We have to do a project this year, for our final exam. As a theme, our group chose the advertising and sale of in the internet age. None of us are musicians, but we do care about supporting them (or well, at least I do), so I think we made a good choice.
This won't be a big thing, mind you. It's just for school, not a published scientific paper or anything.
Still, if you know any good resources, I'd be happy to check them out. Comparisons between sales on different services vs CDs? Surveys of customers? Articles detailing why Spotify is bad? All are welcome.
And if not, I'd be very glad if you gave this a boost, too. Thank you!

@Mayana « Taylor Swift's battle to perform her own music at an awards show where she was being named "Artist of the Decade" shortly after rights to her back catalog were sold to a "tycoon" whom she has a longstanding feud with.» links to

@kensanata Thank you! I hope we'll be able to fit this in somewhere. Bashing copyright was not among the goals we thought of, but that's just because we don't have much of an imagination. And I'll see about the others, but I sure am tempted now!

@Mayana Sadly, bashing copyright is my main topic when talking about the music industry... Do you remember the very first take down by Courtney Love? Must dig up a link for you.

@Mayana I also feel that there is a super good story buried in Amanda Palmer and her Kickstarter but I just can't find a good link. I remember reading one of the blogposts where she explains where all the money went (it was a Kickstarter that resulted in 1.2 million dollars, I think). You'd probably have to start looking through Wikipedia links and searching for Amanda Palmer Kickstarter. Anyway, didn't find anything in 15min of looking, unfortunately.

@kensanata Another older example is where John Fogerty was sued by his former label, Fantasy Records, for plagiarizing himself because he was supposedly plagiarizing music he wrote while in Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The label lost and Fogerty countersued for attorney's fees. That suit went all the way to the Supreme Court where he won.,_Inc.

@kensanata Awesome! Do you perhaps have a link to the post in question? Would be better to list under the sources than a blog copying it, I think.
Edit: Never mind. Just saw that the author of that post seems to be as fond of deleting old posts as we are. This'll do though, thanks!

@harald Three links! That's very kind of you. Thank you. :)

@Mayana You're welcome. Hope they're at least somewhat relevant to your assignment. There's plenty more to be found if you need. :)

@Mayana Is this about music or more about advertisement?

If advertisement I think you should look into the Mere Exposure effect also called Familiarity bias and how repetition and exposure makes us think something is true/good when it is not and how that makes us trust or not trust. This with the algorithms of social media is really combustible.

Spotify is not necessarily bad but the world walks a path where we rent rather than own.

Sorry for not offering more links.

@shellkr We are studying economics (I know, not the best choice. I didn't know what school to go into at the time, haha.), so a little bit of both, as it relates to musicians getting a decent income. Comparing sales of digital albums to those of CDs in the past, examining how much music listeners believe musicians get from subscription services (if they care at all) and comparing it with the truth, looking at the success of concerts (COVID, of course, will affect those numbers, but it will mean we can pay mention to concert streams for example) and merch (T-shirts, cups, etc.) ...
I think what you posted would fit more into general advertising practices, and there's only so much detail we can spend on those. But it looks interesting! If nothing else, I'll go read through this for my own education.

@Mayana I don't have any links but I have always heard that most musicians earn their living not by selling media but playing live and on concerts e.t.c..

I did see something not long ago that compared the streaming services and had how much per song played.. I'll see if I can find it later. Now I have to go to work. ;)

@shellkr Sounds about right. That is our theory, too.
I think I know the article you're referring to, so no worries. I already have that one bookmarked somewhere.

@𝔖𝔥𝜉𝔏𝔏𝔎𝔯 @Mayana I am a musician, albeit in the underground/unsigned part of the craft, but I do have some hard number for you if you want:

The first seven months of 2020 one of my bands have sold 797 streams for a total of 3.91 EUR. That gives about 0.005 EUR/stream. That's an average, some pays less, some pays slightly more, but most channels give something like that for each stream.

This is about the same (or slightly less) than we would be left with after selling one album for 5 EUR on bandcamp!

Now, we're an underground metal band and have not released anything since 2012. Bigger artists on the major labels may be able to get better pay than this, but I'd say most artists/musicians/bands will get about the same. Newer releases, better promotion etc will help raise the number of streams sold. You're still going to sell shitloads of streams to recoup the studio costs.

I can probably get some numbers from a few other releases I've been involved with too if you're interested. And I can share the actual sales reports we get with you too if that is of any help.

@harald @shellkr Damn, those are pretty small numbers ... not surprising, but still sad.
I would certainly look at the sales reports and ask my teammates if we can include them somewhere, if you send them. I'll see if I can find a few more such things on the internet, likely on musician blogs on such, and then perhaps we can draw some averages.


pretty small numbers ... not surprising, but still sad.

Goes a bit both ways in my opinion. The numbers are small and should probably be bigger, but at the same time it costs way less to get your music out than it used to. The risk is way smaller, and even independent niche musicians can afford it.

For underground/independent bands it was pretty much impossible to get a worldwide distribution deal before the internet streaming/download services. And even limited distribution deals would cost from several hundred to a few thousand EUR per release depending on volume and reach. Now, releasing an album to a worldwide audience on practically all streaming platforms costs about 50 EUR.

While musicians in practice don't earn money on the streaming services, they don't cost much either. It's a way to get the music out and can be as a base to earn money on touring, merchandise of even physical sales to the people you reach through them. It's not an easy way to earn a living though!

I'll send the latest sales report to you on matrix if that's ok with you.

@harald Those are some good points, some I hadn't considered. I was too focused on just the payouts, not considering how much you'd need to put in. Bookmarked!
Sure, go ahead. Thank you for telling me beforehand though; I tend to remember to check Element only once a month ... 😳

@Mayana No worries, if there's another channel that's better for you we can try that instead. Does this work better?

@harald It does, thank you.
We are only just exiting planning stage, so I can't promise anything definite yet. As I mentioned earlier, if this does get used, it's likely to be just comparing a few numbers to those from other artists/bands, to see what the average is and such. But I'll make sure to let you know more details later, as well as of course credit you appropriately.

@Mayana It's provided to you as a source, didn't expect that you would use it verbatim :) If any part of it is useful to you, that's all that matters. Good luck!

@Mayana @harald Here I found a link with similar data on what I saw before. and another one

It is however a complex issue to calculate everything. One service might give you less total streams e.t.c.. and also how often payments are made. I think Tidal had 9 month or something like that.

You need at least 150 000-200 000 streams/month to be able to live on it.

@Mayana Probably tangential to this, but Charles Perrow's mid-1980s observations on the music biz are a fave:

(Charles Perrow, Complex organizations : a critical essay, 1972, 1985. pp. 186--187.)

@dredmorbius Thank you. I read through the excerpt, and it is certainly interesting! Given the current goals we have for this paper, I'm not certain we'll be able to fit it in, but we'll see.
I'm starting to get a feeling that the theme we decided on is actually a lot more complicated than I thought. I do hope my teammates will be capable of balancing me when I send them all these links, so we don't get over our heads. :)

@Mayana If nothing else: A framing structure for your analysis and good citation to drop into the piece. Perrow himself cites severral further works.

@Mayana I suspect @luka might have something to say.

Even if your work would not be a "published scientific paper," whatever you create might help make a difference. Good luck with your project! :blobfoxthumbsup:

@pfm I thought of the same thing, actually. Already sent him a DM!

@Mayana Zoë Keating has written about how badly the streaming services pay:

She has also revealed her download and CD royalties:

I bet she'd be happy to help with your project.

@mathew Amazing articles, thank you!
Perhaps she would. But I'm not sure if I'd want to contact her directly, to be honest. I am not familiar with her music, so I can't use "I'm a huge fan of yours!" as a persuasion tactic. And besides, I think it's best that for interviews, we focus first on musicians from our country (Slovenia). We already have one confirmed one, and a plan of a few other people we can ask.

@mathew ✅ @Mayana Interesting. Seems she has even worse deals than what we get, possibly because there's a label or publisher involved as well. They all take a cut of the pie.

I didn't get into roalties in my previous replies, but that's a complex, long and thorny chapter in itself. Generally a system rigged to make money for the popular artists at the expense of less popular ones.
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