Without fail, every time I talk about the money to be made from streaming music services I receive feedback from people suggesting I'm an ignoramus
to people such as Portishead's Geoff Barrow telling me to "wake the fuk up
!" and "bore off you knob
)" I stand by my opinion that there's plenty of money to be made by the music industry from streaming services and that artist's vitriol toward these services is misplaced and misleading. For example, Kendrick Lamar's newest album To Pimp a Butterfly
was streamed 9.6 million times in its first 24 hours of release on Spotify. Based on numbers provided by Spotify (Link
), this earned a payout of between $921,600 and $1,290,240. Then how is it that Portishead made just $2,500 off 34 million streams when the math works out to more like $204k to $285k? As David Byrne said, "Same as it ever was." The rights holders, namely the record labels, are making the money. When artists complain that they're making little to no money from streaming music, it's more often than not explicit or implicit that services such as Spotify are to blame. As expected the artist's fans eat it up, retweeting and echoing the same misleading pseudo-facts that are really a disservice to the artist, the fan, and everyone except the record label. I hate to say it, but those who aren't making as much money as they wish from streaming need to look inward rather than outward. If you signed your rights away to a record label, you're getting that to which you agreed. It doesn't matter if the contract was signed before the advent of streaming. The contract was still signed and based on the long notable history of record labels' "terrific" treatment of artists, it could have been foreseen that when in doubt the label will come out on top. In other words, expect to get screwed if something unforeseen pops up. Don't get me started on artists who are still trying to hold back the hands of time and kill the streaming services. I get it that you used to make more money from CD sales. However, the free market has spoken. People don't want what you're selling, if you're selling CDs or lossy downloads. Getting back on track, it's the rights holders who are making plenty of money from streaming services and who stand to earn much more as more people enter the streaming music fray.