Streaming vs. Pay-Per-Song: The Ethical Implications

With the rising popularity of music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play, there are now fewer reasons to purchase songs and albums individually. This is to the dismay of several artists who claim they are being robbed of the total revenue they deserve for their work. Their argument is similar to the following analogy: you do not go into a clothing store and pay an entrance fee to then collect all of the items you want. This is what they feel listeners are doing when they pay a monthly fee to use services like Spotify Premium and Apple Music. They also think it is not fair to other fans who go out and buy their CDs when others just wait to listen to it for free online.

Source: Fordham Observer

Lefsetz Letter: Instant Releases

42116960_lSure, the instant release is losing its special character, it’s not the revelation it once was. But instant availability is a treasure. We live in the era of instant gratification. To promote that which we cannot consume is to leave money on the table. If you can get someone’s attention, let them click, let them experience, let them listen!Which is why exclusives are to the detriment of artists.

There’s a movie on Apple Music and the press does a story and then the rest of the world forgets about it. If you’re bothering to sell, let people partake.But the music business has become about the short money. If you pay me now, I’ll forget about tomorrow.

Source: Lefsetz Letter

Music Industry Hits Pause on Exclusive Album-Release Deals

The music industry’s tradition of releasing albums via only one particular retailer or online service—often the one that pays for the privilege—endured through physical discs, digital downloads and into the streaming era. But at some record companies, the practice of granting “exclusives” now appears to be headed the way of the eight-track tape.

The music companies now realize that restricting desirable albums to one online service could limit the overall growth of subscription music—viewed by labels as key to their own long-term survival. In their place, streaming-music services are scrambling to hire well-connected “ambassadors” who can help them line up artists to make playlists, videos and other promotional materials to differentiate themselves.

Source: WSJ

Streaming Independence: New Apps Look to Draw Listeners Toward Music Far Below the Radar

The globally beloved Game of Thrones is a series focused on the ever-shifting power and politics of a small number of queenly and kingly people. Through birthright or attrition they oversee a vast population of indigent subjects whom they never really concern themselves with (outside of worrying over the violence those subjects could inflict on them en masse).

The audience never hears from these subjects or their lives. They impact nothing of importance. They may as well not exist — in fact they don’t, outside of about three scenes. It’s a good metaphor — though far too late to board the hype train — for how the world works.Look at the front page of any streaming service and a parallel is evident — medium-to-high popularity artists, of which there’s very few, are front-loaded. Hi DJ Khaled! Hi Katy Perry! Hi The Beatles! (Wait seriously?) It’s not that independent artists aren’t in there, back behind the blackout curtain of the search bar, but they certainly aren’t visible.

This year, the 50 most-streamed songs accounted for 4.75 percent of all listening on services like Spotify, according to Nielsen Music. Now, 4.75 percent may like a small percentage, but that’s just 50 songs. Spotify has a catalog, behind that blackout curtain, with 35 million of those.

Source: Billboard

‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ Has Come To Streaming, But Do We Need It?

Vinyl record and music notesThis week, for the first time in its long history, the latest edition from the Now That’s What I Call Music series has appeared on the major streaming platforms as a standalone collection. It’s interesting that the series, which is a collaborative effort between the three major labels operating in the U.S., has only just now reached streaming, as it seems somewhat late to the party. While it’s nice that those behind Now have decided to upload the new album to sites like Spotify and Apple Music, the world might have reached a point where that’s not really necessary.

Source: Forbes

Jerry Garcia Solo Catalog Coming To Streaming Services

Jerry-GarciaGrateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia’s extensive catalog of solo recordings is finally coming to streaming services.

Beginning this Friday, August 5, a reissued collection of 34-albums will be available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play and downloadable on iTunes and Google Play.

Garcia’s solo albums such as his 1972 and 1974 self-titled studio LPs, 1976’s Reflections, 1978’s Cats Under The Stars and 1982’s Run For The Roses, as well as the Jerry Garcia Band’s 1991 self-titled live album are expected to be streaming. Also being added are the installments in the Pure Jerry and GarciaLive live release series. More streaming platforms are expected to be revealed soon, and official Jerry Garcia playlists will be shared as well.

Source: JamBase