The Spotify Situation

Digital MusicAs most of you know, Spotify is a streaming service where customers can play a flat fee per month and listen to just about anything. There are many other streaming services like Spotify, but they seem to be the most talked about these days.

Many songwriters have a problem with streaming services, because they pay royalties at such a low rate. Artists make on average less than one cent per play, between $0.006 and $0.0084, to be exact.

Taylor swift recently pulled her music from Spotify and had this to say:
“Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”

She really makes a great point. If we see music as valuable, shouldn’t we expect a higher price point?

I come from a songwriter’s perspective. I’ve written tons of songs, mostly Christian. I’m not famous or anything so I won’t be making millions of dollars off my songs any time soon, like Taylor Swift or other major Artists. But my songs are on Spotify for the time being. I usually release my albums on iTunes, CDBaby, and streaming services such as Spotify all at one time.

Here’s where it becomes difficult…

The music industry has changed so much over the past decade. It makes it easier for Artists like myself to get their music out there to the world. With the internet, social media, and digital music in general. But also more difficult because everything is so watered down. People can get music for free if they try hard enough.

So it becomes a difficult decision when releasing an album. Should I release it all over the digital world to get maximum exposure? Or release it on only 1 or 2 websites.. or even just release a hard copy in my local city?

I don’t claim to have all the answers. It really is a strange time that we live in. I am currently taking the maximum exposure rout, but I can’t say that I’m able to make a living off of the songs that I write. I would be lying to you. Like most musicians, I play weekend gigs, teach music lessons, and work at a church during the week to pay the bills.

There are people on both sides on this issue. But as a songwriter, I’ve learned you have to look out for yourself. Nothing is handed to you in the music business these days.

Thanks for listening, feel free to comment or send feedback. I would love to hear from you guys.

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Drew Ley