Okay, okay. It wasn’t Spotify. That’s just the one I like to pick on.
It was really Napster that ruined things for everyone. Well, maybe not everyone. Definitely for talented, independent artists though. (Not that mainstream artists aren’t talented… they just have a tendency to hide their talents behind a facade they created when they sold out. And I don’t mean sold out of concert tickets.)
Some would say my point is arguable. That streaming services like Spotify are actually changing the game for independent artists and enabling them to have a “chance” at getting discovered. Hate to break it to you, indies. You have a better chance of getting discovered by trying out for American idol. Actually, I’d recommend making really stupid videos and posting them on YouTube if you really want to become a musical sensation. You ever see that movie The Rocker? I’ve contemplated singing naked on several occasions…
By the way, if you haven’t seen that movie, I highly recommend it. Hilarious.
Anyway, if you’re tech-savvy and know how to game the system, I suppose you could figure out how to get famous by publishing your tunes on Spotify. But for the average Joe independent artist who spends his time writing great music and refuses to spend it figuring out how to get noticed, it’s nigh impossible. As an indie on Spotify, you’re Nemo. A little clownfish with a gimpy fin, drowning in a sea of sharks.
Pardon the seemingly random analogy. Finding Nemo is my daughter’s most recent obsession. If you can’t tell, we watch a lot of movies at my house.
But I digress…
Spotify has ruined the music industry because it has made mainstream artists with big budgets and tons of fame even more famous. They’re getting all the attention and all the money while the independent artists continue to starve. Playing for pennies in cheap bars that creepy menfolk frequent often. Mainstream artists don’t need Spotify’s help. They’ve got it made. They’re signed to major record labels with huge amounts of cash and lots of pull with the right people. It’s only the super rich and the super famous who get noticed on streaming platforms. And because those people have massive followings, those streaming platforms actually pay them a pretty decent amount. Unlike independent artists who have tiny followings and make a fraction of a penny per play.
Spotify has ruined the music industry because you can pay $10 or $15 a month and listen to whatever you want, whenever you want, as often as you want. You don’t have to buy records anymore. Which means that artists who actually want to make a living must travel and tour in order to survive. That means they can’t be with their families. They’re constantly on the road living out of a suitcase, which I guess is fine if you’re single, but for someone like me, it pretty much squashes all dreams of becoming a musician. For an independent artist, this is especially daunting, because your average ticket sales won’t come close to that of major mainstream artists. Which means you’re spending months away from home just to make an average income.
What’s the solution to this problem? I don’t have one as of now. If you do, please feel free to leave a comment and share. Meanwhile, I’m off to drown my sorrows with another glass of red. Have a good night. 🙂