Luca's meaningless thoughts  

Stuart Murdoch stake on Spotify and music streaming companies

by Leandro Lucarella on 2012- 10- 04 22:45 (updated on 2012- 10- 04 22:45)
tagged art, belle & sebastian, cc, en, labels, music, politics, spotify, streaming, stuart murdoch - with 0 comment(s)

OK, first of all, this is pretty old (more than one year) but I just bumped into it and it seems interesting enough for me to post it.

Belle & Sebastian's singer, Stuart Murdoch, have posted his mind about Spotify and music streaming services, which apparently are ripping off artists way worse even than traditional record companies (see graph below).

I'll transcribe the part of the post found most interesting (well, it's actually almost the whole post) for convenience (bold added by me), but you can read the whole post for unbiased and complete information :)

[...] Ok, now my point, and probably my only important point: I’m certainly not against ‘the generation who no longer pay for music.’ That horse has bolted. And hey, I like that horse! It’s free and young and happy and doing its horsey thing.

What has had me conflicted is Spotify itself. Overnight, this thing appeared called Spotify, claiming it was a great idea, innovative, the saviour of the industry. From what I can gather, and no one has been able to tell me differently, it’s financed by a gathering of the top (ie. richest) people, from the top (ie. richest) record labels.

Overnight, the whole Belle And Sebastian back catalogue became available to stream, for anybody, for free, for good. We weren’t asked about it.

“How were you not asked?” I can imagine you would say. That’s exactly what I asked the record label. Their answer was not that informative. They mumbled something about a distribution company, that was under some umbrella; that it wasn’t up to them.

Can I just stress that Rough Trade is certainly not one of the aforementioned ‘richest’ record companies. I feel a bit bad for them. I’m gathering that they thought they had nothing to lose with the Spotify thing, that they had to try something new. (Kids, if there’s a less viable career choice than ‘independent recording artist’ at the minute, I would certainly say it was ‘independent record label.’)

Anyway, that’s enough of the angst. I’ve said it to the rest of the band, and I’ll say it again, “just because we’re in a band, it doesn’t make it a bloody pension plan”. We’ve had, and continue to have, a brilliant time making music and playing music and dreaming, and just about getting away with it. If it just got harder, then that’s because it should be hard. I think in the end it will make the music, the art, better.

I’m not even so much against Spotify. If they can get their model right, ie pay the bands something approaching appropriate amounts, then it will be all ok. I’m ready to throw my lot in with them; I mean, I use it now. And if I was 19 I would have used it too. (Would have used it to decide which vinyl/music to buy/see, as I’m sure lots of people still do)

It just seemed rich of them that they decided to charge everyone. They lured everyone in with ‘Our’ music (the royal ‘Our’), which they didn’t pay for, and now, probably because a shareholder somewhere is sitting in a Porsche, crying for a dividend, they’re going to charge money in our name. And I will eat my beloved black hat if we ever see a share. [...]

Another very interesting bit of information is the one provided in one of the comments, a nice graph about how much money artists get according to the distribution method, which I will also put here for convenience (I hope the author don't mind).

It would be nice to see an update including more open-license friendly services like Bandcamp, Magnatunes or Jamendo.

https://llucax.com:8043/blog/posts/2012/10/05-music-earnings.png