Streaming is good for labels and artists. Indie labels are on the rise and artists have options everywhere on which digital aggregator to use when releasing music.
Taylor Swift and Neil Young’s music is back on Spotify and the normal PR outlets are silent but when they took their music off, well the narrative was very strong about poor artists vs big bad faceless tech giving the masses inferior sound quality and not paying enough.
But Pandora is declining in users, looking for a new owner and Spotify is not making money yet because its business model of a streaming service only does not allow it.
Spotify needs to diversify into a record label (like how Netflix diversified into its own content) because it can’t survive as it currently operates.
Apple has its own ecosystem and it bundles music with Apps and hardware sales.
YouTube is still there but viewership of music videos pales compared to streaming listens. Plus Google (apart from search) does everything half-hearted.
In the end streaming is king. The irrelevant sales charts had to amend their formula to include streaming and suddenly an artist is controlling all positions.
The old certification awards now include streaming in their formula and guess what, artists are getting platinum awards on streams alone. That’s right, no sales. Just listens. What a brilliant concept.
But those record label execs and publishing rights organisations want to strangle the streaming golden goose. They have a percentage stake in it, they get upfront license fees and they get royalty payments. Their profits are boosted by streaming and they still want more.
Meanwhile artists and songwriters keep on blaming the tech for the payments made instead of blaming the corporation who controls their copyrights.
Forgetting that Spotify is the new MTV. It’s influential. Think about it. Get onto a Spotify created playlist and watch your streams go into the million to 100 million territory.
Spotify controls data. It knows instantly when songs are skipped and when songs are listened to. The songs that people listen too are added to various playlists it controls. Suddenly those songs become hits.
Jasta’s “Chasing Demons” is the first track on Spotify’s “New Metal Tracks” playlist. It has 227,182 streams. The closest track from the same artist “This Is Your Life” has 22,433 streams.
“Lights Out” from Royal Blood is on 5 plus Spotify playlists and it has 6,435,533 streams whereas “Hook, Line & Sinker” has close to 2 million streams and it’s on 2 Spotify playlists.