It seems that the more music streaming sites that begin to pop up the more that myths begin to surface.  From Taylor swift ditching Spotify to the whole Tidal debacle it makes sense that other artists especially smaller ones looking for platforms for their music would have questions on the subject.  To help you decide whether music streaming is for you we will be clearing up 5 misconceptions.

1. No money in it

This might seem to be the case when you here big name artists complaining about their music streaming revenue or lack of.  But in these cases you have to keep in mind that many of these artist are signed with major labels that have to pay a team of song writers and most importantly themselves.  When dealing with that many mouths to feed and your label being the biggest one its not mystery why the artist’s cut may seem slim.

In the case that you are an independent artist or one that owns 100%  of the publishing and sound recording rights all that streaming money goes straight to you. For example Tycho, a Grammy-nominated artist, earns 53% of their income from Spotify alone.  To put this into perspective streaming now accounts for over 50% of music revenue and has driven the industry’s highest growth in two decades.

2. It killed the album

Many people might point out that streaming has hurt the consumption of full albums because people can pick and choose what songs they want to hear.  Hold up don’t forget about downloads, the main culprit for this habit.  The truth is that only having to spend a dollar on the song that you knew you liked versus 10 dollars for an album you weren’t sure about seems like real deal.  But now that a monthly fee gets you all of an artists music I would imagine one to be more inclined to check out full albums again.

3. Physical sales or downloads can be Driven by windowing or withholding

Windowing is when you release a certain piece of music on different platforms/formats at different times so you can direct consumers to whichever outlet pays you the most. The reality is that unless your on that Drake level this wont work for you.  As a smaller up and coming artist your just dividing up your listening power.  Using these tactic to drive downloads and CD sales when you’re still scale is only a step away from trying to pass out CDs on venice beach.  

“Yo yo check this CD it my new song dog it fire.”  

4. All streaming services are the same

It’s true that the base idea of streamy music is the same but the execution is where they begin to differ.  You have to keep in mind the type of user experience each platform is catering to.

  • YouTube Red comes with the whole video component (and ad-free access to everything on YouTube).
  • Pandora Premium taps into Pandora Radio’s past and your listening habits, to provide a particular kind of custom song selection.
  • Apple Music is heavy into human curation, featuring their own playlists and their Beats 1 radio service.
  • Spotify is a data-heavy system that has thrived because it encourages users to create their own playlists, further instructing its own algorithm.

5. people will eventually realize that they miss physical Records and CDs

Straight up its been a while and I think streaming is hear to stay.

Are physical copies dope to have and own? 100% But at this point most of those sales are relegated to enthusiasts.  Plus CD and record players just don’t cut it for on the go any more.

aaron draplin
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