Artist interrupts new single with an ad

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Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:37 am

https://musically.com/2019/09/10/esther ... royalties/

Esthero's new single as available on streaming services cuts off abruptly about 1.5 minutes in. She gets on the mic to tell listeners that she doesn't make any money off of the bad evil streaming services and that they should go to her Web site to buy her new single with the full version and get some vinyl and other stuff.

Wow. WTF? I think this is a bold move that will backfire with the vast majority of listeners. I know it backfired with me. I enjoyed her 1998 album but had mostly forgotten about her for the last 10+ years. This is not a great re-introduction.

What do you think about this? How would you feel if the versions of your favorite artists songs on streaming services were like sponsored podcasts with the artist speaking a pre-roll/mid/post-roll ad...?
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by ujnhunter » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:44 am

I'd stop listening to songs on streaming services (I don't listen on streaming services, but if I did, I would). Which in turn would probably make streaming services lose money and therefore force streaming services to stop allowing artists to do things like this. So... it's probably one of those things that just leads to more rules. Like in hockey when Sean Avery decided to instead of play hockey, he would stand in front of the goalie and wave his stick around in his face.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by vowlvom » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:55 am

Seems like a reasonable protest that is getting some attention (I've never heard of her before, will definitely have a listen now), so fair play to her. It *should* be possible for moderately successful musicians to make some money, and the internet *should* have made it easier - but I feel like Spotify etc. have significantly devalued music and made it harder than ever. So yeah, she's got my vote.

(I have no interest in making money from music personally but I'd like the musicians that I love to be able to do so)
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:19 am

The labels dictate the terms of what streaming services pay, and then, they largely decide how their payments get split and how much goes to artists. So, artist enemy #1 IMO is actually the labels.

Secondly, streaming services cannot make profit paying the labels what they have to pay, and charging listeners what they are charging. So, they will never ever ever pay labels any more than they have to because they're already unsustainable as it is.

Spotify's only hope is to raise subscription fees, IMO. But now that their up against players like Apple and others form whom music streaming can be a loss leader, raising prices would probably tank them.

Meanwhile, since the big players can afford to lose money forever on their streaming services, they can continue to charge the undervalued price, they're happy, they pay the labels what the labels want, so, labels are happy, and artists continue to get a pittance.

Would folks pay 2-5x more for a streaming music service in order to make sure artists get their fair cut (assuming labels allow that, LOLOLOL) and streaming services can actually be sustainable...?
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by ken » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:21 am

My initial reaction is that if an artist wants to advertise on a streaming service they should pay for an ad like any other company and keep their music off of it.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by vowlvom » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:01 pm

I'd be happy to pay more for streaming if my money was going to the artists. But I'd still rather just pay for the music that I like and buy additional merch etc from the artists that I love, it just feels like a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:15 pm

ken wrote:My initial reaction is that if an artist wants to advertise on a streaming service they should pay for an ad like any other company and keep their music off of it.
At least on Pandora (and I think to varying degrees on Spotify and Apple) we have a feature called "artist audio messages" where an artist can, FOR FREE, record a personal message and include a link/call-to-action, like to buy an album or concert tickets or merch. We play an artist's message e.g. when folks hear the artist's songs, or hear a specific song by the artist, or, listen to the radio station based on the artist, etc. There are several options, but they're all intended to be contextually targeted at listeners who are likely to want to hear the message. All the services want to be platforms for artists to engage with their listeners, facilitating more direct interactions and even transactions.

But yeah, there are ads too. This is a total publicity stunt though, she wouldn't get any coverage in the news if she just bought an ad to sell her new album.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:17 pm

vowlvom wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:01 pm
But I'd still rather just pay for the music that I like
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. Like go back to the mp3 store type model? Or go back to only buying CDs/vinyl and only directly from artists? Or do you mean change the way streaming services pay out royalties so at a listeners subscription fee only contributes to royalties for the artists that the listener listened to?
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by jb » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:14 pm

I have a family subscription to Spotify.

I would pay more for it, but I know how the payments are divided and if my “more” just gave Major Lazer more money in any given month, rather than the bands I actually listen to, then forget it.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by grumpymike » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:29 pm

I think if the artist has enough pull to be able to make it pay off, good for them. If it doesn’t, well, so long; there are enough artists lined up to take your place. I’d hate to see services responding by banning this type of thing.

If it works, more artists will do it. If more artists do it, then streaming services become garbage, then they’ll have to innovate or be replaced by another content distribution mechanism.

Some artists bring inherent value to the distribution platform; some gain exposure. Perhaps the path forward is to launch your career on a streaming platform then bow out and/or renegotiate.

If we don’t already, bands will be like Netflix exclusives- owned and funded by the distribution network. And then we will have labels again with slightly different semantics.

The only solution is to continue to buy on iTunes until this streaming fad blows over. /s
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by vowlvom » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:38 pm

Lunkhead wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:17 pm
vowlvom wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:01 pm
But I'd still rather just pay for the music that I like
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. Like go back to the mp3 store type model? Or go back to only buying CDs/vinyl and only directly from artists? Or do you mean change the way streaming services pay out royalties so at a listeners subscription fee only contributes to royalties for the artists that the listener listened to?
Well at the moment I use Spotify to check stuff out, and anything I hear a couple of times and feel like I'm going to want to keep listening to, I go and buy it (preferably on bandcamp or the artist's own store). I feel like that is a more healthy business model than "I love this band so I'm going to make sure that I give their album the 4000 required streams necessary before they can afford a coffee" or whatever.

I guess my ideal streaming service would just offer a couple of try-before-you-buy listens and then require an actual payment to the artist to keep listening, but since I can't really see that catching on in a world where the current services already exist then I'm reasonably happy with the above solution. I agree with jb that I'd mostly feel that paying more for a streaming service would most likely just send more money to the top 1% of artists, unless something else significantly shifted in the industry.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by jb » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:07 am

It should work like this: 70% of your subscription fee is split between the Artists that you listened to that month.

But it doesn't. Regardless of whose fault it is that this is the way it works, it doesn't work like this on any of the streaming services. The way it does work means that it's basically a lost cause to try to make a living from streaming as a middle-class musician.



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vowlvom wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:38 pm
I agree with jb that I'd mostly feel that paying more for a streaming service would most likely just send more money to the top 1% of artists, unless something else significantly shifted in the industry.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Lunkhead » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:40 am

I still don't quite understand why things don't work that way. My hunch is it's the labels' fault but I have no actual inside info on it. We have all the data about exactly which songs spun how many times in any given time period so it's definitely not that it isn't technically feasible to pay that way.

i know one weird thing the labels stipulate in their deals is a "guaranteed minimum". That's a minimum payment a service must guarantee they will make, if there were not enough spins of a label's content to rank up royalties of that amount. In a case like that, I have no clue how the label would split up that money, if it were above the royalties that were actually due. That's probably entirely at their discretion aka does not go to artists.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:55 am

The bottom line is in order to make money off of music you cannot depend on selling music. But then, it's always been that way. We sold vinyl that contained music. We sold plastic cases which held music. We sold plastic discs that held music. And now we're trying to sell the music. The reality is that it isn't really any ONE fault.

And I believe it's the greatest time in the history of the world to be a musician. You can write, record and distribute your music all by yourself. You don't need to know and get past a gatekeeper. You don't have to use a label. You don't have to ask permission. You can do it. But the downside to that means you have to find your audience and you have to develop a relationship in order for them to support you. And finding your audience and converting them into fans and supporters is hard. I'ts not "marketing" really, it's sharing your story so that people will support you. And it's harder to do because, without gatekeepers, there is more music now than any other time in history. Back in the day, our only real options were to hear something on the radio and go buy it or read about a band in a magazine and take a chance on a special order. That was very limiting.

Now everyone (it seems) is putting out music on a variety of outlets. Even if we were getting paid at the old rate, most of us small time musicians and songwriters would make very little because there is SO MUCH to choose from. I don't have to listen to the same Led Zeppelin album in order to hear really good classic rock style music. But I do have to listen to hours of music to find really good classic rock style music. It's rare and harder to find.

So while I agree that we *should* pay artists more, I also understand that the reality is the economic situation has changed for a bunch of reasons and there is no easy answer, no magic bullet. You can't wave a wand and "fix" it. What we can do is the part that artists hate doing. Part of which is taking control and responsibility for finding and appeasing a fan base that will support us.



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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by fluffy » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:05 pm

I agree with what Damian Keyes is saying - it'd be nice if listeners were to pay for music, but they don't, and as artists we have to adapt to that new reality.

Personally, I don't expect to make a lot of money off of my music in terms of direct sales. I hope that maybe something I release will make it big on Spotify or whatever, and I hope that maybe I can get a licensing deal somewhere. I do release my albums on Bandcamp for those handful of fans who actually want to buy it, and if someone specifically wants an album on CD I'll go to the minimal effort of putting it on CD using short-run duplication or whatever and then get like 10 copies made for those few people who insist on paying me money for something real (and in the end I basically break even on that).

I'm also not in a position where I can make money by touring, and that also doesn't sound like a great way to make a living in general even if you are able to physically perform live every night. (I'm sure as hell not.)

I dunno what the answer is, but it sure as hell isn't demanding that people stay in an older mindset when they've already made it clear they'll just move on to other music instead.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:16 am

fluffy wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:05 pm
I dunno what the answer is, but it sure as hell isn't demanding that people stay in an older mindset when they've already made it clear they'll just move on to other music instead.
+++

Also if the streaming market were only independent companies like Spotify/etc., then I would say it actually would be possible for the "fad" to pass, as it's not a sustainable business and those companies could actually shut down some day in spite of how popular the model is with consumers. But now that companies like Apple/etc. are in the space with streaming services as loss leaders, it's never ever going away. And the price point is probably also unlikely to go up to what it "should" be for it to be a major revenue stream for artists most, now that companies that can afford to lose money on it are also in the game and as the same $10USD/month price point.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by fluffy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:03 am

Yeah. I just hope that at some point the streaming services move to a more ethical payment model, maybe after the labels have realized they’ve screwed everyone over with this system that they fought for.

Incidentally ASCAP uses the same fucking-broken model when it comes to determining performance royalties at a show. Divvying them up proportionally based on a global performance pool rather than applying a venue’s license share directly to the songs played there.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:02 am

fluffy wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:03 am
Yeah. I just hope that at some point the streaming services move to a more ethical payment model, maybe after the labels have realized they’ve screwed everyone over with this system that they fought for.
Labels don't care about screwing everyone else. They are back to making money. So, problem solved for them. They're going to lead any changes. None of the independent services have enough clout to make the labels do anything they don't want to do. Maybe Apple could, but, what's Apple's motivation to change the dynamics...?
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by fluffy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:06 am

The motivation will hopefully come from them finding it harder and harder to find musicians to exploit and they end up having an ever-dwindling slice of the pie.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by grumpymike » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:18 pm

Lunkhead wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:02 am
Maybe Apple could, but, what's Apple's motivation to change the dynamics...?
Taylor Swift complained, and Apple changed their streaming terms to be more favorable to artists.

I had way too much typed and just deleted it. To get to the point: Apple needs the mindshare of creators for many reasons - one big reason is that they need wannabes to buy hardware that they don't need. (That is the less cynical way of phrasing fluffy's reason.)
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by fluffy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:44 pm

Only slightly less cynical.

Also they still do the garbage "play count pooling" thing that Spotify does. Pay $10/month for Apple Music, stream nothing but Octothorpe, most of the music goes to bands that aren't Octothorpe.
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Re: Artist interrupts new single with an ad

Post by fluffy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:28 am

And meanwhile I finally got fed up with iTunes no longer being able to sync my music with my phone so I signed up for the Apple Music trial, primarily to get my library available everywhere. Which is nice, but I'm also enjoying the radio stations for discovery at least.
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