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Do you stream music on the internet? Is this the way of the future when it comes to giving the public what they want and getting artists paid?
I’ve used Spotify, but would still rather plunk down chunks of money for individual albums. While it’s obviously better to stream than to not pay at all, it’s difficult to see this as a better option than buying albums directly. Perhaps I’m missing something, but from a pure cash balance perspective, Spotify only gets X amount of money (say, $15/month for your subscription) — part of which immediately goes to Spotify, bandwidth costs, advances to major labels (more of your subscription might be going to them than to the artists you’re trying to support!), etc.; the remainder of which is divided over an “unlimited” number of artists you might listen to that month.
Of course, Netflix has a similar model and seems to work (I guess? it’d be interesting to compare). But I’m thinking the film industry is considerably more consolidated (revenue is split over fewer studios) than the music industry. So unless you’ve already got enough clout to demand advance payments, any small indie label or individual musicians would likely get next to nothing due to the sheer number of bands splitting what’s left of the cash pot.
What I’d really need is complete transparency on exactly how my subscription is being split, or at least some semblance of control over who I’m paying. Perhaps a limited “indie bundle” service grouping say 10 or 20 labels, in order to ensure each band a better chance of getting a nontrivial split.