Spotify Per Play Rates Continue to Drop (.00408) … More Free Users = Less Money Per Stream #gettherateright

Down, down, down it goes, where it stops nobody knows… The monthly average rate per play on Spotify is currently .00408 for master rights holders.

PerStreamAvg_Jun11_July15

48 Months of Spotify Streaming Rates from Jun 2011 thru May 2015 on an indie label catalog of over 1,500 songs with over 10m plays.

Spotify rates per spin appear to have peaked and are now on a steady decline over time.

Per stream rates are dropping because the amount of revenue is not keeping pace with the  number of streams. There are several possible causes:

1) Advertising rates are falling as more “supply” (the number of streams) come on line and the market saturates.

2) The proportion of  lower paying “free streams”  is growing faster than the proportion of higher paying “paid streams.”

3) All of the above.

This confirms our long held suspicion that as a flat price “freemium” subscription service  scales the price per stream will drop.  As the service reaches “scale” the pool of streaming revenue becomes a fixed amount.  The pie can’t get any larger and adding more streams only cuts the pie into smaller pieces!

The data above is aggregated. In all cases the total amount of revenue is divided by the total number of the streams per service  (ex: $4,080 / 1,000,000 = .00408 per stream). Multiple tiers and pricing structures are all summed together and divided to create an averaged, single rate per play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, About That ‘NY Times Magazine’ Piece on “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t”… | Flavorwire

Bold claims are certainly welcome at The New York Times Magazine, and last weekend, it floated a doozy. In the feature story “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t,” author Steven Johnson insists that widespread concerns over easy access to free stuff in the digital age was all Henny-Penny-the-sky-is-falling; according to Johnson, “creative careers are thriving,” a point he argues by ignoring pundits (including yours truly), experts, and anecdotal evidence, instead focusing on the inarguable evidence of Data Journalism. In doing so, Johnson vastly inflates the conclusions of such number-crunching—and (particularly in the case of our reporting) frequently misses the point of the arguments he’s refuting.

READ THE FULL STORY AT FLAVORWIRE:
http://flavorwire.com/534772/so-about-that-ny-times-magazine-piece-on-the-creative-apocalypse-that-wasnt/

 

 

Are Creators Really Thriving in the Digital Age? Doesn’t Look Like It | Robert Levine @ Billboard

“Free Ride” author Robert Levine takes on Steven Johnson’s stats and conclusions…

In this weekend’s New York Times Magazine, author Steven Johnson wrote a piece, “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t,” which ventured to examine the state of creative business in the digital age. Johnson conclusion was that it’s thriving. I have strong feelings on this topic, since I wrote a book that makes the opposite argument. I’d very much like Johnson to be right, since the health of the creative business strongly correlates with my ability to put food on the table. But although I think he’s a smart writer — we worked together, briefly, years ago — I think he’s looking at wrong information in the wrong way. He ends up oversimplifying a complicated subject to make a contrarian point.

Johnson’s premise is that the best way to assess the health of the creative businesses isn’t to look at falling sales or struggling companies but how actual creators themselves are faring. It’s a smart, refreshing approach. But his evidence that creators are thriving is far flimsier than it looks.

READ THE FULL STORY AT BILLBOARD:
http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6677568/are-creators-really-thriving-in-the-digital-age-doesnt-look-like-it

NY Times Gets It Wrong on Musician Stats | Stats Chat

The NY Times get’s it wrong. Stats Chats takes on the numbers:

The larger category, “Musicians and Singers”, has been declining.  The smaller category, “Music Directors and Composers” was going up slowly, then had a dramatic three-year, straight-line increase, then decreased a bit.

Going  into the Technical Notes for the estimates (eg, 2009), we see

May 2009 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period

That means the three-year increase of 5000 jobs/year is probably a one-off increase of 15,000 jobs. Either the number of “Music Directors and Composers” more than doubled in 2009, or more likely there was a change in definitions or sampling approach.

 

READ THE FULL STORY AT STATS CHAT:
http://www.statschat.org.nz/2015/08/22/changing-who-you-count/

Streaming Music is Ripping You Off | Sharky Laguna via Medium

A worthy read from Sharky Laguna on how streaming music has disconnected fans from bands.

You Are Worthless

Imagine a hypothetical artist on a streaming service. Which do you think that artist would rather have: 10,000 fans who stream a song once, or one fan who streams it 10,001 times? Seems obvious, right? 10,000 fans is much better than one fan! But the Big Pool method, which only cares about the number of clicks, says the single person is worth more!
Ass-Backwards

This is bad for the artist, but astoundingly it’s even worse for streaming services: if each subscriber is paying $10 a month then those 10,000 subscribers would generate $1.2M in annual revenue, while the single user only generates a measly $120. Clearly the services benefit from getting more subscribers, not more streams, so why are they incentivizing streams and ignoring subscribers?

READ THE FULL POST AT MEDIUM:
https://medium.com/cuepoint/streaming-music-is-ripping-you-off-61dc501e7f94

Music is the Product. | Adland.tv

Yup. Music is the product. Justin Vernon talks about Bon Iver and advertising.  The music is the product, not just the business card to book advertising and sponsorship gigs which some would like to suggest – and here’s why…

We did a photo shoot for Bushmills. To be clear: They gave us a bunch of money and we were able to finish without borrowing. It was great for us, and everybody that worked at the company was great, and I love Bushmills and wanted to do the deal because my dad loved Bushmills — we bond over Irish whiskey.

But the problem is that it isn’t just Bushmills. It’s run by a corporation, and you kind of forget that they’re not interested in you or really what you’re doing. They’re interested in your popularity and your reach, and it felt really sickening after a while. Not badmouthing Bushmills the company, but I regret it.

I regret it because it wasn’t us and they put my face on a fucking billboard, even though it was a cool billboard and I was with my brother and my sound engineer and we’re buds and we got drunk while we had the photo shoot. I just missed it. I missed the mark on that one and I let it all kind of get to me. It just doesn’t feel right after the fact, you know?

READ THE FULL STORY AT ADLAND:
http://adland.tv/adnews/music-product/971380697

UK police are waging war on piracy sites’ funding — and it’s working | Business Insider

Ad Funded Piracy. Follow The Money. It’s not about sharing, it’s about profits.

Most big piracy sites don’t charge their users a fee, but are still able to profit off of copyright infringement. Why? Because the operators plaster their pages in advertising.

But British police now say they are making major headway in tackling this: On Wednesday, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) announced that Operation Creative, launched in 2013, has led to a 73% decline in advertising “from the UK’s top ad spending companies on copyright infringing websites.”

READ THE FULL POST AT BUSINESS INSIDER:
http://www.businessinsider.com/operation-creative-piracy-73-percent-decrease-pipcu-2015-8

Marketers: Stop Advertising on Pirate Sites | Advertising Age

The first three things to know about online piracy; Follow the money. Follow the money. Follow the money.

My own show, “Hannibal,” was the fifth most-stolen TV show during its first season on the air, despite being available for legal digital streaming the very next day. While I appreciate the enthusiasm of our fans, as executive producer I am responsible for all production costs for the show. Piracy directly affects my bottom line, including the wages for hundreds of cast and crewmembers.

I have been blessed with a successful, 30-plus-year career in entertainment. During that time, I have seen how the growth of online piracy directly impacts the economics of creativity. Piracy jeopardizes the rights of creatives to be compensated for their work — making it even harder to build a career in a creative field. It forces companies to either shrink their production budgets or commit to fewer, less risky projects. And ultimately, it harms audiences by limiting the types of stories that creatives can tell.

It’s a real lose-lose, unless you are the operator of a pirate site.

READ THE FULL STORY AT ADVERTISING AGE:
http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/advertisers-profit-piracy/299924/

The Crowdsourcing Scam | The Baffler

It’s all the same Silicon Valley scam. Whether you are a musician or a cab driver, this about labor, and you could be next…

Silicon Valley calls this arrangement “crowdsourcing,” a label that’s been extended to include contests, online volunteerism, fundraising, and more. Crowdsourced work is supposed to be a new, more casual, and more liberating form of work, but it is anything but. When companies use the word “crowdsourcing”—a coinage that suggests voluntary democratic participation—they are performing a neat ideological inversion.

The kind of tentative employment that we might have scoffed at a decade or two ago, in which individuals provide intellectual labor to a corporation for free or for sub-market wages, has been gussied up with the trappings of technological sophistication, populist appeal, and, in rare cases, the possibility of viral fame.

But in reality, this labor regime is just another variation on the age-old practice of exploiting ordinary workers and restructuring industrial relations to benefit large corporations and owners of the platforms serving them. The lies and rhetorical obfuscations of crowdsourcing have helped tech companies devalue work, and a long-term, reasonably secure, decently paying job has increasingly become a MacGuffin—something we ardently chase after but will likely never capture, since it’s there only to distract us from the main action of the script.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE BAFFLER:
http://thebaffler.com/salvos/crowdsourcing-scam