[Amber Healy, our DC correspondent for sister website Geeks&Beats, recently attended the Future of Music Conference and came away with some interesting insights. In this story called “Don’t Kill the Kitten that Cures Cancer,” she debates the finer points of music streaming. – AC]
With a few probably exceptions, musicians aren’t making obscene amounts of money from streaming services or people who pay for subscriptions to them.
But is there a better way? Might it be possible to let individual listeners decide how much of their monthly fees are going to bands they like, instead of a communal pot o’ cash?
Sharky Laguana, founder and CEO of the band van rental company Bandango and previously the founder of 90’s indie band Creeper Lagoon, has taken a deep dive into the world of streaming services, royalty division and how ‘bots can ruin everything by click fraud.
Under the current system, each subscriber pays their monthly fee, which is divvied up among artists on a streaming service like Spotify (minus the site’s 30% administrative fee) based on how many streams occur each month. Using two other panelists during the Future of Music Coalition’s Music Policy Conference, in Washington, D.C., last month, to represent the bands Alt-J and Nickelback, Laguana demonstrated that, if more listeners are clicking on Alt-J streams, that band would get 80% of the $70 USD available from the royalty pot, or $56 for that month, while Nickelback, which received 800 clicks to Alt-J’s 3,200, would receive $14. “That seems totally reasonable,” Laguana said. “The band with the most fans got the most money.