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Streaming Digital Audio

This was going to be a Blog entry but I can't spell out good ideas for every "independent artist" out there. If you're here, you're in for a good one (and thanks too).

Kanye streaming againEveryone's talking about streaming these days (see my Blog post "Taylor Not So Swift").  Everyone seems to be concentrating on getting money from streams.  I'm still not sure why any respectable musician would think they could rely on streaming their own music as a source of income?  Sell your instruments right now if you think you could make a living streaming your songs on the internet.  This article also relates money: royalties for a song stream, paying producers, paying song/ghost writers, and of course the so called "artist" who, according to Jay_z and Taylor Swift, usually winds up being a celebrity that needs a lot of help from vocal autotuners.   Anyways, it's all about streaming and not getting any money for it.

But Streaming?  Let's focus on Sales.

And I'll say it again, one should only get some sort of payment from a sale, not a listen. 

Let's take a look at streaming as a service which is basically another variation on satellite radio.  What "artists" would love to happen would be to get a cent per a low-fi listen, better known as a stream.  It works out a lot better for the artist if they had a person buy the song, hopefully in FLAC or wav.  If you're stuck with iTunes, then I'm sorry.  I wouldn't even buy my own stuff through iTunes because their markup to way too much.  $1.29 for a 3 minute song?  No thanks.

For starts, we'll do some basic math, complete with rounding. We'll say the streaming company/provider (Rhapsody, Spotify, etc) pays out to an "artist" .02 cents a listen, and for those unfortunate people that use a label, there goes a percentage of that .2 of a cent, and if you aren't capable, you'll have to pay the people that do all the fun stuff like writing and recording. 

Here's an idea: Sell it.  Seriously.  Aim for the sky.  Try and sell a song.  If I sell a recent song of mine on CD Baby at $0.50, CD Baby takes their 10% or 5 cents and I get the remaining $0.45.  And I don't spend it all in one place either.  Since I don't funnel my earnings through a useless label, I get all my $0.45.  I'm my own writer, producer and publisher (it's a tough job but somebody's got to do it).

Now for me to get that same income from streaming, assuming I get a .02 cents per stream, I'd need 2250 streams/plays/listens. I know you were reading but, in short: 1 Sale = $0.45 for me; 2250 streams = $0.45 for me.  I have a better chance of having, and would rather have, a sale from that one person that genuinely likes my song than 2250 people accidentally hearing it.  I don't think I've met 2250 people through my entire life.

And forget Crapple and their inflated iPrices: $1.29 per song (which is incredibly wrong) and I don't even get to set that price, which is way more than Apple's stated 30%.  And that's why they can go to hell.

Everybody's running around lately crying about money and streaming that they all forgot about selling the thing.  To me, most of these whiny "artists" can't get a sale and need some affirmation that they're somehow musicians.  I say, if you're song is good and/or likable enough, people will be more than willing to pay $0.50 for the file.  If everyone stopped being so goddamn greedy and adopting attitudes of celebrities instead of acting like people who actually make music, the world would be a better place.

And if you bought Taylor Swift's bullshit and you're thinking she's the champion of the working musician, buy some razor blades and cut along the artery.  You'll be doing everyone a favour.  And all this fuss, for literally, almost nothing.   

Have a listen - it's free

I would be foolish if I said don't go to CD Baby, so go there now.

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