Where our money goes

An interesting read…

Click here


I nearly didn’t read it because the link goes to a newspaper, and in general I despise newspapers, but it did make for thoughtful reading.

One thing in particular caught my eye:

  • The Berlin-based co-operative Resonate is pioneering a “stream-to-own” model: it charges listeners for the first nine plays of one song, the cost amounting to the average price of a download. After that, users own the track and have unlimited plays.*
    If that means it could be downloaded to one’s own store if wanted, that would tempt me into paying for streaming if the catalogue had what I like. Otherwise the ‘music rental’ model has zero appeal for me.

This is also useful and annually updated:

And “What Music Streaming Services Pay Per Stream (And Why It Actually Doesn’t Matter)”, https://soundcharts.com/blog/music-streaming-rates-payouts

Very much a key point, I want artists and their families to have a decent income from their music.


When even Robert Fripp finally acquiesced to King Crimson’s catalogue becoming available on Spotify, I can only conclude that it is not the disaster that some would opine it to be

I liked the idea of that model too…

Nothing to do with his being well off enough to resist initially but then buying into it when the income from live work dries up!

Did it dry up? They played three evenings in a row on two occasions in Berlin in the last years, and each was sold out. You are right though that he is sufficiently well-off to resist. Though I don’t think the resistance was ever about revenues for him but about appreciation and attention span. It’s possible to change one’s mind about this, or to figure better this than no-one listen to KG because all they have is streaming devices.

I don’t know what this proves, but if you give people what they want (I’m talking Ed Sheeran here), according to Spotify’s own stats 4 of his songs alone have have had in excess of 7.5billion streams, earning him 3million over time.

It was probably always the same:if you are a young/new artist you will often struggle. Ironically, after protracted listening on Spotify I bought (new) Aftermath and Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones, who, arguably really don’t need the money.

I also wonder what the demographic spread is of people still buying physical media. I suggest it is ageing geezers like myself. I suspect if I asked my young colleagues at work when they last bought a cd, I suspect it would be like Mel Smith wanting to “buy a gramophone”.


What’s the thoughts on the future of streaming then?
Obviously Artists want their music to be heard but if the majority are making next to no money from the streaming providers?

Streaming is the new radio. It gets an artist’s music out there. Money is made by leveraging that profile to sell fans tickets, recordings, merchandise.

That’s the idea anyway.

Personally I use streaming to find music then buy a record from the artist, direct where possible.


That is how I use it too.

The answer is for online streaming services to pay fair and appropriate royalties to artists and for that to be requires by law, internationally applicable. Nothing else would solve teh problem.

The question is what amount is appropriate. For public entertainment play, e.g. radio or disco, many years ago used to be necessary to keep a record of what was played, with royalties paid out of the performing rights licence, I assume calculated per play per artist. (Whether in fact, and how, that was done in pre-computer days I have no idea!)

Something equivalent surely is needed, though as is is probably totally impractical to seek to charge the end user per play, it would presumably have to be calculated on an average amount of plays per user, and then apportioned as a function of the number of streamings of any tracks by any given artist. But to be fair to the artist I suspect the cost pf subscriptions would have to be a lot higher, and for fairness perhaps multiple level subscriptions, cheaper ones with a capped maximum number of track plays in a given timeframe. Then free services (actually funded by adverts) could be permitted to provide very low quality streaming intended purely for sampling purposes, again perhaps capped i. Some way.

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