Fuck Spotify even more

For catcalling the douchebags in their suits and hoodies.
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Fuck Spotify even more

Post by fluffy »

Playcount pooling makes things even worse:

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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by Lunkhead »

I hate Spotify and I hate the record labels more, but, I don't think this contains any new information and I think it uses some poor logic and is making a mostly emotional argument.

About 3 minutes in he says "... the top 98.6% of all artists generated 90% of all of the streams on the platform and the remaining 98.6% take up 10% of all streams on the platform". Huh? Fortunately the text he displays during that part looks like what he meant to say, which is that the top 1.4% (~43000 artists) generated 90% of all the streams on the platform for some time period. There is absolutely a head and tail distribution curve of spins to artists and nearly all the spins go to a teeny tiny head and practically no spins go to the extremely long tail. The distribution of spins is getting more divided all the time. IMO there are two main contributors to all that, and they have nothing to do with Spotify. First most listeners want to listen to popular music. This is nothing new. Second is the rate of growth of the long tail is massive compared to the rate of growth of pop music. IMO that's happening because the barriers to creating and distributing music have dropped again, this time to virtually nil.

There is a great bit in the movie "Inside Llewyn Davis" where the main character and other wannabe folk artists he knows all have their crate of records they had pressed that they haven't sold. In the 90s/00s nearly every music making person I knew had at least one crate of CDs they'd had made of their or their band's music that they hadn't sold. It's always been hard to get people to want to listen to your music even when technological developments dropped the barriers to entry.

Also it's completely incorrect to assume that there is a 1:1 relationship between an "artist" on Spotify and an actual human being. The number of "artists" on streaming platforms is also growing at a huge rate. Some of you may not be surprised that some/many people release music under multiple artist identities. (Pop artists have brand identities that they don't want to dilute or fracture by doing that, generally.) Here again I think that is happening because the barrier to doing that is virtually nil at this point.

So 10% of the revenue is available to be distributed to those 98.6% of artists. The guy points out that if you split that revenue evenly across those artists that would be $11 per artist. So what? That is a meaningless thing to point out IMO because there is absolutely no way that the distribution of spins over those 98.6% is an even split. Even within the tail of the curve, there is a very very long tail of the tail which is a flat line at or near zero. Hopefully we can all agree that if your music receives literally zero spins you don't deserve a royalty payout.

He then points out many artists lose money by distributing their music because even on average in the long tail they wouldn't recoup the cost to distribute their music. IMO this is in no way Spotify's fault or problem. Why should artists have some guarantee they are going to recoup their distribution costs even if their music receives no or virtually no spins? This makes me think again of the unsold crates of vinyl/CDs. Did folks think that services that allowed artists to print vinyl or CDs were evil because most artists who used them didn't sell enough copies to recoup their costs? I'm guessing not.

"And does this mean 98.6% of people make really shitty music or that nobody wants to listen to it?" This guy says "No, it's that Spotify has created a system that selectively steals money away from people on the platform without consumers even realizing." Actually though the answer is yes, 98.6% of people make really shitty music or music that nobody wants to listen to. I think we can all relate to that in one way or the other. :lol:

The next part is about their revenue and revenue model and operating costs. I think that's getting more to the heart of the problem but I have wait till later to post more on that.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by Lunkhead »

I do want to quickly take a moment to rag on Spotify about their ad revenue. Looking at some info for 2020 it looks like they may have made less in ad revenue than Pandora, even though they have >2x the number of ad supported listeners and they operate globally instead of just in the US. Sad! :lol:
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by jb »

All true, though a lot of the video is about phone farms, botnets, and fake artists stealing money from the pool, and Spotify doing zilch about it because they aren’t motivated to.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by fluffy »

Right, and record labels don’t care because the botnets increase the benefit to them as well (since they’re the ones who set up the revenue sharing system in the first place, because it already benefitted them).

Spotify REALLY needs to move to a system where the revenue generated by a user directly gets shared based on the artists they listen to. That would fix ALL of the above problems. But they don’t want to, or can’t, because of their major label contracts. But they’ve also used the “what about free users and their ad revenue?” as an excuse in the past, but like... free users still can have their specific ad revenue tracked... or ad revenue can go into a separate pool that gets the global playcount-based sharing, or something, anything which makes it so that if someone pays $10/month and listens to nothing but Octothorpe, Octothorpe gets all of the $7.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by fluffy »

Lunkhead wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:24 am
The next part is about their revenue and revenue model and operating costs. I think that's getting more to the heart of the problem but I have wait till later to post more on that.
This was the entire reason why I posted the video and it’s a bit silly that you’ve written several pages’ worth of text on the introductory parts that weren’t about that and then brushed off the whole video. Please watch and comment on the rest of it.

I agree that the first part is just a basic discussion on what long-tail economics is about and the whole “most musicians don’t make the music back” argument is pretty dumb, BTW.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by jb »

This is craaaazy tho: https://m.youtube.com/results?sp=mAEA&s ... farm+setup

That’s a YouTube search for “phone farm setup”.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by fluffy »

Yeah. I have to admit I'm pretty tempted to set one up with the random Android devices I have sitting around. Might as well take advantage of the broken payment model in protest.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by Lunkhead »

I just ran out of time to keep watching and replying. Pardon me, I had life to deal with. :roll:
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by Caravan Ray »

Lunkhead wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:27 am
Pandora
Not available here. Fuck Pandora.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by fluffy »

Looks like Songtradr is doing their part to try to combat the streaming fraud problem. Not clear if this is something the platforms themselves are trying to fix or if this is just them being aspirational:

https://blog.songtradr.com/what-is-song ... cation-id/
https://blog.songtradr.com/artificial-s ... heres-why/
https://support.songtradr.com/hc/en-us/ ... -Activity-
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by Lunkhead »

I can't speak for other platforms but Pandora does what it can to stop fraudulent streams. We don't have many people tasked to it though sadly. Platforms ought to care because it means paying royalties to labels for spins that don't help the platform at all. Since streaming is a negative-margin business anyway a real business (ie not Spotify, who apparently can go on forever losing money somehow) would need to try to minimize these spins because they represent all cost and no benefit.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by Lunkhead »

Personally I'm at least as pissed off at the investment community for enabling Spotify. Spotify set the price point for on-demand streaming unsustainably low to hyper charge their growth, and the investment community has been rewarding them for that growth for over a decade. Spotify can never be profitable unless they raise their subscription fees substantially (2x maybe?). That's created an environment where the only possible competitors who can have streaming services that might survive long term are the Apples/Amazons/Googles/etc. who can afford to offer it as a permanent loss leader. Any "independent" streaming service who hasn't gotten Spotify's magic blessing from the investment community to lose money forever is doomed. Personally I think eventually Spotify will fall too and we'll be left with only shitty options from Apple/Amazon/Google/etc.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by ujnhunter »

Lunkhead wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:40 am
Personally I think eventually Spotify will fall too and we'll be left with only shitty options from Apple/Amazon/Google/etc.
I just buy my music and don't worry about any of these shitty streaming services. Support the artists I want to support and stream my own music on Plex. I either buy from Bandcamp or Amazon (physical with Auto-Rip) if not available on Bandcamp.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by fluffy »

ujnhunter wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:13 am
Lunkhead wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:40 am
Personally I think eventually Spotify will fall too and we'll be left with only shitty options from Apple/Amazon/Google/etc.
I just buy my music and don't worry about any of these shitty streaming services. Support the artists I want to support and stream my own music on Plex. I either buy from Bandcamp or Amazon (physical with Auto-Rip) if not available on Bandcamp.
Same here. Problem is, most people don't. :(
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by fluffy »

wow, they’re not even PRETENDING to have artists’ interests at heart anymore:

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2021/0 ... er-stream/

When they call artists “entitled” for wanting to get even a penny per stream? And say outright that Spotify isn’t about getting artists paid? Wow, just wow.

Also from that article I learned that Apple Music now pays a penny per stream, so like… maybe if you want to use a streaming service, use Apple Music.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by ujnhunter »

“The problem is this: Spotify was created to solve a problem. The problem was this: piracy and music distribution. The problem was to get artists’ music out there. The problem was not to pay people money.” So... it's still piracy except now Spotify is making money from it instead of the Artists? Sounds like piracy was fine for "getting the music out there". In the words (probably) of the Great Caravan Ray, this guy sounds like a "wanker".

Edit: So the solution is... all artists should pull their music from Spotify, no?
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by crumpart »

I’m sure Caravan Ray has done some interesting things in life, but I’m not sure we can credit him with the term “wanker”.

But, yeah, that Spotify dude is definitely a fucken wanker.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by Caravan Ray »

Its true. I invented wanking. It is one of my greatest achievements.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

Post by crumpart »

Etched in my memory forever is the exact moment that my brother had to explain exactly what "wanker" meant, then, subsequently what "masturbation" meant, to my very innocent mother after hearing the chants directed at Richard Hadlee at a cricket game in the 80s.
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Re: Fuck Spotify even more

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That’s SIR Richard Hadlee to you, thank you very much. Probably one of my greatest students.
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