Spotify: Boon or Bane

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Ubersooner, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Ubersooner

    Ubersooner Member

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    Sinas1 recently blasted Spotify over a Beatles promotion and its financial rape of artists. It got me thinking: Is Spotify positive or negative given the present state of monitized music consumption? I saw a recent article that questions whether Spotify can remain viable itself because even as its subscriptions and advertising has increased, it continues to lose milions. How is that ripping off artists?

    I know this has been talked about on here a number of times but it seems that no model for getting recorded music to people is profitable so why hate Spotify? It's a symptom rather than the problem isn't it. Want to go back to Napster? How about what Youtube is allowing with unlicensed use of recorded music. I know artists want Spotify to pay them more but they are losing money as it stands. At what point do musicians have to admit that their recorded music has no substantial monetary value.

    I don't like the present state of affairs anymore than any musician or music fan does but the whole #F***Spotify seems juvenile an unhinged from economic reality. (Disclaimer: I am a Spotify subscriber who is sad Pete pulled his music. I own his stuff through itunes but liked pointing friends to his music through Spotify). Thoughts, critiques and screeds are welcome.
     
  2. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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  3. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    The are two main issues with any streaming service: the terms of the deal, and the compliance with those terms.
    So, is the deal in its ideal form "fair", and are the parties involved abiding by those terms, or are they "cheating"?

    With Spotify, the terms aren't very transparent. Spotify is supposed to pay the rights holders, i.e. the labels, and then the labels pay the artists. The labels didn't/don't trust Spotify, and so Spotify did an equity deal with them. The artists don't really trust their labels (generally for good reason), and also don't trust Spotify, also not without reason.

    A deal can only be "fair" if all parties are satisfied with the terms. If all the terms, and the compliance aren't fully known, it's probably not a fair deal.

    Adding to that, Spotify's structure means the more customers they have, the more money they lose.
    Who'd trust someone who set up their company that way?
    Who'd want to do business with them?
     
  4. Ubersooner

    Ubersooner Member

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    That's really what I don't get. They've got nearly everyone on board. Even artists with clout are on after a 7-30 day lock out. Swift just made her bed with Apple instead of Spotify but she's still streaming for pennies. I respect Pete for having the courage of his convictions but I would assume he's not relying on recorded music sales for his living, nor are most professionals these days.
     
  5. slybird

    slybird Member

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    Talked about a million time, but it's a fun discussion and argument.

    It isn't the Spotify type service's fault, it is the abundance of music. Jacques Attali called it the crisis of proliferation. There is so much music it has become valueless. Things need to be scarce to maintain value. We have every recorded song ever made over the last 100 years at our instant demand and we continue to create more. The abundance is making music disposable. I have listened to hardly any music more then a couple times for the last five years and I keep finding great material. Why would I purchase any music that I will most likely play less than 10 times in my life?

    It will not become any easier to catch ears as time moves forward. The other aspect is Youtube. Music is now a visual medium and the majority of recording artists are acting like the music is the only thing needed to attract ears. It is not enough to just record a song and expect it to find buyers.

    For every artist managing to make the current systems work there will always be 10,000 that don't and complain about it how it's rigged.
     
  6. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    "Clout" is relative in the music industry, even for "superstars" like Taylor Swift. All Spotify had to do was get the few remaining major labels on board (since they're the rights holders), and then the labels could wrangle the artists, who are in business with/beholden to the labels, typically in a position of weakness. Current IP and the murkiness of world-wide jurisdictions also makes streaming/pirated downloads more of an opt-out scenario, where the providers just slurp everyone in without asking and then put the burden of petitioning to get out on the artists, and then drag their heels at every step of the way.

    For Taylor, her team is canny in making the best of a difficult situation via the clout they do have only by virtue of extraordinary sales. Once her fanbase ages out of the desirable marketing bucket, her clout will diminish greatly. But right now she's young and very popular, and her audience is young and desirable to advertisers.
     
  7. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    ^^^
    This is the beginning and end of it.

    Spotify ain't Napster. Spotify is in bed with the rights holders. Everyone's beef is (or should be) with the labels, same as it ever was.
     
  8. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I don't Spotify, I Pandora.

    Are the dynamics and issues the same?
     
  9. Stratonator

    Stratonator Member

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    I dislike the sound quality but for people who don't care about it (like my MIL), it's a goldmine of "oh yeah, I remember that tune!"

    Got a free membership which I passed onto her. She seems to enjoy it. The interface could be simpler, though.
     
  10. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    To a degree. The deals are opaque, probably not fair, the service loses money, the artists get shortchanged most of all.
     

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