[This is a must read post on the growing revolt against Spotify as the first known example of Orwell’s versificator. As Chris Rizik notes, Spotify and its ilk are hardly saviors of music, more like destroyers of music and any popular culture that is more than a foot wide and an inch deep and a few years old. There’s a reason why 10% of the music accounts for 90% of the revenue–and I think it’s more like 5% acccounts for 95%.]
Two events happened recently that caught my attention:
- Lil Pump, a 17 year old Miami rapper, signed an $8 million recording deal with Warner Bros.
- Around the same time, one of the leading modern soul singers in the US celebrated on social media the one millionth stream of her latest song on Spotify. Her financial haul on it? Likely around $3,000.
Though these two stories appeared unrelated, they are instructive of the strange new world of music streaming payments, and the inherent bias against soul, jazz, classical and other genres of music aimed at adult listeners….
And while there has been a lot of press about how streaming initially reduced the overall payments to record companies and artists (which has since turned around), what hasn’t been addressed as much is how streaming has changed which artists get paid. And, without a doubt, streaming has stacked the deck toward hip-hop, pop, and other genres whose listeners are teenagers and twenty-somethings.