Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Spotify: What to think?
Ari Brown. While listening to him, I looked him up on Spotify, and found the same album he was selling there at the show. That scared me, because it brought home the impact that disincentivizing must have on the artist. So I made a point to buy a copy of the CD later. Even though I had no intention of playing it. I wanted to support his work.
Lately I've been discovering a bunch of female jazz singers on Spotify, and again... no incentive to buy their CD's. Which makes me think I should be buying their CDs. I figure that if no one does, then there's no way the Spotify model is sustainable, which means independent artists can't possibly make a living.
But I had a conversation yesterday that made me even more angst-ridden. Someone pointed out that Spotify gives the musician publicity, and that musicians have always made most of their money from concerts, and merchandise sold at concerts. The artist makes virtually nothing from CD sales, except for those at the concert.
So what's a guy to do? Should I even be worried about Spotify at all? And if I am worried about Spotify, what can I do in lieu of buying CD's? Make a direct contribution to the artist? I don't know of any commonly accepted means by which to do that. It would be awesome if someone made a "Spotify Offset" app, which would give the user an option to pay an additional $10/month distributed proportionally among, say, the ten artists they listen to the most, but I don't see that happening.