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back to article Cocky Spotify drops time limits on free listening, skint music-lovers cheer

As it promised to do before Christmas, Spotify has dropped restrictions on free listening with the celestial jukebox - but it's also removed restrictions on free desktop listening, too. Previously the service capped the number of hours you could listen to music without a subscription. That listening contained advertisments, of …

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear

If you can't make money from music in the brave new world, get another job like the rest of us.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh dear

Bitter much? Sounds like one of these artsy musical types stole your girlfriend and left you with only your right hand for company. Perhaps you should have bought her flowers... or perhaps you're left-handed.

Anyway - don't worry, Google and Kim Dotcom are making lots of money from music. Have you seen their yachts?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh dear

"Bitter much?"

No, I'm just a realistic artist saying what everyone tolder the miners, the steel makers and the car makers. Why do you think we have to treat *creative people differently? Do we owe them a living?

I don't do art for a living anymore, I create because I like creating and earn what I need elsewhere.

*creative seems to used to describe derivative, esp when talking about creative music.

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Silver badge

Re: Oh dear

Well said, AC! Don't expect to make a living out of "creating" - do it because you want to, not as a career option. If you *do* make some money out of it then good show, but art should primarily be about enjoyment, not money. The current concept of art as a route to a fortune is modern, and merely transitory in the greater scheme of things.

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Bronze badge

Good.

Version 0.8.5 + Blockify + this = actually a decent service.

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I really don't know where I stand on this. Being a professional artist in any medium is hard as hell, but to hear someone say "the internet will suck the creative content out of the world" is just barmy. The internet does exactly the opposite: it dumps a megaton shit-load of creativity into the world every second of every day.

I am vehemently against file-sharing and fervently believe that artists should be paid for their work, but it seems to me that these artists are clinging to their old royalty models the way the music industry tried to pretend the internet didn't exist for ten years.

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Re:

I'm not sure it's the artists who are clinging to the wrong model - possibly it's the record companies still taking ~80% despite them no longer having to maintain the physical stock & distribution - or even the infrastructure to host the content.

Though I admit I'm not sure why more musicians don't sell their work direct through Bandcamp or the like. Maybe there's still some snobbery as with self-publish writers vs. those with a "real" publishing company.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe there's still some snobbery as with self-publish writers vs. publishing company.

Maybe, but also I assume (as perhaps do others) that with a "real publishing company" there's a much greater chance of making it (very) big. Maybe that's not true, or will change in future, but it would be a perception that biases choice towards those real publishers.

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Re: Maybe there's still some snobbery as with self-publish writers vs. publishing company.

Possibly - yeah. I would have imagined that '50 Shades' would have altered that perception - but maybe not. I guess "real" publishers also still dish out advances too.

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Anonymous Coward

The internet dumps a megaton of shit into the world every second of every day."

There. Fixed it for you.

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Anonymous Coward

The cost of everything to do with music has fallen. Computer technology has made the old style studio almost obsolete.

Yes, I would say that a traditional recording studio is still better, I'd ever say that tape produces a more exciting sound when you look past any hiss.

The record industry and artists just haven't realised this yet, they still think spending a million recording a top 40 album is good business.

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Bronze badge

Self-advertising

At the moment, all the adverts are for Spotify Premium.

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Re: Self-advertising

That's a drag. I haven't used it for a while, but last time I was there the only ad was that poxy British Gas one, with some avuncular London geezer droning over Blur's "The Universal".

I was wondering if this new-found advertising revenue might come from having more than just one ad, but apparently not.

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Bronze badge

Re: Self-advertising

Yes, I don't know what it says about me as a user, but I get an awful lot of (awful) Spotify ads.

I wonder if they charge themselves for them, and distribute the money to the labels.

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Re: Self-advertising

I haven't heard it lately but up here in Scotland, we used to get ads from NHS Scotland or the Scottish Government about sexual health: "Sex: talk about it".

Considering I mostly listen to Spotify in the office I certainly didn't act on the advice, that would have been most inappropriate.

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Bronze badge

People like David Byrne should have a problem with their record company, not with the idea of a streaming service, to not see its potential to generate them more money is very short sighted. A few other musicians have pointed out that if you don't like the record company deals, you can much more easily now go it alone and make far more money as a percentage of your sales than before. You start small, earning small money from your deals, but when you have gained a following (or like some of these artists, already have one) you can negotiate much better deals for yourself. Yea, it might be more work than just letting the record company handle the business side, but that doesn't mean it can't be done or will fail, it just means if you don't want to do it or can't then you will fail.

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Anonymous Coward

Read the maths in Byrne's article. He has no beef with his label, but the rates on offer to musicians from streaming services.

What makes you think you'll get a good label deal from years and years of doing DIY promotion? There's only about a million artists all trying to do that today - all wishing they had some decent marketing behind them, and wishing they had a good producer. The lucky ones get it. And once you're making money, there's no point signing a traditional record company deal unless you want to get to Robbie Williams mega-stardom.

At the end of the day what Spotify can pay out is a small percentage of what goes in. Which if you look at the numbers, is about the square root of fuck all.

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Re: the square root of fuck all

If there's very little going in, does this not suggest that the music buying public don't really value the music all that much?

I'd imagine that there is money to be made from musical ability, but the old way (indie label -> major label -> mega-stardom) would appear to be dead.

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Meanwhile those of us paying for Premium increasingly wonder what the value is anymore.

And those with the allegedly discontinued "unlimited" option are probably wondering what they pay for at all now...

Taking recommendations for an alternative...

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FAIL

Much like tape recorders did I suppose.

"the internet will suck the creative content out of the world"

My son was recently told at school that most of the jobs that will be available to him when he leaves have not been invented yet. It seems to me the same can be said of ways for artists to monetize their work on the internet. As long as the inventors ignore the sort of drivel spouted above. Which I am sure they will.

Anyone else remember payola? When the pop music bosses paid slush money to the equivalent of Spotify in return for advertising their songs.

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Re: Much like tape recorders did I suppose.

I was told that too. It wasn't true then and it's unlikely to be any more accurate now.

I get what you're saying but I am not sure I agree. There are really only three ways that recorded music can be monetised:

* Buying a perpetual copy

* Buying a temporary copy (pay-per-listen)

* Advertising/royalties revenue from non-paying listeners

The only thing that really changes is how those options are presented. In the past, buying a copy of music meant a disc or tape or vinyl, now it often means a downloaded MP3 (or similar); revenue from non-paying listeners used to be radio, now it's streaming.

The short version is that to monetise something, someone has to hand over money. With music, that's either the person listening to it or someone paying for them to listen to it so they can earn money from advertising or buying a ticket (e.g. to a movie).

There are of course other ways artists earn money on the internet, but that is not directly from people listening to their music. I have read a few articles about this way of earning from your music and it's never about earning money from people listening to you music. It's always non-musical add-ons - signed scores, personalised whatnots or 'unique experiences'.

That's really nothing new - it's no different from selling t-shirts or what-have-you - and does not address the question of how to make money from the music itself, which (presumably) is the issue, rather than "how can we flog crap with our band name on it?".

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WTF?

Re: Much like tape recorders did I suppose.

"how to make money from the music itself, which (presumably) is the issue"

'Presumably', of course, is the key word here, is it not? I do not see why a musician should care in the slightest how his money is earned - advertising on radio/streaming services, selling merchandise, live shows, or whatever else the future might bring - they all indicate that people like his music and want to both listen to that music and relate to him.

Making money by 'selling' a song as though it were a bag of carrots seems to me to be mostly in the interests of the grasping middlemen who neither create music nor have fans who want to buy t-shirts with their faces on. Real musicians should be delighted that the internet enables them to shake these parasites off their backs, enabling them to connect directly with those fans who want to connect with them.

"how can we flog crap with our band name on it?" Easy - build up a fan base that wants to spend money on such things. Then get off your arse and go and play in their towns. And as they all troop out of the venue flog them a DVD or digital download of the show, and a few other mementoes. "Exit through the gift shop", as those who understand these things might say.

Here is a thing: I would have loved to have gone to see Leonard Cohen when he played in Auckland recently to rave reviews, but could not make it for various reasons. Afterwards I thought I would buy a DVD of the show to make up for missing it. Very likely there were thousands of others in NZ, and possibly millions worldwide who thought the same thing. So how do you think I got on with this apparently simple wish?

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