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GDM » Public » Anything Goes
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Artist Royalties - CD vs Digital vs Streaming
jeffrey343
I am curious as to how much artists get paid for the various ways of distributing their music. Back in the old days, it was always physical product. Then when iTunes and similar platforms came along, we could bypass the physical for a purely digital product (with a loss in quality, although that is decreasing, at least to my ears). And streaming services are now extremely common, where we can stream almost any album by paying a monthly subscription to Google Play / Amazon / Spotify / Amazon / others.

I'm finding that I'm rarely buying a physical CD in favor of purchasing the digital version. I'll buy the CD if I really want to look at the liner notes or if it's the rare album that is not available digitally. I've double-bought a few because I liked the digital version so much that I wanted the additional info from the CD. But I prefer the ease of maintaining a purely digital library. The only reason I really need an actual CD is because my secondary car is old enough (bought in 2001) that the best the stereo can do is audio CD, and I'm too poor (or cheap?) to upgrade the stereo (hope to replace the car in three years). And 256KB or 320KB compression sounds fine to me.

This year, it seems like there are so many good albums coming out that it's hard to buy them all at around $10 for the digital version. I've been able to stream almost everything through Google Play on my phone. And my phone is how I listen to music anywhere but the car in most cases. If I really like an album, I'll purchase it - almost always digitally. But it's been hard to keep up this year.

So - what is the impact of these options to the artists themselves? I know that me streaming the latest Taylor Swift or Beyonce albums (not that I would actually do that) wouldn't deprive them of a living. But the smaller guys in our genre - I want them to earn enough for their work that they can keep doing it. I hope that streaming an album does give them something meaningful.
 
gdazegod
Streaming is not where artists make their money these days. The royalty return is disproportionate to the effort and cost put in by the artist (if self-released), and label (if signed)

These days, it's live performances and merchandising where the money is made.

Personally, I don't go anywhere near Google Services nor Spotify. If I was to choose a streaming service, it would probably be Deezer.
Edited by gdazegod on 27-10-2017 23:33
 
darkblue
I'm a luddite and still have no interest in streaming or files.

I like to own 'things' whether it's music, comics, books or whatever. If I can't hold it, I'm not much interested to be honest.
 
jefflynnefan
Desmond Child talks about the impact of streaming in this interview. You have to scroll down about halfway:

https://www.music...end-i-won/
 
Nick C
Hmmm...I agree with what he is saying about royalties, but it's kind of old news. Bands and composers were ripped of left, right and centre before the days of streaming by either management, music publishers or record companies. You hear the same story from bands everywhere, because of age and inexperience, bad guidance, shady management, shady record deals and bad decisions lost them money, this is just the same for the digital age just a different system - and it's not confined to the music industry.
 
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