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Streaming Music is Ripping You Off

nwgguy

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#43
Re: Except for Paul McCartney (#1 or 2) and Elton John (#11 or 12).
I doubt they made most of their fortune from "record" sales -- though it helps owning the label. Playlists are more of an advertisement for the artist, and fans go to see them at concerts, which are much more profitable.
 

mendoo

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#44
As for streaming music, I like to use a tool to help me so that I can listen to music offline while there is no data connection. The tool I use is called Music Recording Programs for Windows, which can record and download music and audio you play on your computer from many sources. The audio it records is with high audio quality and then you can edit the music as you like. I usually use it to download SoundCloud music, Deezer and others. With it, I can freely download and listen to music on the go.
 

BDWoody

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#46
As for streaming music, I like to use a tool to help me so that I can listen to music offline while there is no data connection. The tool I use is called Music Recording Programs for Windows, which can record and download music and audio you play on your computer from many sources. The audio it records is with high audio quality and then you can edit the music as you like. I usually use it to download SoundCloud music, Deezer and others. With it, I can freely download and listen to music on the go.
Isn't that copyright infringement?
 

Sergei

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#47
Isn't that copyright infringement?
It is. Believe me, I investigated this in depth.

Legally, music is allowed to be stored on a device by using one of the official apps, which performs at least these mandatory functions:

(1) Encrypts music stored on the device.
(2) Ensures compliance with allowed maximum duration of storing (usually one billing cycle).
(3) Enables revocation of storing license on demand, even before the maximum duration expires.
(4) Periodically reports back to the streaming provider which songs were played, and how many times.

I recommend removing all mentions of using audio interception software from all systems of record, not only public. Otherwise, you are documenting an act which could be punishable by a fine between $200 and $150,000 currently in the USA, per each infringed song. Sooner or later, this time bomb may explode.

Especially dangerous is playing a song thus captured during an event where participants are paying for attending the event, no matter how small the attendance fee is. This is considered a commercial use, and is punishable to the full extent, regardless of the amount of money collected by the event organizers.
 

Sergei

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#48
"If you subscribe to a subscription music service such as Spotify or Apple Music you probably pay $10 a month. And if you are like most people, you probably do so believing your money goes to the artists you listen to. Unfortunately, you are wrong.

The reality is only some of your money is paid to the artists you listen to. The rest of your money (and it’s probably most of your money) goes somewhere else. That “somewhere else” is decided by a small group of subscribers who have gained control over your money thanks to a mathematical flaw in how artist royalties are calculated. This flaw cheats real artists with real fans, rewards fake artists with no fans, and perhaps worst of all communicates to most streaming music subscribers a simple, awful, message: Your choices don’t count, and you don’t matter."

https://medium.com/cuepoint/streaming-music-is-ripping-you-off-61dc501e7f94
Sharky Laguana is right. The music labels managed to leverage their money and catalogs to create monetary advantage for the artists that sign up with them. Their major weapon is Spotify: I heard the founder and CEO saying in an interview that he considers Spotify to be not as much an independent company as a technology provider for the major labels.

Yes, Spotify makes money on each song streamed, yet the copyright owners are making much more. What the labels provide is marketing and advertising. This steers the flows of money from the aggregated pools of Spotify and other streaming providers to the select few musicians who are actively promoted by the labels.

This is not a "mathematical flaw", this is a very deliberate arrangement. At some point, Deezer was working on implementing a fair royalties distribution algorithm, yet I haven't heard about it done yet. My guess is that the major labels can easily stop such attempts on the part of major streaming vendors by threatening to cut them off their catalogs.

To counteract that, some musicians are considering only distributing their new songs via systems linked to blockchain, so that the creators are paid predictably and reliably for each streaming, with only a reasonable fee deducted: http://read.tidal.com/article/imogen-heap-and-the-blockchain-revolution. Only time will tell to what degree that movement will succeed.

A more recent update on the subject: https://www.theringer.com/tech/2019...-music-streaming-service-royalty-payout-model.
 
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#49
I have friends who do Jazz, World Music, Medieval Music. None of them streams, when you are in a "niche"
(no matter how good and blessed you are) , you will get nothing. For them, it is better to press CDs and
sell them on their own (when giving concerts or over their websites) or by contracting a (small) label
that organizes tours and sends Compact Siscs to reviewers. Many of the small labels avoid streaming as well.
 

graz_lag

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#51
Isn't that copyright infringement?
But I live in France ... What the F..K do I know? :cool:
Long life to Audio-Recorder for Linux!
 

audimus

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#52
This was a very poorly done, sensationalized, and link bait article.
It is very well known that not a lot of the money goes to artists from streaming companies. Who doesn't already know that?
There have been tons of articles about it for years. The same thing happened with record companies.
Secondly they act as if all streaming companies use the exact same calculations which is all wrong and is very easy to find out if you are reading real news not link bait web sites like Medium.
Google it.
For example this article;
https://9to5mac.com/2017/03/30/music-streaming-artist-payout-rates/

"The latest RIAA report shares positive news as far as Apple is concerned. In terms of payments to music creators per 1,000 streams, Apple comes out well ahead of Spotify and YouTube. Apple pays between $12 and $15 per 1,000 streams, whereas Spotify pays around $7 per 1,000 streams, and YouTube pays around $1. The RIAA notes that what’s really hindering the music industry from growth is the low payouts from services like YouTube, which uses a “legal loophole” to pay such a low rate."
So many things wrong with the above. 9to5mac is an access journalism site that caters to positives of Apple and spreading their narrative to get access to inside info from Apple. Medium is a publishing site that does not influence what individual authors write.

But more important, you are using the same false logic narrative streaming services use and explicitly pointed out in the article. The point being fallacy of averages. The industry touts average numbers (same problem with AppStore model or the ridesharing company model) but that does not say anything about how the distribution happens within the group. The article points to the flaw in the computation of the distribution these companies use by pooling subscriptions that makes it unfair to many of its participants. You can make it fair while keeping the same total/average payouts.

It has nothing to do with the differences in the average pay outs of these services.
 

Sergei

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#53
The article points to the flaw in the computation of the distribution these companies use by pooling subscriptions that makes it unfair to many of its participants. You can make it fair while keeping the same total/average payouts.
Making it fair - in a free-market sense - has a potential of drastically increasing payoffs to independent artists, while bankrupting major labels. The major labels consider the existing model fair, because without them agreeing to provide their catalogs the flat-fee streaming model as we know it today would not be feasible. However, there are reasons to believe that the contemporary streaming model won't stay unchanged forever.

A streaming provider pays to owners of music, not necessarily to the music creators. Many of the contracts between the music creators and labels were inked in the era of physical media distribution. The media manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and sales had huge overhead. Thus, the creator's cut had to be small. Depending on how the contracts were structured decades back, in the old system a musician could be getting a decent share of ongoing royalties (super-stars and their estates), a pittance (a lucky few), or nothing at all (95% of "salaried" and "bulk pay" musicians in old days).

The major labels are not only interested in, but their very survival depends on deflecting the money flowing from the aggregated pools collected by streaming providers to the contractual payoffs that benefit the labels. Smaller labels and independent artists are interested in, and once again, their very survival depends on, changing this model of royalties distribution.

History of printed press hints on what will happen eventually: the contemporary major labels will diminish in power, while new, much more efficient networked/virtual labels will rise, yet the transition will be far from smooth.
 

audimus

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#54
History of printed press hints on what will happen eventually: the contemporary major labels will diminish in power, while new, much more efficient networked/virtual labels will rise, yet the transition will be far from smooth.
I agree with you but this is a bit more complicated than the printing press history.

The anti-trust enquiry into companies, in particular Apple, to see if they are using monopolistic power to prop up policies that eventually results in higher cost to consumers (it does if the major labels are driving the policy) and penalizes other suppliers stifling competition (it does if it shifts their “earnings” to major labels), can be a game changer.

Apple is using its platform breadth and locked in audience to get away with this policy, whether it satisfies the bar for monopolistic practice is not so clear. Spotify et al can get way with the same as long as their major competitor is not changing that model. But they cannot continue with it if Apple changes the model.

But, it has also become political. President Trump can, all on his own, given his style so far, decide whether the DoJ will or will not rule against Apple and if it will ask for divestiture of its content business from its hardware business. This is the biggest threat to Apple at the moment. Hence presumably why Tim Cook is having multiple meetings with President Trump this year under the tariff pretense. They will need to strike a mutually beneficial agreement for the anti-trust enquiry into Apple to be called off or to find Apple not violating any anti-trust provisions. I am sure Tim Cook is trying his best to come up with something that will satisfy the President without antagonizing part of his customer base for appeasing President Trump.

Other than that, it will take an unlikely major revolt by independent creators who are not organized at all to start an alternative. Without major label participation, such an alternative is not financially viable. Shaming by Apple’s consumers based on articles like this can lead to PR problems for Apple that can lead to some moves towards fairness at least in optics if not reality.
 

Sergei

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#55
I agree with you but this is a bit more complicated than the printing press history.

The anti-trust enquiry into companies, in particular Apple, to see if they are using monopolistic power to prop up policies that eventually results in higher cost to consumers (it does if the major labels are driving the policy) and penalizes other suppliers stifling competition (it does if it shifts their “earnings” to major labels), can be a game changer.

Apple is using its platform breadth and locked in audience to get away with this policy, whether it satisfies the bar for monopolistic practice is not so clear. Spotify et al can get way with the same as long as their major competitor is not changing that model. But they cannot continue with it if Apple changes the model.

But, it has also become political. President Trump can, all on his own, given his style so far, decide whether the DoJ will or will not rule against Apple and if it will ask for divestiture of its content business from its hardware business. This is the biggest threat to Apple at the moment. Hence presumably why Tim Cook is having multiple meetings with President Trump this year under the tariff pretense. They will need to strike a mutually beneficial agreement for the anti-trust enquiry into Apple to be called off or to find Apple not violating any anti-trust provisions. I am sure Tim Cook is trying his best to come up with something that will satisfy the President without antagonizing part of his customer base for appeasing President Trump.

Other than that, it will take an unlikely major revolt by independent creators who are not organized at all to start an alternative. Without major label participation, such an alternative is not financially viable. Shaming by Apple’s consumers based on articles like this can lead to PR problems for Apple that can lead to some moves towards fairness at least in optics if not reality.
Apple was cut off from the flat-monthly-fee music streaming business for the duration of crucial Spotify growth period. Back then, if the labels licensed their catalogs to Apple in such a way that Apple could make a profit, Spotify's IPO, at the time when its streams were 87% powered by the major labels, may not have happened. Apple had to buy MOG, through Beats, to equalize the situation. You know this story, right?

In its first 13 years of existence, Spotify has been profitable in only two quarters. Only now it is slowly moving toward meaningful profitability. This is a big-stakes, big-investments, long-duration play. Apple is just one of the players. I don't believe consumers are locked into a particular streaming provider: I have used Soundiiz to transfer the playlists (no affiliation other than being a satisfied customer).
 

Wombat

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#56
I agree with you but this is a bit more complicated than the printing press history.

The anti-trust enquiry into companies, in particular Apple, to see if they are using monopolistic power to prop up policies that eventually results in higher cost to consumers (it does if the major labels are driving the policy) and penalizes other suppliers stifling competition (it does if it shifts their “earnings” to major labels), can be a game changer.

Apple is using its platform breadth and locked in audience to get away with this policy, whether it satisfies the bar for monopolistic practice is not so clear. Spotify et al can get way with the same as long as their major competitor is not changing that model. But they cannot continue with it if Apple changes the model.

But, it has also become political. President Trump can, all on his own, given his style so far, decide whether the DoJ will or will not rule against Apple and if it will ask for divestiture of its content business from its hardware business. This is the biggest threat to Apple at the moment. Hence presumably why Tim Cook is having multiple meetings with President Trump this year under the tariff pretense. They will need to strike a mutually beneficial agreement for the anti-trust enquiry into Apple to be called off or to find Apple not violating any anti-trust provisions. I am sure Tim Cook is trying his best to come up with something that will satisfy the President without antagonizing part of his customer base for appeasing President Trump.

Other than that, it will take an unlikely major revolt by independent creators who are not organized at all to start an alternative. Without major label participation, such an alternative is not financially viable. Shaming by Apple’s consumers based on articles like this can lead to PR problems for Apple that can lead to some moves towards fairness at least in optics if not reality.
How about a big political donation or two to the big parties?
 

RayDunzl

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#57
Depending on how the contracts were structured decades back, in the old system a musician could be getting a decent share of ongoing royalties (super-stars and their estates), a pittance (a lucky few), or nothing at all (95% of "salaried" and "bulk pay" musicians in old days).
 

rwortman

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#58
I am paying for a service and receiving the service. I am not being ripped off. If the creators of the music are being ripped off, that's between them and the streaming service and/or record company. The main premise of the article is wrong. Once I give my monthly fee to Tidal, it's not my money any more so I have no claim on how Tidal spends it. As long as they allow me access to their library during that month, the contract between me and them is fulfilled. If you want to have a streaming service that has a different pay structure, start one. If you have that big a moral problem with a streaming service, don't subscribe. If you really want more money to go to the artists you like, go to their concerts and buy music from them on their web pages.
 

graz_lag

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#59
... If you have that big a moral problem with a streaming service, don't subscribe ...
I definitively pertain to the referenced category, so I subscribe to none.
I'm seeing enough farmers going bankruptcy because of the absurd pressure they receive on the prices from the supermarket chains via the food processors. :facepalm:
 

audimus

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#60
I am paying for a service and receiving the service. I am not being ripped off. If the creators of the music are being ripped off, that's between them and the streaming service and/or record company. The main premise of the article is wrong. Once I give my monthly fee to Tidal, it's not my money any more so I have no claim on how Tidal spends it. As long as they allow me access to their library during that month, the contract between me and them is fulfilled. If you want to have a streaming service that has a different pay structure, start one. If you have that big a moral problem with a streaming service, don't subscribe. If you really want more money to go to the artists you like, go to their concerts and buy music from them on their web pages.
There is also another option. Push the entities that you do business with to be more fair/ethical in their practices by exposing hidden practices that they aren’t willing to be public about as it creates bad PR. Often, that is more effective and practical than personal boycotts. This article was in that vein.

But there is also a fundamental difference in outlook. Some people look only at it as a business transaction with the entity they deal with (so, for example, blood diamonds or cheap banana/coffee/chocolate is not my problem but between the supplier and the distributor) and some look at fairness in the whole chain with the assumption that the latter is more sustainable in the long run. What one does is pretty much shaped by that outlook.
 
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