i hate this guy (1 Viewer)

Cormcolash

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egg_

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I believe the answer is yes, the middle has been ripped out and you now are either making zero or millions with almost no one inbetween.
AFAICS it's globalisation that has hurt the middle class musician, not spotify. We all have access to all the music now, and because music is inherently social we converge on the same set of artists in a way what we couldn't when product was physical and limited by geography.

And tbh I'm not sure I believe that there are no middle-class musicians anymore. Yes there are loads of musicians who used to make a living and don't anymore, but that was the case long before Spotify. Yer man Steve Benjamins says he makes $800 a month from 70k listeners. Obvs that's not a living, but there's lots of neo-classical piano people you've never heard of like Jesse Brown and Tom Merrall around the 500k listeners-a-month mark, which is a solid middle class living if Benjamins's numbers are typical (and they don't have labels taking a cut).
 

Lili Marlene

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AFAICS it's globalisation that has hurt the middle class musician, not spotify. We all have access to all the music now, and because music is inherently social we converge on the same set of artists in a way what we couldn't when product was physical and limited by geography.
All true but hardly a reason to start applauding Spotify for cheering on and encouraging the dying of the light.

And tbh I'm not sure I believe that there are no middle-class musicians anymore. Yes there are loads of musicians who used to make a living and don't anymore, but that was the case long before Spotify. Yer man Steve Benjamins says he makes $800 a month from 70k listeners. Obvs that's not a living, but there's lots of neo-classical piano people you've never heard of like Jesse Brown and Tom Merrall around the 500k listeners-a-month mark, which is a solid middle class living if Benjamins's numbers are typical (and they don't have labels taking a cut).
Yah, good point. I suppose i'm mourning the era of "pop music" (defined very broadly) being cutting edge, or even having the possibility of being cutting edge, in CULTURE. Now it's just background music for everyone's atomised "my life is a film and these artists provide my soundtrack for me" - music as a service - as opposed to artists having something to say and expressing it - music as an art. We'll still get music by obsessive weirdos who do it for the love of it but the sweet spot for me was always the obsessive weirdo who also wanted to get paid.
 
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egg_

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Now it's just background music for everyone's atomised "my life is a film and these artists provide my soundtrack for me" - music as a service - as opposed to artists having something to say and expressing it - music as an art. We'll still get music by obsessive weirdos who do it for the love of it but the sweet spot for me was always the obsessive weirdo who also wanted to get paid.
Yes yes, thrice yes. Artists who were weird AND had actual hits. God be with the days
 

Burgerbarbaby

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I think people call themselves artists with no understanding of the word. Do the job. If someone else likes it then maybe they'll call it art.

Of my musician friends, the ones who are making a living are busy hawking stuff to publishers, doing TV / movie / theatre work. A few are making money doing loads of sessions or teaching / lecturing. One (extremely accomplished) guy makes library music on spec, some of which has seemingly randomly turned a good deal of money. That's how you do it. Making money from streaming seems like pie in the sky to me.

I wrote a piece a few months ago for a dance show. I liked it a lot, so I pitched it to a games company for a youtube trailer they were making. It didn't make the cut in the end, but it was a fascinating process. My price had to come down to how much the company would have to pay for an equivalent amount of library music. Sobering. But at least there was a reasonable metric for valuing what I had done.

Edit: The music for the dance show earned a fee too, a fairly standard amount which would be similar to what every other professional - designer, performer, even choregrapher - would earn.
 

Lili Marlene

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The intersect between art and commerce is a fascinating thing, some of my favourite songs were written out of pure cynicism and for a buck, but someone, somewhere along the line, saw a way of making it magic.

I'm neither a fan of those who think art jumps from the artist in a moment of pure inspiration and it's made by the special "artistic" person who just see things in a different way, nor of those who think it's just "the work" and all you have to do is "the work" and if you're not doing "the work" then it's a personal, moral failing and you just didn't work hard enough.

Just gonna log out of my job and go be "creative" for 2 hours, precisely.
 

Burgerbarbaby

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Sorry @Burgerbarbaby that came out a bit aggressive, I was mostly musing aloud not attacking what you were saying.
:) Ha! No, I gotcha! The musical world divides itself into people who consider themselves artists and those who do not. The former are - with a few exceptions - to be avoided, in my experience, both in terms of their working process and their finished output. There are loads of music codewords which kindof indicate that a downer is on the way, "Artist" is one of them.
 

ann post

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People haven't a fucking clue what they want, no one knew they wanted MTV until they were presented with it. In the early 90s they artificially pushed "content," i.e. singles, across the airwaves to keep the top 20 changing as quickly as possible so that people would keep purchasing the product.

Last time I looked several studies found that most people want the same thing again and again for ages and ages, which is why the current streaming model leads to single hits (Get Lucky, Uptown Funk, THE BEATLES) that last for years and years rather than a few weeks. It suits the corporations who keep an income coming in, which is all they want, and it gives the people, who haven't a fucking clue, the idea that they are getting "democracy" and democracy = good.

The CEO of Spotify is a bean counter working hard at the face of exploitative capitalism that is objectively making the world worse, he should get back to it and stop trying to Ted Talk his way into convincing us that he has anything of real value to offer the world.
Well I'd see it like people had to choose between myspace/lastfm/spotify/applemusic/soundcloud/bandcamp or torrents and spotify is winning. If they weren't it would be tim cook, or soundcloud or whatever so to me its a bit 'cut off one head, two grow back'.

I still think the music press, or lack thereof has had a huge role in this. There is occasionally a valid piece of writing on the discrepancies but like, what if they'd all gone with pure black covers the day the almost-no income for musicians streaming services became dominant, what if they'd run negative press on any distro that wasn't putting artists first? Nope, embeds, advertorials, PR copypaste and rotating an ever decreasing gene pool on the front cover. Obvs the horse has bolted but I know young musicians are gonna use whatever gets their music under as many noses as possible and old rich musicians are gonna winge about it on twitter.

On the Daniel EK ted talk what i mean about him being the messenger is that he's ina position where he sees mad data about how people listen all the time, he has a robot army that is trying to maximise it and he's been competing in digital music for years and years. Even if it was apple/other mixes are what people love now. The album was an art form borne of a format war that spat out the 12inch, the tape, the CD and it was the battleground for a few decades, but pre- 12 inch the single was king, ('album' actually referes to mutiple discs coming packaged in a hard copy photo album style container). The spotify is the format now, and if you want to make music for now that the theatre of engagement. Of course arty weirdoes like me can cling to an art form that is kinda antiquitated essentially for our own enjoyment, but if I was me and 16 I'm not sure i'd give a toss about making 'complete albums'.

So I kinda mean he's just spelling out what the game is now, and old people dont like it, but they are also not equipped to change it.
 

Lili Marlene

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Well I'd see it like people had to choose between myspace/lastfm/spotify/applemusic/soundcloud/bandcamp or torrents and spotify is winning. If they weren't it would be tim cook, or soundcloud or whatever so to me its a bit 'cut off one head, two grow back'.

I still think the music press, or lack thereof has had a huge role in this. There is occasionally a valid piece of writing on the discrepancies but like, what if they'd all gone with pure black covers the day the almost-no income for musicians streaming services became dominant, what if they'd run negative press on any distro that wasn't putting artists first? Nope, embeds, advertorials, PR copypaste and rotating an ever decreasing gene pool on the front cover. Obvs the horse has bolted but I know young musicians are gonna use whatever gets their music under as many noses as possible and old rich musicians are gonna winge about it on twitter.
The music press was gutted and killed circa napster as well, it's been limping along for 20 years being held up by ShockWaves and Conde Naste or the like, any independence was gone long before Spotify became a thing. You won't find anything challenging their paymasters in any mainstream outlet.

On the Daniel EK ted talk what i mean about him being the messenger is that he's ina position where he sees mad data about how people listen all the time, he has a robot army that is trying to maximise it and he's been competing in digital music for years and years. Even if it was apple/other mixes are what people love now. The album was an art form borne of a format war that spat out the 12inch, the tape, the CD and it was the battleground for a few decades, but pre- 12 inch the single was king, ('album' actually referes to mutiple discs coming packaged in a hard copy photo album style container). The spotify is the format now, and if you want to make music for now that the theatre of engagement. Of course arty weirdoes like me can cling to an art form that is kinda antiquitated essentially for our own enjoyment, but if I was me and 16 I'm not sure i'd give a toss about making 'complete albums'.
Both you and egg have attacked me for my doomed quest to save "the album format", which I haven't said a thing about. What I have said is that Spotify is a corrosive force that gives people what they think they want but people haven't a fucking clue what they want. Streaming is not the same as singles or we'd be in a glorious age for singles right now, which we are not.

So I kinda mean he's just spelling out what the game is now, and old people dont like it, but they are also not equipped to change it.
Capitalist Realism strikes again.
 

egg_

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Both you and egg have attacked me for my doomed quest to save "the album format", which I haven't said a thing about.
Have I? Sorry, I don't even remember (edit: but sorry if I did, I probably was just blathering on and didn't mean it personally). I don't think @ann post is attacking you, he's just musing about stuff ... but hey maybe I'm wrong

I agree that people don't know what they want, but what they want is revealed by the sum of their choices, and that's what Daniel Ek can see
 

Lili Marlene

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Have I? Sorry, I don't even remember (edit: but sorry if I did, I probably was just blathering on and didn't mean it personally). I don't think @ann post is attacking you, he's just musing about stuff ... but hey maybe I'm wrong
Ah I mean attacking as in a decent thumped argument, a good thing!

I agree that people don't know what they want, but what they want is revealed by the sum of their choices, and that's what Daniel Ek can see
And therefore he's the last person who should be weighing on on art or taste because he can't do anything except make the circles and thoughts and vision and, you know, all the things that make life worth living, smaller and smaller in scope.

Is there something shameful about realism now?
It's kind of an ironic phrase, the "realism" is the created reality of not even being able to imagine an alternative.
 

ann post

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It was more a reflection -
Daniel Ek is saying 'dont spend 4 years on a record, release stuff all the time' - which in the twiter reactions was totally instantly taken as 'Ek is killing the album / ek is anti album' etc - so i was reacting to Ek more than you.

I do agree that the present is anti album financially but also see the album as a creative trip that was formed by the format wars just as the present day format of release loads was. Old musicians were bitching about this a fair bit on twitter. Young musicians a bit more like lol heres my new single.
 

egg_

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therefore he's the last person who should be weighing on on art or taste
Has he actually done that? I assumed he was just saying "fans stay more engaged if you release smaller pieces of work more often rather than larger pieces of work less often" (useful information for someone like me for whom recording an album is a massive undertaking), but I haven't actually been arsed watching the talk.
 

Lili Marlene

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Has he actually done that? I assumed he was just saying "fans stay more engaged if you release smaller pieces of work more often rather than larger pieces of work less often" (useful information for someone like me for whom recording an album is a massive undertaking), but I haven't actually been arsed watching the talk.
Maybe what's actually bugging me is that I can't help but respond to that with anything but "well, duh". I mean it's 2020, people have been saying this for over a decade. Wow, such a genius businessman, must listen, he is worth a lot of money. Up next: Elon Musk breaks the news about the vinyl revival.
 
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Cornu Ammonis

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Up next: Elon Musk breaks the news about the vinyl revival.
In a related twist, Elon Musk Musksplained some neuroscience to a really well-regarded science communicator for neuroscience, then followed up with his tweet with a plug for his AMAZING NEW NEUROSCIENCE THING that measures neuronal signalling in real-time. The catch? Weโ€™ve been measuring neuronal signalling in real-time since the 60s (Iโ€™ve been doing it for 15 years, whereโ€™s my Tesla truck?). The man is a buffoon.
 

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