Agreed wordcore — and SO few people, raise the point that you did — “would we prefer the major label days”…which were of course RIFE with stories of ripoffs..and bands in the SAME position as Grizzly Bear (who, as far as I have heard so far, aren’t doing ANYTHING musically I didn’t hear by the 80s from Creme & Godley or a bunch of indie bands).
But –the question people in their mid 30s and up need to ask themselves is — when you were buying LPs, cassettes, CDs back in the “Awesome for Artists 80s/90s !!”…you knew VERY WELL that the record companies were RIPPING OFF the artists, why did you BUY the albums, then? By the 80s the BoardRoom Ripoff was enshrined in rock lore – EVERYONE had seen cover stories on Rolling Stone, Creem, Circus, Musician mag, whatever, that talked about the lame-ass $1.59 or whatever the artist got — from the $15.99 retail price. The question is, WHY did you support this raping of the artist?? BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO HEAR THE MUSIC!! You knew that $14.00 was going to the scumbag lawyers, bean counters, managers etc…yet you supported them!! Suddenly we are at a far more transparent moment, and NOW you have all these morally superior fans, refusing to participate in legal streaming “because I’m, standing up for the ARTIST, man!”
Well- your massive LP/Cassette/CD collection says you DIDN’T stand up for the artist — you bought a lot of that music FULLY KNOWLEDGEABLE of the fact that most artists were getting REAMED, and only made their living on tour revenues and merch (which is generally still the case).
I find that interesting.
I’m interested in how streaming on Spotify (listening to music that is legally there, without an upfront payment) is different from the DECADES of radio?? Like radio — if you don’t have the Spotify sub, you simply have to hear an ad every 6-8 songs (far less than on terrestrial radio)
IMHO, “pay per play” directly to artists would fail massively. Do I get to sample the band a little bit before paying?? because if not, people would never hear as much new stuff. We would likely only pay for that which we already knew we liked. The way it is now — I hear tons of NEW music on Spotify, youTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, and then I’M MORE LIKELY TO BUY A TICKET TO THE BAND’S SHOW, and get a t-shirt or CD there. I’ve done this several times.
Botton line is that – even if bands decided, at their peril, to somehow charge for streaming their tracks — countless OTHER bands would be wise enough to provide free listening…and the (literally) free market would prevail.. those bands would have a better shot at gathering new listeners, and in turn, AUDIENCE MEMBERS BUYING TICKETS AND MERCH.
It’s interesting when people compare “deserving to get paid for my music/web designing/bad photography” to the fact that plumbers, pilots , teachers, doctors etc get paid. This is kinda strange, because, if you can manage to do a simple plumbing job — go ahead and do it!! Don’t hire a plumber. But – if you need MAJOR work , or need to fly from point A to point B., or fix a broken arm, there’s NO WAY you can whip that up yourself. However – it’s the 21st century, and people can make music far easier than they could “when we were the generation who got paid for their work”. It’s just that simple. Merrill in tUnE-yArDs was able to make a fantastic, successful and wonderful sounding record with a $100 Sony dictaphone type device. DEAL WITH IT – what you do , what I do as a musician, just isn’t as special and unique and unattainable as it was when Patti Smith started out (to cite one of the examples above). Likewise– almost anyone can learn a free web design package – and IF THEY HAVE A CREATIVE EYE, make a great website in a couple days (Sorry, web designers – what you do is not really that special anymore, like it was in 1995-2005 or so). Now – stop comparing this stuff to doctors, pilots, plumbers, and other stuff that simply hasn’t been affected by the same cheap computer technology that enables you to watch free TV shows, get free apps, and use youTube without paying a cent. That’s what I find extra ironic — all the musicians and web designers bitching and moaning that they have a “right to make a living” are more than happy to make that album…using free or pirated software, or record their shows on a laptop etc, and not acknowledge the TWO EDGED SWORD..technology has made our lives INCREDIBLY simpler and more productive…yet hipster musicians want it simultaneously to be 1985, where they could have made a living as an indie. I haven’t even addressed how derivative of 1985 most of this highly acclaimed new music is…..90% of these bands ( I check them ALL out) , sound just like stuff I was reviewing or listening to in the late 80s. Replacements, Phantom Tollbooth, The Cure, Husker Du, fIREHOSE, all the brit new wave bands…it’s all being done again, and VERY few of the fans realize they are listening to their generations version of The Stray Cats. Don’t Quit Yer Day Job. This thoroughly WESTERN fixation with making a living SOLELY because of your lousy music — is a recent phenom, and has brainwashed three generations of delusional people. The fact is that billions of people on this planet get up every day and MAKE MUSIC for MUSIC’S SAKE, and have done so for millenia. So – -write music, play, perform, get out there – but do it FOR THE MUSIC, and have another f*cking plan!! And , if you’re lucky, you’ll get paid for some gigs and sell some merch. But no one owes you a living, you’re not special at all.