Music Industry

Published on March 24th, 2019 | by Alan Cross

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“Streaming Music is Ripping You Off.” Discuss.

When it comes to how streaming works from the financial end, there’s a lot of misinformation, fear, uncertainty and doubt. How do artists get paid? And why to they seem to get paid so little?

This article from Medium.com tries to explain things. Read it.

“If you subscribe to a subscription music service such as Spotify or Apple Music you probably pay $10 a month. And if you are like most people, you probably do so believing your money goes to the artists you listen to. Unfortunately, you are wrong.

“The reality is only some of your money is paid to the artists you listen to. The rest of your money (and it’s probably most of your money) goes somewhere else. That “somewhere else” is decided by a small group of subscribers who have gained control over your money thanks to a mathematical flaw in how artist royalties are calculated. This flaw cheats real artists with real fans, rewards fake artists with no fans, and perhaps worst of all communicates to most streaming music subscribers a simple, awful, message: Your choices don’t count, and you don’t matter.

Keep reading.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.


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3 Responses to “Streaming Music is Ripping You Off.” Discuss.

  1. wtanney says:

    I do not use subscriptions services and have no intention of EVER doing so. I like to support artists buy buying a physical copy of their music, mostly at shows directly from them. That way I am pretty sure they are getting the money and not being ripped off by the greed in music business. I admire artists who even avoid big record labels only concerned about release slop they call music for the masses who have no clue what good music really is….

  2. Mike Benninger says:

    Artists aren’t being screwed over by the streaming services, they are being screwed over by their own recording labels. Artists were never consulted on how the revenues were to be split, but their own labels were, and same those labels signed deals that were always designed to maximize revenues to the labels and the services, not the artists.

    Don’t hate Spotify and Pandora, be pissed off at Sony and EMI

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