Another Indie Label Pulls From Spotify And “All You Can Eat” Digital Services

image from www.projekt.com It's far from a tidal wave, but yet another indie record label has pulled it's catalog from Spotify,Grooveshark, Rdio and other "all you can eat" digital music services: Projekt Records.  Operating far from the mainstream, Projekt, founded in 1986 and releasing it's 266th album this fall, specializes in darkwave, goth and ambient music.  Projekt pulled it's music for the same reasons that the other labels have, low compensation; which founder Sam Rosenthal detailed in a open letter to the indie music community:

On July 29, 2011, I instructed IRIS (Projekt's digital distributor) to remove all Projekt Records releases from all-you-can-eat digital services such as Spotify, Grooveshark, Rdio, etc. The tracks are down; I am ready to talk about it. 

Century Media pulled their material August 9, Prosthetic Records became the third reported label to remove their material September 20. It is good to see other labels have reached the same conclusion I have about these services: they are not a viable way forward for the music industry.

What is our objection? Century Media put it nicely:

"Obviously it is ultimately up to the music fan and consumer, how they access their music, whether it is buying, streaming or stealing. There needs to be awareness though, that how you will consume your music has direct consequences for the artists, who we are all trying to support."

There is the crux of the problem. Artists would like fair compensation for our creations. I believe in a world where fans value the music they enjoy, and are willing to put some of their money towards it. Paying artists is THE RIGHT THING TO DO. There is value to music, just as there is cost to creating music. Personally, I believe in creativity, art, value, doing the right thing.

Spotify claims, "The overwhelming majority of our indie label partners are thrilled with the revenues we're returning to them." Honestly, I doubt that is true. Spotify further claims to be "monetizing an audience the large majority of whom were downloading illegally (and therefore not making a penny for the industry) before Spotify was available."

Yes, it is true that torrents gave no artists any money. Spotify gives all artists almost no money.

Let's discuss the economics. For a play on Spotfy…. NOW READ THIS CLOSELY….. $0.00029 is paid to the label/artist. There is the math, plain and simple! 5000 plays generates around $1.45. In comparison, 5000 track downloads at iTunes generates almost $3000. You have probably seen this article in The Guardian; over a five-month period, 1-million plays of Lady Gaga's hit 'Poker Face' earned just $167. Really.  

I talk about this with my 9-year-old son; he fully understands we all have a basic right to earn a paycheck for our work. See this chart for a comparison of how much is earned via different sales formats. To earn the U.S. monthly minimum wage – $1160 – 4,053,110 plays a month are needed at Spotify. This is not a viable number for artists. It is not that we are even aiming for the minimum wage. We only desire something equitable. $0.00029 per play is not.

In the world I want to live in, I envision artists fairly compensated for their creations, because we (the audience) believe in the value of what artists create. The artist's passion, dedication and expression is respected and rewarded. Spotify is NOT a service that does this. Projekt will not be part of this unprincipled concept.

I hope you continue to purchase music via sources that give the artist a fair payment for their work, such as iTunes, brick & mortars, the Projekt.com website, etc. As always, I thank you for supporting the music.

Sam Rosenthal


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  1. In other words, we want the people who are willing to pay for music to pay more than they’re paying now.
    It would seem the artists and the consumers have different conclusions for what constitutes “fair compensation”.
    As for $0.00029/play being fair or not, how much do they get paid on a per listener basis for radio play?

  2. The download model will always produce more money than a streaming model *assuming* anyone wants to download/listen to artist from these labels.
    A good artist on a small label will not have a problem but the bulk of artists are ‘no ones’ to the consumer.
    It will be interesting to see how downloads perform against streaming in the long term as various repoprts have stated ownership desire ie downloads is on the decline.

  3. Youtube/Google + Facebook + Bandcamp/Itunes/Amazon = Better than Spotify.
    Sprint sells phones. Universal gets paid money from Sprint to help sell those phones . . . through Spotify.
    If 1000 people listen to my song on Spotify, I get .29 cents.
    If 1 person buys my song on itunes, I get .72 cents.
    nuff said

  4. If I did the math correctly, @ $0.00029 per spin it would take 3,414 spins (from one person) to equate to a single download. That’s a lot of spins (once a day for nine years) to expect out of a single song over a lifetime.
    Something seems wrong. Unless their model is based upon a thirty of forty year relationship (between a song and a fan), or unless they used .25cents as the comparative (download) value when they (Spotify) did their proforma analysis, the $0.00029 per spin value seems lacking in empathy (for artists that is).
    I personally want to find the silver lining (or the mistake in the math) in this for artists. Even after giving the calculations some thought (and after reading related posts), I am reserving judgment until I have more corroborating information (not to say anyone here is mistaken, as you presented facts), but someone else will find a way to put lipstick on the pig…

  5. Labels did the exact same thing when Radio started… A few labels understood at that time that this was a magic promotion tool, the rest is history…
    As an artist would you sign with a label refusing to get you on radio? Music business is not anymore about monetizing content but monetizing audience – If I was one of your artist I would be really worried not being available on those services… The business has changed it’s not about how much you get per play, you’re not fighting against Spotify, Rdio etc but you.
    And BTW if you want to do more money talk to Topspin your bands must have fans willing to pay way more than on iTunes.

  6. Radio creates the desire to buy. Spotify does not. The term, “Most requested song of the day” exists because you can’t choose what you want to hear, you can only beg for it. This is what drives album sales. If you want to hear it again, you can either beg for it, or buy it. With Spotify, you don’t have to request anything, you don’t have to beg, you just play it. And that’s a major problem.

  7. I think the right question to ask yourself is not “what are we missing,” it’s what isn’t being told to us. And what’s not being told to us is what the majors are getting paid to go along with this nonsense, and in turn, influencing the rest of the industry to drink the cool-aid.

  8. Sam, If you write an open letter make sure you have the facts straight. Spotify currently pays NOW READ THIS CLOSELY…. € 0.004 per stream. ($ 0.0057)
    Check the copy of my latest statement here: http://www.spotidj.com/blog/?p=264
    If you really get $0.00029 per stream you have done a lousy job in representing your artists.
    € 0.004 is not much I agree. But please do the maths using correct data. The Gaga pay out is an urban legend and the beautiful chart you link to is more than a year old. Things have chanced since then.

  9. obviously buying a digital or physical peace of music will get the artist more money, but since I got spotify I havent bought any new albums (which is odd for me) and only listen to music on spotify, and all of my friends (at least that I’ve talk to) are the same. I totally agree that the amount spotify give is ridiculously, but is a small precent really worse then nothing?
    Its obviously not the greatest model, but until something better get around it seems a little silly to me to just leave a popular discovery service behind.

  10. “There is the math, plain and simple! 5000 plays generates around $1.45. In comparison, 5000 track downloads at iTunes generates almost $3000.”
    This reasoning is stupid. How many people that streamed the track would actually have bought it? Probably not the same number. I feel like they’re using the same arguments as the Napster days, when they were saying that 1 illegal download equalled 1 lost sale. Not true

  11. Yes! Now the next step for Projekt, Prosthetic, Metal Blade, and Century Media is to join Bandcamp or set up a similar model, where people can audition CDs before buying and have the artist support options easily available.

  12. Yes — I agree with this. WHAT is the major’s motif to agree to a service that is going to decimate their income stream? Do they figure that VOLUME will make it pay off, in the end? I don’t know…..

  13. Hi Katie — Let me summarize. Since getting into Spotify, you have stopped buying music. Yet Spoitify serves as a great tool for you to discover music. I see where this is a win-win for you. No more expenses, and lots more music.
    Now for the artist, what is the benefit of this “exposure” if you are not buying any music? the $ 0.0057 Spotidj says was earned from that one play? Hardly viable for an artist…..

  14. Sam, I’m curious about your take on music services like Pandora. I rarely spend money on music anymore, but when I do, it’s typically on a relatively unknown artist that I’ve stumbled across using that music service.

  15. People only pay for what they HAVE to, not for what they WANT to… If you went to a store to pay for a brand new pair of pants that cost $50 and another store down the street was selling those same pants for $25, which place would you go to purchase those pants? The same applies here, except the place down the street is charging $.25 instead of $50.

  16. Sam. It’s accurate I can send you the statement to prove it.
    Spotify pays 20 times more than the amount you mentioned! Why do you share inaccurate data?
    Mind: I’m not saying Spotify pays enough nor do I want to defend this company. I just want to discuss the revenue of streams using correct data.
    If you want to pull your music from streaming services it’s your choice and your business.
    Time will tell if it was a wise decision.

  17. Everybody i know around me that uses Spotify has STOPPED buying music. Spotify REPLACES the act of buying , and you need to drink a few liters of that cool-aid to swallow the “Hey, but you have to look at it as promotion !” misleading pill.

  18. Since when is earning a paycheck for your work a “basic right?” That’s like those people who run up to your car at the freeway off-ramp, squeegee your window really fast, and then say you have to pay them for it.

  19. yeah but most people do want to listen before they buy. They don’t just wanna plunk down 99 cents before they know what they’re getting

  20. $0.00029 is simply false. I’ve received $79 from Spotify so far, and there’s no way a little indie artist like me had his songs streamed 273,000 times!
    Glancing over my CD Baby accounting info, it appears to range from $0.0010-$0.0125 per stream.

  21. In actuality after getting more numbers, I see Projekt is averaging $.0013 per stream. Wherever you get $.0057 — that is NOT what is being paid to us.
    5000 plays generates around $6.50.

  22. After getting current numbers, I see Projekt is averaging $.0013 per stream. This is the same thing a label in Europe tells me they are payed.
    5000 streams generates around $6.50. Yay! I can go buy a coffee.

  23. There are very good comments here with a diverse point of view. I agree in compensation to artists. I mostly listen to string band music (appalachian music) and most of those artists are not even on spotify, so I buy from them direct or cd baby where they get the highest compensation. I don’t agree, however with pulling your artists as you are now underexposing the. I have never heard of your artists and will now never discovery them because I am using spotify. My family is in the entertainment business (artist representation, attorneys etc) and they have learned that revenues are now coming from the bundling of all of the artists exposures. For example, youtube is now paying large artists fees for their videos that carry advertising as well as a percent of the ad revenue. They also have learned to generate more revenue from touring. Music is becoming more of a promotional tool for the touring artist.
    Lastly, lets think of this from the consumer standpoint. I pay monthly fees for so many services from cable, spotify, cell phones, news apps, etc it can add to hundreds a month. I can afford this, but I am sure that many of your fans can not and there for will not be able to hear your labels music. Is music only for the wealthy now? Tough choices all around

  24. Please Sam Rosenthal, get your act together! 🙂
    I have also read many of your comments on Century Media after they pulled from Spotify. And now this. If you are gonna compare Spotify-stream to iTunes downloads, please get your numbers straight.
    As Spotidj points out, Spotify pays 20 times more than what you say.
    You are comparing 5000 stream to 5000 downloads? A download is paid for once, a stream pays every time! This could be over a period of months, years and even dacades in a streaming users life. How many times in a users entire life does a user listen to a song that is so good that they would have bought it when cd’s or itunes downloads was the only (legal) options? This must at least be tens, and maybe sometimes hundreds of times. Since discovering Seventh Wonder about two monts ago I have listened to each track on their two best albums from 15 to 27 times already (Last.fm stats). I have also gotten several other people to start listening to Seventh Wonder through Spotify/Facebook-sharing, and one of my collegues has listened almost as much as me.
    By the way: Seventh wonder was discovered through Spotify after searching for alternatives to Symphony X, because Century media pulled their albums from Spotify!
    Other arguments for streaming:
    – millions of users streaming a song a few times and then moving on. These streams are all getting you paid, but they would almost never been bought as downloads.
    – The sharing effect of how Spotify. I mention this again, because this I believe is enormously important.
    – People streaming songs they already have bought on cd or as downloads, because streaming is what they prefer now. So you get paid “double”. Of course this “double pay” is a temporary thing, but should be taken into account in a transition period like we are in now where Spotify-payout pr stream are lower than what you like, but rising.
    Also. Taka a look at this (In Norwegian, use google translate):
    It’s an aricle where the manager of Kaizers Orchestra says that they need 120 Spotify-streams to earn the same as 1 itunes download.
    I am by the way of course a paying Spotify Premium customer, I pay for two Premium accounts in my family, and soon it will be three (one for my kids). I dont use Spotify to get music for free, but because of conveniance, portabilty, sharing and music discovery.
    Please reconsider pulling out of Spotify

  25. “……Since discovering Seventh Wonder about two monts ago I have listened to each track on their two best albums from 15 to 27 times already (Last.fm stats). ”
    Ok. Let’s assume 25 times per song, with 12 tracks per album x 2 albums….. That’s 600 streams. Times $.0013 = 78¢ for two albums.
    Which is less than they would earn from one track download at iTunes. And far less than what they would earn if you had purchased those two albums at iTunes, Amazon, or your local record store.
    $.0013 is a more accurate number, based on the most recent report I pulled today. It doesn’t change the fact that artists deserve to be fairly compensated for the art they create.
    thanks for your thoughts, Fredrik.

  26. Ah but in the physical world, if someone is underselling like that, you would quickly come to the conclusion that the store is selling stolen goods. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize this.
    And what happens when a community supports contraband?

  27. Here’s a quote from from Bruce Houghton’s article earlier this week:
    In the niche model, all of an artist’s music does not need to be readily and freely available everywhere. Niche artists have a valuable product that they should never be ashamed to charge for. What they need to do is polish their craft, make *some* music available for free listening, and be persistent in getting the story of direct listener support out there. Although the music and the craft is key, I’d argue that in today’s world it is more important for the artist’s story to be ubiquitous than for their music to be. The message that niche artists need direct listener support in order to create music will lead to sales, subscriptions and backing, etc.” – Bruce Houghton
    Zoe Keating’s music isn’t on Spotify. But I make the argument that she doesn’t NEED to be on Spotify. Itunes/amazon & bandcamp suit her needs. But doesn’t she have 1.3 million Twitter followers? Exactly my point. Exposure doesn’t JUST have to come through Spotify. It’s like saying the only way you’ll be popular is to be on Facebook. Well, you might not have a whole bunch of fans on Facebook, but you might have 400,000 subscribers like Kina Grannis on Youtube. Even if you make the case that Spotify is good for “exposure” that doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY means of exposure. In the case of selling music, I don’t believe the loss leader should be the loss leader. There are other ways to gain exposure.
    I save my buying experiences for music that I really want to own and connect with. Otherwise, Spotify is great for checking out music that I don’t find worth owning . Why would I want to buy music for it’s fashion/trending quality? It’s here today and gone tomorrow.
    If anything, Spotify is good for artists who AREN’T on Spotify, because since you can get all major label stuff on Spotify, it eases up customer’s pocketbooks so they can buy independent/niche due to the scarcity of not being found on streaming sites.
    And overall, Spotify just isn’t going to replace Youtube for me. I can get the same kind of ad revenue from Youtube if I have a popular video/song on there. So if I have a million views on a Youtube video with links to itunes/bandcamp, why is Spotify so important? I’m making money from streaming AND making generating sales. Will Spotify do that for me? Probably not.

  28. The big difference between radio & Spotify is that radio play is random—you can’t turn on your radio and tell it to play your fave songs/albums. You still need CDs/downloads to do that. Spotify allows you to pick and choose your music, negating the need to buy any CDs or downloads.
    In simplified terms, radio is one giant advertisement for the music played on it: you hear something you like, you go buy it to have it. Spotify is all your “purchases” in one place that you don’t have to purchase.
    SO if being a musician was your day job, which would you choose to have your music on?

  29. I must say that Sam Rosenthal has his act together!
    Yes, Spotify is “conveniance, portabilty, sharing and music discovery,” but it is also no different than the original Napster or torrents. Spotify is really “legal” pirating. Yes, artists are paid, but such a miniscule amount. Just imagine if your job paid you 2 cents an hour, would you be satisfied???

  30. “I’ve received $79 from Spotify so far,”
    I bet you have your new Mercedes all picked out. Just a few more plays…

  31. ictus75 got it right. Radio is not “on demand.” You cannot ask your radio to play a specific album end to end. Because the music is randomized, artists accept a low royalty rate for radio (or Pandora, for that matter).
    Spotify is using music “on demand,” to sell your ears to advertisers.

  32. My analogy is: Let’s say you earn $50,000 a year, and your new boss (Spotify) says your salary has been reduced to $200 a year. But if his customers start subscribing, he’ll pay you $800 a year. Would you be able to keep paying your rent and the cost of your son’s shoes? the answer is “No” —- you wouldn’t keep that job. HOWEVER, a lot of people here are arguing that artists should stop complaining and keep the job. Not workable.
    And yes, I understand that Spotify isn’t our only source of revenue. And I am pretty confident it will be dead within a few years. The point is being made dramatically, so people think about the implications to artists.

  33. Did you know premium streams in Norway are now over 1 cent per stream? And increasing all the time? Your artists must be starting to think about signing with another label… 🙂

  34. What was that goth/industrial label that didn’t want any of their music played and removed their catalog? I dunno, I forgot already.

  35. Glad so see that you are at least using an updated pay per stream now Sam. But it is still a lot less than what some artist gets paid, so it seem you have a bad deal. Did you read the article about Kaizers Orchestra?
    In your reply you are calculating the income from 25 streams of every song on an album. I guess this number comes from what i said about my Last.fm stats. You do realize that this is the first two months only? How many times do you think I will listen to Seventh Wonder in the rest of my life? A lot more than 25 times per track I’ll tell you. What the average is for an average user I can only guess, but this is something YOU as being in charge of a label should try getting a real statistic on, before concluding against the streaming model.
    In this example of mine with Seventh Wonder I believe a very important thing that you havent commented on is that I would never have known of Seventh Wonder if it wasn’t for Spotify. Dont you believe in the discovery effect of Spotify? I am a big believer in this, but again I am just guessing, while YOU should try to get some statistics on this.
    And what about the sharing effect of Spotify/Facebook. Dont you believe in this either?
    In short i believe there are lots more variables to take into account than your simple calculations when comparing streams to downloads.

  36. Comparing Spotify to Napster? This is just silly.
    Of course i wouldn’t be satisfied with being paid 2 cents an hour. I am not saying in any way that artists doesn’t deserve being paid well. I just argue that Spotify pays a lot better that Sams (and others) simple calculations shows. Please see my new reponse to Sam.

  37. You want to know how much artist get paid for per listener on Radio.
    Here is some footage from an appearance some of us made on the Capitol Hill back in June of 10. We talked to the members during the day and then had this performance lead by Mickey Dolan with some speechifying

  38. No One here seems to get it… Record sales are DEAD. (50% less than 5 years ago). Record Labels are also DEAD. The old model doesn’t apply and with the practicality of Cloud taking off so will streaming music. The idea you can make 99 cents per song is antiquated. Eventually Spotify and others will have to charge more for their service which means the artists will get more than currently. But when seems to be lost on people here is; there are more bands making music currently than ever. People are also listening to music more than ever and different artists. Therefore the days off big time rock stars are over. Musicians will be making a lot less on their music. Quite fairly in my opinion. Because it costs less than ever to create music and there is no actual physical product you are producing. No Overhead. = Be happy if your making anything. The one who stands to loose out is the labels, which no longer have a function. So of course they are fighting this trend and they will until they go bankrupt, sooner rather than later, because they are no longer important. The future is independent artists making what they can on royalties but playing live to pay really make the money.

  39. spotify’s not viable for artists with its current low compensation (whoever’s stats you look at). some great points by fredrik above in spotify’s defence but it’s true what katie m says that most people one speaks to about spotify have all but stopped buying music – unless the music they want isn’t on spotify. damning argument against spotify.
    for spotify to remain in existence, their compensation must simply become better. that’s what it boils down to. and labels leaving them simply brings this issue to the table.

  40. Streaming in it’s current form is not the way streaming will be 10 years from now. And ownership for that matter will not mean what it means now. Because of cloud computing you can already upload your entire music library onto google music. So when the music you “own” are all files located on a server that you have access to via your computer or wireless device, then it’s literally no different than streaming. Especially when for, say $25 US a month you instantly have every song ever written by anyone, then the $25 will be divided amongst the artist who you play. Cloud computing in general is making it less import to “own” files and have them on your devices storage. In fact don’t be surprised as connection speeds and availability speed up, that you see little to no hard drives in cell phones, that will enable those devices to be as small as possible and simply a means to accessing all your information which is stored and accessed via a cloud like system.

  41. “Dont you believe in this either?”
    I certainly comprehend the discovery aspect of Spotify; I think Exposure has to be weighted against the compensation aspect. It will be interesting to see how many people move from the FREE to the PAID service.
    From what people have posted here and elsewhere, Spotify is replacing buying music. So while they might be exposed to new bands, it doesn’t mean they are actually buying new bands. Most people aren’t going to stream the same album every day, every week or every month…… while YOU might be really digging Seventh Wonder — will you still be playing them as often in a month or two, after you have discovered 700 new albums you have never heard before?
    I appreciate that you are enthusiastic about music. I am still talking about artists being properly compensated for their creations.
    You and I have a different idea of what that number should be.
    That’s why we’re having this discussion.

  42. Frederik. Being paid .0013 vs .00029 is “better” but not fair and equitable. When you are done with that — let’s get back to the discussion of whether artists can survive on this amount of money. The answer is “No.” Why should we work for the 2¢ job that you won’t work for? : )

  43. Good for you, Brad. Go stream music from one of the other independent U.S. goth/industrial labels. If all you want is free music, there are people out there willing to give it to you…… I’d prefer that my artists earn something from their creation, so they can buy new gear, pay their rent, or buy a sandwich….. : )

  44. “The future is independent artists making what they can on royalties but playing live to pay really make the money.”
    This is one of those false memes that float around. Most Indie bands break even – at best – on the road. Talk with a bunch of indie artists, and get the story on that.

  45. I am an indie artist my man. And I happen to know those bands that break even. A lot of them just suck and that’s why. It doesn’t matter if people were paying for every single download! It’s a hard business. Back in the 1990’s, before MP3’s, when bands got signed to Million Dollar Contracts with major labels you’d still see them go broke. Because they suck. The good bands still make money because they cause people want to go see them play live. The real meme is that if the music world was perfectly fair then every artist would be able to make a living at making music. Sorry no, because most indie music sucks. That’s why it’s indie. Now there are definitely the few who are good but just haven’t got a break and continue to struggle. To which I saw, so was every single band that has ever been successful before they got successful. It wasn’t that suddenly people starting buying the music. It was that suddenly one of their songs caught on. People shared it with their friends by making mixed tapes. People then made plans to go see them play. They put on a great show and people bought T-shirts so on and so forth.

  46. Oh and those Indie Bands that break even on the road. Guess what? Those same bands broke even if that, during the 90’s when people bought CD’s. the simple fact of the matter is the music business much like Acting or Making Movies has a very high fail rate. 99% of those trying to do it won’t ever be able to. That’s been the case sense the start of it. If anything it’s easier now because the internet allows people to hear the music the would otherwise have never heard. This also makes it more difficult to wade through all the crap to find the good stuff. Still there is more opportunity now, if your music is really kick ass, it will catch on. You have bands like MGMT, The Shins, Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, and Arcade Fire. And I bet you that more than half of their fan base get’s their music for free. Yet these bands are still making money. Be it touring or selling merch. Not the interesting thing is, if those bands are truly independent they stand to actually make more money.
    The bands from the 90’s who were making money on music sales. Labels typically pay an artist .80 – $1.00 (US) for every album that had a retail price of about $15. And that was if the band signed a good contract. Sometimes it could be more like $.60. That means those bands were seeing about 6% on each CD sold. That means record labels were making crazy amounts of money on music. This also means that the real price of music was highly inflated by fat cat labels who wanted to make lots of money on an artists work. The actual artist still struggled. Not to mention many times went into debt with a label, when their advance and recording costs (all of which they have to pay the label back for before making money on their music sales) would not equal the amount of money made on their music. This means that if an artist got a signing contract of say $100,000 (US) and a recording budget of $200,000. Then the artist was in debt to the label $300,000. That is all money that will be paid back to the label out of that 6% on each CD sold. The artist will make $0 on their music being sold until that amount is payed back in full. Which means the artist wouldn’t make any money until they sold at least 300,000 Copies. Not to mention the % the label takes on Concert tickets sold and Merch.
    You add this all up and you start to realize that though the music business is far from perfect now, it is actually moving in a direction that will be more fair to the artist. Where labels play a much smaller role, if any. And a place where indi artists can actually stand to make more money. And at the same time, fans don’t have to pay unreasonable amounts of money for all the music they enjoy.

  47. If you consider paying 99 NOK (=$17) a month for Spotify Premium as having “stopped buying music”, then yes I have stopped buying music. And I never want to go back to the way it was. I just threw away maybe 100 CDs. I still have a few hundreds of them, but I’ll probably never use them again. As I mentioned earlier, me and my wife both have a Spotify Premium subscription. So thats 2x$17 a month, and within a year I am pretty sure our kids will have their own subscription. So i spend more money on music than I ever have, and I am pretty sure this is way above the average spending on cd’s or itunes downloads too.
    I’m not saying having several subscriptions in one family is average in any way, but several of my friends and collegues and even my parents have two subscriptions. Almost none of my friends uses Spotify Free. Who wants commercials after every 4-5 songs? And only being able to listen to a song 5 times (ever), after having used Spotift Free for 6 months? This 5-play restriction is only a few months old, so it will affect many more users in a few months. I dont believe Spotify Free affects CD or itunes-sales in a bad way at all.

  48. Great point Chester. It’s funny how people associated with labels are NOW crying “we need to get the artists paid fairly” Yeah? since when? since they don’t need you anymore?
    And as for radio…99% never had that chance to be heard on radio. bands never had the cash (PAYOLA) to get heard. Labels had full control. So, you either signed with a major label…or give up music and find a real job…now, you have a real job and your music is being heard all around the world…you’re still not getting paid…but you don’t have to pay to be heard and won’t end up in debt.

  49. This 2 cents an hour analogy of yours is terrible. I really hope you understand this. The hours you can work in a day is pretty limited you know.
    “let’s get back to the discussion of whether artists can survive on this amount of money”. I dont think we have established what “this amount of money is”. You just keep repeating the pay per stream like that alone is enough to make a desicion.

  50. I will of course not play Seventh Wonder as much my whole life. To be completely honest, right now I’m mostly listening to the new Dream Theater. But Seventh Wonder will be played many times more, not just as often as the two first months.
    If I have given you the impression that I dont think musicians deserve to be paid well, then either you have read the wrong things into my words, or I have chosen the wrong words. 🙂 Thats not what I have been trying to discuss.
    I’m beginning to think I cannot convince you Sam. 🙂 I think we just have to see in time if you did the right thing by pulling out of Spotify. You know what I believe. Good luck with making money for your label in other ways.

  51. True – radio creates the desire to buy, but for who? For what artists?
    For the handful of bands signed to major labels who get the radio airplay?
    Why is an independent label even making this point?

  52. not anymore…and I believe that is why labels and now even independent labels are upset about artists getting played around the world without the label doing anything….the artist isn’t getting paid either way….if we can figure out out to get the ARTIST paid…we’re onto something…but I don’t see how….hopefully I’m wrong..

  53. The times are a changing. This is May 2012 and I am a real Indie label (one person label), lucky enough to have a famous 60s/70s band as my first release. I don’t think the band has any influence on streaming payments, and Tunecore did my distribution, and I doubt they negotiate any different than anyone else.
    My last statement:
    Napster pays me 11¢ for 9 streams.
    Rhapsody pays me 1¢ for 1 stream.
    Spotify pays me 4¢ for 6 streams.
    iTunes Match pays me 1¢ for 4 streams.
    The album has just been officially released, digital was released in March.
    So has anyone else seen this improvement?

  54. I forgot to add, I have to pay mechanical royalties of 1¢ for every stream…so streaming should have a warning label the reads, “for promotional purposes only”.

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