Use Streaming for Artist Discovery, Not Support

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Use Streaming for Artist Discovery, Not Support

The age of streaming music is not only upon us, it's planning a global takeover. This cannot happen!

Now before I get labeled the old guy on the porch screaming to the pesky neighborhood kids, "get off my lawn", I fully understand and even embrace (to a point) why streaming is so important in the information age. It's evolution baby! 

The issue I have isn't the technology, it's the psychology. Streaming services make discovering, listening to and sharing music as easy a walking and talking at the same time. Pretty easy right? The downside is that too many people think that because they're paying their (minuscule) monthly fee, which in most cases may run a subscriber all of $0.33 a day, that they're doing their part in supporting the artists making that wonderful music they love so much. They're not. The payouts to artists (after service fees, major record label cuts, and penthouse office rent money) literally comes out to percentages of pennies per stream. Don't take my word for it, according to Statista (https://www.statista.com/), Spotify pays out $0.00397 per stream! Shocked? They weren't even the worst, YouTube & Pandora pay even LESS!

Here's an example to understand the numbers a little bit better. If your song has 100,000 streams on Spotify (and most indie artists won't come close to this number for a single track) that's a whopping $397.00 in your pocket. Here's another way to look at it. If that same artist sells a CD or vinyl record containing the same song that got 100,000 streams (and many more obviously) they'd only need to sell 40 copies at $10 a piece and they'd make $400 ($3 more than their Spotify payout). Do you think they can find 40 people in that sea of 100,000 streams to buy the album? Logic would say so but the psychology behind streaming makes this more difficult than you'd think.

Spotify and other streaming services are relying more and more on algorithm based playlists and less and less on human ears and brains. This is very dangerous. Where's the emotion and creativity in an algorithm? It doesn't exist. It makes "popular" music become a carbon copy of itself. Vanilla. Bland. Awful. It forces (some) musicians to write music for algorithms and playlists exclusively...how sad is that? In some ways I can't blame them because they see no other way to try and make a living through their art. If artists are bowing down to the masses and powers that be, can you even call it art anymore?

Music is, was and always (hopefully) will be about emotion. We should feel it in our gut and get excited about discovering new music or hearing/seeing an old favorite. In the age of streaming this will take work. Are you up for it? I am! SoundEvolution Music is! Use streaming services for discovery, convenience and sharing, that's what's great about the technology so embrace that aspect. On the flip side, the music you love so much will disappear if that's the only way you consume music. Go see live music (and not just the mega stars) in your local scene, buy their records/CD's and their merch. Tell your friends about what you've discovered. Follow and share their social media pages and maybe, just maybe they can earn a decent enough living to make the sounds which fill your heart, headphones and speakers up for a long time to come.


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