The Truth About Music Streaming

spotify problem

OK let’s cut to the chase. I could demonstrate the merits of streaming as a promotional tool, a ‘try before you buy’ if you will. That’s the ‘cup half full’ take on the situation and a validation of the streaming model.

Here’s the problem though. How many people who used to use torrent sites now just stream either free or via a subscription streaming service. Probably quite a few who don’t bother to buy or download. Why should they? They are paying a subscription or streaming from an ethical source and they believe (however naively) that they are supporting the artists.

This myth about streaming music services (the subscription model) supporting artists is at best a crooked interpretation and at worst a malignant cancer coursing through the backbone of music culture and creativity.

Spotify have even refused to disclose their finances with regard to royalty payments. (Assume you will have to count through infinite decimal points before you find a positive integer), and yet at the same time they are paying huge amounts in licensing fees to the record companies (who co-incidentally are substantial shareholders in Spotify).

In reality the old music industry model of artists being contractually fleeced has been ushered in through the back door via the streaming model.

Sorry to mention Spotify again but the founder Daniel Ek was recently named no.10 in the UK’s rich list with a £190 million fortune. For a company only launched in 2008 that’s an incredible sum. I wonder where all the royalty money went?. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/spotify-daniel-ek-net-worth-317745

Spotify and their refusal to become transparent (we can all make an educated guess on why that won’t be soon) is tantamount to an admission of guilt. On May 22nd 2012, Radio reporter Sophie McNeill published an interview with Spotify Managing director Kate Vale. The interview was astounding in that the secrecy and lack of transparency displayed by Vale was almost comical:

McNeill: Is Spotify going to make public its finances when it comes to contracts with the labels and how much they receive per play of the songs that they own?

Vale: I don’t think so at this stage.

McNeill: Why?


Vale: I’m not sure.

McNeill: Well, can you understand then why music lovers, bands, people involved in the industry are worried about something like this that could so dramatically change the way we consume music?  And then when I ask you about disclosing it, and you say, ‘no, I don’t have a reason,’ I mean-

Vale: Well, I just don’t know to be honest.

Full article here

So, no i’m not convinced about streaming or the cloud streaming services that our kids will grow up with. The technology is fine but the archaic and manipulative way it is being used is frankly an outrage.

Please share and tweet this article if you care about ethics and the future of music.

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One thought on “The Truth About Music Streaming

  1. Pingback: New Blog! | Aurovine Blog

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