Flynn Amps and the value of enthusiasmK is for Knopfler, MarkM is for Modes

Streaming, Spotify and making money out of music
September 5, 2014

I saw a terrifying statistic yesterday on Information Is Beautiful. I knew that streaming services really didn’t pay artists very well but I didn’t really know how bad the situation was. In order to earn (US) monthly minimum wage, as a solo artist mind you, gods help you if you’re in a ten piece funk band, you need to sell 143 self pressed CDs. Fair enough I think, and the more we can move towards a post-label industry the better, they are not needed any more. The further down that graph you go however, the more depressing the reading. The more services like Napster get in the way and take chucks of money the more fans you need to make any money at all.

The streaming services at the bottom are where my blood really starts to boil though. From 850k plays for minimum wage on Rhapsody all the way up to a sickening 4 mllion with Spotify. Yes, that’s a 4 and six zeros. 4,000,000. For minimum wage. And they still don’t manage to make any money. Which leads me to wonder how on earth they are in so many homes. Every time I go to a party (admittedly not often) the music is being played by streaming it. No thought what so ever to the people who made it, and would like to get some remuneration for having made your lives a more pleasant place.

There are better places out there to find new music. Websites such as Bandcamp, who are not only inventive but fair, taking a small amount from artists in return for an excellent service. LastFM are an excellent way to find the bands you want to listen to, but again, using their radio leaves musicians high and dry.

By all means use the internet to explore and enjoy the massive and exciting place that is music in 2014, but have in the back of your mind that if you’d like to hear that band make another album, it’s worth making sure that they feel rewarded for the blood sweat and tears they put into making the first one.