Mark P wrote:Hi guys,
I am lucky enough to make my living out of playing music full time. I tour with pop artists, I record and gig. I also am lucky enough to make some money from PPL (mechanical royalties from having recorded drums on a popular song - not sure what the organisation for collecting these monies in the USA is called). I am not saying this makes my opinion more relevant or important than someone who doesn't make their living from music, I'm just saying I am well positioned to have a valid insight into the decline of money in the industry in the last 5 years...
I just wanted to instigate discussion (as if that was needed!) and specifically ask what people thought of programmes like Spotify? People here are lauding it as reasonable, that it's legal and therefore morally acceptable to listen to music on it. I too, use Spotify and love the fact there seems to be an infinite amount of music on there, all at the (very free) click of a button. I wonder if anyone knows what artists actually see in the way of royalties Spotify??
Let me tell you, last year over a five-month period, 1,000,000 plays of Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face' – one of the most popular songs on the site – earned her just $167. If the same song was played the same amount of times on various leading Radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, she would have seen $1,895,154. Although you're completely legally listening to the song, the artist doesn't see nearly the same return.
What are your thoughts on that, directly posed to people praising that medium?
Mark, good post. I seriously doubt that the artists make much (if anything?!) by way of royalties. Not if we7.com is anything to go by (and I listen to it daily). There simply can't be enough money raised through advertising to pay out - for a solid week, the only sponsor I heard on we7 were the organisers of a local ska festival. Perhaps things will change? Doubt it.
Will this be the death of music? It's not feasible to make money from records any more, that's for sure. On a daily basis I throw out a ton of flyers and business cards from local businesses. They get pushed through my door at an alarming rate. Although it costs a business money to do this, there's obviously a return otherwise they wouldn't do it. Think of free music as a flyer/business card and I think you have an idea of how artists will make money/do make money at the moment.
I routinely get emails from a lot of London's largest venues that put on gigs (Barbican in particular). I've noticed that in recent years, the cost of tickets has rocketed. Going to a gig is now an event. A privilege almost, and it seems that there are enough out there willing to pay for it. Good. If it compensates the artist for lack of recording revenue, then great. As I said in previous posts, things seem to have come full circle and live music is the way forward. Surely that's a better thing than canned music?
Incidentally, I don't necessarily agree with the current state of affairs, it's just the way things are. My young nephews don't give a flying f*ck about music. It's just there and they take it for granted. If they're not buying, you can crack down on illegal downloading all you like...in the future you're just going to be penalising OAPs, it seems (the current generation just don't seem to care).