Big Music Needs to Be Broken Up to Save the Industry

Thought folks might be interested in this article that went up a few hours ago.

Also, kind of related…


Thank you for sharing. Re “Big Music Needs to Be Broken Up to Save the Industry”

Two parts struck me. The first I knew. > Per-stream revenues are often microscopic among all streaming services. YouTube [pays the least. To earn its monthly minimum wage ($1,472), an artist needs more than 2 million streams. Spotify doesn’t pay much more; according to the Trichordist, an average midsize independent label can expect to make around a third of a penny per Spotify stream.<

But the last paragraph scares me in that artists can only hope that the one wealthy buyer scooping up and gaining majority control of independent venues will altruistically act in the best interest of the music ecosystem.

Marc Geiger, Lollapalooza cofounder and former head of music at talent agency WME, announced that he had been gathering tens of millions of dollars in investor cash for a project he called SaveLive. It was, in essence, a private-sector rescue fund for independent venues on the brink of closing. Only, under Geiger’s plans, the clubs would become his; an investment from SaveLive requires club owners to turn over a majority 51 percent stake. SaveLive’s ownership demands make the venture look less like charity and more like the kind of corporate rollup operation Live Nation has been running for years.


Yeah, some of it makes for pretty grim reading, but also starting to feel a lot more hopeful that music communities and enthusiasts will look for alternatives and as @Hakanto pointed out in this thread, not just from the co-op and fairness viewpoints, but because the alternative looks more fun, sociable, human and isn’t forcing people to make crappy compromises around things. :slightly_smiling_face:


Following the above articles, this appeared today in my inbox (I think the article stays up for 48 hours). Sidestepping the downbeat title, one of the closing paragraphs kind of backs up the above:

“Instead of trying to fix something that was broken to begin with, maybe the music community would be better served by focusing its efforts on building something new. Perhaps that’s some sort of Web3 platform or maybe it’s something else entirely, but whatever it is, it’s more to be more equitable if artists get in on the ground floor.”


Watched this today and lots to take in, but interesting section about the foregrounding of music “industry” narratives above “community”, plus many of the myths around success and resilience. Again, it feels like some of the discussion points link to the articles above.

Intriguing developpement from Tidal to kind of go the Resonate way (“the more you listen the more you pay”) except in a shit “One winner takes it all” fashion that’s presented as super exciting (what could be possibly more exciting for an artist than to be put in competition every month vs all the other artists their listeners appreciate and try to be that one lucky person that their audience listened to a little bit more ! EXCITMENT !)

If I’m understanding this correctly, it’s even more interesting that this is happening under the radar only through Distrokid distribution, I’ll try to find if other services propose this but it’s clearly presented as a collaborative endeavour between Distrokid and Tidal (which, granted, doesn’t give much garanties it could just be a marketting stunt for something Tidal hopes to rollout more generally to distinguish its offer from competing platforms).

It does absolutely feels like a disguised test to gather datas about how such a system would work in terms of revenues, using independant artists as a petri dish, since I don’t think that many big acts use Distrokids to release their music on streaming services. (And big acts from major labels are absolutely the most likely to be “most-listened” to by an overwhelming number of streaming consummers, which mean I’m expecting a very low percentage of independant artists to actually be concerned by such a system, so it’s not even that threatening as a datametrics test)


This is interesting, and I think it’s good to see a bigger streaming platform going down this route.

I do agree that with this only being available for hifi plus subscribers (maybe like not even 1/3 of their total subscribers?), they are still putting company profit over artists, especially since it’s only 10% of the total $20 subscription amount per month (so the top artist could get like $2/month from their top listeners), in addition to what I think are additional user-centric royalty payments from these accounts too?

Either way, I think the big take aways for me are…

  • Other streaming services are trying to become more user-centric & artist-friendly which means more competition for Resonate, but good stuff overall.
  • Despite their efforts, their offers seem to pale in comparison to what Resonate offers for supporting artists.
  • These companies are still creating systems that put themselves above creators and listeners, so Resonate’s Co-op structure and stream2own setup are still a big advantage in my eyes.
  • As more services go down this similar path, Resonate will need to continuously show its value as both a legitimate streaming service, and a cooperative community space to stand out

…just some thoughts to keep in mind as we gear up for the relaunch, and thanks for sharing!

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