The State Of The Art
At one time, not that long ago, I made a point of keeping up with music industry news. Lately, I try to avoid it because, it’s such a tough game and just getting tougher and all the “news” just serves to drive that home.
It just makes it all the more difficult to find a creative frame of mind.
However, it’s hard for me to avoid all of this dreck completely and a couple of recent stories got my attention. They are the accusations that VEVO aren’t paying indies and the news that Paul McCartney is yanking all his tracks from streaming services.
As to VEVO, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that they would be giving indies the shaft. They are just another outfit in a long line that cut deals with the major labels and didn’t pay the little guy. MySpace was notorious and so was YouTube (although, that may be changing with YT’s recent drive to recruit users to the revenue sharing, if you own the material at least.).
And, it brings up thoughts of how these social networks make it difficult to promote music effectively. I know that your FaceBook news feed is probably chock full of people pushing the same tracks over and over but, it’s not effective.
If the platform did not include friend limits and allowed a way for artists to locate possible fans then, indie artists could use it to build an audience. MySpace, was like that in a way but corrupted and corrupt. They allowed some to spew rampant spam and effectively shut down others when the numbers showed promise. FB evidently learned some lessons there.
The bottom line with big social networks is; they already have the traffic and you feel that’s why you need to be there. They control the revenue and would just as soon not have people leaving the site to buy your product…unless you are part of the corporate empire that drives the ad revenue.
Speaking of that corporate empire, why would McCartney pull his songs from Spotify and MOG and the like? After all, these companies are actually paying royalties. They just don’t pay a whole lot. I get the statements and, it’s fractions of a penny per spin and it’s funny but, it really isn’t about the money…it’s about somebody in Belgium being able to listen to your track.
And see Macca doesn’t need that. His camp may be looking at it this way; McCartney’s catalog drives traffic to the streaming sites and the payoff isn’t to their liking, especially with new material. If they pull the catalog from the stream, people will have to go elsewhere and buy it.
So, it’s a move to increase revenue or leverage…or publicity. My brain goes with the latter as Macca’s press release was all over my inbox this morning and his new album of standards is getting rave…well not many seem to care.
It all smacks of another established artist attempting to manipulate the press and the present “industry”.Why does Paul McCartney even record a new album? Does he want a big hit? More dough?
Who knows? But, I know this; if you are an independent artist, the reasons you want to record should be personal. “Cause you want it. Don’t expect Spotify, YouTube or FaceBook to provide revenue and…if you can find a place to play, do it!
As the story so goes, Frank Sinatra once said; “Records are for chumps”. Maybe, he had a premonition.