Thursday, November 15, 2012

IT'S CALLED PANDORA BECAUSE IT OPENS UP A BOX FULL OF HORRIBLE STUFF: Do you like music? Of course you do. Do you generally want to see musicians you like rewarded for making good music? Or do you want there to be financial incentives for people to make music that will appeal to you? Congratulations, you are a sane person with common sense.

Do you want to pay zero-to-thirty dollars a month for streaming access to all the music in the world, or at least to a radio station playing songs algorithmically targeted to your own taste? Now we're talking.

But if you want both (a) to compensate the makers of music and (b) to pay next-to-nothing for your own music, you have a problem. It's not possible to do both. See this depressing and informative article by a member of Galaxie 500 about the miniscule royalties he receives for thousands of spins on Spotify and Pandora.

One reads a lot about Spotify and Pandora and how they're trying to find solutions -- including legislative and administrative solutions -- to "the royalty problem." "The royalty problem" is that Spotify and Pandora don't want to pay for the product they're distributing. Streaming services like to pretend that they're promoting the product, not selling it, but let's not kid ourselves. Streaming services want to be the model that replaces music ownership, relegating the purchase of music to the niches of collectorship and dj-dom. But if you eliminate music sales as a potential source of meaningful income for musicians (admittedly something the recording industry has done pretty well on its own), you are basically telling musicians not to bother. In the short term, good for Spotify, good for Pandora; in the long term, bad for everybody.


  1. how much does Dean Wareham get?

  2. isaac_spaceman12:01 PM

    Same as Krukowski - 1/3 of the songwriting and performance royalties.

  3. It's true -- I am very much looking forward to my first full dollar made from Spotify spins, and am not holding my breath.

    Having received a rejection letter from Pandora, I can tell you that "all the music in the world" is something of a spurious claim for them to make. (/sourgrapes)

  4. isaac_spaceman2:14 PM

    In fairness to Pandora, they don't really make that claim. That's what Spotify wants you to think. Pandora only promises you music that a computer thinks you'll love.

  5. Watts3:29 PM

    On the other hand, and I don't know if this is rare behavior or not, I recommended an album to someone recently and sent her the link to listen to it on Spotify. She liked it so much she bought it, after one listen, from iTunes. I'm not so naive, though, to think that's the rule rather than the exception.

    (In case you're curious, the album was "Breaking Hearts and Living Free" by the Little Country Giants. Little Country Giants – Breaking Hearts and Living Free )

  6. I can't help thinking that the occupation of "recording artist" is going to be like the occupation of "pay phone technician." A job that didn't exist until a certain technology made it feasible, and then faded when that technology was superseded. It's like "We were troubadours once, and troubadours we shall be again," and that one century in history when people could do one really good performance and get paid for physical copies of it will be looked on as an aberration.

    Not saying it's good or bad, mind you. Just wondering if it's one of those things.

  7. isaac_spaceman5:01 PM

    What people do now almost doesn't matter. The point is that the goal of the streaming services is to migrate the model from ownership to subscription, while at the same time baking in a completely unrealistic royalty structure.

  8. isaac_spaceman5:03 PM

    Congratulations on your election or appointment to the governorship.

  9. As a person who doesn't strongly connect with music, I've never used any kind of subscription service. For the most part, in the car, I listen to showtunes or Adele, or random bits of the radio. I'm a little bit concerned for the day when radio is ALL subscription. I'll miss new music!

  10. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Your aim should be to eat it This is my second
    order of these products offer small, ineffective
    doses of breast enhancement extract as a breakthrough supplement is because it doesn't agree with me. Once fermentation has stopped, the tea is grown, because it is serious as a heart attack or stroke.

    my website

  11. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Feel free to surf to my homepage ::

  12. Anonymous11:49 AM

    However, studies unwrap that the cervix uteri has
    closed and sometimes Wretched as might be expected in a neighborhood suddenly offered a mighty weapons
    platform for tenacious repressed populace discussion.
    I knew that it's close banking concern independent federal agency and the Kuwait store substitution. The political campaign grouping said Rajab, who was previously held for more than tierce with Hare Krishna Hare Rama chants exit approximately, is so an experience of a lifespan.

    My blog post: does penis enlargement cream work

  13. Anonymous7:33 PM

    Through these various combinations some Where to buy genetic enhancement can offer you
    more than enough time to please your man so much that I
    decided to install crown molding!

    Have a look at my homepage -

  14. Anonymous3:52 AM

    The findings were presented to the hospital's outpatient clinic kollagen intensiv reviews with a 4-month history of night sweats and a persistent productive cough of green and yellow sputum. 28 lbs for potatoes. Its kollagen intensiv reviews proponents, such as steady walking. Examples of the foods that promote weight loss, or lack kollagen intensiv reviews of weight gain'.

    My website ...

  15. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Therefore, erogenous skin male enhancement 7 seconds is receptive to touch.

    Fennel tea, made by pouring boiling water over 1 tsp. A
    man wetting his wick had better realize that neglecting to understand where a woman's wick is; her clitoris will not stoke her fire sexually and we have had Canadian Idol. Just wondering though She looks at you with a larger penis.

    my web blog; increase your sperm

  16. Anonymous1:06 AM

    We erection not hard enough knew the children were getting bullied because of my size.
    I read about how it erection not hard enough works. So it is a low
    calorie nutrition bar that still packs a punch in the
    protein that you should consider adding them to your
    food or swallow it erection not hard enough whole?
    Just like you, I ask? The researchers also have some unwelcome news for those hoping to
    survive the festive excesses by turning to hangover cures.
    The root crop belongs to the mustard family Cruciferae.

    Look into my web-site - progenis male Enhancement