Spotify is a game changer

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Spotify is a game changer

Post by chris harris » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:33 am

I'm not 100% committed to the subscription model.... I still buy lots of albums, mostly on vinyl. But, this is fucking amazing. It's like having a public library of music, that you can carry around in your pocket. Do I "own" the songs? Nope. Do i care? Nope.

If you haven't started using shared playlists to share and discover music, you're really missing out on how this is going to change everything for music distribution, music discovery, taste-making, etc...

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Post by kingtoad » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:45 am

It's just a shame that spotify is part owned by the major labels and so therefore what measly royalty is paid is massively in the favour of said major labels (and not even the artist signed to them, particularly).

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Post by fossiltooth » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:21 pm

I agree that it's a really cool idea, and have been saying for years that this is what the majors should have been working on all along. Spotify (or more likely, something like it) is probably the future.

However, the actual portion that musicians will be paid for their plays on it is currently far below "measly". In reality, it's sad, painful, scary, downright dangerous. Here's a link that gives the figures. It's pretty much far worse than anything the majors have pulled before, and that's saying a lot:

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2 ... rn-online/

Spotify could be a step in the right direction. But if the revenue is rounded off and mis-routed in the same unethical ways they are at some of the publishing and airplay-tracking cabals, we're in for some bad weather. I'd like to see these guys step up their game. Until then, I'll keep buying the records I love, and using artists' websites to get a taste for the ones I'm undecided about.

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Post by alf » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:47 am

No. It won't.

Intellectual property rights will eventually force this economic system to change. Until our economic model is modernized there will continue to be attempts to patch up the 'problem.' Which is what this is.

Notice. With almost every new piece of information tech released there are always more than enough people hailing it as a 'game changer' to rouse the publics' short attention span. However the 'game' is changing every day. Regardless of the impact of whatever piece of tech enters the cultural orbit. Myspace is gone, remember that game changer? I thought Pandora was gonna change the model? Remember 'new math?'

No. Until a genuinely different approach is made, this is like most everything else in this technological society; it is another mutation of something that has existed for a long time.

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Post by chris harris » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:33 am

If you don't think that Myspace WAS a game changer for bands, then you are crazy.

Go ahead and wait around for something to happen.

Maybe you could give an example of the kind of "genuinely different approach" that would satisfy you as a "game changer"....

It would be a better contribution to the discussion than just coming in and rudely suggesting that it's my "short attention span" that's got me suckered into liking this.

Spotify is a radical departure from the old paradigm of "owning" music, whether it be albums, CDs, or digital files. Spotify is fine tuning the concept of subscribing to music rather than owning it. It is a genuinely different approach than the most recent LEGAL music consumption paradigm.

So, what in your opinion would be a "genuinely different approach" that would be deserving of the term "game changer"?

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Post by alf » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:19 pm

Jeez.

First of all it is the internet. Stop taking it personally. We can't fistfight over it, so why get so defensive? I didn't say you had a short attn span personally did I? No. I was speaking on the ability of tech to excite in an environment that has exciting things popping up all the time. Thereby making it hard to pay more than passing attn before the next new thing.

As far as asking me to suggest something. Well I would say I'm about as qualified to predict the unforseeable as you are to call some new piece of tech a paradigm shift. So that makes me unqualified to posit an opinion? You did. I disagree. That's about it. I said WHY I disagree. We could disagree over the aesthetics of architecture without knowing how to pour a foundation or build a flying buttress right? This is akin to that I believe.

So what? You can subscribe to music. Amazing. How does that do anything? Do all of the artists suddenly own their own material? Are the business models of the big guys changed by this?

And as far as MySpace. Meh. I didn't really see a whole hell of a a lot after the first feeding frenzy and have yet to see any long term effects(we ARE talking about 'popular' music here right? If not then excuse my assumption.)

If, in a few years Spotify is hailed as the thing that made the music biz better and more fair, then I will come back to the board and apologize if your butt still hurts.

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Post by Mudcloth » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:42 pm

Artists owning their own material has always been a sticky proposition. Who owns a 1-6-2-5 chord change in 6/8 time? Who was the first? Who owns the idea of a love song? Has anyone invented any new words lately? We're all using the same basic tools to write songs, which are words and language. "Yeah, but my song came from me. I own that thought." Really? Here's 2 cents.
In any music sharing/downloading/borrowing/duplicating scenario who pays, and how much?
The listener basically doesn't want to pay more than 99 cents for a download. How much for a play and no download?
"I write and record songs and I want my money, dammit!" Really? Here's 2 cents.

Trying to make money as an artist in the music business these days is like selling sponges in a Sham Wow world. Shit, if everyone got paid to write and record songs everyone would be doing it.

Spotify is a service to where more people hear more music. That alone has value to me.

Most of my vinyl record collection I bought used. Am I some asshole because Dr. John only got paid the one time when the record was bought new? I sure ripped his ass off by buying it used. What about when I put it on cassette so I could listen to it in my car? What about when I digitized it and put it in my iPod? Hell, I screwed him over 4 times. I should have bought the vinyl new, the cassette new, the cd new, and downloaded it on to my iPod from ITunes.

Just to put this out there. I am 40 years old and have been playing music since I was a toddler. I will always play and write music until I die because that's what I do and I love it. I could make a shit ton more money doing something else for a living, but I take a financial hit because what I do doesn't always pay that great. Nobody is holding a gun to my head and making me do it.

Maybe we as writers and musicians can get over all this by simply making good music, writing good songs and expanding our audience. People who love your music want to help support you.
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Post by chris harris » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:27 pm

alf wrote:Jeez.

First of all it is the internet. Stop taking it personally. We can't fistfight over it, so why get so defensive? I didn't say you had a short attn span personally did I? No. I was speaking on the ability of tech to excite in an environment that has exciting things popping up all the time. Thereby making it hard to pay more than passing attn before the next new thing.

As far as asking me to suggest something. Well I would say I'm about as qualified to predict the unforseeable as you are to call some new piece of tech a paradigm shift. So that makes me unqualified to posit an opinion? You did. I disagree. That's about it. I said WHY I disagree. We could disagree over the aesthetics of architecture without knowing how to pour a foundation or build a flying buttress right? This is akin to that I believe.
I'm not taking it personally. This is a community where we exchange ideas. I was just interested in WHY you disagreed. And, I'm still quite interested in HOW you suppose that "Intellectual property rights will eventually force this economic system to change". What does a "modernized" economic model look like, with respect to intellectual property rights?

So, are you suggesting that because of the exponential nature of tech progress, that nothing CAN be a game changer? Or, just that we won't know what the game changers are until years after the fact?
alf wrote:So what? You can subscribe to music. Amazing. How does that do anything?
How is my life different today than it was a couple weeks ago, before Spotify hit the U.S.? Well, as far as music exploration and consumption, I would have to say that everything changed practically overnight. I now have legal access to almost anything, for an incredibly affordable monthly fee. But, that's just a very small part of how this service is changing the game. Public playlists are opening some really incredible new pipelines for music discovery. Subscriptions will be the new paradigm. This is the "modernized" economic model for music consumption. Whether it's funded by ads, or fees, or whatever, this is a viable, legal, affordable, and way more user friendly and reliable alternative to piracy. And, Spotify, because of the convenient interface, and the addictive playlists, will be the first company to broadly deploy this new paradigm to millions of music consumers. Game changer.
alf wrote:Do all of the artists suddenly own their own material?
Uh, the last story I ever heard about any artist being forced to sign over the rights to their own material was Suge Knight holding Vanilla Ice off the roof of a building. All of the music that I have available on Spotify is music that I own the rights to. All of the music that bands from my label have available on Spotify is music that they own.
alf wrote:Are the business models of the big guys changed by this?
Yeah, everybody will change because of this. "360 deals" seem to be how the "big guys" are responding.
alf wrote:And as far as MySpace. Meh. I didn't really see a whole hell of a a lot after the first feeding frenzy and have yet to see any long term effects(we ARE talking about 'popular' music here right? If not then excuse my assumption.)
No. If by "'popular' music" you mean major label pop music, that's not what I'm talking about at all. I don't have any interest in that world. I could probably still make an argument that Myspace changed everything in that world, too... but, i don't care enough to.

I'm talking about working musicians. Myspace changed everything for working musicians in the trenches. Myspace mainstreamed "social networking". Game changer.
alf wrote:If, in a few years Spotify is hailed as the thing that made the music biz better and more fair, then I will come back to the board and apologize if your butt still hurts.
I don't know if it will make business better, or more fair. But, i know that it already is the first subscription model to be wildly successful. That alone merits game changer status. Napster changed the game by putting music on the internet. iTunes changed the game by bringing downloadable music to a user-friendly, legal interface. And, Spotify is changing the game by carrying us all into the subscription/access age.

These game changing things only seem like fads if you sit on the sidelines thinking that everyone who participates in them is a sucker. 15 years ago, there weren't very many bands from Oklahoma who had records distributed internationally, who were able to book a West coast or East coast tour themselves, and show up to rooms where people are familiar with the music. But, now, the game has changed.

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Post by T-rex » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:44 pm

Sure seems like your taking it personally? You voiced your opinion that you think its a game changer, he voiced his opinion that he thinks its not. He doens't have to give a dissertation on the topic and you don't have to pick apart
every
line
in
his response
like you
always
do
Can you just agree to disagree and move on? How much is spotify and what makes it different than the other subscription services?

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Post by alf » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:48 pm

Well. My reply is rather short. I still don't think it is a game changer, rather just another piece of tech. You assume a lot about me though which is flattering I guess.

As far as ownership goes. I will not rant. Artists don't really own a piece after they finish it anyway, otherwise why do it? To make money? Get a business degree for that. However compensation for hard work; I guess that is up to the artist.

Who owns a chord change? Geez. I guess that is a way of looking at a song. I don't share that though.

But I bet big business would fucking patent it if they could...

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Post by Mudcloth » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:50 pm

alf wrote: Who owns a chord change? Geez. I guess that is a way of looking at a song. I don't share that though.
I'm just illustrating a point. I don't actually wonder who owns a chord change.
Maybe the subtlety of my post didn't come across.

I personally have a hard time with concept of intellectual property, especially as an artist. I actually believe that artists don't create anything, we just discover/uncover what's already there. An added benefit to this way of thinking is I don't have too big a chip on my shoulder as a musician. [Not saying anyone here does]

Back to Spotify and the issue of gettin' paid. Who pays and how much? What should that rate be?

If I pay 99 cents for a download or $15 for a CD, how much music can I afford to buy every year? $15 a week is a lot of money for someone like me, but I guess 52 CD's a year. That's a lot of music. How many records will I not be able to buy, and therefore listen to, every year. About 36,948. If 10 million music lovers only have 52 albums to choose from every year, it hurts all of us. I think it's way better to have your music cheaply available, if not free. My opinion.

Anyway, I know if song downloads were 25 cents I'd be listening to a whole lot more new music. I know if it were $4.95 a month for unlimited access I'd listen to even more. Luckily, I have all that used vinyl I like to listen to.

The point is if 5000 people listened to my band's music on Spotify and we only got paid a measly sum, I'd personally be okay with that. I know if they felt a personal connection to the band they'd probably end up buying some music from us or at least coming to some shows.

It's hard to make a living in a business where the business model is changing every freakin' week, that's for sure.

I would like to know what other people's ideas as far as how much is music worth.
How should one get paid? What is the best way to distribute music? How much money makes a good, fair living? How would we all feel like we've been fairly compensated for our art? Who's got the great ideas out there?

[edited for spelling and wayward thought.]
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Post by chris harris » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:16 am

T-rex wrote:Sure seems like your taking it personally? You voiced your opinion that you think its a game changer, he voiced his opinion that he thinks its not. He doens't have to give a dissertation on the topic and you don't have to pick apart
every
line
in
his response
like you
always
do
Can you just agree to disagree and move on? How much is spotify and what makes it different than the other subscription services?
It's a discussion on a message board. I could agree to disagree and move on. And, you could choose to ignore my posts if you don't like my posting style.

Spotify is either Free (ad supported), $5/month, or $10/month, depending on what you choose. And, the public playlists and widespread acceptance make it different (better) than other subscription services.

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Post by chris harris » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:40 am

As an artist, Spotify is excellent because it gives the listeners what they would have taken anyway, in a way that respects my intellectual property rights, and makes sure that I'll be compensated. It's almost the whole "the music should be free, maaaaaaaaaaaannnnnn" thing, except that artists are compensated, and we have control over the quality of digital file that's available.

As a music consumer, Spotify is excellent because it gives me legal, ethical access to most music. I can put it on my phone and take it anywhere with me.

While T-Rex and others (I'm sure) don't appreciate my posting style, the truth is, I'm trying to have an honest discussion of issues. I'm trying to understand Alf's point of view before I even know if I can agree to disagree. The fact that he doesn't respond to any specific questions, but only comes by to say, "I disagree with you" and drop a few insults, is not something I take personally. But, it is something that's quite frustrating when you're trying to have a conversation.

Maybe I'm just having a hard time translating the snark. That's why I ask very specific questions. I can't decipher from just a few choice smart ass comments, where Alf actually stands on intellectual property rights. He's being intentionally obtuse, while I'm being intentionally thorough.

I'm genuinely interested in this service because I see it changing the way that my friends and family are engaging with music.... DRAMATICALLY.

I'm happy to have an honest discussion with someone who's actually familiar with the service and has genuine complaints about the business model. But, I'm also happy to call a chump an chump when someone strolls into what is intended to be an honest discussion, with what basically amounts to: "You're wrong, and you and everyone who believes this are suckers. Oh, I won't get into the rants of WHY I feel this way. I just want it noted that I do."

Noted, chump.

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Post by comfortstarr » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:53 am

I'm loving it and will be canceling my emusic subscription and moving to the Spotify premium plan.

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Post by chris harris » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:38 am

From a studio standpoint, it's great to have so many users with so much access to the work that I've done. I made a public playlist with lots of the records that I've worked on. It's a quick, easy way to show clients a lot of what you've done.

Instant demo reel, where anyone who's on Spotify can listen to several complete albums of my work... Pretty killer. I can also update it anytime, so it's quite a dynamic concept.

http://open.spotify.com/user/charrisnor ... SW1jZdFVoj

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