Thursday, 29 May 2014

Technology Is Not Musicians’ Enemy

When musicians fail to generate income – they are quick to point the finger at file sharing sites. Some even point to the past that, there were no downloads then – yeah but there were TDK cassette and one would wait for the radio to play his/her favourite song and press record. Remember that?

Well techno has moved past that and allows many to just click download and within minutes you have the album. We are not by any means promoting piracy but saying that musicians can make modern technology work for them.

Musicians need Spotify, Pandora and other streaming services more than ever.
Yes, I know both independent artists and superstars alike have criticized the services about the royalties they pay to artists. Spotify hands out “$0.006 and $0.0084″ each time a song is played (that money goes to the rights holders, who takes a cut before the artist is paid). Spotify says it paid $500 million to labels last year. While most artists can’t depend on music streaming for cash flow these days they must rely on Spotify and others for something even more vital–exposure.

That’s because traditional radio is becoming both more monotonous and conservative. Radio is creating its own self-fulfilled prophecy–the more popular the song, the more play it receives. Like blockbuster movies, the top 40 songs are hogging all the space–blocking new artists, not to mention new songs by established artists, from ever reaching listeners’ ears.

That’s where Spotify and Pandora others come-in. The early Internet blew the gates off established media outlets (blogs, social media, YouTube etc) and let an entirely new set of voices be heard. Now music streaming sites are doing the same for the music industry. No longer do you need a powerful record label, a glitzy marketing campaign or prime place on the music store shelves to have an international hit.

With radio out of the discovery game, musicians must embrace companies like Spotify. Currently it’s their only hope.

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