As I’m sitting at my computer writing this, I’ve just purchased Taylor Swift’s new album 1989.
iTunes asked me, “Are you sure you want to buy Taylor Swift’s 1989?” Hell yes, I’m sure.
I’ve heard plenty of opinions on her decision to take her new album off Spotify…and I’ve got something to say about it.
I am a hard-working artist, who makes practically no money from Spotify, iTunes streams or any other online music streaming service.
I, like every other artist on the planet, wasn’t asked if I’d like to stream my music on Spotify. It just magically appeared there. So that I can have the opportunity to make pennies for the music I would otherwise be selling for actual money.
Spotify estimates $0.006 per stream…divided in half if you’re signed to a label, which is the cost we pay to be able to afford recording any music in the first place..
Artists (and labels) have to spend an incredible amount of money on making a quality recording. After wringing our hearts dry to get great songs out of our endless hours of writing, those of us who aren’t proficient in ProTools or Logic have to pay for recording studio time, hire a producer, pay musicians to play the instruments (because a singer and a guitar won’t cut it anymore), someone to mix it, and then finally get it mastered (mastering alone can cost you up to TEN GRAND if you get someone who really knows what they’re doing)…..
So with all of that, the creation of Spotify opened the floodgates of money just rushing out the door for anyone who writes, produces, and creates music.
If a song gets 10,000 streams on Spotify, a signed artist can make up to a whopping $30. Now If they sold 10,000 singles on iTunes, they’d make up to $2500 (as a signed artist).
When my friends make an album, I buy it. I hand them money or buy it offline or whatever the best option is to make them the most money, because you know what? I LIKE THEIR MUSIC. I support what they’re doing, and I understand how much work goes into it–how much they love it.
I want them to succeed, and even more importantly, they are talented. And people need to be able to keep hearing these artists’ music.
The bottom line is, without money coming in, no one can survive.
Arists who say that Spotify isn’t hurting anything— that it’s just great exposure and a way of simply reaching a bigger audience… These are the ones who have no choice but to say that. We are practically forced to be conformists here because we are too broke and too desperate to do anything besides go along with it and hope for “more exposure”– which in my world, simply translates into “NO MONEY.”
I work very hard. I love music. And so many other people are in my boat, but drowning. Because people have decided that music “should be free.”
Why is that? Because it’s art? Because it’s just sounds put together? Because it’s already accessible?
I want an answer! Why should music be free?
People don’t walk into an art gallery and say “I think this one is beautiful. It speaks to me. I’d like to have it?” If you want it, you pay for it.
Like I’ve already said, music isn’t free to make. Even LIVE music isn’t free to make. We spend hours rehearsing and practicing– hours we could be working in a real job making real money– we pay other musicians to play with us, we have to show up early to set up and stay late to break down. And do you know what we get paid? Most of the time, nothing. We are giving our music away all. of. the. time. But we love it, so we suck it up. And we hope for the best.
I am so sick of people telling me that music should be free. It absolutely should not be. This is called the music business, because it is a business. Money is not a deniable part of the equation. That is, until we get snuffed out by the people who believe in getting everything they want as soon as they want it, for absolutely no money. We live in a society of people who have decided that we need that. And thanks to Spotify, people can have it. And we will go broke.
To those people who expect music to be free, I’d like to ask you to show up to work today just for the sheer joy of it, without being paid…like we do. Just invest your time, day in and out, into a hopeful payoff in the future…
Then, I’d like to render your gifts and passions, obsolete. And I’d like you to lie down and take it as if it doesn’t piss you off.
Taylor Swift made a humongous effort to keep her new album from being leaked, and people can and will scoff at her because of it…like this joker, Tom Barnes, a writer from Music.Mic …
“Swift is trying to prove a point about how we should buy music, but she’s completely ignoring the realities of the industry. It isn’t about selling records anymore — it’s about innovation in songwriting, creativity in marketing and, yes, free music…. ”
Right, Tom. Cause people are telling football players to continue to play hard and win games..continue giving us the entertainment we want, but not be paid anymore…They should just find a creative, more “innovative” way of making money on the side…cause hey, they’re rich already right?
There isn’t a harder working, more innovative, intelligently marketed artist than Taylor Swift, you moron That’s why she deserves to be PAID for all that work. That’s why people should care enough about this issue to start buying and stop streaming.
Taylor Swift’s music is being begged for online.. for free…but you’re not going to get it for free- and you shouldn’t. So BUY IT. You can buy a $12 martini.. a $12 sandwich..a $12 lipgloss… but you can’t buy an album that you’re going to love…and listen to over and over and over??? Whether it’s Taylor Swift or KORN..I don’t care. Just buy it if you want them to continue making music, otherwise our art form will die.
Just because Taylor Swift has money and success (which she earned) doesn’t mean that she doesn’t just as equally deserve to be paid for the album she created! Taking down her music should be viewed as standing up for artists who have worked hard to make music, and refuse to be told it’s worth literally $.006 each time it’s heard.
In an interview with Yahoo, she’s quoted saying “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writer’s, producers, artists and creators of this music.”
She’s made the scarifies, put in the time, the work…this is her life. She, and every other artist she’s making a statement for by taking her music off Spotify, including me, deserves the respect of being paid for what they work so hard to create and share with the world.