Music Business

Boycott Spotify? Cut up your music instead to get money you deserve, says artist, activist MegMarie

It is well known that musicians do not make very much on streaming sites, so should be stop using sites like Spotify all together? Artist and activist MegMarie thinks so.

Op-ed by MegMarie of The Blood Harmonies.

They’ll get a third of a song for their measly .4 cents

“You can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.” Spotify Ceo, Daniel Ek’s snear was the shot heard round the music world, sparking backlash and boycott from musicians. And Ek’s popularity continues to plummet, in the past 2 weeks musicians called anew to boycott the streaming site after discovering that Ek invested $114M in AI warfare. But musicians are strapped as it is with the pandemic, and many don’t have the luxury of swearing off a potential, though meager, source of income and connection to new fans. 

But what if we could raise our voices in protest, without taking them off of Spotify? What if we could make Tidal’s 1.2 cent per stream on Spotify, without begging or boycotting?

Well, I have news for you. We can.

Divide Your Music Into Segments

That’s it. That’s the trick. 

Stick with me here, all we need to do to start getting the 1.2 cents per song stream that we deserve is to divide each song into three parts and upload the segments as separate songs. They will then be registered as 3 separate streams, instead of just one. You can do this by splicing the songs before you release them to your distributor. Have you already released your music to Spotify? Take it off and re-release the divided segments to your distributor.

Let me tell you why you, me, and every artist we know, should do this.

More Streams. More Money.

This will result in you IMMEDIATELY getting more streams and more money per song! Spotify fans will have to listen through three streams – at .4 cent each – to get the satisfaction of one song, giving you more streaming clout and more money in your pocket. It also will increase your album on Spotify to THREE TIMES the size. So you could even slow roll your album release without losing stream numbers: release one full song at a time – in three parts – heck, you could even release one song a month to show dear old Ek that you’ve taken his unsolicited “3 to 4 years” criticism to heart.

An Ethical Way to Stream

Let’s address the elephant in the room; we cannot expect to make a living from our art if we continue to cater to the lowest common denominator. There, I said it. 

Spotify was invented in response to piracy, as a means of recouping losses for record labels, not artists. Ek says that in 2008 no one wanted to pay for music anymore, so he created Spotify as a “better” alternative to piracy. In reality, Ek is the pirate selling practically stolen booty to good, upstanding people – people that buy fair trade coffee, and shop ethically; in short, people who would have been our customers

Not to mention, Spotify didn’t even solve the piracy problem! People still pirate music, because apparently $10 a month, or the occasional ad, is still too high a price to pay for an entire library of art. Why? Why are we giving our art, our divinity, that which makes us gods among men, away for free, because we are afraid that some lowlife will steal it? 

Well, guess what. That’s still stealing.

Entering into an agreement that is specifically disadvantageous to you and your ability to put food on the table simply because the other party is too big to fail is not a choice, its coercion. 

Robots Can’t Tell The Difference

I’ll admit it; I don’t know the ins and outs of the Spotify algorithm. But I do know that one of the skills that separates humans from artificial intelligence is that humans can tell the difference between a cut-off song and a song that has reached its natural ending. Your audience knows how you write and will want to hear the rest, a robot doesn’t. 

Make Spotify the Showroom for Your Bandcamp

You might be worried about annoying the fans you have now or any possible new fans. Yes, it will be slightly inconvenient for them. They will have about a second of “dead air” in between the song segments, so, 2 seconds of total gap. Also if they choose not to play your album straight through they may not hear all the segments of the song lined up. But, I ask you, isn’t this a small price to pay to support your idols in their fight for financial freedom? 

Most people know that you can still find a pirated movie on Youtube, you just have to sit through 12 individual low-resolution videos to watch it. This inconvenience is often enough to make self-respecting people choose to just buy the movie. By dividing up your song into segments, you are essentially making it into a preview. If they want to hear the whole uninterrupted song, invite them to purchase your music on your website or Bandcamp. 

Mobilize Your Audience

Honestly, most people don’t know how little Spotify and other streaming services pay artists, even your fans. The Spotify audience that pays $9.99 a month thinks they are paying the artists. So let’s make them understand just how little we make, in a way that will be sure to get attention. 

Talk to your audience. Send out an email newsletter, rally them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Let’s get some hashtags trending. How about #cutforcut or #wheresmycut? Tell your people to #standwiththecut because everyone loves a good underdog story. Taylor Swift led the charge in 2014 when she stood with her artist family and said “Valuable things should be paid for.” Courtney Love, and others followed. We can do this. 

The time is now. Our art is worth this. We are worth this. There are tons of people buying pdf files on Instagram for $27(!) and you’re telling me that a song that takes talent, time, and a whole lot of gear to make can’t get you a cent? No, I refuse. 

Listen, I’m not an expert. I have no credentials. I’m just an artist who knows the pain of having to let another song go unsung because the choice was food or the recording cost. I’m just a mom of three who wants to show her kids that music is a dream that doesn’t have to end in embitterment.

So,

*deep breath* 

Who’s with me?

MegMarie is a musical activist and the unknown lead singer for the band “The Blood Harmonies.” She believes that a good idea and a butt-load of artists could take Daniel Ek down a notch. First single coming out in 2022. Find her at: thebloodharmonies.com.

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1 Comment

  1. I am a jazz musician from Livorno, Italia. I am 58. My son, daughter, brother, sister, and 6 generations ancestors from 1799 are/were musicians. I never trusted Spotify. I never used it. It was very clear from the beginning.
    Dont’ t abuse digital. Digital world goes in one direction, which means power and in-justice.
    Analogic is more democratic IN ITSELF.
    Don’t abuse pc, smartphone, web. Use them “if”and “when” you really need it. All is happening today is linked to the digital vision of the world. Stay analogic. Romantic? Naif? Maybe. But it works great. BOYCOT SPOTIFY and DISCONNECT as you can. Andrea,

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