Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spot the elephant

In the ongoing Spotify debate there are numerous sides to the story and an obvious elephant in the room. If you agree with my theory that the only reason you’d stop streaming your music is that you think it’s detrimental to your sales then the ‘elephant’ in this instance is probably quality and popularity.

If I’m being charitable perhaps Thom & Nigel’s project is not suited to streaming as it’s not music that benefits from casual or background listening, it requires effort, the repeated listens that few of us (outside the rabid fans) have time for. It is also – essentially – a solo project and these are never as successful as the artist’s main activity, the stuff they became famous for.

Radiohead is not just a band, it is popular and successful enough to be known as a brand – people have faith in it and the material released in its name. The same is not valid for any project undertaken by the individual members of that band. This is as true for Thom Yorke as it is for Mick Jagger, neither will ever sell as much solo as they will within their known quantity.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Spot The Truth?

The new version of the old debate about Spotify payments to artists illuminates only one thing, no-one in the music industry trusts anyone. Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich may (or may not) have had good intentions but I can guarantee that some people will still be a bit sceptical about that.

They may be making a great point and they may also have re-ignited a healthy debate about ‘streaming’ in general but in the process they’ve definitely emphasized the fact that they’ve got a new album out – and you can no longer stream it (unless you go here of course).

The more cynical among us might claim that the only reason to stop an album streaming is because it’s having a negative effect on sales, Spotify themselves suggest otherwise in a recent report but the terms of reference (comparing only a limited number of selected albums in one territory) could be contested.