Salutations, to all. This week I kinda just want to have more of a conversation than anything. I feel like the past 4 blogs I’ve done all have this tone of an “article” more than anything and my last post, while enjoyable to write and research, was a little stretch from the main theme of this blog. So, I want to just try out a shift in structure or tone and see how it works out.
So, this week I’m going to run through an interesting point from an interview I conducted recently with Ffion Williams, a budding recording artist based in Singapore who I used to go to School with. I wanted to get her opinions on social media, streaming sites and the internet in general with regards to the music business especially for someone who is trying to break out onto the scene and contrast that with what I’ve heard and feel regarding the same topics.
The point I want to bring up from the interview is a mix of opinions regarding Spotify. I personally use Spotify on a daily basis and pay a monthly fee for the premium option to remove ads from my playback. I’ve not really thought about how the artist on the other end of the line is affected by my purchase. Ffion talked about how Spotify (Singapore) is actually very hands on with pushing and promoting new artists and has helped her the most so far in her career. They place new artists onto playlists that are then circled around the Spotify community. While she’s based in Singapore, Taiwan is the country with the most first-time listeners. Spotify have also brought her into their Singapore offices for some press as well as networking with other artists that are featured on the same playlists.
I love how Spotify is helping new artists in furthering their horizons considering how some big name, established artists have quite a bone to pick with them. It’s quite a contrast when you see people like Taylor Swift pull their music off the streaming platform for monetary reasons however it’s not like their arguments aren’t invalid. Each artist has their own reasons however the line is drawn when it comes to the cash-money. Some artists want to convey the point that they think streaming platforms devalue their music since users have the option to cherry pick songs from an album as opposed to listening to the whole thing. This argument is also applied to other platforms such as iTunes that let you purchase individual songs. Garth Brooks is very vocal about this viewpoint. Others have their minds fixated on the word “purchase”. For artists to make any significant revenue from streaming services their songs require an absurd number of listens which can only be consistently obtained by names such as Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran. If any revenue is made, then artists only receive a small cut of it since their record label while bite off a bigger chunk than a Bull Shark. Spotify have repeatedly stated that 70% of their revenue is being actively flowed back into the music industry so maybe some of this hatred of Spotify is misdirected.
For me, I believe artists should be rewarded fairly for their own creative expressions but I am also that person who only listens to 2 – 3 songs per artists. There are only three albums in my life that I have repeatedly listened to and I’ve only purchased a digital copy of one of them. If I have to purchase an entire album to put one song into a personal playlist then I’m just not going to listen to that song (Illegal downloading is bad, kids). If artists want to pull all their music from streaming platforms so be it. They will always have fans who will follow the music.
Until next time, stay tuned.