Some would think that Streaming sites like Spotify were working to support artists but it’s hard to think that they are. The reason is that it’s very difficult for an indie artist to rise in their system.
Spotify itself supports the music and labels who they have negotiated deals with and continues to drive their customers to the same mainstream artists that radio used to monopolize.
Despite their advertising to attract indie artists, the referral system is not doing anything on it’s own to promote for the new musicians of our time. Instead it’s left to the individual to either purchase their way onto a popular playlist (going rate $300+) or DIY their marketing to their fans play by play.
It’s a time consuming task but over all just like any business owner with a product you have to take that product and market it heavily if you want it to get into the hands of buyers.
The only thing is that todays music isn’t purchased in the old way where you used to be able to exchange a cd for cash, it’s consumed in the form of a play. Each play adds up to little bits of currency that must be tracked and hopefully will add up to as much as a cd purchase. (about 1500 streams = 1 cd purchase)
So is todays artist getting what they deserve from streaming sites? No, not exactly. Most artist purchase plays from companies claiming to be pushing real plays to their music. (NOT HAPPENING) So they go for the vanity numbers.
The only issue with vanity numbers is that every person in the music industry only has to look across your social media platforms and see that your song with 1 million plays is a costly smoke screen hiding the fact that no one is really interested in listening.
And are they getting exposure in exchange for their music being given to a streaming platform like spotify? Not really. The only thing you really gain is that you have your music on a platform where someone who discovers your music may want to look for you. (+plus on availability)
So bottom line? Artists need to develop a brand and business model that works. Instead of buying plays, they need to put their money into an amazing website and media pieces like photography, video and put their time into crowdfunding merchandise and raising awareness.
Build a brand that really stands for something special and you won’t have to worry about pretending that your doing well. You will do well and your marketing efforts won’t be lost when these platforms fail and disappear.. (remember myspace? And does anyone have access to all those fans they paid facebook to reach anymore? NOT)
The future is you, not the platform your on and not the fake plays and views you paid for. It’s your narrative and your image. You can do this. Don’t give up on your dream.
Don’t give up on your dream.