriff you can turn to. In the US for example, if you really want to make a case of it, you’d have to sue in a federal court, which is going to cost you such a huge amount of money that it’s basically not practically possible.

But then, there is also another problem… The fact is that whether these radios you are played on are paying their dues or not is not going to make any difference for you. You will not see a cent from the airplay anyway!

That's right! Believe it or not, being played on a radio that pays royalties or not is not making any difference for unsigned artists right now! Even radios who are playing nothing but unsigned artists are actually not paying royalties back to the artists they play, they are just sending checks to big labels. How screwy is that?

All of this is because basically the radios (or their internet providers paying royalties out of the radio subscription) are paying a “blanket” license for all the airplay. These blanket licenses represent X amount of songs played during X amount of hours. This is paid to the PROs, and what do the PROs do with that money? Well, they are not looking at who has been played, it would be too much of an effort, right? So they are paying a pro rata to labels based on their market share. Yep, you got that right! It basically means big labels get the big checks, the little labels get little checks, and guess what kind of check the independent artists get? 

The result of this is that since I’ve released my first EP, in June last year (almost 9 months ago!), I have received 0 cent from airplay, even from radios that I know for sure are paying royalties. I just went again to my SOCAN royalties statement who is still desperately blank, 9 months and many airplay later…

So really, there is a dire need for radios to do things right. But first, the legislation that governs the copyrights and the blanket licenses should be amended so that the true owners of the copyrights are compensated for each airplay and not as a pro rata of their market share, because truly they get nothing from that.

The value of music 

You will hear it everywhere, from all sorts of sources: people don’t buy music nowadays! And truth is, why would they? When you can stream music for free everywhere, right?

Still there are indications that there are some people still buying music, which gives some hope for its future.

First was a report from Bandcamp (an indie music store) that boast 73% revenues increased for 2017 - so surely some people have bought some music…

Another trend (and something I would myself call a fad, but one that is significant of a slight change in listeners’ habits), is the unlikely rise of vinyl records sales. Personally, I don’t believe at all that vinyl sounds better, because it’s a proven myth that has no scientific justification, but the fact that people are buying them again is significant to a certain attachment to an object, and what it represents… Albums in particular were once seen as treasures and something we enjoyed discovering, something we placed value in. 

Anyway, again this proves that some people are buying music and are finding value in it and in the artists who have made it.

So I believe that if artists stopped devaluating their own music by giving it for free and for streaming altogether, this would further incite people to buy their music. If artists started seeing value in their own music, others too would see it again as something of value. 

Now that’s a thought!



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?


I often see (or rather hear!) bands and artists releasing demo tapes and unfinished songs on SoundCloud or ReverNation or Bandcamp or any of these free sites where people upload music, and it always makes me wonder…

It can be a pre-pre-version of a song (which finished version will more often than not never see the light of day), a sing-along recording done with an iPhone in a bathroom (for the acoustics, right?), an acoustic guitar strumming + vocal jam thing with barely recognizable vocals, a recording done on a laptop in a hotel room while the room service is ringing at the door, a booze induced racket with your pals at the pub… or anything in between.

Fact is, guys, I hate to tell you, but no one really wants to hear that! 

I mean you can record anything you want and maybe a couple of your die hard fans will drink it like honey milk, but quite frankly they will be alone. There is so much good music around, of great sound quality, done with taste and with hours and hours of careful thinking and good recording, that your last recording at the park with a ukulele when dogs were barking in the background and complete with birds accompaniment is not going to cut it.

What you need to realize is that putting too much of your scrapes out there is not helping you. It just feels unprofessional and people will get bored easily if you’re releasing half-assed ideas and bad recordings.

If you want feedback on your demos, send it to other artists for useful feedback, don’t send it to your family or close friends for honest feedback, they will likely praise it (whether they’ve listened to it or not). For honest feedback, ask your peers, or find forums where people exchange about music, there are a few around… 

I’ve been on one of them for years and have learned a lot from it… it’s been discontinued now but most of the people from there are now on another platform called Indie Recording Depot - worth checking out if you want to achieve better recordings.

Do yourself a favor and delete these demos from the face of the internet. High quality music is what you want to be known for! #JustSaying

The "genre" question 


You get that question every time you put your music online, whatever the platform, whatever the site, the submission form…

What genre does your music fit in? What sub-genre?

Quite honestly, as an artist, I resent that question. I spent my life listening to all sorts of music, from all sorts of “genres”. And I like listening to one thing and then to something totally different next. That’s what life is all about, that’s what music is all about, isn’t it?

And, as an artist, I claim the right to play any kind of music I want. That’s also why I like being an independent artist. I can play a rock tune one day, a jazz one the next, a folk one to follow. No one is going to tell me that I should restrict myself to re-do the same kind of tune that I just did… That would be so boring. And that is probably what is boring in the commercial music of today.

I can imagine that fans could have a hard time with that although in the long run, they might get used to it and appreciate the variety… As for me, I value eclecticism in music. And I resent being put in any kind of genre box.
Unless there was a “good music” genre? Then I’d try to fill that box.

I remember a time when there was no limit to what bands would put on an album. There could be a rocking tune followed by an acoustic ballad, followed by some crazy psychedelia. And fans at the time were digging it, they were following the artist’s journey through sound and broadening their taste at the same time. It was always a discovery… you never knew what you would hear next.

This is why I have so much troubles answering the “genre” question. What kind of music do I do exactly? I have been doing progressive rock, jazz fusion, jazz ballads, soul, pop, blues, classic rock, all sorts of things. What box should I tick???

My next album that will be released soon, is going to reflect that. It’s much more jazz oriented than the previous EP, but you will find lots of influences from many different places as well. And I hope listeners will come along with me on that journey. I really do.

Opting out 

Things are not going well in the music industry…. That’s an understatement. The truth is that things are pretty screwed up in the music industry… That’s also an understatement!

More people need to realize what artists get paid by streaming platforms for their hard work. More people should care!

The cold numbers (per play)
Napster pays $0.0167
Tidal pays $0.0110
Apple Music pays $0.0064
Google Play pays $0.0059
Deezer pays $0.0056
Spotify pays $0.0038
Pandora pays $0.0011
Youtube $0.0006 (IF you monetize)

To get on these platforms you also have to go through a distributor, for example CD Baby, which takes 19% of these royalties… On top of the fixed price for the entry ticket of course, which varies between $49 and $89 for an album. And of course to withdraw that money, you will have bank or Paypal fees…

So in average among these platforms, you get $0.0065, minus the 19% that’s a whooping $0.005265! Meaning for 10,000 plays you get roughly $50

Sleeping with the devil

So, I see indie artists trying to work around the system one way or another, trying to aggregate playlists to be played in loops all day on a desktop (sound muted) by all the people featured… And for what exactly? Hopefully they’ll get a burger by the end of the year. Who has even been truly listening??? What kind of interaction have they gained from being there, do they even know, do they even can contact the fans who have played and liked their music on these platforms? Nope.

I see countless artists, even radios, linking to Spotify and Deezer and Tidal on social media, actively promoting their links and playlists! And I’m thinking “I’m sure these platforms are really pleased that your fans are sent to them to listen to YOUR music.”

There’s a name for it, I believe. It’s called “Sleeping with the devil”.
Every day these platforms are petitioning in court to try and pay less and less royalties to artists, and put more money in the hands of their shareholders. They have no trouble using your content to do so. They will not promote you in any way, they are bound to big labels who couldn’t care less about indie music.

And then what?

I have decided that I will no longer condone any of these platforms, link to them or put anymore of my music on any of them. I’m just tired of endorsing crooks and bend over to get screwed a bit more, and say thank you while I’m at it…  It’s not going to make that much of a difference in my revenue anyway, that’s for sure.

And I sincerely think all indie artists should do the same.

You will be able to find my music on my own website where I’ll get 100% of the revenues, on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon (they all take a cut).
But also especially you will be able to hear it, alongside many great indie artists, on indie radios and podcasts and shows, and read about it on indie blogs and magazines… All of the true distributors and dispensers of today’s indie music that we should all support, link to and recommend.

Fans should stop using these platforms. Radios should stop promoting any links to them. Their only aim is to create a monopoly and eliminate all the little guys, they will kill any creativity that’s left. Let’s not play their game!

But we don’t have a choice!

The main objections that I hear from artists are:
“You have to be there to be found…” - really? And who is finding you there, except the fans you’ve pointed to, to begin with?
“You don’t have a choice” - hum, isn’t that how dictatorships are made?
“If you don’t do it, others will” - again, isn’t that how the 3rd Reich’s atrocities happened?
“If you’re not there, no one will want to promote you” - I don’t believe the people in the indie world are really looking at Spotify to find the music they play and review and promote.
“It’s not that bad!” - go back and read these numbers from the beginning again, please!

Perhaps not many artists will find that worthwhile, and perhaps not many will change anything and they will keep linking to Spotify and the others, but as for me, I’m just tired of sleeping with the devil… I’m opting out! I think you should too!

The importance of a street team 

This blog post was inspired by two things that happened today, kind of a coincidence, really!

The first one is a post by the amazing Walter Hargrave of Indie Music Bus, about a cool new idea he has launched, which is to help and reward indie music fans with various promotion goodies and a chance to steer the bus wheel…
See Indie Music Force for more info.

Another one was conversations with 2 big fans of Codie Prevost (a great Canadian songwriter, see my “friends” page to know more) who have each been creating a twitter account to post news about Codie and support their favorite artist, engage in friendly banter with many people and generally get some attention around their idol.

It made me think again about the importance of a street team. We all know about the old concept of enrolling your friends, family and fans to distribute your flyers for a concert, now the same thing applies to social media.

A street team is a group of people who will tweet about you, post content on social media, interact with other potential fans and artists, bring more attention to your content and your music, vote for your songs, they do it because they love your music and your attitude, they do it because they are here to support you!

So how does one creates a street team?

If you’re doing gigs, it’s probably easier because you can interact with the audience after the show and when they tell you they loved it, you can ask them if they would help spread the word. If you’re an online artist it’s perhaps a little bit more complicated, but I think it all comes down to the same idea again: human connection.

After all, isn’t it the ultimate goal of music? To share and make us all feel part of the same family, people with similar taste, enjoying the same music without barrier, without frontier and without care for any difference of race or gender or religion or political ideas, just being human beings after all?

One of Codie’s fan asked me what I was thinking of her supporting endeavors and I had to remind her that Codie is very fortunate to have her, because music means nothing if there’s no fan to listen. Yes, they are one of the main reason we do it in the first place!
Does music even exist is there’s no one to listen?

I engage all the music fans to do what they do best, love and care for music and for the artists, buy their CDs and merch, go to their concert, share their music and news on social media, vote for them on radio charts, spread the word and the love! 

We love you back!


















The more I think about it the more it makes sense to me…
And I sincerely hope it will also make sense to you too!

The old vs the new

In too many cases, bands/artists have kept the old “battle of the bands” mindset and ported it on the internet and the world of social media. But what ‘could’ make sense on a local scene when there’s little venues to play for and a lot of great bands to ‘compete’ with, doesn’t make any sense on the internet where the virtual ‘scene’ is worth hundreds of millions of potential listeners and fans…

The challenge of social media

Actually, the challenge there is entirely different: It’s not about competing to get a coveted place on stage any more (the stage is yours already!) it’s about finding your crowd, moreover it’s about captivating that crowd with ever renewed content and keep them entertained 24/7 with quality stuff.

So how does one do that? By sharing the same songs every day? The same videos? By posting random pseudo philosophical quotes? Or posting cats and boobs? Put yourself in the shoes of potential fans (and music lovers are truly out there, and in huge numbers even!) and try to think of what they are looking for… They want new songs, new bands, new videos, cool blog posts, radios to listen to, hear about concert/events to go to… Are you capable of posting that kind of renewed content every day, all the time? Can you do it alone??
Of course you can’t!

A change of mindset

Now what if you were forgetting about the old “battle of the bands” idea and shared content coming from many fellow artists that you like instead? If you think about it, there’s tons of great content posted every day on social medias… Each fellow band/artist is going to post their own stuff regularly of course, so then what about appropriating that cool content and make it yours to share? The more you would do that, the more you would keep your own followers interested, right? But then, what if they follow these other artists? Well sure, but so what? What are you afraid of? Remember that the music lovers out there are forever hungry for more, meaning that if they follow other bands, that doesn’t mean they will stop following you! Even better: what if other bands were actually all doing the same thing, and were also sharing your content, along with theirs and many others? Win+Win

I truly believe that it is the way to go. I even think that it’s the only way to go online if you’re an indie artist and you want to keep growing your following the right way and ultimately find your own crowd… Forget the competitiveness and adopt a sharing attitude! We, unsigned artists, don’t have a big label to do our promotion, we don’t have much money to put on ads that won’t do us any good anyway, we don’t have much money to put into expensive PR… So why not enroll fellow artist to do that for us, the only thing we have to do is to do it for them too…

What we can ALL do

To put that into practice, I have created a “friends” page on my website to showcase indie artists that I like and want to support. What I truly have in mind is to create the same kind of network that you can see on some blogs with their “blog rolls” links. Each blog links to other blogs and a visitor could follow any of these links and find new content that would fit their taste, if they end up on a site where that same kind of sharing exist they could follow more links… I propose we all do that and create our own indie network of bands and fellow artists friends.

I also propose to feature an artist on my monthly newsletter, and if we all do that, we could all extend our reach… It’s not about stealing others’ fans, it’s about sharing a crowd of people who would like music of the same kind/same quality.

And of course online, on Twitter, Facebook, whatever your social media platform of choice, when you don’t know what to post any more to keep your hungry followers happy, instead of posting the same old link, or cats and boobs, why not share other bands quality content? You get happy followers plus happy fellow artists who will be happy to share your content when the time comes. 


So now, are you in with a sharing mindset or are you out doing it alone with an old and inadequate 'battle of the bands’ mentality? 
It’s an easy pick, really!

Indie Music Bus 

Since I’ve started my incursion in the wonderful (and pretty confusing) world of social media I’ve encountered (meaning virtually “met”) a lot of people in the indie music world, lots of artists of course, but also radios hosts, bloggers, fans, and a few people who act daily with no other goal than to help indie artists for the love of independent music. Pretty cool. right?

One of the leader in the selfless helping crowd has been at it since 2000, and even before, if I read correctly his amazing Press Kit, I’m speaking of none other than the famous “Indie Music Bus”… 

Founded by Walter Hargrave, seemingly with the aim of redressing all the wrongs in the music industry (and there are many!), the guy relentless work have made him and his bus an unavoidable station and vehicle towards success for any serious music artists.

Walter has been networking with many influential people in the industry, built powerful software tools to help managing and showcasing indies, always with goal of helping them through countless promotions using various social media accounts. Personally I’m a fan, and I’m in awe of everything he has achieved already and eager to see what next move he’s preparing!

So, if you don’t know the Indie Music Bus, I’d say it’s time to catch up, because this bus is unstoppable!

Let the little fish live 

Once again, I’m inspired by the indie world of unsigned artists and in particular those who are supporting them. I mean radio hosts, bloggers, podcast hosts, indie activists of all kinds and ultimately fans.

I’ve met some really cool people lately who share a passion for music, in a world where passion seems like the ultimate endangered specie: these people are still not entirely in-sensitized by media overload and/or social media indigestion.

Just right now one tweet of mine (where I was sharing music and trying to tell people that they will get free tracks to download for a subscription on my newsletter) got re-tweeted by a big shot TV/Radio show host with millions of followers who just happens to care about indie artists and is doing a lot to help out. I heard from some other people in the indie world that he’s been at it for years and is actually doing so much because he really cares. How cool is that? 

You would think that this guy is a shark in the big media pond, right? He’s going to eat us all indie little fishes, looking at our social media numbers and immediately think when he sees me: “this guy is not worth my attention… He doesn’t have millions of followers so this must mean his music is lame”

But, as I’ve talked about in a previous post, it so happens that numbers don’t tell the whole tale, IMHO. And it’s pretty cool that some people in the music business do realize that. 

It just made me think that maybe this guy is just doing it right. He reacts just like any good fisherman have learned to do: don’t eat the small fishes, because if you do, one day, there will be no more big fishes and we’ll all starve. Send them back to the sea, give them a little push and let them swim away safely…

And if you help them and feed them, one day, they might turn up big fishes too and help feed millions too. That’s the crucial role of these indie radios, bloggers, podcast hosts, indie activists and general fans have in this world. Help feed the indie musicians, otherwise there will be no music tomorrow!

So many thanks to the big fish who didn’t act like a shark and managed to keep some human connection with the indie artists around him. I feel honored to have stolen a few seconds of his attention, and blessed by that gentle push!

Are you listening? 

I’ve spent quite a lot of time lately connecting with people in the indie music world. Yes, it’s a world! And it’s actually pretty amazing how much great people are in it!

One thing that really warmed my old beard was to see how much passionate people there were still. Which is really reassuring because sometimes things look pretty dire, when you realize how music has became such a disposable thing nowadays in the eyes (the ears, really) of the general public.
It’s the thing most download for no money, most share without thoughts, most hear without listening.

But there are people who do care. And people who do listen.

Radio hosts sharing their passion for good music on the air, sparing no expense of their time to discover new music and playing it online, preparing programs where they showcase artists, doing interviews, chatting with everyone, sharing the love. 

Bloggers with a gift for words, crafting cool reviews of their favorite releases, most of the time outside of their day job, trying to get readers interested and to make them care like they do.

People online exchanging links and tweets and videos and music, people trying to find new ways to feature good artists and their work.

I can’t put a list of all of them here. But they will recognize themselves if they read this.
All unsung heroes in a world of apathy and indifference. And they even support my music, what can I say if not thanks?

Me? I do my own music, but I also stand in the camp of the listeners. I spend a lot of time listening to other artists as well, and I’ve discovered a lot of true gems by doing so, and I treasure them, and I try to buy their music when my no budget allows. And I’ve also decided to showcase them on a new page on my website simply called “friends”. Because that’s what they are, really: fellow artists friends who deserve your time and your ears…

So, are you listening?

Giving back 

Because I see radios (indie radios/internet radios/college radios) as partners in crime when it comes to sharing good music to the unsuspecting public, I want to do all I can to help them. After all, if they succeed, so will I in a way and so will many other indie musicians who deserve to be heard.

Since I’ve started reaching out to show hosts these last weeks to pitch my new EP, I’ve come to “meet” and appreciate many cool guys and gals who are busting their ass off on the internet and on the air to preach the good music gospel. I won’t put a list here because there are too many, but if you are reading this, you know who you are!

One of the guy I came to appreciate, after a few chats and listening to a couple of his indie show is Al Yardy, the guy behind KB Radio - his tagline “What radio used to be” is perfectly conveying the guy’s passion for music and radio. The people who are listening to him know that he’s in it for all the right reasons. You can reach Al on Twitter @KBRadio_THP and say that you're here for him, I'm sure he'll be glad to hear about you too.

Recently there was a tragedy at KB Radio and most of Al’s equipment was lost. Since then he’s been trying to raise funds to rebuild his radio and get back to doing shows on a permanent basis... In the meantime, he has an automated playlist and only recently has he been able to start his live shows on some nights.

I’d say that it’s a worthwhile cause and anyone with a love of music and appreciation for the indie scene should reach out and help him with his fundraiser here: 

To set up an example, I’ve decided that from now on any sale of my latest EP will go entirely to Al’s fundraiser

So, what are you waiting for? Get some good music and make a good deed, you will feel so much better then! ;)

Millions of followers: A blessing or a curse? 

I just came upon a tweet from one of the guys at “Indie Music Bus”, a great team of people dedicated to help indie music with various promotions on their sites, couple with radio airplay, press and social media promotion, check them out here: - or follow them on Twitter @indiemusicbus​

The tweet was “ One of the telltale signs when an act is breaking into the big-time. Social media behavior changes quickly.

And of course, it got me thinking (because I actually like to do that!)…

TBH I’m fairly new to Twitter, Facebook and all the social media circus, but from what I’ve been made to believe, you cannot escape it if you want to be heard one way or another. I wasn’t too sure about it at first but then I decided to embrace it. At least I’m having fun on Twitter and it can’t hurt, right?

Influencing the influencers?

The problem starts with the perception of many medias, radios and press and basically any influencer in the “music industry” who are now expecting artists to have thousands or even millions of followers before being deemed worth of their attention. Even regular people will tend to look at your followers numbers, or followers/following “ratio” in PR parlance to see if you are to be trusted, or even considered…

So you start thinking along the same line as well… After all, life is too short to waste it with something that no one cares about, right? There’s so much music around that you have to find a way to cut through all the clutter and get to the really good stuff, right? (Note that I’m speaking about music because that’s what I do and care about most, but it’s true of any art and artists). The problem with it is that once again the principle at work with big network is at play here: you get to like a song because everyone listens to it, because it’s been pushed by people with enough PR muscles to push it into the ears of millions of people. Push any song (with a minimal amount of melody and vocal) millions of times and people will end up liking it on a grand scale… (I’m not going to cite any popular songs, I don’t care much about that, and BTW I have nothing against the artists behind them, I’m pretty happy that anyone has success in this life).

Thousands, millions, what’s next?

So you start to think that the strength is in the number of followers, plays in Spotify, etc. And you are solicited by many shameless scam companies promising you millions of followers/plays… fake of course, but isn’t it impressive? Isn’t it going to impress the influencers of this world? Will they finally give you a chance?

Nah, I doubt that very much. And so should you, if you care about what you do.
The thing is that if you’re doing it for the sake of it and you are passionate about it, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have… It will not count in the end. You could have millions of fake followers/plays, but no real human who cares, what’s the point?

Isn’t the ultimate goal of music/any art to connect with people? To tell your story to people who are eager to listen to it? And hear about them, and share your stories.

So, let’s say you truly get to thousands/hundreds of thousands of ‘real’ followers? And this is where this tweet above made me think…

My journey into the twitterverse

A few weeks ago, I had about 20 followers, I didn’t even tweet TBH.
As of today I have almost 600, and I try to follow them all. So the other day, I tried to tell them all why I was following them and appreciating them. It took me 2 solid hours to go through about 250 accounts… And I had fun lately trying to connect to people, finding a way to shine a light on them as much as I wanted them to pay attention to what I do (it really goes both way, see?). 
But 2 hours for about 250 accounts? What am I going to do next? How can I stay connected to so many people? I mean, I know that a good 50% are following me because 1/ I follow them or 2/ they want to sell me something, but still…

It means that I still have about 300 or more people that I’d like to keep in touch with… what happens if I get thousands of real people? There’s the challenge… How do I manage to still be available to them, see what they post, react to that? And yet I have a full time job, and a daughter who also need my time, and music to write/record/produce/mix/etc… how am I to fit all that in?

So my idea is that really, I’m not sure I would ever want millions of followers, because as much as it would flatter my ego, I’m not sure what it would do to my soul. I fear that I would lose any kind of human connection with any of them, and I’m really not sure I want that.

Ideally, I think a few thousands would be more than enough, if they are real people and if we share a common love for good music and care for similar things…
So, yeah, I'm just looking for human beings... Are you in or are you out?