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Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

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Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby dubbmann » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:17 pm

Hi all,

I was reading an article (blog?) by the New Yorker magazine's Sasha Frere Jones on the latest salvo in "should music be free" wars centering on the efforts of messrs Yorke and Godrich as well as the contributions of Damon Krukowski of galaxy 500 and David Lowery, of the rock band Cracker. the url is

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/sashafrerejones/2013/07/spotify-boycott-new-artists-music-business-model.html

anyway, the money quote for me is the following:

"The issue beneath all the complaints about micropayments is fundamental: What are recordings now? Are they an artistic expression that musicians cannot be compensated for but will create simply out of need? Are they promotional tools? What seems clear is that streaming arrangements, like those made with Spotify, are institutionalizing a marginal role for the recordings that were once major income streams for working musicians—which may explain the artist Damon Krukowski’s opinion that music should simply be given away, circumventing this entire system."

A number of years ago (c. 2005?) I tried to start a discussion thread on SoS titled "If Music is Free, Will You Still Make Music?" to solicit the thoughts of SoSers. Not one of my better performing threads ;-) (My best was "Favorite Lesser Known Guitarists" followed by one on the Dr Who correlation effect - ie, your favorite Doctor was probably the one you first watched - which I somehow managed to relate to music a/o instruments but I can't remember for the life of me how I managed to connect the two)

So w/t excuse of the current kerfuffle re: Spotify, let me pose the question again to SoS-land:

**** If Music is Free, Will You Still Make Music? *****

Fire away!

Cheers,

d
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby BigRedX » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:46 am

Are you just talking about recorded music, or including playing live as well?

I think that until someone comes up with a new workable way of making money from selling recordings, then we need to accept that the stand-alone recording as a saleable product is dead and has become a promotional item instead. Recordings are still financially viable if they are attached to something else like films or television programs, but a recorded work on its own has little direct monetary value at the moment.

These days everyone is saying that the live performance is the product. However IME even this still favours the established acts who got their foot in the door under the old system. Try being a new band playing on your own material and using the live performance as your main source of income. It isn't going to happen without a lot of time and hard work first. And how do you fund the band while you are building up a reputation and audience to the levels where it can pay? If you can record at home then once you've bought the equipment producing the music is essentially free. Every gig that you play costs money, at the very least in terms of getting to the venue and if you are still relying on another job as your main source of income you need to be cable to take time off in order to play those further afield gigs. I have at least once used up my entire holiday allocation for the year taking half days off so that I would be able to get to the gigs my band was doing on time.

My current band Dick Venom & The Terrortones have built up a reputation as being a great live act, but it's taken us 3 years of very hard work to be able to get there. We are now in the position where we can ask enough money when we play to at the very least cover our expenses. But to get to this position it has taken an awful lot of very hard work - first finding venues and promotors and persuading them to put us on, and then turning up and making sure that we delivered a memorable performance both musically and visually. Also you have to get on stage and deliver EVERY SINGLE TME! If it's not happening in the studio then you simply don't bother to press record and no-one other than yourselves will every know. When the live performance is the product, you can no longer afford to have an off night. And while the live performance is not quite as critical for picking mistakes, you still have to be able to be consistent gig after gig. In the early days in particular every audience is a new audience and if you want to play again you have to impress and you really only get one chance to do it.

But even after all this effort it's still not a living. We make enough to cover getting to the venue with our gear, food and drink for the evening (and if the gig is a long way away) staying overnight, and if we are lucky we might come away with enough left over to pay for a few more hours in the rehearsal room. However at minimum wage levels it isn't enough for even one of us to give up the day job, let alone the whole band, and it's now getting to the point where in order to move the band to the next level it really needs at least one person to be concentrating on it full time. Right now what makes it all worthwhile is when we go and play somewhere new and get a great reaction, pick up some new fans and sell some merchandise.

And there's the thing. At this current level we still sell quite a lot of recorded music. It's mostly at gigs when we can sell people who've just seen us a CD (and soon vinyl as well). Audiences like to be able to deal directly with the band, it makes it all seem a bit more personal and special. For those who don't have any money left at the end of the evening, they can get buy one the next day off our website. I'm sure it's also available on-line for free for those who want to spend time looking, but I do also get the feeling that at this level, audiences like to support the bands. Although as with everything else it's still only at the break-even point.

So would I still be doing this if I wasn't getting paid at all? Almost definitely yes. But, I doubt that I'd be spending up to 7 hours in the van going to gigs if I was funding that as well out of my own pocket. It just depends how satisfied I'd be playing to an audience that consisted mostly of friends and the same local fans every time. Small bands can still sell recorded music if they are playing the right genre of music and there is some added value in the physical product. IMO part of the problem with buying downloads is that it feels too ephemeral and there's nothing tangible about it. Even the much-maligned CD has more going for it than a file that only exists on your computer's hard drive (or even worse only in "the cloud").

These days my biggest and most consistent form of musical income is through my PRS royalty payments. More then ever, if you are playing original music that you need to be credited as a writer composer and to join the relevant organisations to get your royalty payments.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby molecular » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:14 am

BigRedX wrote:we need to accept that the stand-alone recording as a saleable product is dead and has become a promotional item instead. Recordings are still financially viable if they are attached to something else like films or television programs, but a recorded work on its own has little direct monetary value at the moment.

BigRedX wrote:At this current level we still sell quite a lot of recorded music. It's mostly at gigs when we can sell people who've just seen us a CD (and soon vinyl as well). Audiences like to be able to deal directly with the band, it makes it all seem a bit more personal and special.

I'm not quite sure how to reconcile these two statements?

My experience of live shows is much the same as you describe - the amount of money involved and where to spend it etc, but also that it is the best place to sell recorded music. I think recorded music still does have monetary value for exactly the reasons you descibe.

More broadly, re: spotify etc -

1.

people punt a lot of maths and stats around and fire royalty rates at each other, but I've yet to see anyone make a realistic attempt to calculate what the average value of a single play of a song is (and was) for traditional recorded music sales. For example - I buy an album for £10, I will probably listen to it A LOT for a couple of years and then my listening will tail off to the same background level as the rest of my collection. For a real favourite I'm not sure I'll listen to one song more than maybe two or three thousand times in my lifetime... you get the point. So I'd be interested to know if anyone can link to someone who's actually bothered to do these sums.

2.

My answer is an emphatic yes - and my favourite musical moments are "free" (as in bonfire singalongs). BUT recorded music is not free. It's not free to make, so why should it be free to own? Even if you throw out the window any idea of being paid for your writing and performance on said recording, and even if you accept that the cost of recording has plummeted in recent times, it still costs a sh**load of money to make and release a well recorded album. So people who want to own it can bloody well contribute to the cost.

That whole "it's a promotional tool" is part of the same exposure/competition/anyone-can-be-a-star/fight-your-way-to-the-TOP dystopia that Sonicbids want you to live in... Please let's not let it happen!
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby BigRedX » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:03 am

I don't express myself very well because it came out as a long stream of consciousness.

What I was trying to say is that my band sells recorded music nearly only at gigs, but really it's just another merchandise sale like a T-shirt or badge. We have a pretty good web presence and we are slowly building up radio play but that doesn't generate sales of recordings like the gigs do. When we do sell CDs on-line its almost always as a direct result of a gig we've just played and the orders always come in within a day or two after the gig.

When we released our first EP we got some great reviews. However we only sold a handful of CDs as a result. What we did get was lots more paying gigs.


On the question of Spotify, I consider it to be more like radio than owning the CD or record. If an artist decides to pull their music from the service then it's gone. If Spotify go out of business then all the music on there is gone. If you bought the record or CD you won't suddenly lose it. It's your for as long as the physical delivery medium survives.

Services like Spotify work well for established artists because listeners are already aware of them. If I put my recordings up on Spotify I still have to do all the work of persuading people to listen to them in order to generate any performance royalties. And on the whole apart from a few people who are really interested in searching out new music most listeners stick with what they already know. Great if you already have an audience. Pretty rubbish if you are trying to get heard.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby molecular » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:25 am

BigRedX wrote:Services like Spotify work well for established artists because listeners are already aware of them. If I put my recordings up on Spotify I still have to do all the work of persuading people to listen to them in order to generate any performance royalties. And on the whole apart from a few people who are really interested in searching out new music most listeners stick with what they already know. Great if you already have an audience. Pretty rubbish if you are trying to get heard.

Yes, this is my feeling as well. I personally would like to see Spotify make some big changes. E.g. I was all in favour of their 5 listen limit for free subscribers (I am one, and I immediately bought two albums as a result of going over that limit) but now it's disappeared again...?! I'd also welcome the possibility of a boycott movement by emerging artists. I don't want it to disappear, though.

The services that have made the biggest difference to me and my band(s) have been...

1. Soundcloud, who have an embeddable player that isn't crap, and a genuine sense of artistic community among users. I would rather advertise myself on soundcloud than spotify for streaming.

2. Bandcamp, which is fair and provides a great one-stop shop for selling music, cds/vinyl, merch, videos packages etc.

3. iTunes, where my album is indistinguishable in presentation style from the major label releases, and whatever you think of apple is at least a sustainable model for the future.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Dynamic Mike » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:17 am

Like many professions (sportsmen & women, actors, etc.) the income of successful recording artists has become disproportionate to it's worth. We don't notice this anymore because it's become the accepted norm, but it's not that long ago that musicians like Mozart were toadying up to the aristocracy for commissions. An artist should earn a living wage, no more, no less. I know that sounds like communism but what I mean is they need to lower their expectations and no longer judge their success from their income. Music in general has been democratised, much like DIY, the tools required are no longer in the possession of the time-served few.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby molecular » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:10 pm

Dynamic Mike wrote:Like many professions (sportsmen & women, actors, etc.) the income of successful recording artists has become disproportionate to it's worth. We don't notice this anymore because it's become the accepted norm, but it's not that long ago that musicians like Mozart were toadying up to the aristocracy for commissions. An artist should earn a living wage, no more, no less. I know that sounds like communism but what I mean is they need to lower their expectations and no longer judge their success from their income. Music in general has been democratised, much like DIY, the tools required are no longer in the possession of the time-served few.


Mike, you are right of course, and I entirely agree that the lowering of costs of recording is great, and by and large making and selling music today is great. As I mentioned, I'm a big fan of the bandcamp style of doing things, and even of iTunes.

Nobody I know objects to Spotify because they want to be rich and famous. We collectively object generally to the culture it reinforces because all we want IS a living wage.

Re: Mozart - not that I am mozart, but I do go around toadying up to the purse-string holders (these days the lottery fund distributors) for commissions, and have been successful and unsuccessful in equal measure. Between that, teaching and sound engineering I scrape a living wage together.

If we want to earn a living wage, we need to charge an appropriate amount so that our modest sales are valued properly. If we want to "risk it all" to become stars... - that is when it makes sense to bend over and let spotify do it's will.

Maybe I misread your post - is that what you meant, anyway?
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Thomas. » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:30 pm

A small example: I went to see Deep Purple last night, and knowing that they had a new album I bought a copy so that I would at least be familiar with the songs being played. It was bleedin' obvious who else had, and who was just there to hear "Live in Japan"...

That said, the ticket price (90 Swiss francs, about 60 quid) is as much as I can pay for a concert, and I'll get more value from the 11 francs I spent on the album. Roger Waters wanted 150 francs for The Wall, and its too much.

All that to say that I think there is still a market for recordings (which can also have things that are hard to replicate on stage), but maybe the way they are sold needs to evolve.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Dynamic Mike » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:07 pm

molecular wrote:Maybe I misread your post - is that what you meant, anyway?

Not really, but I agree we agree in principle. I was implying rather that being the lead singer of a commercially successful band should enable you to get a mortgage on a four bed detached in a nice area, close to a decent school and perhaps a low milage secondhand people carrier. What it shouldn't get you is country house with a garage full of Ferrari's. Obviously I don't mean 'you' personally.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby johnny h » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:15 am

Dynamic Mike wrote:
molecular wrote:Maybe I misread your post - is that what you meant, anyway?

Not really, but I agree we agree in principle. I was implying rather that being the lead singer of a commercially successful band should enable you to get a mortgage on a four bed detached in a nice area, close to a decent school and perhaps a low milage secondhand people carrier. What it shouldn't get you is country house with a garage full of Ferrari's. Obviously I don't mean 'you' personally.
Why? Being at the top of your game in the field of computers makes you about 70 billion dollars. Being decidedly average at computers gets you a mortgage and an ok house.

So why exactly should musicians get a very average wage and everyone below can't pay the bills at all? The median income for musicians is zero as it is.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby johnny h » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:17 am

And spotify can do one. Total blood sucking arseholes. Making themselves super rich by using the hard work and talent of others. Most musicians on spotify couldn't even buy a bag of peanuts on the royalties they dish out.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby grab » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:46 pm

Dynamic Mike wrote:Music in general has been democratised, much like DIY, the tools required are no longer in the possession of the time-served few.

You're making the bogus assumption that it's all about the tools.

Is your music-making like building a garden shed from a B&Q kit, is it like building a house, or is it like building a skyscraper?

Any muppet can build a garden shed from a kit of parts, using DIY tool (although even there it takes a small degree of competence to do a decent job). A committed amateur could learn the skills to build/plumb/wire/decorate a house and do it all themselves, but it takes a fair amount of learning and probably a fair amount of trial-and-error, as well as all the right tools for the job. And on a skyscraper, it takes a whole bunch of people at the top of their game to make it stay up. You could give an amateur all the tools of a civil engineer, and they'd never make it work.

In construction, there's a clear continuum of skills from odd-job-man upwards. Should everyone be paid the same as the odd-job-man? Clearly that's a ludicrous suggestion. So why should it apply to music?
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby ezza » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:37 pm

johnny h wrote:
Dynamic Mike wrote:
molecular wrote:Maybe I misread your post - is that what you meant, anyway?


Not really, but I agree we agree in principle. I was implying rather that being the lead singer of a commercially successful band should enable you to get a mortgage on a four bed detached in a nice area, close to a decent school and perhaps a low milage secondhand people carrier. What it shouldn't get you is country house with a garage full of Ferrari's. Obviously I don't mean 'you' personally.

Why? Being at the top of your game in the field of computers makes you about 70 billion dollars. Being decidedly average at computers gets you a mortgage and an ok house.

So why exactly should musicians get a very average wage and everyone below can't pay the bills at all? The median income for musicians is zero as it is.


70 billion? A top developer would be lucky to earn more than 100k.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Dynamic Mike » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:20 pm

johnny h wrote:So why exactly should musicians get a very average wage and everyone below can't pay the bills at all? The median income for musicians is zero as it is.

So exactly how much more is a musician is worth than a nurse? Or a soldier? And why?

To quote the late, great Joe Strummer, when a producer spent an hour EQing the hi-hats 'Who cares, it's just a turdy record.'
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby johnny h » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:06 pm

Dynamic Mike wrote:
johnny h wrote:So why exactly should musicians get a very average wage and everyone below can't pay the bills at all? The median income for musicians is zero as it is.

So exactly how much more is a musician is worth than a nurse? Or a soldier? And why?

Loads more.

Because its really easy to be a nurse or a soldier. You just sign up, do some training and that's that, you are in the job. How many people spend years and 10s of thousands of pounds on music courses and can't achieve so much as a cursory brush-off email from a record label or studio?

Its easy to say someone who puts their life on the line for your country is a hero. That's the story the government like to peddle. But its not true. All these guys are doing is risking their life in exchange for money and 'honour'. The 'honour' being performing violent acts to please your elite masters, who in return view you with utter contempt.

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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Launch Pad » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:08 pm

This recurring question of weather music should be free or not really winds me up.

The people that bring it up usually seem to be people that don't actually make music so they can't appreciate what they are actually talking about.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby lukeandrewhill » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:09 pm

Surely the answer to that (at least in the past) is that the musician's worth is directly proportional to the number of people willing to pay to have his or her music. Not every musician in the 70's or 80's or whatever when music paid drove around in flash cars - only the good ones who sold lots of records - presumably as a result of being rather good at what they did. The problem now is that even if you are really good at making music you don't get paid for it as no one is buying.

Not sure I agree about the wage argument for musicians either. They aren't in a factory churning out music as if they were making furniture or something. Its all a lot more intangible and surely what you get paid must relate to the number of units you sell - a wage kind of gives the impression that musicians should get paid a reasonable amount even if no one likes what they have made (and therefore doesn't consume it.

Sorry for stream of conciousness post - not much time for self editing...

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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby johnny h » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:10 pm

ezza wrote:
70 billion? A top developer would be lucky to earn more than 100k.
I know guys who have made over 10 million just buying and selling domains. Its a good business.

Bill Gates is at the top of the computer game. He is worth $72.7 billion as of 2013.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby grab » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:10 pm

Dynamic Mike wrote:So exactly how much more is a musician is worth than a nurse? Or a soldier? And why?

You're either a troll or a teenager.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:34 pm

johnny h wrote: All these guys are doing is risking their life in exchange for money and 'honour'. The 'honour' being performing violent acts to please your elite masters, who in return view you with utter contempt.


You have a very strange, disturbing, and to me at least, offensive view of the UKs forces, let alone the many challenges of nursing.

If you think it's so easy being a nurse, or a soldier, you should try it...

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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Dynamic Mike » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:09 pm

grab wrote:Is your music-making like building a garden shed from a B&Q kit, is it like building a house, or is it like building a skyscraper?

Any muppet can build a garden shed from a kit of parts, using DIY tool (although even there it takes a small degree of competence to do a decent job).

The only difference between knocking out a trance tune in a DAW using a sample pack with an arpeggiator, to assembling a flat-pack from Ikea is that you don't have to worry about the bits you've got left over & you can undo your edits ad nauseum. Talented producers create software plug-in versions of themselves, studio owners sell IR's of recording spaces, you can now even purchase hardware emulations of mastering set ups. The music industry is de-skilling itself one piece at a time. That's what I was insinuating about democratisation in Art and it today appears it's not unique to music http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23376199

Having a different viewpoint hardly constitutes trolling, but you're right I was once a teenager.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Dynamic Mike » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:37 pm

johnny h wrote:How many people spend years and 10s of thousands of pounds on music courses and can't achieve so much as a cursory brush-off email from a record label or studio?

W.D.Y.C.A.I
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby johnny h » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:35 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
johnny h wrote: All these guys are doing is risking their life in exchange for money and 'honour'. The 'honour' being performing violent acts to please your elite masters, who in return view you with utter contempt.

You have a very strange, disturbing, and to me at least, offensive view of the UKs forces, let alone the many challenges of nursing.

If you think it's so easy being a nurse, or a soldier, you should try it...

H
If you think my view is offensive, how do you feel about Henry kissinger's view of the armed forces? I am not in a position to send troops to fight as "political pawns", as he called them. Yet he was.

I understand that people need to feel to belong to a certain group and that having enemies is quite a natural thing, but what has this got to do with the relative pay between musicians and soldiers?

I never said it was easy to be a nurse. It's just harder (or at least rarer) to be a musician that says something to a large group of people.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby hollowsun » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:48 am

johnny h wrote:Because its really easy to be a nurse or a soldier. You just sign up, do some training and that's that, you are in the job.
Sweet Jeeeez, Johnny you've excelled yourself.

Have you tried nursing? How much piss, blood, sick and vomit have you mopped up, how many arses have you wiped, how many catheters have you inserted, how many diabetics have you rescued from a coma, how many kids with leukaemia and other illnesses have you consoled when they are in pain or considering their impending death? Ever changed a colostomy or urostomy bag? Ever had to clean either of those stomas?. Ever given a bed bath to a disabled child or a pensioner after they've just ignominiously shat themselves? Ever washed their [ ****** ] laden clothes by hand? Ever assisted in an emergency birth?

No. Thought not.

Well, I have.

And you glibly say it's "easy"? It's not ... and I was just the tip of the iceberg doing the superficial stuff as a volunteer St John's Ambulance Brigade cadet (award winning, I should mention) for many, many years. I worked the Dan-Y-Bryn residential homes here, OAP residential homes, childrens' hospitals, cancer hospices and so on. I was on call FFS - they could call me any time and I'd be expected to get out there (all changed now). But what the real nursing staff had to do sometimes defies description, especially in A&E (where I did a few stints). You're on the go all the time, barely enough time to grab a cuppa. Lunch? What was that? The night shift (when I was assigned to them ... rarely) was usually uneventful but bloody hell, if it kicked off .... ! Have you ever assisted in a tracheotomy?

And have have you tried training with the army ... maybe out there on there Brecon Beacons in [ ****** ] weather laden down with equipment? Not sure you'd last 5 minutes. I've not done it (I am too much of a wimp) but I know several who have - it's not Dad's Army with flatfoots, Cap'n Mainwaring and Corporal Jones and some dour Scotsman ... it's WELL tough.

You do a disservice to these people ... and you think someone dicking around on a computer with some loops is worth "loads more" than them? Shame on your socialist principles.

If someone makes a living/fortune from their musical endeavours, fine - good luck to them - but to say that nursing/soldiering is "easy" is just arrant nonsense.

Whether you approve of the army or not and want to make some (another) political statement about the "ruling elite" is neither here nor there - fact is that nursing and army life is a f'k'n tough job, the likes of which I imagine few of us here could do. Least of all you, I suspect.

As Hugh says above, if you think it's so easy, try it yourself.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby hollowsun » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:47 am

johnny h wrote:I never said it was easy to be a nurse.

You did actually...

johnny h wrote:Because its really easy to be a nurse

Errrmmm!

johnny h wrote:It's just harder (or at least rarer) to be a musician that says something to a large group of people.

Define 'musician' - someone with a copy of Garageband (whatever) or a gitwrist who knows a few chords and calls themselves a 'musician' is worth more than a nurse or a community carer, someone who could save another person's life? Oddly enough, when I was a St John's cadet and doing whatever in whatever environment, when there was a life threatening situation or a broken spine or limb, a head injury, a serious wound or even just a hurty knee, I wasn't told to quickly whip out a guitar and give 'em 12-bar riff ... or get my synth out and subject them to some serious abstract retro 60s electronica. No, I had to get in there with no messing about.

I do, however, believe that bands/artists should be rewarded according to their popularity whether that's 2p or £20 millions - market forces decide that one - and I don't wish to devalue their contribution to society and so on ... they bring a lot of joy and pleasure to many. Even during the years I did with St John's, sometimes playing someone a favourite record of theirs (or a cassette as it would have been) was often more effective than their prescribed medication. That said... to quote Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip...

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.
The Beatles: Were just a band.
Led Zeppelin: Just a band.
The Beach Boys: Just a band.
The Sex Pistols: Just a band.
The Clash: Just a band.
Crass: Just a band.
Minor Threat: Just a band.
The Cure: Were just a band.
The Smiths: Just a band.
Nirvana: Just a band.
The Pixies: Just a band.
Oasis: Just a band.
Radiohead: Just a band.
Bloc Party: Just a band.
The Arctic Monkeys: Just a band.
The next big thing... Just a band
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby johnny h » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:24 am

hollowsun wrote:
johnny h wrote:Because its really easy to be a nurse or a soldier. You just sign up, do some training and that's that, you are in the job.
Sweet Jeeeez, Johnny you've excelled yourself.

Have you tried nursing? How much piss, blood, sick and vomit have you mopped up,
Yeah it's definitely not a pleasant job, I never said that. I said it was much easier to become a nurse. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying for one minute being a musician is a harder job when you get there. I've worked in offices where nobody really does anything and thats a far worse job than being a musician. Once you have reached a certain level it is a very privileged position to be in.

When I say it's easy to be a nurse or soldier I'm only talking in terms of having a clear path laid out for you. There are clear and simple ways to go about it - attend nursing school / apply in an army centre. Obviously it doesn't guarantee you a job but the odds are far higher than making a career after doing a music technology course.

You do a disservice to these people ... and you think someone dicking around on a computer with some loops is worth "loads more" than them? Shame on your socialist principles.
I'm not a Marxist. I believe in equal opportunity and hence I'm against large inheritances, special favours and nepotism. Nurses are very important of course.

If someone makes a living/fortune from their musical endeavours, fine - good luck to them - but to say that nursing/soldiering is "easy" is just arrant nonsense.

Whether you approve of the army or not and want to make some (another) political statement about the "ruling elite" is neither here nor there - fact is that nursing and army life is a f'k'n tough job, the likes of which I imagine few of us here could do. Least of all you, I suspect.

As Hugh says above, if you think it's so easy, try it yourself.
You won't find me joining the army anytime soon. You're going to pay me to sit around at checkpoints watching DVDs wondering if today's the day I get a sniper bullet in my head? Busting open houses with my psycho fellow soldiers killing whole families? Nah, not for me. I know a few people in the army and they hate it. In truth they are there because they couldn't think of a better thing to do with their lives, and they regret it.
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:09 am

johnny h wrote:If you think my view is offensive, how do you feel about Henry kissinger's view of the armed forces?


Henry Kissinger isn't a member of this forum and doesn't have to abide by its rules. You are, and you do!

I never said it was easy to be a nurse.


Er...
johhny h wrote: ... its really easy to be a nurse or a soldier




H
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:16 am

johnny h wrote:I said it was much easier to become a nurse.


More offensive bollox. You have to study, practice and qualify to become a nurse. Anyone can call themselves 'a musician' with no qualifications, no study, and no skills -- and a very large number of people do exactly that!

Busting open houses with my psycho fellow soldiers killing whole families?


And yet more! You're on very thin ice and its getting thinner with every post, Johnny h!

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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby Gary_W » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:11 am

I'm in the fortunate position whereby I have a day job. Music is just my hobby and as such it costs me money as opposed to making me money. I have neither the will, the drive nor the talent to change that situation. I like having it as my place to go for fun and leisure - as such, I will always make music just for the joy of it. But of course, that is easy for me to say as I don't have to rely on it to feed my family.

On a wider point, the 'value' of any commodity is still really supply and demand / how much the market is willing to pay for it. With something that has very little 'physical' value, that latter part is always up in the air.

As Dynamic Mike pointed out earlier in the thread, music never was a well-paid job. These days, for some people, it is. But if you are going to choose it as your career then you have a minuscule chance of making it to the 'I can buy an island' group. You have a large chance of being in the 'just making ends meet' group. Sheer talent seems to not be enough these days to get you into the former group - there is some cracking stuff out there that is heard by so few.

Being a nurse of a soldier, you get mediocre wages for a very hard job which is clearly defined. You have to put in an awful lot of hours. If you put in the hours and work hard, you have the potential of a living wage. You have no hope of buying the island no matter what..... You might get on in the ranks and do a bit better but you're never going to get rich at it. You are doing something that could never really be called 'fun'. You are doing something that most people think is valuable to society in some way.

Being a musician, you either get no wages, mediocre wages, a living wage or enough to buy an island depending on circumstances. Your chances of being in the first three categories vastly outweighs your chance of being in the latter. Whilst the work CAN be hard, it isn't 'hard' in the same way as coal mining is. Neither is my job, and I tell myself this when I'm having a bad day

At least with music as your living you can console yourself with the fact that you're doing something that you love (if you don't then why do it with the chances of poverty vs riches) for a living that is PHYSICALLY not overly taxing in most cases, PHYSICALLY not dangerous compared to most other jobs and tends to take up far less time than doing a 'proper' job where you're doing 12 hour shifts down t'pit. Yes, I know there are exceptions and yes I have moved large speaker cabinets Your value to society is purely in the ears of the listener - even with someone who is successful. My mum probably thinks Buble is more valuable to society than Radiohead. I would not concur.

You have a free choice to go into any career you like. If that choice is a career in 'the arts' then you are taking a very, very big gamble. What you provide is not an essential service. We are in relatively hard times all round. People have less disposable income and now you have Spotify which makes it easy for them to (legally) listen to your music. Most people will either believe that the artists are getting money for this or they don't really think about it. Either way, your plight is unlikely to bother too many nurses or soldiers.

Back to Spotify - I subscribe and, as I'm on the consumer side of the fence, I absolutely love it. In my case, it causes me to buy music but it means I make the right choices. In years gone by, you'd hear a single and you'd buy the album for £15 from Our Price. You'd discover one other track was to your liking. So you've spent £15 on 2 tracks. I have a cupboard jam packed with CD's that rest unloved. There are others that still see constant play and, by rights, those artists should have had my money several times over.

These days, I hear a single on 6 Music. I listen to the album on Spotify. If I listen to it again on Spotify and still love it, Amazon gets a CD order.

Sometimes, I play 'Spotify Radio'. It'll play me stuff based on an artist I already like. On one occasion, it resulted in me discovering an artist whom I have STILL never heard on national radio and caused me to buy an album direct from them at their home page.

As for artists - I really hope some way can be found to get fair pay from Spotify / whatever comes next. All I can say is that at least there is HOPE of money from it. If people just go to the pirate sites you have no hope of cash. At least there is a corporation here with a desk to pound upon.

As a consumer, Spotify is perfect - it allows me to 'try before I buy'. And buy I do if my ears deem it worthy. I'm a great Radiohead and Thom Yorke fan but, if I can't listen to the Atoms for Peace album on there then I'm unlikely to buy it unless I hear the next 3 singles on the wireless and like them all..... I guess that I'm a risk-averse old fart these days which is why I'm happy with Spotify making my choices easy and why I make my living in a 'regular' job, not music
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Re: Interesting Article on Spotify/Streaming Revenues/Thom Yorke/etc

Postby CS70 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:02 am

On a wider point, the 'value' of any commodity is still really supply and demand / how much the market is willing to pay for it.


Well, unfortunately that point no longer applies to recorded music. The situation is how it is nowadays simply because recorded music (and other media) has become so easy to steal with impunity in the last decade or so. The key words being "to steal" and "impunity".

There would not be a market for cars if anyone could pinch them on the street without consequences. The definition of "market" is based on the idea that you cannot simply take the goods.

Music is not free insofar it takes skills and monetary investments to produce. And for decades the results proved to have a market, i.e. people were more than willing to exchange money to acquire the results. The market disappeared when it became possible to steal the products without consequences.

While it may possible to churn out trance tunes ikea-style as someone was saying (I guess: I wouldn't know where to start to make one), I know for a fact that creating and a crafting a tune and its parts, gathering the necessary skilled people, record, assemble and produce the final complete work takes lots of time and effort and some cash. So even if, missing talent, the result is a piece of crap.. it will still be a rather expensive piece of crap. How it can be even discussed that such result should be acquired for free, I cannot understand.

That at the moment we have to live with it (like we have to live with pollution, or road congestion or other less than nice aspects of modern life) does not make it right or sensible.
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