Really interesting article, and thanks for sharing. Yeppers, the ones who are being left out in this move to streaming overall are the musicians themselves in terms of revenue. And that makes sense, as individual contracts with recording companies have absolutely changed and became ‘watered down’ and ‘spread wide’ with the advent of streaming services today, and probably downloads before that.
Interesting to see how things have changed, ebbed and flowed, since the 70’s, but pretty much on par as what I would have guessed.Streaming services though, dang, a huge chunk today with physical medium almost non-existent in the grand picture.
Oh well, I’ll keep purchasing physical formats; problem for the artists is 99.99% of my purchases are used old recordings, and will probably remain that way for years to come (good for the small and larger resellers though). But when I think of it, many of my vinyl LP’s were purchased in the 70-80’s were used as well in the same kind of shops that have reemerged today...but, At least they had to have been purchased new at one time. Most my cassettes and CD’s on the other hand were purchased new.
I enjoy YouTube. Had a Tidal subscription but the SQ was not cutting it for me at all. Access to a large catalog was fun but much missing. I tend to buy the LP of artists I listen to a lot online. Ultimately, old analog recordings are my favorite and sound the best.
The amount of money artists make from streaming is a big problem. I don’t know how it can be solved. The boomers are on their way out. Younger generations feel that music is free (many of them, not all).
There is still a lot of money being spent on recorded music, including streaming, the artists have to band together and demand a reasonable share of it from the record companies.
The artists contribute to this problem by releasing really bad sounding music on physical formats. Many albums are poorly recorded and dynamically squashed. I listen to them through streaming and decide that I don’t want a physical copy. I won’t listen to it.
I don’t think it’s really hard to make a good sounding album, you just have to care.
It used to be the artists had to tour to promote their albums to make money. Now (COVID crisis aside) they have to record albums to promote their tours - which is how they now make money.
I guess I am in the 10% minority with my recent purchase of 4 CDs by artist Marcus King, a very good younger soul, southern rock, and blues guitarist/songwriter.
Those CDs were immediately ripped to my Antipodes server and then good to go for playing in my vehicle.
However, these days, like the trend, I purchase much, much less physical media. Except for the music I ripped to my server from my moderately large collection of formerly purchased CDs, I mostly listen to stuff available on Tidal.
I just sunk two grand into cassettes the last couple of months. Was that wrong of me? 😳
The digital side of my system is acting as an expensive paperweight on my stereo rack. I've been listening and buying strictly vinyl these days. So much more satisfying!
I didn't read the article. I listen to a lot of streamed music. It's often a gateway drug, leading to purchases of vinyl. I (used to) go to a lot of concerts. The entertainment industry seems to be particularly susceptible to the current state of the world and if you want to keep hearing the music, then it's important to support the artists if you can. If they can't make a living making music, they'll find something else to do.
I've stuck with vinyl the entire way. The great majority of music I buy is the new/er stuff on vinyl. There's plenty of early stuff that will always be there when I'm ready.
@big_greg. Exactly. Streaming leads to physical (vinyl) purchase for me. And I can't remember the last time I bought a cd. I do stream tons, though. And go to a ton of live shows.
Sorry to report, streaming is now essentially the only way I seek out new material. Whatever tiny royalty the players or composers now get from my streams will have to do. At least it's something. You got to remember, too, that buying used vinyl doesn't give an artist a penny. When I put one of my already-bought CDs or records on, they don't get a penny, either. We're once again in the old days, where musical artists have to be paid studio time or perform at venues to make a decent living. The era when a musician could sit in their house in Laurel Canyon and just wait for a check to arrive in the mail (and I knew many of them), is largely a thing of the past. You also have to shed a tear for the musical infrastructure, such as the managers & accountants, that kept track of the flow of cash. Ah, the good old days of resids!
Streaming is the door to new music to discover that I could not possibly afford to do if I was limited to buying new records or CDs.
Yes that's the way it always used to be done and how many of us ended up with an album that sucked apart from one track! I know I can't be on my own.
It's a brave new world out there with a lot of things gone but that's called progress.
We don't all want to drive that Ford Pinto too do we?
As noted, today you have to release an album to promote your tour, that is how artists make money. I feel like that has narrowed the artist choices available to us, and also has narrowed the complexity of the music available to us, certainly for more "popular" music.
I think growing up, all the local bands that sort of defined our lives, could release an album and sell enough to put food on their tables and a roof over their head, and keep crafting new music. Maybe they only released 2 or 3 albums, but often those albums hold a special spot for us, and we would go see them on the local tour that was not overly expensive. My "kids" would have a hard time identifying more than a 1 or 2 local artists who have not reached some level of international recognition.
One of the reasons a lot of the later Beatle's music is interesting is they decided to stop touring, and concentrated on creating music unconstrained by the limits of an eventual live performance. That is not possible today, though today, it would probably be acceptable to play mix a live performance mixed with recorded material, but personally I don't really see the point, especially at the cost of a concert today.
I do stream as well as buy new and used CD and Vinyl.
I did go to a lot of concerts but Covid has killed that.
I actually had two tickets to see Elton John in August at $800 a pop.
How was that for supporting the old boy!
Alas all cancelled and just got the $1600+refund from Ticketmaster to my credit card this morning.
Shame really as would have been a great show I'm sure.
Streaming should be a great thing for musicians. It's the most efficient way for them to get their music out to the public. Listeners can try all kinds of new music without having to buy a CD or LP that you may not even want to listen to all the way through once.
What I have read is that the streaming services aren't making big money either. It's the record companies that are keeping it all. The artists have to get together and find a way to cut a better deal with the record companies, or maybe find a way to go around them and deal with the streamers directly. With the availability of relatively cheap recording equipment, maybe they could do that. They have to figure something out, though.
I just saw your post from 4 monthss ago referencing Marcus King. I recently became aware of him when listening to audio stream and watching the video "Eachother" performed remotely in earlier lockdown this year with other remote artists Grace Potter, Jackson Browne, and Lucius--very nicely done with a resonant emotional vibe. I am checking out Marcus Kiing's other albums. Streaming does lend itself well to finding new music and following and listening to new artists. My music purchasing has decreased with Qobuz subscription but do still purchase music as well.
The disappearance of physical media portends the end of civilization! What will be left for future generations?
On his Release Me tour, Lyle said he never made any $ from all the hit records he had... touring was it .... pretty sure he was talking about heavy radio play and physical media sales....
But even while listening to vinyl, I can leve the streamer running 24/7/365.... try putting Shannon Curtis on repeat, she is also an artist we support thru Patreon