Are YouTube and Spotify destroying the music industry?

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kuhliloach
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Post 15 Aug 2016

Challenged by the idea of how to sell your music? In 2016 I don't blame you. The music industry climate has changed and it seems we're in a period of "no rules".

Fans need to realize that listening to music via YouTube videos and paying Spotify $10 per month for all-you-can-stream isn't supporting artists -- its killing them. So whose job is it to tell fans how to support artists? Yours! We have reached a critical moment where artists needs to directly tell fans: The ONLY way to support this music is to buy it on Bandcamp or donate directly; if you stream it on YouTube or Spotify you are NOT supporting music.

Do artists still need anything from record labels in 2016? If not the record labels should be eliminated. We now have the technology to produce and publish our own music without anyone else's help, as well as conduct the design and sales of merchandise. So are we going to let middle-men take all the money?

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platzangst
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Post 15 Aug 2016

kuhliloach wrote: Do artists still need anything from record labels in 2016?
It's all well and good to say that the tools to reach and sell to audiences is within everyone's grasp, but that presumes that every artist has the time, inclination, and skill to do so. After all, time spent on advertising and fulfilling sales is time not spent making music. What a label offers is freedom from that - at some kind of cost, yes, but each of us should weigh those costs on a personal basis. I've done very poorly in "getting the word out", and while part of that is complicated by the fact that I don't play live (and have no real desire to do so), and my music is often well removed from the mainstream, part of it is that promotion is (for me) a tedious unrewarding bother.

Plus, if everyone can do it, and everyone is doing it, it becomes nearly impossible to get noticed in the noisy flood of millions of independent music sources.

If there were a small indie label that liked my music and was willing to carry the yoke of trying to push it onto the larger world, and offered me a decent deal, I'd sign in a heartbeat. (There isn't, so I won't. But theoretically.)

As long as that condition exists, there will be a need for labels. As long as an organization can tap into the machine that feeds popular music charts and mainstream success, there will be major labels. As long as the potential for great wealth and/or fame exists, some artists will sign with major labels - despite the existence of the Internet and its worldwide access, which thanks to phenomena like YouTube, is dropping the amount people are willing to pay for music, anyway.

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pushedbutton
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Post 15 Aug 2016

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@pushedbutton on twitter, add me, send me a message, but don't try to sell me stuff cos I'm skint.
Using Reason since version 3 and still never finished a song.

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Vince-Noir-99
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Post 15 Aug 2016

I recommend this book about the collapse of the music industry:
https://www.amazon.com/Appetite-Self-De ... 1423375203
Appetite for Self-Destruction recounts the story of the precipitous rise and fall of the recording industry over the past three decades, when the incredible success of the CD turned the music business into one of the most glamorous, high-profile industries in the world – and the advent of file sharing brought it to its knees.
Whilst I'm not so thrilled about the 'new' (it's been a while now) situation, I do not believe an opposing stand against it, and attempting at educating the audience in order to preserve an older model can be that successful as a strategy.

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selig
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Post 15 Aug 2016

Vince-Noir-99 wrote:I recommend this book about the collapse of the music industry:
https://www.amazon.com/Appetite-Self-De ... 1423375203
Appetite for Self-Destruction recounts the story of the precipitous rise and fall of the recording industry over the past three decades, when the incredible success of the CD turned the music business into one of the most glamorous, high-profile industries in the world – and the advent of file sharing brought it to its knees.
Whilst I'm not so thrilled about the 'new' (it's been a while now) situation, I do not believe an opposing stand against it, and attempting at educating the audience in order to preserve an older model can be that successful as a strategy.
I was going to respond "how can we destroy what is already dead", but your post covers it pretty good…
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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joeyluck
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Post 15 Aug 2016

Some artists embrace YouTube, push for subscribers, and make money from advertising. In a world where people with silly YouTube channels make more money than many artists would have selling records and touring without the other avenues existing. Artists see that and that option makes sense for some. Maybe some go that route because unfortunately they know their music is going to pop-up here and there on youtube illegally anyways, so why not be the official channel?

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Iapetus 9
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Post 15 Aug 2016

I prefer to remain optimistic about the music industry and gaining any income from it without giving your paycheck away to useless label middlemen and their stuffy suited management. Musicians have so so many income options these days, more so than ever before. I have friends who've retired from touring (unless it's a damn good gig) and earn a living from music licensing. Others I know still tour and make a damn good living, while others cry incessantly about lost income from YouTube and torrents and Spotify stupidity. You have to take the good with the bad. A true free internet will always have leeches and file sharing. Google will continue to help rat out and shut down file sharing websites...all while stating that YouTube has it's nose clean LOL. Spotify won't ever change their ways unless every musician bans them. Adapt or go home...the future is wide open.
38L > 51D every time.

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QVprod
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Post 15 Aug 2016

I think it should be worth noting, that artists have rarely (if ever) made an entire living off of album sales alone. So with that in mind you should be looking for other avenues to make money with your music, and there are plenty. The problem is most people believe the myth that someday somebody is going to "discover" them and present them with a fan base, when in truth most of the time Artists/bands were already growing their own fan base before a label decided to sign them.

Here's the thing. Look at yourself as a business and find ways to market services you provide. Look into sync licensing. Connect with a service that does Youtube Content id and tell your fans to upload your songs to Youtube so you can make ad revenue off of it. Tour and sell merch...etc.. There are options. Some people make a living by cleverly posting music on YouTube with interesting videos.

If anything, Spotify and Youtube have made it clear that making good money with music has always required use of that music in other avenues.

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Vince-Noir-99
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Post 16 Aug 2016

QVprod wrote:I think it should be worth noting, that artists have rarely (if ever) made an entire living off of album sales alone. So with that in mind you should be looking for other avenues to make money with your music, and there are plenty. The problem is most people believe the myth that someday somebody is going to "discover" them and present them with a fan base, when in truth most of the time Artists/bands were already growing their own fan base before a label decided to sign them.

Here's the thing. Look at yourself as a business and find ways to market services you provide. Look into sync licensing. Connect with a service that does Youtube Content id and tell your fans to upload your songs to Youtube so you can make ad revenue off of it. Tour and sell merch...etc.. There are options. Some people make a living by cleverly posting music on YouTube with interesting videos.

If anything, Spotify and Youtube have made it clear that making good money with music has always required use of that music in other avenues.

Couldn't agree more. And having said that, I'm sure plenty of talented musicians (or any other creative people) may have died unknown because they didn't know how or didn't like promoting themselves, which makes totally sense, since they're two completely different types of mind-set. During my time in the US&A I have heard a lot the sentence 'it's not who deserves to make it more, it's who wants to make it more'.

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gak
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Post 16 Aug 2016

selig wrote:
Vince-Noir-99 wrote:I recommend this book about the collapse of the music industry:
https://www.amazon.com/Appetite-Self-De ... 1423375203
Appetite for Self-Destruction recounts the story of the precipitous rise and fall of the recording industry over the past three decades, when the incredible success of the CD turned the music business into one of the most glamorous, high-profile industries in the world – and the advent of file sharing brought it to its knees.
Whilst I'm not so thrilled about the 'new' (it's been a while now) situation, I do not believe an opposing stand against it, and attempting at educating the audience in order to preserve an older model can be that successful as a strategy.
I was going to respond "how can we destroy what is already dead", but your post covers it pretty good…
:)
+1

Though, some people at the top flourish still.

People at the top always flourish - those aren't the ones we should worry about IMO!
As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats, but a receding tide leaves the boats in shallow water stranded…

Yonatan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 30 Aug 2016

Main complaint by many artists is that they get too little while millions and millions streaming their music. Mainly I would guess that is to do with the record company taking a whole lot of the cake from them.

If not totally mainstream artist, I think its better being independent. If being alternative and going via record company,
one wont be able to get around. You have to be mega big. Its not impossible to get along if one work on a guerilla level.

But, yes, the music industry is opening up so much that there are so many millions who want the same attention and
the hard thing is to get the music out so others who might like it, will know about it. But there are never any easy tickets,
one have to work a lot, not just blindly, but more wisely.

I´m not there myself by any means, but are looking at different ways to work in a way that fits with ones own line of truth.
Reason for all Seasons

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Kov
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Post 30 Aug 2016

I don't sell, so i don't have to care about the industry and about what's destroying it :puf_smile:

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guitfnky
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Post 30 Aug 2016

I absolutely love Spotify. my former band makes crap for money from it (I think we just got a check for $12), but the ability to easily find new music I never would have heard otherwise makes it an insanely good tool from my perspective as a musician. listening to music is the 'food' we need to create it, and that's more important than a check, in my view.

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Aggie
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Location: England

Post 30 Aug 2016

Hmmm...

In the 16th century a nobleman's Court would play host to other nobles and all were entertained by minstrels and jesters. Those artists were, at least, paid for their services ad hoc. Some of the jesters on YouTube may fair very well, if their japes are indeed noteworthy and relevant - their audience will return many times over to be entertained in visually stimulating ways. Sir Google of Ramsbottom - as is his wont as the naysaying nobleman - may indeed monetize those japes with advertisements for the voluptuous Mrs Miggens' pies, adjacent in the local marketplace...

However, if a minstrel of true and inspiring musical artistry were to fall upon this visual art - then how, pray tell, will this be of benefit to Mrs Miggens? Unless the minstrel be a strumpet or harlot and hath other attributes, that they may also cavort whilst expounding otherwise drab melodies or incoherent lyrics, semi-clad - or perhaps it is their intent to instill unnatural urges in otherwise placid menfolk - what of they? Nay, my friends, Sir Google and Lord Spotify care not for those minstrels who may not present both visual artistry and pleasant melodies. They are both most affronting to the true musical genre - and ever will be.

Independence of this sorcery may indeed curtail opportunities which would otherwise abound. However, that be a long and winding path - be warned!

Translation:

Yes - I think they are. But what can you do..?

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 21 Dec 2018

I don't fully agree. Spotify pays way more than radio play. In most countries like the states only songwriters get a tiny bit of money when they are on the radio. Some people make a lot of money on Spotify.

Now everybody can add their music to these services. On radio it's a case of a few happy musicians who can manage to do so.

It is hard to promote yourself, but that's not something new.

Must say that the models Spotify and YouTube are using are not as innovative as it should be. Look at China. Those cats are smart.

Fans will use Spotify. So you need to be there. You always need to be where the audience is.
Marco Raaphorst

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Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 21 Dec 2018

and keep in mind that many people listen to spotify and by vinyl, a t-shirt and so on. there are more places than every before to get your music be heard.

promote it like crazy. start a blog.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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ScuzzyEye
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Post 21 Dec 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
21 Dec 2018
I don't fully agree. Spotify pays way more than radio play. In most countries like the states only songwriters get a tiny bit of money when they are on the radio. Some people make a lot of money on Spotify.

Now everybody can add their music to these services. On radio it's a case of a few happy musicians who can manage to do so.
Radio was even worse than that, in the US at least. The amount payed to artists for radio play is based on current charts, not actual plays. This is because radio stations pay a licensing company (ASCAP/BMI), and that company distributes the money. So specialty stations playing non-charting music, don't generate any royalties for the artists they're playing.

I don't know how much per stream is fair, but for some (many?) it's better than what they're getting from radio. Yet, no one is saying radio is killing the industry.

I have a YouTube Music subscription. My favorite album this year is GUNSHIP's "Dark All Day". I've only listened to it streaming. But I bought two t-shirts from their web store. They probably made more from that than they would have a CD sale through Amazon.

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Heigen5
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Location: Lõvi-isa

Post 22 Dec 2018

Maybe it's more like "Indie artists don't earn money with their music". Propably some did, but now even these don't as much as they used to. And mainstream musicians also less.

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