Which of the current music streaming services do you use/prefer and why?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Stereosound, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Then what is your point that artists are giving away business assets?... a quote from you:

    " Then maybe they'll figure out that giving away their business assets to another retailer to give away to other people for free isn't a smart business idea at all -- and that no other business would ever do such a stupid thing."

    No one in on demand streaming is giving music away for free. It is being paid for with (subscriptions or) advertising fees. Over-the-air network TV has worked with the ad model far longer than music streaming. AM and FM radio is also free to the end user. Gmail is supported with ads, Facebook is supported with ads, etc... It is a common way to make money from consumers without them directly paying you for a service.

    So my point is that no one (we are discussing) is giving away anything and artists are getting paid for streaming. I guess we agree, since your source says Drake made $18 million on streaming platforms in 2016, so no reason to leave streaming and start your own website*.

    * As a side note, most artists already have a website to promote upcoming concerts, new releases, etc. Most of them just haven't decided to depend on their sites as a replacement for streaming services. Elvis and The Beatles are on streaming platforms, so if anyone was able to make as much money off of their websites, it would be these artists. If they aren't doing it, that should tell you something.

    As a side note, there are articles comparing streaming revenue to CD sales. So yes, some people are comparing them (of course, the verge left out some of the costs of distribution and packaging, but who's counting anyway):

    Spotify's Year in Music shows just how little we pay artists for their music
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  2. Remote Control Triangle

    Remote Control Triangle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Thanks for the publishing model lesson, but I'm already familiar with how it works as it's how I make my own living.

    Again, from the consumer's perspective -- it is free. They are giving away their music for free to unpaid subscribers. Don't think too hard about that now, it's really not that complicated to wrap your head around it dude.

    What bands are doing is the equivalent to a painter giving an original painting to an "ad-supported" art gallery with flat screen tv's all over the walls showing commercials, and hoping they make enough money to throw the artist a few pennies earned from the ad revenue. It would be insane to do that. Why the hell would any painter be crazy enough to do that when they routinely get 50% of gallery sales? The smart guys like Peter Lik, a photographer, skips the gallery commission stuff entirely and sells everything in his own galleries, selling around $1.6 million worth of photographs per week. But for some reason, bands have been convinced that it's a smart business decision to give their music to streaming platforms who struggle to even turn a profit. It's just bonkers.

    I don't know of any other business that would be crazy enough to lend their products to a retailer that gives it's products to consumers, hoping to be paid on the back end off of ad or subscription revenue. Can you imagine walking into Best Buy and seeing products all on display for consumers to take with them, with the manufacturers banking on getting paid on the back-end somehow? lol, there isn't a manufacturer in the world dumb enough to do that.

    But musicians, forever on the short end of the stick when it comes to getting paid for their art, have to put up with this because they think they have no choice. The biggest issue is that it isn't sustainable for the long term. Even the Verge article you linked to states:

    Much has already been said about how little Spotify pays artists and how unsustainable the current streaming model is for artists. Unless this model changes, or labels take a smaller cut of the profits, the numbers will remain minuscule for smaller artists.
    And it also mentions how little their favorite musicians got paid from their streams:

    Here’s what that means for me. My top artist of the year was Built to Spill, whose songs (mostly from There's Nothing Wrong with Love) I streamed 267 times over the course of 2015. Using the upper limit of Spotify’s estimated payout, that would be 267 x .0084, which means I paid Built to Spill somewhere around $2.24 for an entire year of music. And that $2.24 is distributed among the music's "rights holders," which includes labels and publishers. So the band is getting even less than that. My most-streamed track of the year was The-Dream’s "That’s My ****," and I’m sure Terius Nash appreciated the 27 pennies that earned him. I listened to 13,000 minutes of music on Spotify this year, which means I paid around one-tenth of a cent per minute. And I'm paying Spotify's $10 per month subscription fee; if I were relying on its free, ad-supported tier, the payout for artists would be even smaller.


    It's not just me either. Here's about how much some other Verge staffers paid their favorite artists (technically, the rights holders) this year. Micah Singleton paid Kendrick Lamar $2.94. Russell Brandom paid Donald Byrd $3.03. Leah Christians paid The Wombats $3.25. Dan Seifert paid Family of the Year $1.05. And Kaitlyn Tiffany, the only person on staff who streamed enough of one artist to almost pay for a full album, earned One Direction $9.95.
    Those numbers are downright pathetic. A band could easily exceed those numbers by monetizing their music on their own site even with far less traffic.

    Bypass the parasites, bands. Go direct to consumer.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  3. scompton

    scompton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Commercial radio is free to the consumer. I don't know what radio stations pay out per play but the pay out per listener is probably pretty low. The real difference is that in demand streaming discourages sales for for the general public.

    I'm curious about the numbers in the article though. The author played one Built to Spill album to death and estimates the pay out to be $2.24. What would the pay out have been if he had bought the album and played it to death? Import CDs has it for 7.71. With their profit, the distributor's profit and manufacturing costs, the label probably gets around double the what Spotify pays, say $5. Still not a lot.
     
  4. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  5. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  6. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I've been into Audials, and am about to try Aha Radio.
     
  7. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
  8. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  9. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  10. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  11. Remote Control Triangle

    Remote Control Triangle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Exactly.

    CD's aren't as profitable as they used to be. But vinyl is. Much higher margins and people are willing to pay those prices, where they are not for CD's anymore.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  12. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  13. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I linked it because it is an example of a lopsided article, that intentionally leaves out facts and sets up scenarios to prove a point, that is comparing streaming (renting music) to buying it. Google, Facebook, TV, radio, as I mentioned provide a service with hopes that people will use it and they can sell more ads for more money. Some of the biggest businesses in the world are supported by advertising fees.

    Great, then give your model a shot and let us know how it works out for you.

    As a side note, I don't use Spotify's freemium service, but I subscribe to a streaming service for ~$10 a month. I don't want to hear ads or low quality mp3s. Spotify is the only on demand service I am aware of with a freemium tier, which is a most likely a large reason why they also have the most paid subscribers. It is to get people's feet wet in streaming with hopes that a percentage of them will eventually pay to stop the commercials. Spotify has over 50 million paid subscribers and over 140 million on the service including the freemium service. They say that 80 percent of their paying subscribers came from the free service.

    Spotify announces 140 million users as paid subscribers approach 40%

    As a result, the freemium tier helps get people to the paid tier.

    The streaming companies were a response to dwindling CD sales and piracy. The press the RIAA was getting at the time for suing grandmas and pre-teens also was not helping their cause:

    "The model predicted the failure of online music distribution systems based on digital rights management.[5][6]

    Criticisms of the model included that it would not eliminate the issue of piracy.
    [7] Others countered that it was in fact the most viable solution to piracy,[8] since piracy was "inevitable".[9] Supporters argued that it offered a superior alternative to the current law-enforcement based methods used by the recording industry.[10] One startup in Germany, Playment, announced plans to adapt the entire model to a commercial setting as the basis for its business model.[11]

    Several aspects of the model have been adopted by the recording industry and its partners over time"

    Streaming, unlike radio wasn't brought into existence as a way to curb piracy. The paradigm changed with Napster and the numerous peer to peer services that popped up on the internet. As I said above, the RIAA was getting a ton of bad press (articles similar to the article below were everywhere):

    RIAA sues the dead

    "Lawyers representing several record companies have filed suit against an 83 year-old woman who died in December, claiming that she made more than 700 songs available on the internet.

    "I believe that if music companies are going to set examples they need to do it to appropriate people and not dead people," Robin Chianumba told AP. "I am pretty sure she is not going to leave Greenwood Memorial Park to attend the hearing."

    Gertrude Walton, who lived in Beckley, West Virginia hated computers, too, her daughter adds. An RIAA spokesperson said that it would try and dismiss the case.

    However the RIAA's embarrassment doesn't end there. Chianumba said that she had sent a copy of her mother's death certificate to record company lawyers in response to an initial warning letter, over a week before the suit was filed. In 2003 the RIAA sued a twelve year-old girl for copyright infringement. She'd harbored an MP3 file of her favorite TV show on her hard drive. Her working class parents in a housing project in New York were forced to pay two thousand dollars in a settlement.

    You can't be too young to face the consequences of being social, it seems. Only the unborn, it seems, have yet to receive an infringement suit."

    That being said, the other upside to Spotify vs Radio for the artist is that smaller artists can be found and played by individuals rather than the typical DJ serving up the same playlist over and over. Also, according to this article, only the song writer gets paid for terrestrial radio. If true, no one gets paid just for performing on a song being played on the radio.

    As I mentioned above, streaming services have a different breakdown and the (signed) performer gets paid. If you are the guy playing drums in a band without a writer's credit, you would probably rather have the money from Spotify than not having any money from radio. Spotify and other streaming services are not just a substitute for CDs, they also a substitute for radio for a lot of users.

    Finally, the market has shifted and I doubt we will see the labels pull the rug out from users at this point, so the argument is moot. If an artists wants to start a website and try to go that route, then more power to them. As I said, there is a reason AC/DC, The Beatles, Neil Young, Elvis, etc. stopped holding out and are now on streaming services. It is where more and more people want to get their music and you are either in that market or you have a great chance of becoming obsolete as time passes on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  14. scompton

    scompton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I mentioned that radio is free to the consumer in response to the comment that no other "art" delivery mechanism is free to the consumer. I'd add that no admission art galleries are as well. I believe most of the art is on consignment in galleries. No admission museums too, although they're usually supported by tax dollars.
     
  15. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Go to Flickr. Lots of free "art" to view. Everywhere you look, there is free (freemium) art. Friends photos on Facebook, people that put their music performances or videos on Youtube, people that spraypaint walls in certain parts of the city, etc. Street musicians on Beale Street and in the French Quarter. Bloggers, photographers on twitter...

    Most "art" on the internet is paid for with ads.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  16. Remote Control Triangle

    Remote Control Triangle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Radio used to serve as an advertisement for the band. It wasn't their entire album being played, it was one or two "hits" from their record. If you liked the song you heard on the radio, maybe you would go out and buy the album, or maybe the single. This isn't even remotely the same thing as what is happening in the parasitic tech world with streaming.

    Art galleries might not charge admission, but go ahead and try to walk out of one with a painting under your arm without paying for it and see what happens.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  17. Remote Control Triangle

    Remote Control Triangle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    There wasn't anything "lopsided" about that article. It stated facts, very clearly. There is no long-term upside to the streaming model. And how many times do you need to go on about how many businesses are ad-supported? It's not a particularly rock solid model. There is a lot of unfilled inventory. There is WAY more display ad-inventory available than there are advertisers paying for them, and the click through rates continue to get worse every year. This is why brands are always on the lookout for alternative forms of media buys online.

    Not very well, as you can see simply by looking at the number of their free users vs. paid.

    No. Dwindling CD sales happened when Napster came along and people started to figure out how to get music for free. Creating streaming platforms was a way for capitalists to make money off the backs of creators.

    Elvis had a say in that? There are still major bands who don't put their music on the parasite platforms. Tool refuses. Ask them about becoming "obsolete" despite not having even put a record out since 2006 and still having a massive fan base. Saying that a band could become obsolete by not giving away their music to parasitic companies is patently absurd. You sound like you work for Spotify, making it sound like it's "a must" to be heard. The internet allows multiple avenues and near infinite possibility for reaching fans, saying that people HAVE TO put their music on another business' property is absolutely wrong and anyone who says that so definitively should be looked at with distrust.
     
    Larry Johnson likes this.
  18. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    As you may or may not know, there are people managing Elvis Presley’s legacy that are interested in and making lots of money. I thought that was obvious, but people thinking that anyone can start and maintain a successful career in music by simply starting a website, may think he is living in Hawaii, for all I know.

    There is a shrinking list of performers that aren’t on streaming services. They are the exception to the rule. There are probably more people searching for Elvis at this point.

    As for me working for Spotify. No, I don’t even use freemium or the subscription version of Spotify. I am arguing for steaming because it has made music more accessible and has made it easier to discover artists. There are still artists that making millions streaming, so there are artists that are getting paid. I am not against physical media, I still listen to SACDs, vinyl, and the occasional CD. I just don’t agree with your business propositions, especially for new artists because it just doesn’t strike me as a good idea. Like I said, most successful artists (and former artists, including the dead that are being managed by other people....hope that helps...for those wondering if -former- artists were making decisions from the grave) are on streaming. There is a reason for that beyond all of them just being stupid. It is about being relevant, building a fan base, and making a few ( or mega) bucks.

    If that isn’t for you, then you should try out that website idea.....good luck!

    (This is my last post on this subject in this thread. You can have the last word if you want it. I think my points have been made and not much more I can add on this subject anyway. I won’t convince you and I doubt you will convince me. Hopefully the posts representing both sides of the equation are of use to others, though.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
    Larry Johnson likes this.
  19. Gaslight

    Gaslight Cave dwelller

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    When I buy a used CD that I happen to enjoy, I'll go up on Napster and stream it repeatedly for a few days. I figure it will give the artist maybe a buck, if I play it long enough. Certainly more than they got from the used purchase.
     
  20. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  21. Larry Johnson

    Larry Johnson Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago area
    Nice posts, both you guys. For what you get, Tidal is worth more than it charges.
     
    uofmtiger likes this.
  22. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Spotify is free. Then I discover new music and buy it on a CD.
     
  23. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  24. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Well-Known Member

    I'm delighted to report that with the Android August 2017 update, Tidal has just managed to break new records in atrocious design and dis-functionality.

    Those of us that were concerned that Tidal most defining qualities were getting stale can now rest assured that it will take a long time until another company will be able to surpass them on the crapometer scale. The menu is gone, or pretty much MIA. The setting button is now accessible only from the "My Collection" and the landscape mode is locking you on a single screen while disabling all the controls beside play/pause and the skip buttons.

    Oh, and you will flick the finger in all directions a LOT because that's pretty much the only way to navigate between sections. Unless you had the misfortune to turn the app on landscape mode where nothing works of course.

    Previous versions were usually just atrocious to use and a life threatening hazard to access while driving. The new version is making everything simpler and safer by doing everything possible to prevent you from using it altogether.
     
    Doug Walton likes this.
  25. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    After spending a few months with Pandora I've concluded that it sucks for the most part. My "artist themed" stations play the same songs over and over again. I think using the "thumbs up" is a big mistake - as soon as you "thumbs up" a song it plays that song every time you open the app. I'm going to try the Spotify stations but there's no Spotify app built in to my Blu-Ray players so I'll have to plug my phone in to the receiver. Luckily the Windows Phone Spotify app is still supported so I can use my spiffy new Alcatel Windows phone.
     

Share This Page