ROYALTIES SUCK, MUSIC SALES ARE DOWN, PIRACY IS RAMPANT AND OTHER LINK-BAIT TERMS FOR MUSIC PUNDITS

The royalties artists get on streaming services are pitiful! Mere slivers of pennies and a million plays barely buys you a pizza. These need to go up because music sales are in the toilet. Did you see that iTunes sales are down 1% this year? Panic in the streets! The real scourge is piracy which, a decade on, is still left unchecked and easily found with a Google search! So, your music is being stolen, not being purchased, and then devalued heavily on streaming services.

Sound like a familiar refrain? Sure, many artists and music business pundits have been spouting off about this stuff for awhile now. As well they should to keep the debate healthy…and grow their own business. Wait, say what?

A new MIDEM white label report called Content Marketing In The Music Industry, put together by UK agency Venture Harbour, found that those are the Top 3 topics to generate social sharing and backlinks to the author’s site.
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This is not a surprising finding to me. I’ve tried to write on some issues that I felt were intelligent and important and even downright helpful to the artists and the industry. Yet these posts seldom get close to the traffic I receive when I talk about Spotify royalties.

In a lot of ways, this is a variation of the “Culture Of Fear” that permeates news broadcasting. If you watch the evening news, you’d think we’re living in some of the most violent and dangerous times. Instead, Chicago has the fewest murders since 1965, New York’s murder rate is the lowest since the 50s, and that we are likely living in the least violent time in mankind’s history.

This is not to say we should be complacent about artist rights and royalty rates. This is the music business, after all. It’s just that in the aggregate whole, things are much better than what pundits are saying. It just seems that it’s in their best business interest to continually tell you otherwise.

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3 Responses to “ROYALTIES SUCK, MUSIC SALES ARE DOWN, PIRACY IS RAMPANT AND OTHER LINK-BAIT TERMS FOR MUSIC PUNDITS”

  1. Chuck Hughes December 9, 2013 at 11:47 am # Reply

    Agreed. I get many responses for posts about Spotify, and zero responses when I post about the opportunity in synch licensing.

  2. Darrell December 10, 2013 at 7:30 am # Reply

    I think part of it comes from the inability of most people to wrap their heads around bigger concepts. For the same reason we point fingers and call ‘racist’ constantly, or argue about abortion. The meat of any situation is always more complex than the easy digestible version, and I think the same applies here. There are truths that are easily ignored, like the fact that musicians have been grossly overpaid for several decades, raking in more than pilots and brain surgeons…people that actually have a reason for very high pay. And then there are the record labels that do half the work they used to and claim the same high percentage of royalty. This point is important because rather than go after them, even musicians have been tricked into focusing their hate on streaming services. I think it’s just the way our media culture and big business work together. If anything, I think it’s great to let advertisers pay. I like free music. I utilize pandora’s free version and torch music as well. And I don’t feel bad about it. But i do feel bad for all those people getting their panties in a knot over nothing.

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