Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Is 'Music Like Water' a Fallacy? WATCH & READ this #MusicBusiness News Report


Written by Adam Cruz


I googled 'music like water' and came across a few very interesting articles on the subject, but this one, written by Portland songwriter and producer Gavin Castleton, clearly spells out the opposing arguments than those I believe. 

In my opinion, the music industry needs a complete overhaul in order to better address artists' dwindling income. Thanks to several factors including piracy and free and 'almost free' streaming, artists are receiving less of the royalty income than ever before while the consumption of music continues its upward trajectory.



We are listening to music more than ever before and artists, in dealing with their dwindling dollars, have begun to file lawsuits against streaming media websites. For example, YouTube now faces a $1 billion lawsuit from Pharrell Williams, the Eagles and others over claims that YouTube does not have performance rights to thousands of their songs.

In a recent article, Time Magazine reported that "the threat of a lawsuit against YouTube comes amid a broader debate about the rights of musicians in a freewheeling era of digital access to songs. In December, Consequence of Sound reported that Williams' megahit, "Happy," generated just $2,700 for 43 million plays on Pandora."1

In my view, 2015 will mark the year where artists begin suing streaming music sites in search of their lost income. If industry insiders blame streaming music sites like Spotify and YouTube for killing the music business, than we only have ourselves to blame.2

As history has shown, record companies have transferred their power with respect to pricing and packaging to industries that are not their own. In the case of the digital download, it was Apple who dictated the price, selling the idea to labels with a '99 cent' marketing slogan. Once that price point was agreed upon, the music industry cut itself at the knees, forever positioning itself at the lowest price points.

Today, we see the music business as an imploded version of its former self, forced to convert into a services business, tying merchandising, touring and endorsements in with the music since music can no longer make money, standing on its own.

While the music industry spent an enormous amount of time becoming service oriented (as opposed to music oriented,) it arguably left a space for streaming media companies to be innovative with music technology without opposition. Streaming media companies also knew to give consumers what we know they wanted. It's more obvious than ever before that consumers want their music casually, easily and cheaply. This is simply the reality that the 'Smart Phone' generation lives in.

It is, therefore, time to think about overhauling music and strongly consider alternative business models in order to become sustainable. While labels seem to be jumping on subscription services as the future model, I continue to believe that we ought to consider music as a public utility. Like water, we could pay a fee per month for unlimited access. Unlike Spotify, music like water opens us up to the world's music, not just what Spotify carries. While their database of songs is huge, it still doesn't represent the world's music. Tastemakers tend to dictate what we listen to in terms of top 40 music, using money, power and position to get airplay. With music as a public utility, our 'top 40' songs would be influenced by actual listeners instead of lobbyists with money. At that point, we'll begin to level the playing field by filtering more of the income to independent artists.

In his article, Castleton believes that the argument in favor of 'music like water' is a fallacy. Here are his points:


Written by Gavin Castleton

In 2002 David Bowie said, "Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity." In early 2005, Berklee VP David Kusek and "futurist" Gerd Leonhard based their book The Future of Music on the concept of "Music Like Water," i.e. the transformation of the music industry into one in which music is ubiquitous and subscription-based, paid for and delivered like any other utility service.

In 2010 Spotify founder Daniel Ek co-opted the analogy and has brandished it in every interview since. Aside from a few askance sentences buried in various article comment threads, I was hard pressed to find anyone else that found the concept distressing. To date, the only formal counter-argument I've seen published was by Andrew Dubber in 2007 (who has been fighting the good fight ever since). I would like to present another.

Here are some observations regarding our relationship with water in the US:
  1. We need it to live
  2. We use it often
  3. We perceive it as free (at least, the youth and non-homeowners often do)
  4. We get it on demand
  5. We take its abundance for granted
  6. We take its purity for granted
As a consumer, all six sound great to me, because my only objective is to get as much as I can, as soon as I can, for the least amount of money and effort. I don't care if slaves made it, I don't care if it is spiritually toxic or will lead our culture to a place where music is peripheral; I love a bargain.

As an artist, I like the first two because they raise my value. But numbers 3-5 threaten my value, and number 6 seems invalid.

Let's look closer at those last four points:

1) We perceive it as free

I could assert that a .001-.004/stream royalty rate (that gets split between at least two parties) will never result in sustainable income for a solo artist, let alone a band. I could show you some statistics that suggest no matter how much they dangle the carrot of future adoption and ad revenue in our artist faces, streaming services like Spotify will never pay a workable rate (anyone telling you otherwise is getting paid on a backend deal that will screw their artists like never before). But if enough artists walk, Spotify would most likely arrange an alternate revenue stream to pay the artist a bit more. So I'm not really concerned about the problem of getting artists paid, I'm concerned about consumer perception. When the listener loses her notion of sunk cost in my album, she will value it less. She will make less of an effort to understand it, and subsequently she will most likely enjoy it less. It is not a coincidence that the average shelf-life of an album is tanking, and artists are adopting single-based micro releases in shorter release cycles.

Now I'm well aware that some folks have testified that they have seen an increase in sales since the adoption of streaming sites like Pandora and Spotify, and that may be true. I myself have benefited from discovery sites (though it's hard to do an actual cost/benefit analysis without a complex tracking system in place). But isn't it possible that those sales are primarily attributed to older users who grew up paying for music? Do we really expect those sales to continue once the market is comprised entirely of kids raised in the age of free streaming? Remember how our parents paid for long distance calling?

2) We get it on demand

Right now, the sentiment that everything in our lives should be "on-demand" is widespread and with few exceptions, undisputed. Over the last few decades the anthem of consumer empowerment has risen to a deafening roar. At this point, we seem incapable of accepting the notion that the customer may not always be right. What's more, despite the housing crisis and the insane rise of credit debt, we still uphold the conviction that we should always get what we want, when we want it. Forget for a moment that artists are actually foolish and desperate enough to answer the call for immediate free labor, (in all other industries you actually pay more for expeditiousness) because, in capitalism, the responsibility to assert one's worth lies upon the laborer. Let's think about it from the perspective of the average citizen: does this "on-demand" mentality foster repeatable fulfilling experiences, or will it only destroy virtues like attentiveness, contemplativeness, and patience? Entitlement is a symptom of immaturity, and we as a society have a lot of growing up to do.

3) We take its abundance for granted

Spotify is one step further in the march to abolish artists' last recourse in an intensely over-saturated market: artificial scarcity. You can pretty much split the debate over music monetization into two camps: those that want to re-instate artificial scarcity, and those that want artists to embrace other revenue streams instead. Some artists are dabbling in both, trying to reinstate artificial scarcity momentarily by limiting the content available on streaming networks for a short while so as not to cannibalize sales. Personally, I think either is valid depending on what kind of music career you're shooting for. But what really bothers me about both Spotify and "piracy" (which are pretty much synonymous) is that both are hell-bent on taking that decision away from the artist. Nothing feels more invasive than having your livelihood reprogrammed by someone you've never met. The collapse of the old music industry and the subsequent confusion and job redundancy we're all dealing with is often dismissed as a simple case of capitalistic evolution, but that is an irresponsible and insensitive synopsis. We mustn't forget the catalyzing variable in this story: massive unchecked intellectual property rights violation. Grievances and shortcomings with the previous model were not handled within the confines of legal capitalism. This injustice is the reason that we consumers and companies like Spotify should be particularly sympathetic and sensitive to the needs of artists and, dare I say it, music industry folk right now. I know it's not very hip for me to say that, but I think we should be clear about the behavior that led us here - whether you think it's an improvement or not.

4) We take its purity for granted

Though I'm sure the proponents of Music Like Water never intended to take the analogy this far, I think this one is important. The reason access to water can be ubiquitous is because of regulation through organizations like the EPA. Without regulation, our irrigation and distribution systems would be nothing more than conduits for disease. In terms of music, what would be the comparable regulating entity? Well, up until a decade ago, the filtering of music was mainly handled by a formal music industry - promoters, labels, distributors, radio, MTV. Now, obviously, the internet has changed that.

When you release the valve without well-tuned filters in place, you get what we have now: muddy waters (not the artist, the metaphor). You have tracks from seasoned artists like Radiohead distributed side by side with garbage (not the band, the metaphor), and you have transferred the burden and blessing of filtering from more official gatekeepers to the consumer. As an artist who has never been favored by the official gatekeepers, I can easily embrace the benefits of that. As a music lover who is interested in progressive works that don’t always have mass appeal, I can also appreciate it. But as a consumer, what at first felt like freedom is beginning to feel arduous and daunting. This is the well documented paradox of choice. Naturally, new aggregators (bloggers, online review sites, app builders, etc.) are rushing in to filter the stream, but now there are so many aggregators, we need aggregators to aggregate the aggregators. I’m not saying I prefer the old top-down filter model (though when almost all new aggregators are adopting the algorithm that sorts results by Most Popular, you tend to end up with the same results), I’m simply pointing out that proponents of the Music Like Water concept have put far more thought into making everything free to the consumer than they have into making sure people can find what they want, and in order for artists and consumers to have a better experience with music, distribution and filtering have to be lockstep.

So, considering these issues, are we sure we want music to be like water?

I'm not. I think both consumers and artists should look more critically at the long-term effects of this model and reconsider. I think artists have to rise to the challenge of asserting their worth, and I think consumers have to rise to the challenge of supporting artists financially even when they don't have to.

1 Barber, Elizabeth (2014, December). YouTube Faces $1 Billion Lawsuit From Pharrell Williams, the Eagles and Others. Time Magazine. Retrieved from http://time.com/3645136/pharrell-williams-eagles-john-lennon-youtube-irving-azoff/

2 Presencer, Lohan. (2014, December). An alternative Christmas message to the music industry from Lohan Presencer. The Gaurdian Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/22/lohan-presencer-apple-youtube-spotify-ministry-of-sound

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'Free' to 'Music Key', YouTube sets trend


Written by Ben Sisario

On November 12, YouTube unveiled YouTube Music Key, a long-awaited upgrade of its music offerings that will include higher-quality audio for most songs and give users the option of paying $8 a month for extra features, chief among them removing YouTube's ubiquitous ads.

With its new service, YouTube hopes to reform its reputation in the music industry as a phenomenal free site to promote songs, but one that pays a pittance in royalties. "We want to give fans more ways to enjoy music on YouTube, but also give artistes more opportunities to connect with fans and earn more revenues," said Christophe Muller, its music partnerships director.

As YouTube pushes into paid content, other online music outlets – under considerable pressure from the recording industry – are being forced to defend or change their business models to better compensate artistes.

Taylor Swift drew wide support among fellow musicians – and a rebuke from Spotify's chief executive – after she removed her entire catalogue from the streaming service, apparently because Spotify refused a request to keep her music only on its paid level. And SoundCloud, which has never paid royalties, signed its first deal with a major record company, the Warner Music Group, last week, and will begin to pay artistes for the first time.

With the music industry suffering a steep decline in sales, it is ever more dependent on payouts from streaming outlets like Spotify, Pandora and Apple's Beats Music. For a while, free music has been crucial to the marketing of these services, but now music executives and analysts increasingly say that their growing popularity is a deterrent to getting customers to pay. "As recently as five years ago, free was entirely about piracy; now free is widespread and completely within the legitimate sphere," Mark Mulligan, an analyst, said. "But we still have the exact same challenge we had in the golden age of piracy, which is, how do you compete with free?"

Online subscription services like Spotify have grown quickly, with 28 million subscribers around the world last year, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. In some countries, like Sweden, a majority of sales revenue now comes from streaming music. But so far this growth has not been fast enough to make up for a rapid decline in sales of CDs and downloads. In the first half of 2014, for example, album sales were down 13 per cent compared with the same period the year before, and digital track downloads were down 10.6 per cent, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.



YouTube Music Key will be available to users in the United States, Britain and a handful of other European countries. Following Google's preferred pattern of introducing new products through "beta" testing, it will first be available by invitation only, and is expected to be offered to all users by next year.

For those invitees, it will be free for six months and then cost $8 a month; the cost to the public starting next year will be $10, the same as Spotify and other services. Subscribers will also get Google Play Music, the on-demand audio service that has been Google's main competitor to Spotify.

Click here to read more of this article.

The Shazam Effect - how the music industry is using big data to predict the next big hit


Written by Derek Thompson

In 2000, a Stanford Ph.D. named Avery Wang co-founded, with a couple of business-school graduates, a tech start-up called Shazam. Their idea was to develop a service that could identify any song within a few seconds, using only a cellphone, even in a crowded bar or coffee shop.

At first, Wang, who had studied audio analysis and was responsible for building the software, feared it might be an impossible task. No technology existed that could distinguish music from background noise, and cataloging songs note for note would require authorization from the labels. But then he made a breakthrough: rather than trying to capture whole songs, he built an algorithm that would create a unique acoustic fingerprint for each track. The trick, he discovered, was to turn a song into a piece of data.



Shazam became available in 2002. (In the days before smartphones, users would dial a number, play the song through their phones, and then wait for Shazam to send a text with the title and artist.) Since then, it has been downloaded more than 500 million times and used to identify some 30 million songs, making it one of the most popular apps in the world. It has also helped set off a revolution in the recording industry. While most users think of Shazam as a handy tool for identifying unfamiliar songs, it offers music executives something far more valuable: an early-detection system for hits.

In 2000, a Stanford Ph.D. named Avery Wang co-founded, with a couple of business-school graduates, a tech start-up called Shazam. Their idea was to develop a service that could identify any song within a few seconds, using only a cellphone, even in a crowded bar or coffee shop.

At first, Wang, who had studied audio analysis and was responsible for building the software, feared it might be an impossible task. No technology existed that could distinguish music from background noise, and cataloging songs note for note would require authorization from the labels. But then he made a breakthrough: rather than trying to capture whole songs, he built an algorithm that would create a unique acoustic fingerprint for each track. The trick, he discovered, was to turn a song into a piece of data.

Shazam became available in 2002. (In the days before smartphones, users would dial a number, play the song through their phones, and then wait for Shazam to send a text with the title and artist.) Since then, it has been downloaded more than 500 million times and used to identify some 30 million songs, making it one of the most popular apps in the world. It has also helped set off a revolution in the recording industry. While most users think of Shazam as a handy tool for identifying unfamiliar songs, it offers music executives something far more valuable: an early-detection system for hits.

By studying 20 million searches every day, Shazam can identify which songs are catching on, and where, before just about anybody else. “Sometimes we can see when a song is going to break out months before most people have even heard of it,” Jason Titus, Shazam’s former chief technologist, told me. (Titus is now a senior director at Google.) Last year, Shazam released an interactive map overlaid with its search data, allowing users to zoom in on cities around the world and look up the most Shazam’d songs in São Paulo, Mumbai, or New York. The map amounts to a real-time seismograph of the world’s most popular new music, helping scouts discover unsigned artists just as they’re starting to set off tremors. (The company has a team of people who update its vast music library with the newest recorded music—including self-produced songs—from all over the world, and artists can submit their work to Shazam.)

“We know where a song’s popularity starts, and we can watch it spread,” Titus told me. Take, for example, Lorde, the out-of-nowhere sensation of 2013. Shazam’s engineers can rewind time to trace the international contagion of her first single, “Royals,” watching the pings of Shazam searches spread from New Zealand, her home country, to Nashville (a major music hub, even for noncountry songs), to the American coasts, pinpointing the exact day it peaked in each of nearly 3,000 U.S. cities.

Shazam has become a favorite app of music agents around the country, and in February, the company announced that it would get into the music-making business itself, launching a new imprint under Warner Music Group for artists discovered through the app.

Shazam searches are just one of several new types of data guiding the pop-music business. Concert promoters study Spotify listens to route tours through towns with the most fans, and some artists look for patterns in Pandora streaming to figure out which songs to play at each stop on a tour. In fact, all of our searching, streaming, downloading, and sharing is being used to answer the question the music industry has been asking for a century: What do people want to hear next?

It’s a question that label executives once answered largely by trusting their gut. But data about our preferences have shifted the balance of power, replacing experts’ instincts with the wisdom of the crowd. As a result, labels have gotten much better at understanding what we want to listen to. This is the one silver lining the music industry has found in the digital revolution, which has steadily cut into profits. So it’s clearly good for business—but whether it’s good for music is a lot less certain.

Click here to read more of this article.

Friday, December 12, 2014

David Bowie On The Future Of Copyright And The Challenges Of A Utility Model For The Arts


David Bowie suggests copyright is over, or near enough:
"I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing. Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity… So it’s like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left. It’s terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn’t matter if you think it’s exciting or not; it’s what’s going to happen."

Click here to read more.

Friday, November 14, 2014

3 Myths about Spotify, according to Spotify - do you agree?


On this episode of the Freedom Radio Hour, co-hosts Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas discuss Spotify's rebuttal to Taylor Swift and the 3 myths about Spotify, according to them. Adam and Eddie also discuss YouTube's new Music Key service as well as other music business news and trends, live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.



On the web: http://freedomradiohour.com
Live Link Fridays 5pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/freedomradiohour

ABOUT THE FREEDOM RADIO HOUR:
The Freedom Radio Hour is a weekly DJ mix and talk radio program hosted by DJ Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas. The show features a fresh DJ mix and a 15-minute informative talk segment, covering music business news and trends from around the globe.

Listen to the show at: http://freedomradiohour.com/

As a DJ, Adam spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music. As a virtuoso, Eddie brings a fantastic spin to the program, based on his experiences as a recording artist, performer and host. When they're not hard at work promoting their partners or their projects, Adam and Eddie continue to build a solid base of loyal listeners, broadcasting their weekly "Freedom Radio Hour" shows live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.


OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM SPOTIFY:
Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. Quincy Jones posted on Facebook that “Spotify is not the enemy; piracy is the enemy”. You know why? Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then. And that’s two billion dollars’ worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there was no Spotify – we’re working day and night to recover money for artists and the music business that piracy was stealing away.

When I hear stories about artists and songwriters who say they’ve seen little or no money from streaming and are naturally angry and frustrated, I’m really frustrated too. The music industry is changing – and we’re proud of our part in that change – but lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist. As I said, we’ve already paid more than $2 billion in royalties to the music industry and if that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that’s a big problem. We will do anything we can to work with the industry to increase transparency, improve speed of payments, and give artists the opportunity to promote themselves and connect with fans – that’s our responsibility as a leader in this industry; and it’s the right thing to do.

We’re trying to build a new music economy that works for artists in a way the music industry never has before. And it is working – Spotify is the single biggest driver of growth in the music industry, the number one source of increasing revenue, and the first or second biggest source of overall music revenue in many places. Those are facts. But there are at least three big misconceptions out there about how we work, how much we pay, and what we mean for the future of music and the artists who create it. Let’s take a look at them.

Myth number one: free music for fans means artists don’t get paid.

On Spotify, nothing could be further from the truth. Not all free music is created equal – on Spotify, free music is supported by ads, and we pay for every play. Until we launched Spotify, there were two economic models for streaming services: all free or all paid, never together, and both models had a fatal flaw. The paid-only services never took off (despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing), because users were being asked to pay for something that they were already getting for free on piracy sites. The free services, which scaled massively, paid next to nothing back to artists and labels, and were often just a step away from piracy, implemented without regard to licensing, and they offered no path to convert all their free users into paying customers. Paid provided monetization without scale, free reached scale without monetization, and neither produced anywhere near enough money to replace the ongoing decline in music industry revenue.

We had a different idea. We believed that a blended option – or ‘freemium’ model – would build scale and monetization together, ultimately creating a new music economy that gives fans access to the music they love and pays artists fairly for their amazing work. Why link free and paid? Because the hardest thing about selling a music subscription is that most of our competition comes from the tons of free music available just about everywhere. Today, people listen to music in a wide variety of ways, but by far the three most popular ways are radio, YouTube, and piracy – all free. Here’s the overwhelming, undeniable, inescapable bottom line: the vast majority of music listening is unpaid. If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free to get their attention in the first place.

So our theory was simple – offer a terrific free tier, supported by advertising, as a starting point to attract fans and get them in the door. And unlike other free music options – from piracy to YouTube to SoundCloud – we pay artists and rights holders every time a song is played on our free service. But it’s not as flexible or uninterrupted as Premium. If you’ve ever used Spotify’s free service on mobile, you know what I mean – just like radio, you can pick the kind of music you want to hear but can’t control the specific song that’s being played, or what gets played next, and you have to listen to ads. We believed that as fans invested in Spotify with time, listening to their favorite music, discovering new music and sharing it with their friends, they would eventually want the full freedom offered by our premium tier, and they’d be willing to pay for it.

We were right. Our free service drives our paid service. Today we have more than 50 million active users of whom 12.5 million are subscribers each paying $120 per year. That’s three times more than the average paying music consumer spent in the past. What’s more, the majority of these paying users are under the age of 27, fans who grew up with piracy and never expected to pay for music. But here’s the key fact: more than 80% of our subscribers started as free users. If you take away only one thing, it should be this: No free, no paid, no two billion dollars.

Myth number two: Spotify pays, but it pays so little per play nobody could ever earn a living from it.

First of all, let’s be clear about what a single stream – or listen – is: it’s one person playing one song one time. So people throw around a lot of stream counts that seem big and then tell you they’re associated with payouts that sound small. But let’s look at what those counts really represent. If a song has been listened to 500 thousand times on Spotify, that’s the same as it having been played one time on a U.S. radio station with a moderate sized audience of 500 thousand people. Which would pay the recording artist precisely … nothing at all. But the equivalent of that one play and its 500 thousand listens on Spotify would pay out between three and four thousand dollars. The Spotify equivalent of ten plays on that radio station – once a day for a week and a half – would be worth thirty to forty thousand dollars.

Now, let’s look at a hit single, say Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’. In the months since that song was released, it’s been listened to enough times to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for his label and publisher. At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $6 million a year, and that’s only growing – we expect that number to double again in a year. Any way you cut it, one thing is clear – we’re paying an enormous amount of money to labels and publishers for distribution to artists and songwriters, and significantly more than any other streaming service.

Myth number three: Spotify hurts sales, both download and physical.

This is classic correlation without causation – people see that downloads are down and streaming is up, so they assume the latter is causing the former. Except the whole correlation falls apart when you realize a simple fact: downloads are dropping just as quickly in markets where Spotify doesn’t exist. Canada is a great example, because it has a mature music market very similar to the US. Spotify launched in Canada a few weeks ago. In the first half of 2014, downloads declined just as dramatically in Canada – without Spotify – as they did everywhere else. If Spotify is cannibalising downloads, who’s cannibalising Canada?

By the same token, we’ve got a great list of artists who promoted their new releases on Spotify and had terrific sales and lots of streaming too – like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and alt-J. Artists from Daft Punk to Calvin Harris to Eminem had number ones and were on Spotify at the same time too.

Which brings us back to Taylor Swift. She sold more than 1.2 million copies of 1989 in the US in its first week, and that’s awesome. We hope she sells a lot more because she’s an exceptional artist producing great music. But she’s the only artist who has sold more than a million copies in an album’s first week since 2002. In the old days, multiple artists sold multiple millions every year. That just doesn’t happen any more; people’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back. You can’t look at Spotify in isolation – even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we’ve ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free. To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark. And sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on The Pirate Bay last week, there was 1989. . .

Here’s the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours. Even if you don’t believe that’s our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music. We don’t use music to drive sales of hardware or software. We use music to get people to pay for music, and we pay nearly 70% of all our revenue back to you. The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you. We’re going to be transparent about it all the way through. And we have a big team of your fellow artists here because if you think we haven’t done well enough, we want to know, and we want to do better. None of that is ever going to change.

We’re getting fans to pay for music again. We’re connecting artists to fans they would never have otherwise found, and we’re paying them for every single listen. We’re not just streaming, we’re mainstreaming now, and that’s good for music makers and music lovers around the world.

- Daniel Ek

Click here to read more.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Taylor Swift Pulls Her Albums from Spotify. How does it impact Spotify?


On this episode of the Freedom Radio Hour, co-hosts Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas discuss Taylor Swift's platinum status on her new '1989' album and its implications for the RIAA. Adam and Eddie also discuss Swift's move to pull all of her albums from Spotify as well as other music business news and trends, live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.



On the web: http://freedomradiohour.com
Live Link Fridays 5pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/freedomradiohour

ABOUT THE FREEDOM RADIO HOUR:
The Freedom Radio Hour is a weekly DJ mix and talk radio program hosted by DJ Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas. The show features a fresh DJ mix and a 15-minute informative talk segment, covering music business news and trends from around the globe.

Listen to the show at: http://freedomradiohour.com/

As a DJ, Adam spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music. As a virtuoso, Eddie brings a fantastic spin to the program, based on his experiences as a recording artist, performer and host. When they're not hard at work promoting their partners or their projects, Adam and Eddie continue to build a solid base of loyal listeners, broadcasting their weekly "Freedom Radio Hour" shows live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.