Are we willing to pay for creativity anymore? Musical hero Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame isn’t so sure. Yorke is boycotting the super music streaming service Spotify with his latest album “Amok.” Says Spotify doesn’t pay new young musicians enough to survive on. Fractions of a penny per digital listen. Pauper wages.
Add Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to the list of high profile musicians protesting the amount of pay artists get from Spotify. Yorke pulled two albums from Spotify, Tweeting that he was quote “standing up for our fellow musicians.”
The growing popularity of music subscription services has sparked a debate about compensation and the worth of exposure. Casey Rae, deputy director at the Future of Music Coalition , an advocacy group for artists in the digital age, joins Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson to discuss.
Streaming music services such as Pandora and Spotify promise a seemingly limitless song selection for listeners and actual royalties for artists. But amid growing complaints from artists that the Internet music services are hardly ideal for their bottom line, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has become the best-known artist to pull his music from Spotify. read more
When a label goes through transition, losing the initial person who was pushing for you and had your back can be really confusing — and lonely.
“A lot of times, historically, how this would happen, an A&R guy would be like, ‘Oh, I’m so excited about this new band! You guys are gonna be big!’” says Casey Rae, deputy director of the Future of Music Coalition, an advocacy group for musicians. “And we get you on the label, and everyone’s all excited, and then all of a sudden that A&R person loses their job and you’re just out in the wilderness, and maybe you’re just a line item on some accountant’s ledger sheet. And you can easily be X’ed out because, well, we have other priorities.” read more
[…]“Most of the focus is going to be on the internet,” said Casey Rae, co-executive director of the Future of Music Coalition, of the Congressional review and possible legislative push. “A lot of this will have to do with the economics of digital distribution” of music and video, and the status of so-called orphan works (copyrighted material whose owners cannot be located or have passed away) he said in an interview. The non-profit coalition represents performing artists. read more
Casey Rae is the deputy director of the Future of Music Coalition, and an independent musician/producer. I asked him about whether indie musicians have the ability to build an audience that matched their ability to distribute digitally.
“We have tremendous access to audiences, but as musicians we might not have leverage in the new marketplace that’s comparable to the folks who always had leverage in the marketplace,” Rae said.
“You don’t have many excuses anymore,” Casey Rae, deputy director of the Future of Music Coalition told me. “For 10 dollars a month, you can have access to all the recorded music in the world, on the go, stored in a cache on your phone and synchronized. It’s pretty amazing. That’s a powerful consumer-focused music marketplace.”
Rae’s observation speaks to consumer expectations of sound tracking one’s life at an extremely low cost. In addition to cheap music, people want tremendous variety (the long tail of unlocked music). Between the listening platforms and musician hangouts like SoundCloud, there is a consumer presumption that the entire library of recorded music should be accessible.
[…] Nearly one-third of American musicians are uninsured — double the percentage of the overall population without medical coverage. Only an estimated five percent of insured musicians, namely session musicians and orchestra players, have health care provided through their professional musical careers. That unfortunately doesn’t include most indie-rock artists. read more
Although some may question the importance of niche broadcast radio stations when an online radio station can be set up with little overhead, Michael Bracy, policy director for the Future of Music Coalition, said LPFM can reach people an online station may not, as well as allow people in those communities to make their voices heard.
“In terms of economic justice, and who actually gets to talk, a lot of people who are still listening to radio as a predominent communications form are the people who don’t necessarily have access to broadband,” Bracy said. “They’re also the ones that aren’t really targeted by commercial media, and frankly, when you look at the demographics they’re not particularly well-served by public radio.” read more