STREAMING IS BREAKING DOWN


Good afternoon everyone I hope you’re well. I do have to say that removing myself from the rotting control system of social media was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It definitely seemed daunting at first telling myself, “I’m done associating with these crazies, but how will I get the word out about my music and merch?” Because it was a world I had lived in for quite some time. After some reflection I remembered that this website has been the cornerstone since way back in the day. I am more than capable of keeping this ship up and running. Because of that I must say thank you because business is boomin as of late. In the first month streaming directly from the website had more than 800 song plays and 194 downloads. June to-date the stats are telling me 551 song plays and a bunch of downloads already, but I’ll put those numbers up when the month is done, probably with the next blog post.

When you’re looking at stats like this you start to ask yourself, “Have I been getting the truth this whole time?” There is no question that big tech social sites throttle their numbers for many creators, while trying to boost the accounts of others. Are you saying what these authoritarians want you to say? We’ve seen accounts get pulled down, subscriber numbers get frozen, shadow bans that prevent propagation, unfollows occurring without informing the follower, etc. Conversely look at outlets like the CBC or any network news site: Millions of subscribers and struggling to get to 10k on the majority of their videos? Comments ALWAYS off? Come on now haha maybe the media should try hiring the right people for the job again instead of whoever they think makes them look correct. It’s laughable. We’re in a damn dirty place right now and it’s seemingly as if the under-talented and unskilled are being glorified because everyone needs a participation trophy, right? Nah. You can keep that bullshit. Let’s use our own eyes to determine what is truth and what is a lie…

Garth Brooks isn’t on any major platforms. Taylor Swift wasn’t when she came up. Shoot they might be now, but let’s be honest: they weren’t when they were cleaning up at the gate. Those are some of the biggest artists out there, and granted they are part of the old and aging commercialized system, but still: massive. The weight of their ability can’t be denied. So start asking yourself some real questions: if platforms like Spotify or Apple Music wanted you there, wouldn’t they come looking for you? If Facebook or Twitter wanted you there would they be removing your voice when you have something valid to say?

People are stepping over each other to have a presence on platforms that don’t give a rats ass about ‘em! If you’re creating content YOU bring the people, you don’t just go where they are. Still, and in the case of major streaming sites, these same artists, and I was one of them, are begging people to go there, sign up, start listening, just so these platforms can push the music they own at them. These platforms bring you very little in terms of a listener base, even when you are playing-the-game right. Instead you make the music, but you also need to drag the music there… the allure of not-having-to-put-in-much-effort runs rampant in the entertainment industry because, let’s be honest, the point of entry is low. This is why you get a lot of untalented people thinking they’re booking artists now and paying them bullshit money, all the while policing their behaviour. HAH! If you want to make it in music or entertainment you have to haul-ass all day every day. Only launching your music through a distributer isn’t going take that music and bang those ear drums for you: you need to do so much more. Cut that shit out like the cancer it is. Spotify blows. You want to know how you make money there?

Spotify does this thing called stream-share where they pay you based on the percentage your music gets used by the people in a certain market after taking a “small percentage” for themselves. I put that in brackets because to really understand how this malarky works you have to grasp the whole beautiful structure that fools us all. I’ll illustrate it for you:

You’ve got 2 artists, A & B, that get all the play in some market for a period. The amount of money made in that market is $10,000. The artists get 50% of the plays each. Spotify takes its 10% which is $1000, and the artists split the 9k and get $4500 each. Great deal right? Nah. See what Spotify does is they’ll get in bed with the artist’s management and all of a sudden they own a bit of that artist A’s music. So one of those artists gets 4500, but now Spotify owns 50% of their earnings so you’ve got the one guy only getting 2250, and Spotify makes the other 2250 + that 1000 they made before. Still 2250 alright not bad? But hold on, Spotify says if you’re listening to the other guy Artist B, that after 2 songs Artist A gets put on for at least 8 songs. So now the percentage starts shifting. THEN Spotify goes and says “why don’t we just pay some guy to make some music for a guy named Artist C, and it’ll be relaxing piano music that we push to everyone’s player overnight and we own it outright.” So you’ve got Artist A getting a bunch of plays, everybody turning on Artist C overnight to sleep since it’s relaxing, and Artist B starts getting sold down the river. Let’s update those play numbers quick. Say 50% of all the plays are going on overnight, and artist A is getting algorithmically boosted so they get 80% of what’s left and your breakdown looks like this now:

Artist A 40%
Artist B 10%
Artist C 50%

Remember that Artist A is half owned by the same people who own Spotify now so 70% for C and 20% for A. Remember they take 10% off the top too. This looking good to you?

AKCHUALLY with music streaming more people get exposed to it so I like that…
Sure. As a promotional tool this makes sense, but from a long term standpoint I wouldn’t recommend it.

AKCHUALLY Music isn’t about the money…
Shut up. Grow up. Your brain doesn't work. Get your brain working. The whole myth behind “selling out” is ridiculous. You have punk bands from the early 2000s singing songs about never selling out while they stack up every dollar from every album and merch sale. You should want to support and grow artists you like so they make more content.

AKCHUALLY You just weren’t marketing it well enough…
No. I know how to market shit. I did it for years for major brands. Watch these kids on youtube giving you tutorials about how to use Facebook Ads for Spotify Marketing. The guys say put the money in and maybe way down the road you’ll see returns! What I picked up on is their model is based on slowly tricking people into long-term adoption of their music. This is commercial radio bullshit. This is why I started playing tunes because I hated that.

That is music streaming. All of a sudden they come along with a mean tweet you had from 5 years ago and you’re off the platform: no more payments either so they’ll take that last bit. They want the listener’s data so they can be remarketed to down the road. They do it at the expense of the free labour you give them. Be brave and try something else, that’s what I recommend.

At the end of the day that 10-20 bucks you would have made off of 1 album sale is now going to pay for 1 month of your fan’s Spotify subscription so they can get suggested other music. How many people do you think make 10 bucks off of streaming? A $10 payout through streaming, considering you own 100% of the royalties, is 4000 plays. Use your eyes to see through the lies.

Yes. This was very dumbed-down, but that’s the gist of it. If you’re not using music streaming sites like the promotional tools they are you’re shooting yourself right in the foot. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Everything mentioned above is just a scrape on the surface of how the cultural entertainment industry has been gutted. Albums are not cheap. They cost thousands to produce and manufacture, not counting the development time… That’s why I’m not having it anymore.

So… what happens when you free yourself from worrying about getting cancelled? When you stop letting streaming platforms use your hard earned work to promote themselves and the people they own? Well. First things first you can start doing whatever you want to again, and honestly that’s the whole reason I got into doing something like this: the freedom to do as you please. You stop being worried about what you post or write. You stop thinking about if it’ll sell. You just start making the sounds you hear in your head.

You are never going to make everyone happy, and you’re really wasting your time if you’re hanging around with music scenes. It’s great to have friends and colleagues along the way, but keep your watchful gaze up for when people start acting like the own you.

Thanks for downloading the tunes! I have more on the way. Join me in the telegram group and say hi! I should have the rest of the new links up on the website as the weekend hits, but for now… time to enjoy some fresh air and write a couple tunes. Have a great afternoon!




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