Wading into the streaming debate: an idea.
I posit that there is nothing inherently wrong about streaming. Streaming is great. It's an amazing way to engage with and discover and listen to music. I use streaming services.
What is wrong about streaming is simply the compensation structure, which is opaque and exploitative and wrong.
How about we assign a price to a stream. Say: 1 or 2 cents, direct to the artist (or rights holder). Consumers could have an account with streaming services, and could be automatically charged per stream. At 1 or 2 cents a stream, most listeners would actually be paying LESS than the 10 dollars a month they are currently charged. And heavy users, like businesses, would pay more, which is only fair. Streaming services could charge a fee per month or per stream for administration and their bottom line.
At 1 cent a stream, I could have made a living from streaming this year, and I'm hardly big time. At 2 cents, a comfortable living. It wouldn't solve things, it wouldn't mean all musicians would be getting paid what they're worth, even, but it would be a start. There would be a viable path to making a living from recorded music.
And consumers would simply be paying for use, at an unbelievably cheap and reasonable rate that I'm sure everyone would be willing to pay. Rather than the current system, where light users essentially subsidize heavy users.
It would also remove the mystery and exploitative nature of streaming services. Right now, their accounting is opaque, and labels and artists have no way to be sure they are getting paid for their streams at all, let alone getting paid fairly.
If a stream had a price, I could simply look at my streaming stats and know how much money I was owed. Simple. It would build trust in a historically untrustworthy industry.
I posit the following: people like streaming services. They also like music and want to support artists. There is no reason why this can't work for all of us.
@tidal @applemusic @spotify
- if just one of you stepped up to the plate and became the platform that actually paid artists, you would, overnight, become the industry leader. I, and so many conscientious users would switch. Labels would license exclusively to you. Artists would defect to you. The paradigm would shift overnight.
Everybody would win. Artists. Labels. Consumers. Streaming Services.
Why can't this happen?
I challenge you to change.