Is this a surprise? Spotify and similar reduce music purchases
edited November 2011
A recent report
says that streaming services such as Spotify reduce music purchases. Not much of a surprise, in itself.
Is that such a bad thing? Is it such a problem?
I'm not sure exactly how they can judge that, a sensible control group would be hard to achieve.
I've certainly purchased music that I found on Spotify that I wouldn't have found otherwise. I can think of only one piece of crap that I didn't buy after hearing on Spotify.
As long as musicians get paid for making music it's all ok. The sooner they all dump record labels the better.
edited November 2011
Like most reports, you have to ask who commissioned it and what outcome they are likely to want.
I, like you, use Spotti as a taster before purchase. I also use it for playing the stuff I wouldn't spend money on, but I can't find on the radio.
I also have the same feelings about the big record companies (and big online and offline retailers). Have you seen the top jazz album on iTunes? Robbie Williams' Swing When You're Winning FFS! They all have a completely alien view to mine of the music I like.
These days, as I've said at length, I try to buy music direct from the musicians.
You mean like the tea growers comissioning surveys that are to show tea is beneficial to ones health while coffee will kill you? How cynical...
I, too, have bought more music in a better directed way because of spotify and grooveshark, but these services arent really aimed at audio-nerds, or even proper music lovers. They simply augment a modern lifestyle, which seems to require a 24/7 soundtrack. Such saturation tends to devalue music imo, not quite breeding contempt but ceratinly making music a disposable commodity.
Take for instance the enthusiasm that sometimes surrounds a new release because a vocalist used an old mic, or it was mixed on an old desk. Such (usually poorly) mixed and mastered pieces are a pastiche of what their audience thinks they represent, but they are well received because only a modicum of attention is paid to music these days, despite its almost omnipresence. Hence a (completely understandable) fascination with retro, almost 'art deco' lifestyle pop.
I have friends who were gutted when spotify changed its terms, meaning they were limited to 10 hours a month playback with limited track repeats on the free service. They do almost their entire listening through spotify and havent bought any music for an age.
Are streaming services to blame? Probably not, but peoples behaviour is sometimes unpredictable. At the moment spotify et al are little more than legitamised napsters with the unforgivable lack of support they give artists - if their audiences are going to modify their behaviour in this way then the streaming services are morally obliged to pay the artists more.
Can anyone find the link for that visual representation of how much spotify generates for an artist compared to other revenue streams? I'm on a phone & it's not so easy.
Here we are: have a look at this.
sorry, can't hyperlink it with a phone. Hope it works.
That's a very interesting infographic.
However, we still don't know how the number of streaming plays compares to sales and whether musician incomes are trending up or down.