DO NOT USE PANDORA | JJ Appleton Blog

My friend Adam Dorn, better known as Mocean Worker, is a brilliant music artist. His songs received 1,200,000 plays in the year 2013 on the Pandora online, commercial, for profit, radio station.

He received $51.46.

Tim Westergren, founder and principal of Pandora, cashed in stocks worth $13.9 million last year.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:
http://jjappleton.com/2014/04/07/do-not-use-pandora/

#SXSW REWIND : Venture Capitalist Admits Artists Can Not Make A Living On Streaming Royalties…

The grand irony here is that the panel which asked the question “”Will Artists Make Money on Big Music Platforms?” not only reported that artists could not, but also suggested that artists needed to focus on selling concert tickets and merchandise. You know, things artists did BEFORE the internet.

We do admire the honesty of Hany Nada, Managing Partner GGV Capital who admitted during the SXSW Panel “Will Artists Make Money on Big Music Platforms?” that he believed that they would not be able to do so. He also added that the point of digital streaming platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, and others was promotion to help the artists tour, sell t-shirts and offer other non-digitally distributable “experiences” to fans (why is this sounding more and more like prostitution?).

At least Mr.Nada is honest, which is refreshing given that the man has more integrity than most of the executives at that streaming services who claim the problem of royalties is one of scale and not sustainability. Mr. Nada (ironically named in this context) may be well intentioned and honest but he is also grossly misguided.

Mr. Nada’s statement and philosophy that streaming sites should be viewed by artists as a promotional platform more so than a financial one are an admission of the failure of these unprofitable start ups to serve musicians. As such, let artists decide if there is a value proposition in these companies that benefits the artist and allow them to opt out. Not every album should be on streaming services. Not every artist should be on streaming services. And if streaming is nothing more than promotion with little value proposition, than artists need to rethink their relationships and strategies regarding those businesses.

To be fair, it’s not just Mr.Nada who has promoted this philosophy. It appears that many of the music streaming company executives on panels at SXSW alternate between two talking points. First is that these services will support musicians when they scale (which we can find no evidence of). And second, when pressed on the first point, that streaming platforms offer promotional value for artists to make money in other ways. Oddly, other than “t-shirts and touring” no one seems to have any idea how to translate an artists participation on streaming services into a sustainable revenue stream.

In almost every way streaming companies represent the worst of both the old boss and the new boss.

So here’s the take away, which was put forth by a series of questions from the floor that largely went unanswered.

1) If artists can’t be expected to make a living from streaming music why should streaming executives make a living from streaming businesses at the artists expense? These are essentially, artists subsidized corporations.

2) As artist’s are bringing the audience to the platform, why should the platform profit, but not the artists? Test this theory, No Music = No Business. Done.

3) Artists have been able to sell t-shirts and tour long before the internet and without streaming platforms, but streaming platforms can’t exists without the artists music. Again, No Music = No Business. Done.

4) Given that the streaming music thought leaders believe that the”new revenue model’s” for musicians are “touring and t-shirts” when are the streaming company executives going on tour to sell t-shirts to support their businesses? We find it odd that the executives running companies that are not profitable are giving business advice to musicians.

RELATED:

It Seems Bands Don’t Make Money Off Touring Either | Metal Injection

What ASCAP Members Need to Know About the Songwriter Equity Act and What You Can Do | ASCAP

Songwriters, composers and music publishers earn royalty income through two separate rights: the right to publicly perform their music works, and the right to make reproductions of those works and distribute those reproductions.

However, two outdated portions of the Copyright Act, Section 114(i) and Section 115, prevent songwriters and composers from receiving royalty rates that reflect fair market value for the use of their intellectual property. This has created inequity in the marketplace that harms America’s songwriters, composers and music publishers in the digital age. Now is the time to fix it.

READ THE FULL POST AT ASCAP:
http://www.ascap.com/playback/2014/02/action/songwriter-equity-act.aspx

Why Streaming Music Isn’t Like Bottled Water… | Digital Music News

Streaming music is just like bottled water, right?  Not all, actually.

1. People happily pay outrageous premiums for bottled water (a glass of tap water costs about $0.001).
Relatively few people actually pay for streaming music.

2.  People are convinced that there’s a difference between bottled water and tap water.
Not enough people feel there’s a difference between ad-based (free) streaming and premium (paid) streaming.

3. Sometimes, tap water tastes funny.
Free streaming always tastes good!  You just have to wait for it a little longer.

4. Bottled water is a proven, $100 billion industry that’s been around for decades.
Streaming music isn’t a profitable industry, hasn’t been around for more than a decade, and remains financially speculative.

READ THE REST OF THE 11 POINT LIST AT DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/02/26/bottledwaterstreaming

Musicians Sing for a Cause That’s Their Own | The New York Times

In the latest example, a group of artists including David Byrne, Mike Mills of R.E.M., John McCrea of Cake and the guitarist Marc Ribot are putting on a free concert on Tuesday at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village to protest the way radio stations pay royalties, and to introduce a new advocacy group, the Content Creators Coalition.

“This is possible now because musicians and artists are fed up,” said Mr. Ribot, who is renowned for his work with musicians including Tom Waits, another coalition member. “It takes a lot to get a musician to go to a meeting, serve on a committee. It’s not what we do; we play music. But the way things are now, many of us feel that our backs are to the wall.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/arts/music/musicians-sing-for-a-cause-thats-their-own.html?_r=1

How You’re Murdering the Music Industry. | unEARTH Music Hub

Oddly, few people are talking about how much money they are actually making through Spotify, but it’s estimated that the average play is worth an abysmal $0.005. That’s half a cent…if you’re getting anything at all. An artist needs to rack up 200 plays to make $1. How are we letting this happen?! Is the general population truly oblivious to the tremendous effort and cost involved in making music?

Surprise! Songs don’t just pop out of artists like perfectly polished Easter eggs. These creative humans have dedicated a large amount of their time, money and soul to create a tangible piece of art for your listening pleasure. Studio time is expensive! Rehearsal space is expensive! Gas is expensive! Instruments are expensive! Craft beer is expensive!!! Strike that last one.

But seriously guys, when you buy music, you’re not just paying for a song, you’re supporting the artist and the process.

READ THE FULL STORY AT unEARTH MUSIC Hub:
http://unearthmusichub.com/articles/streaming-music/

Digital albums overtake CDs in the US, but iTunes music revenues down | Music Ally

We’re more interested in its estimates for the revenue growth in 2013 of the various content categories in iTunes: apps up 105%, video up 19%, but music downloads down 14% of the year.

Streaming music’s impact isn’t a surprise, but it’s good to have more data to quantify what’s happening – albeit without the corresponding global increase in revenues from streaming services.

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC ALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/02/12/digital-albums-overtake-cds-in-the-us-but-itunes-music-revenues-down/

Pandora Suit May Upend Century-Old Royalty Plan | NY Times

After federal antitrust investigations, both groups agreed to government supervision in 1941.

This system has hummed along for decades. But with the rise of Internet radio, publishers have complained that the rules are antiquated and unfair. They point to the disparity in the way Pandora compensates the two sides of the music business: Last year, Pandora paid 49 percent of its revenue, or about $313 million, to record companies, but only 4 percent, or about $26 million, to publishers.

“It’s a godawful system that just doesn’t work,” said Martin N. Bandier, the chairman of Sony/ATV, the world’s largest music publisher.

The wider music world has been galvanized by the issue of low royalties from fast-growing streaming companies.

For songwriters, Ascap and BMI have also been among the most reliable institutions in the music industry, and few want to see them go. But Rick Carnes, a Nashville songwriter and president of the Songwriters Guild of America, said that while these organizations had served him and his colleagues well, the Justice Department agreements that govern them were outdated and must be changed.

“This is a horse-and-buggy consent decree in a digital environment,” Mr. Carnes said. “There’s no way that works now.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/business/media/pandora-suit-may-upend-century-old-royalty-plan.html?

7 royalty cheques that’ll make you lose your faith in the music industry | AUX

How little does the music industry pay artists? Shockingly little. Spotify, the dominant streaming music source in the U.S., is leaking money. They reportedly dole out 70 per cent of their revenue to royalties, and while that number seems high, consider this: each song stream pays an artist between one-sixth and one-eight of a cent. One source claimed that, on streaming music services, an artist requires nearly 50,000 plays to receive the revenue earned from one album sale. Ouch.

Indeed, things are getting dire. And here are seven examples of how bad things can get.

READ THE FULL STORY AT AUX:
http://m.aux.tv/news/100455-7-royalty-cheques-that-ll-make-you-lose-your-faith-in-the-music-industry

FCC Shelves Pandora’s Bid For South Dakota Radio Station | Billboard

In a setback to its music licensing plans, Pandora has received word from the FCC that for the time being it is no longer processing its application to transfer ownership of the broadcasting license for KXMZ, the Rapid City, South Dakota radio station it acquired last June. Pandora had hoped to take advantage of the lower rates that internet streaming services owned by terrestrial radio stations enjoy.

READ THE FULL STORY AT BILLBOARD:
http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/legal-and-management/5869791/fcc-shelves-pandoras-bid-for-south-dakota-radio