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  • Spotify: An opportunity?

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...h-fake-artists

    "Spotify has denied filling its most popular playlists with “fake artists”, after it was accused of creating songs to bulk out its most popular ambient playlists at low cost to itself."

    Sure there's no need for them to invent ambient artists...
    Latest release: The Bonesetters Fear of the Future

    Hearthis | Soundcloud

  • #2
    I suppose that the thing with the "fake artists" is that there is no revenue to pay. Whereas if all the ambient artists in the world sign up to the service they would have to pay out. At least that is how I understand it.

    Are you on spotify yet GaryG ?

    I have still to get my head around all the different ways of signing up...
    https://soundcloud.com/synkrotron

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    • #3
      No, I've never bothered. Maybe it's an old fashioned idea but I like the idea of organising my releases into something vaguely album-like. If I produced a sizable number of tracks that kind of existed in their own right I may think about it. Guess that's why I rarely upload stuff to SC, not really interested in random tracks.
      Latest release: The Bonesetters Fear of the Future

      Hearthis | Soundcloud

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      • #4
        Some more info here :-

        https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.c...ampaign=buffer
        Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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        • #5
          Interesting article. Thanks.

          Also the line "Spotify, which lost $600m in 2016," when taken together with the current Soundcloud situation, makes you wonder if there's any future in streamed music.
          https://soundcloud.com/ynotb
          https://ynotb.bandcamp.com/
          http://ynotb.weebly.com/
          https://ynotbmusic.tumblr.com/

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          • #6
            It's an interesting world. Very few people buy anymore. Most people stream. Let's say more non-musicians, non-niche fans stream. As we all know people who buy and are 100% invested in "collecting" still - I'd imagine many people in our niche still are. But... none of my nieces and nephews, none of the new younger coworkers - they just don't buy albums. They listen to them online - and usually mixes, not specifically for an artist. Maybe a specific song...

            And yes - we're a different breed - I think I'm safe in saying most of us here at AO want to hear a whole album... regardless of the genre for the most part.

            Spotify plays to that perfectly with their playlists. They hire people for virtually no money to create the playlists... they make sure they're packed with songs from the larger labels that negotiated deals and prop spotify up in one way or another.

            In some ways I like the music that spotify provides - I can hear things I've never heard before in an easy way. I know I'm sending at least half a penny to the artist so they can enjoy that tiny micro drop of coffee on my tiny micro drop of money. If I love it - I'm going to go find their personal page, bandcamp, or label and get the album in a way that I think helps them the best. Or I'm going to drop "now listening" and recommendations around here or ello or to my friends.

            In other ways I think Spotify is the demon devil from hell. Soundcloud went to hell. I never connected with Pandora. I've been told to try Apple Music since I'm a big Apple walled garden ios guy anyway.

            owner / artist
            relaxed machinery - organic .: ambient :. techno
            http://relaxedmachinery.com
            open creative community: https://ello.co/elloambient

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            • #7
              I've done a lot of research on what's going on in the streaming world over the past few weeks, and I've definitely come around more to the idea that it's here to stay and probably will continue to be the main way that music is listened to into the future. I think it was difficult for me to do so, because seemingly like many others here, I grew up with albums and I've almost always been one to put on an album and listen to it all the way through, whether it's physical media or on my iPod.

              I also think it's great that for a small price, one's music can be distributed throughout the world and can be heard by anybody - that idea was a pipe dream when I was producing my own cassettes and giving them out to my friends locally, or even when I was sending out mail orders of CDRs with handmade artwork to people across the country and in Canada.

              However, the new streaming frontier does not come without its pitfalls, and a lot of them seem to be showing up all at once - the fall of SoundCloud, the deceptive practices of Spotify, the manipulation of Spotify by the majors in order to get their artists played on playlists, Spotify fighting (and succeeding) to reduce artist royalties - it seems to go on and on. It's fascinating and mortifying at the same time.

              I guess as artists, all we can do is keep on top of things and follow the stream (pardon the pun) to see where it goes. I'm certainly not averse to finding some coins in the stream either!
              Homepage: http://www.jasonvincion.com
              Bandcamp: https://jasonvincion.bandcamp.com
              SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jasonvincion/tracks
              Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Y16gVDRECNWCRiLazkqqj

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              • #8
                https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/12/1...mystery-tracks

                Some interviews with the artists using pseudonyms and getting on playlists.
                owner / artist
                relaxed machinery - organic .: ambient :. techno
                http://relaxedmachinery.com
                open creative community: https://ello.co/elloambient

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry, but I have a problem with Spotify- tried downloading the app and when I attempted to use it , it was going to require me to pay for a premium account to listen to ANYTHING. It might sound 'cheap' of me, but I want to demo a track before I decide whether I like it enough to buy it- esp when I know most of the proceeds are going to Spotify and not the artists. And I hate all the advertising they smack you with when attempting to listen to free version of Pandora- literally EVERY two songs! It's annoying to say the least. I could pay the $7 a month, I suppose, but I don't like the way Pandora is put together- their 'predictive' script for streaming music they think is like what you're listening to is a joke because I think it's based solely on tags and not what the music actually sounds like- so often you get a lot of crap you have to vote down so you don't get it streamed again. Besides, I'm pretty 'old-school' myself- I like listening to an album, not just a collection of random tracks loosely based on a genre.
                  "All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf, Lord Of The Rings

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                  • #10
                    I don't know about the Spotify app, but the program for PC will let you have a free account. Of course, you get ads every couple songs, so you'd have the same qualms with it that you do with Pandora.
                    Homepage: http://www.jasonvincion.com
                    Bandcamp: https://jasonvincion.bandcamp.com
                    SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jasonvincion/tracks
                    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Y16gVDRECNWCRiLazkqqj

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by john k-n View Post
                      It's an interesting world. Very few people buy anymore. Most people stream. Let's say more non-musicians, non-niche fans stream. As we all know people who buy and are 100% invested in "collecting" still - I'd imagine many people in our niche still are. But... none of my nieces and nephews, none of the new younger coworkers - they just don't buy albums. They listen to them online - and usually mixes, not specifically for an artist. Maybe a specific song...
                      I've noticed that, certainly my son (21) has a premium Spotify account and streams everything, doesn't seem to have a strong concept of 'album' anyway, just plays the stuff he wants.

                      Which, bizarrely, is maybe how it should be; people producing music and getting it heard without the business stuff getting in the way or being constrained by having to collect tracks together as an album. That's such an artificial construct anyway, forty minutes fits on an LP so that's how you group your stuff together? Or an hours worth when CDs hit?

                      I know myself, I certainly don't buy nearly as much music as I used to, I guess you just had to buy an album back in the day just to hear it whereas now pretty much everything is available to hear on the web somewhere. But when I do find something I like then I'll buy a physical copy or an 'enhanced' download for sure, collector mentality?



                      Latest release: The Bonesetters Fear of the Future

                      Hearthis | Soundcloud

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        GaryG - Collector Mentality - yep! and I have that bad. Born with it. That's why there's like 2-3,000 albums in my house in various physical formats. Not sure how many albums as files I've bought over the years - let alone all the ones people have given me. Music and a lot of things aren't really "collector" items for the younger generations (of course there are wonderful exceptions...), but for many - netflix and amazon have movies, music is in various places, they can collect things on video games instead of in the physical world.

                        I agree and disagree on the song being greater than the album. Sometimes - and clearly not all the time - the full album is put together that way meant to be a journey. From beginning to end. Maybe more so in our little ambient genre than others. I like to think of them that way. But, yeah - with pop, rock, blues, jazz... it's more about the song. I so maybe I mostly agree with you. Maybe "playlists" are a good thing.

                        I think I need to make a couple highlighting all the different Relaxed Machinery artists.
                        owner / artist
                        relaxed machinery - organic .: ambient :. techno
                        http://relaxedmachinery.com
                        open creative community: https://ello.co/elloambient

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's something I've certainly pondered; am I just a slave to the 40 minute format because that's how it was growing up? Should music be free and random, no worries about length etc, that's just a 'business convenience', easier for labels to package etc etc...? But then I kind of like how some bands were constrained by twenty minutes a side. I can think of a few prog bands who, once 70 minute CDs came along, seemed compelled to fill them when they probably shouldn't have.

                          I don't know. Maybe contradicting myself I certainly prefer to buy an album of music that I can play and absorb. I hear loads of great random tracks on soundcloud but quite often totally forget them or struggle to find them again.
                          Latest release: The Bonesetters Fear of the Future

                          Hearthis | Soundcloud

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                          • #14
                            TLDR: I like to work in album format; it usually enables me to release better work at a reasonable pace.




                            I feel strongly as a supporter of the album-oriented format. To draw a couple of metaphors, a piece can be a short story on it's own or a chapter of a larger book when presented alongside others in an album. It's also a bit like a show at a gallery instead of hanging a single painting. Sometimes I go for what I call the Peter Gabriel approach and use an album as a document of what direction I was was working in at a particular time; other times it is a collection of things of a similar feel, style, or approach composed over several years.

                            I do not feel one way nor the other is the proper way, but feel the album approach offers many benefits; single-work collectors can still just get the tracks they want from the album.

                            In my work, presenting things in an album format provides a hedge against releasing things I really haven't refined properly. I wait until I have several pieces that work together, allowing a bit more time for reflection on some pieces. This additional level of scrutiny (usually) provides a buffer against releasing things not well-thought-out or executed. I've still looked back on a few pieces and thought, what the hell was I trying to do here?

                            While my work isn't hugely popular, well-known, or maybe even at the level of some others in the ambient field, I do feel being more selective, only presenting the pieces that have gone through a bit of extra editorial rigor, and are really pushing at the edges of my abilities as a composer and engineer are the only ones really worthy of asking for people's attention. I'd rather release one good, well organized, and thought-provoking album every 5-7 years (although I seem to be more on a 9 months to a year cycle for some projects) than releasing singles every few weeks that may be good, but perhaps not as fully realized as a piece of work as it should be. Working in an album format allows me the framework in which to reflect upon the quality of my output at a more personally appropriate pace.

                            This won't and doesn't work for everyone; there are several composers about who are quite prolific and consistently produce high-quality works. This approach can also have the opposite effect and could cause some artists to use lower-quality pieces in order to fill out an album.

                            Besides, I like designing album covers.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by aoVI View Post
                              TLDR:

                              Besides, I like designing album covers.
                              Yes! An excellent reason for producing an album a week. Another good reason is that you need to finish the current album in order to make the next. Which reminds me that I must have a new release coming up soon, so I better get started working on it.
                              | Bandcamp | Hearthis | website |


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