Author Topic: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.  (Read 6307 times)

Offline Uli

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Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« on: December 28, 2015, 09:37:04 AM »
Written by T-Bone Burnett (ok, he focusses on the U.S., but...)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/12/18/our-culture-loves-music-too-bad-our-economy-doesnt-value-it/

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But this brave new digital world has a dark side, too — and it is the responsibility of everyone who loves and cares about music to acknowledge and deal with this uncomfortable truth.

Too much of the emotional, cultural and economic value that music creates is simply lost now, slipping through the digital cracks in some cases, outright hijacked by bad actors and online parasites in others.

Artists, fans and responsible music and technology businesses alike all know this. When my friend Taylor Swift spoke up for the value of our work and the righteous claim of all artists to be paid for what they do, she was celebrated and applauded — not just by her colleagues, but also by teenagers who care about the people who create the music that means something to them and businesses such as Apple that fundamentally want to do what’s right.

How bad is the problem? Consider this: In 2014, sales from vinyl records made more than all of the ad-supported on-demand streams on services such as YouTube. I’m not running down vinyl — it is still the best-sounding, most durable medium we have for listening to music, by far. But why should a technology most people consider outdated generate more revenue than an Internet service with more than 100 million American users? That’s just wrong.
...
In the digital marketplace, everyone seems to have found a way to make a living off music except the creators who actually record the songs. Websites put up illegal copies of music — or turn a blind eye while others do — then sell ads micro-targeted at everyone who comes to listen. Eventually, a site may be forced to pull down the unlicensed (and for the artists and labels, completely unpaid) copy, but in the meantime, its owners have cashed in.
...
Fortunately, creators have begun to band together and speak out — the roster of those demanding reform is a who’s who of the music business, from Elvis Costello to Annie Lennox, from REM to Chuck D, and hundreds more. Congress is reviewing the copyright laws, and this time, we will be heard, and there will be no more backroom deals or giveaways.
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Offline Uli

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 09:42:46 AM »
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Digital downloads had a short run as the top-selling format in the music industry. It took until 2011, a decade after the original iPod came out, for their sales surpass those of CDs and vinyl records, and they were overtaken by music streaming services just a few years later.

Now, digital downloads are once again being outsold by CDs and vinyl, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/03/23/cds-vinyl-are-outselling-digital-downloads-for-the-first-time-since-2011/
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Offline Uli

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2019, 04:28:01 PM »
Rather sad reading this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/opinion/what-these-grammy-songs-tell-us-about-the-loudness-wars.html
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During the 1990s, as digital technology infiltrated the recording process, some mastering engineers wielded compression like a cudgel, competing to produce the loudest recordings. This recording industry “loudness war” was driven by linked aesthetic and economic imperatives. A louder record grabs your attention — and will often be perceived, at least at first, to have better sound quality than a less compressed album — and musicians didn’t want their product to sound weak by comparison. Maximum loudness, it was thought, was a prerequisite for commercial success.

Recording engineers and producers often discovered their carefully rendered recordings were being squashed in the mastering stage. Over time, with listeners increasingly consuming music through earbuds and cheap computer speakers, engineers and producers found themselves working in a denuded sonic landscape, many of them longing for the rich and diverse audio ecosystems of old.

When compact discs were introduced in the 1980s, one selling point was that they were capable of a greater dynamic range than vinyl records — yet the average pop recording today has a smaller dynamic range than records made during the analog era.
:(  :'(
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Offline Uli

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 02:30:42 PM »
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Why Play a Music CD? ‘No Ads, No Privacy Terrors, No Algorithms’

Streaming services have revolutionized the discovery of songs, but here’s why Ben Sisario, who covers the music industry, still likes to listen to compact discs.
...
To be honest, my preferred way to listen to music is on CD, as unfashionable as that might be. You push a button, the music plays, and then it’s over — no ads, no privacy terrors, no algorithms!

What are the pros and cons of the streaming model for musicians big and small?

The big positive is the vast potential exposure. Streaming eliminated the cost barrier to sampling new music, and playlists constantly put new songs in front of people. Theoretically, at least, there are more chances than ever for a song to be a hit.

But, as they say, you can die of exposure. Megahits still generate millions of dollars in royalties, and Spotify’s official mission statement is “giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art.”

Yet for artists beneath the megahit level — and that is the vast majority of them — the jury is still out. I’ve seen royalty statements for well-known indie acts that suggest they can earn a decent middle-class living from their streams. I’ve also talked to very successful songwriters who say their income has been decimated by streaming and by the new model for pop songwriting, in which five or six — or 30 — people divvy up the same sliver of royalties.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/technology/personaltech/music-streaming-cd.html
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Offline Uli

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Offline Uli

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 05:02:07 PM »
https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2018/12/25/streaming-music-services-pay-2019/

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We found Pandora had the highest per-play royalty rate.  At $0.01682 per play, an independent artist would need around 87,515 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage of $1,472.

YouTube had the worst per-stream payouts.  At $0.00074 per stream, artists and content creators would make $1,472 after 1,989,189 million plays.
::)
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Offline Uli

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 10:33:36 AM »
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Taking aim at the low revenue earnt from streaming services, the letter said: “100,000 streams of a song will not cover the price of a cup of coffee. A songwriter could have many millions of streams and still be incapable of making rent in the cities where their work is done.
https://www.nme.com/en_asia/news/music/over-300-songwriters-write-open-letter-to-record-labels-calling-for-fair-payment-2907480
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Offline slaughterboy

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2021, 08:53:37 PM »
I've severed my Spotify account because they blatantly rip off almost everyone on it and am within an ace of kicking YouTube to the kerb too.

I appreciate that advertising money keeps a lot of the world going round but...it burns my punk-arsed soul to concede to the faceless corporate bloodsuckers.

I'll just have to forgo the cheap (for me) and easy access to music that the ethernet has provided for me.
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Offline Uli

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2021, 08:49:41 AM »
I'll just have to forgo the cheap (for me) and easy access to music that the ethernet has provided for me.

They say that "bandcamp" is pretty good to the musicians (sometimes they waiver their fee even).

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On the first Friday of every month since March of 2020, we’ve waived our revenue share to help support the many artists who have seen their livelihoods disrupted by the pandemic. Over the course of these 12 days, fans paid artists and labels $52 million dollars, helping cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and much more. If you’re among the nearly 800,000 fans who participated, thank you.

The next Bandcamp Friday will be on August 6th, and we’ll continue to hold those on the first Friday of every month thereafter for the rest of 2021.

If you’ve started to feel guilty about buying music on any day other than Bandcamp Friday, here’s something to keep in mind: on Bandcamp Fridays, an average of 93% of your money reaches the artist/label (after payment processor fees). When you make a purchase on any other day of the month (as 2.5 million of you have since March, buying an additional $152 million worth of music and merch) an average of 82% reaches the artist/label. Every day is a good day to directly support artists on Bandcamp!
https://daily.bandcamp.com/features/bandcamp-fridays-2021
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Offline slaughterboy

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2021, 06:33:23 AM »
Something I shall seriously consider. Thanks Uli :)
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Offline Rockula

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2021, 02:45:38 PM »
I don't listen on streaming sites.
I still buy CDs and vinyl.
Digital is a last resort.
And where possible I buy direct from the artist or from their Bandcamp page.

But I still watch videos on YouTube or Vimeo.

Offline Uli

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2021, 10:55:17 AM »
Same here, I haven't done much on Bandcamp yet (download of a live album I otherwise couldn't get).

I like youtube to share music on the net. For example, when I mention the new Chris Eckman album here, it's good to have a sound example to share (yt or something else)!
I don't really listen to music via youtube. (Once I checked something out via yt, wasn't convinced at first, but did get the album anyway and was surprised at how much better it sounded on my stereo as it did on yt.)

TV has a few albums on Bandcamp. It's not easy to always find what you're looking for, but it's (much) better for the artists than other online outlets.
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Offline FredNoTimeToBe2021

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Re: Our culture loves music. Too bad our economy doesn’t value it.
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2021, 01:02:31 PM »
MPs call for complete reset of music streaming to ensure fair pay for artists:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-57838473
TV SM!TH - for GREAT songs "and the beer and the company"! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY0BH5vU2hs)