Is streaming good or bad for music and the fans?

So the current subject that won’t ever change until the next evolution of music is streaming! 

There’s many angles to this subject, in general streaming is seen as quite harsh to the artist. For example the average Spotify stream payment is something like 00.4p per stream. Although Spotify claim this isn’t the case it’s been passed round and there’s even a calculation site for their payments based on streams! Obviously this probably doesn’t give the best of impression of Spotify. But Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Prime and Pandora are the main competitors and offer similar payments according to reports. Although Tidal did pledge to pay the artists more than their competitors.

However going against this is the ease of access for fans, why buy everybody’s album when you can just stream everything you want from between £5 to £15 a month?

A perfect of example is from Joe Budden when promoting his album “rage and the machine”. He’s talking about telling his friends to buy his album but getting the response “Oh I’ve got apple music” this isn’t the type of thing that an independent artist wants to hear. Independent artists have to work a lot harder to get any  kind of money but more of what they earn is their own money in comparison to a major artist. The kind of deals on offer also differ massively in comparison to 10/15 years ago, one thing that was always profitable for the artists was touring.

I’ll use D’angelo as an example. He’s toured for years literally! but has only released 3 albums in just over 20 years. As a major label artist he could tour and take that money as his own forgetting about advances, studio/recording fees. Now a lot of artists on majors are in 360 deals, this means that the label can take a portion out of everything including touring revenue. This can affect musical output and quality of it where independents have a bit of freedom depending how tight they run their business.

On this subject the climate has changed a lot, previously we were made to wait for new projects/albums from the majority of artists. Though there was always a steady stream of music available it wasn’t coming at the prolific rate we get now. Unless of course we’re talking about the mixtape era arguably 02′ to 05′. Where G-unit took over the game, D Block were dropping at least one mixtape a month amongst others and so forth. But even in that period there might only be 2 or 3 projects max a month to be into. This gave people the opportunity to really let the music soak in and pick up elements they didn’t notice previously.

Now we are very much living in a microwave society, where you have a minute or two to process music before the next song/project drops. This is partially why my writing can be so sporadic as it’s really hard to keep up with.

As a fan is this a good thing? The fact that you’ve constantly got new music to hear? or does it prevent you from really taking the music in properly. On a first listen of an album unless it’s absolutely amazing it can be hard to really take in the vibe and the message. There’s a careful balance of this in my opinion and of course depends on the individual.

Ultimately with the changes in society I think streaming is a good thing however the system requires a lot more refinement and fairer fees for artists. We can’t slow down the advancement and evolution of social media etc so we need to adapt to it in music. Lastly on a positive, one hit that’s streamed well across platforms can be a huge break for an artist, so let’s not dismiss it completely.

Again this was another old post I revisited…. I actually started writing quite well lol. Trying to inspire myself to fully write again.



Ramblings of a music fan







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