It is with great sadness that I see Martin Goldschmidt of Cooking Vinyl resort to demagoguery in the debate about Spotify. Defending Spotify n the Wall Street Journal he says
““A lot of artists think the world owes them a living,” says Mr. Goldschmidt. “And it doesn’t.”
Sometimes all caps is necessary.
NO ARTIST IS DEMANDING A LIVING. THEY JUST WANT A FAIR DEAL FROM SPOTIFY AND STREAMING SERVICES. OR THE RIGHT TO OPT OUT. UNLIKE THE MEMBERS OF THE MERLIN INDIE LABEL ALLIANCE WE DIDN”T GET EQUITY IN SPOTIFY.
FURTHER SPOTIFY ISN”T ENTITLED TO A PROFIT. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT REQUIRES THE INVOLUNTARY EXPLOITATION OF ARTISTS SONGS.
3 thoughts on “Another Indie Label Sells Out Artists: This Time It’s My Own Euro Label Cooking Vinyl”
When artists complain about the low payments on Spotify, it is simply wrong to respond with “you’re not entitled to earn a living as an artist.”
While that’s true, it’s not the point – it’s not even relevant.
In fact, it’s such a blatant attempt at ignoring and distracting from the point that anyone who says it is either of below average intelligence (in that they literally can’t comprehend the difference) or straight up dishonesty, politician-style, in pursuit of their own agenda.
Apparently the fact that this is music, as opposed to another type of product, just stumps people and makes them think crazy things.
So let’s look at this in a different context:
You make a hamburger. You purchase the ingredients and cook the meat and assemble the burger. You have invested time and money in creating this burger, and it belongs to you.
You are allowed to set any price you want for this burger, because it represents the fruits of your labors (and money) – it is yours.
You are free to offer it for sale, but you are not entitled to have another pay you money for it. You are not entitled to earn a living from selling your burgers.
You are entitled to control the terms on which your burger is available for consumption by others.
If you want to earn income from it, you must price it such that people are willing to exchange their money for your burger.
If you set a price that is too high – that exceeds the value that your potential buyers place on the burger – you will not be able to sell it, and therefore you will not earn income from it.
That is okay. You are entitled to control the sale of your burger; if you do a poor job (i.e. by insisting on too high a price, or by creating a burger that is so unappetizing that no one wants it at any price), you will not earn a living.
If you fail to earn an income, so be it – to change that and make money, you must respond by adjusting your prices, or the way you make or market the burger; if nothing works, you will need another source of income and will have to make burgers for your own enjoyment, rather than for profit. The possibility that you can fail as a professional burger-maker does NOT invalidate your right to control your burgers and the terms on which they are consumed by others.
“I am entitled to control the terms on which my work is consumed” is NOT THE SAME as “I am entitled to earn a living from my work.”
So when someone complains about not being able to control the terms on which their music is consumed, it is simply INCORRECT to respond with “but you’re not entitled to earn a living from your music.” You might as well respond with “water molecules contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms” – yes, that’s true, but we’re not playing a game of “list random facts” right now.
It is probably safe to assume that a successful label executive is of at least average intelligence and can comprehend simple arguments such as this. Therefore, we’re left with the second explanation: dishonesty and deception in pursuit of his own agenda.
A lot of consumers think the worlds owes them free music. It doesn’t.
A lot of consumers think the world owes them free music. It doesn’t.
Comments are closed.