Music Industry

Is Spotify killing jazz and classical music?

Streaming is dominated by hip-hop, R&B, and pop. If you’re going to be a star and make millions like Drake and Ed Sheeran, your music has to fall into one of those buckets.

But what if you don’t? What if you’re into a type of music that doesn’t (yet) resonate with the Streaming Generation? You could be in big trouble.

Rock musicians can tour to make up for the fact that they’re not selling music anymore and that we’re still waiting for rock fans to take up streaming in meaningful numbers. If they’re entrepreneurial, they can get into things like sync deals and other licensing arrangments. It’s not nearly as good as the old days when fans bought pieces of plastic, but it’s at least something. Same thing for country artists.

But once we get beyond the most popular genres, what are artists to do? If you’re into jazz, classical or something like soul, you’re already in a niche-y place. You might have been able to make a living when people bought records, but now it’s obvious that streaming is not your friend.

This is from HypeBot:

[T]he immediate dilemma facing artists, and it has an inordinate impact on jazz, soul, classical, blues and other similar genres with older audiences. Some artists are leaving the industry, some are changing their music to appeal to younger ears, and thousands of others have decided not to release any new music because they simply can’t make money recording anymore.

The pay-per-stream world in which we now live in is killing musicians in these genres.  This is obviously not good.

Keep reading.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38513 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Is Spotify killing jazz and classical music?

  • That’s an easy no. Spotify is just another format and is for a first listen and then buy and if not buy know about no through press releases or advertorials but actually from listening. Most artists release their music on a variety of formats. Some suit, others don’t. Streaming doesn’t really pay much to anyone apart from the huge sellers. I think people value CDs more than the past. The sound is better, it is cheaper than vinyl and quite portable although obviously not as portable as a mobile phone!


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