Spotify tell you they pay artists. If you're an unsigned musician and you upload your tunes to spotify, they pay you 0.04 US cents per play. There are millions of us listening, it must be good money, right? Well, maybe not. Firstly, Spotify have contracts with record industry labels, so you can guess, they get more slots in the stream, and probably more money. If a play is a play, the money should be the same. Secret deals? Label artists are probably getting way more than 0.04 US cents. Jobbing musos just get the crumbs.

play your fing heart out!

Oh, and when you die, if you're an unsigned, unrepresented artist, your fam won't get the royalties. The "spots" will just sit on the music and make interest off what it earns in a holding account. Your family won't be able to get them to take the music down, either. You put a tune on th "the Spots" and the file is theirs. forever. You can't ever take it down.

How does that compare to radio and TV plays? I used to work for a radio and TV network in their Hobart office. In 2009, quite by coincidence, they scraped the net for a tune about Tasmania for an end of year news retrospective and they landed on my tune, "Tasmania." (The site it was hosted on doesn't exist anymore, so no links, sorry.) It went to air twice and some time later I got 4 AU cents in my APRA-AMCOSS artist account. Whoo-hoo! Drinks on me, LOL. APRA still pay in the order of cents per play, more or less. It's hard to find an official figure online, though. Still 50x what spotify pay per play. In either case, Spotify or radio/TV, it's per play, not per listen. It's a stream or a broadcast, respectively. Listener figures are kept, but they're not tightly correlated.

Then there's my friends-and-my band from the 80s, Cryptic Posters. The terror of Northern Tasmania, a mix of covers and originals. The originals we also sold from my cheesy, 80s, brown pleather briefcase as a "cass-album." AU$10 a copy. Fifteen, portastudio recorded hard blues-rock tunes on "metal" tape cassettes. HiFi! An average night, we might sell eight to twelve with a profit of AU$7 per unit. It was a nice subsidy to the gig fee, and pubs still paid a gig fee because APRA hadn't started collecting royalties via the Australian Hotels Association at that point.

So, who is supporting musicians? Actually supporting musicians? All of those gigging musicians, the lifeblood of your counter meal and party night evenings out?

Believe it or not, if you actually buy old fashioned hard copy, vinyl, CDs, tapes, especially if directly from the bands or artists, be it at gigs, or online... YOU ARE! Even today, there is more money for unsigned artists in selling media and merch than there ever has been in gigs, broadcast or streams. You won't make a million sales, but even most label signed musicians don't make a million sales. If you tell the label rep to go fuck themselves and grab a Zoom multitrack recorder, or Mac with Logic Pro X, or a PC with Pro Tools, or an old, analog 8 track tape machine, whatever...

YOU WILL MAKE MORE MONEY IN A MONTH OF GIGGING THAN YOU WILL MAKE IN YOUR LIFE ON SPOTIFY AND SPOTIFY WON'T GET YOUR SONGS ON THE RADIO!!! The gear you have, a nice room to record in, or a shithole, a grand for manufacturing holding stock, a couple o' grand return after a few gigs and a grand held back for replacement stock.

If you're a fan and you want to help music, buy any or all merch a band you like are selling. Fame today is worthless. Hard work, a little seed investment, a selling attitude - commerce! Not capitalism, musical tradies! Even if you're a covers band, have a disk or tape of 8 originals - play them as a set and flog the shit out, or play them peppered through the night and call them out with a flog for merch. People WILL buy. Beer makes people lose track of their money, dancing makes them too tired to think bout the bills they have to pay tomorrow when the hangover kicks in.

And to the audience: this band you're watching sweat blood for your entertainment, have one less pint and BUY THEIR FUCKING ALBUM! OK!!! They don't have an album? Buy the whole band a round! They're probably not getting much, if anything, from the pub. Give them some cash towards an album and tell them to start a collection at their gigs to fund an album.

That's how we help the artist! Delete Spotify from your phones. All spotify does is make obscenely rich venture capitalists richer and scatter a bit out to the usual famous suspects we've been hearing for 20 years.

That is all.


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