I just got an email yesterday from SoundCloud that said artists can now make money on their service! I was very happy when I read this. Now, I think it’s important to note that they’ve used the phrase “SoundCloud Premier Monetization.” Which means artist are not being paid royalties (unfortunately), so I’ll have to assume they must be doing something similar to YouTube with ad partners. This is interesting, because every time I’ve played music on SoundCloud, I haven’t noticed any ads. OK. I’m seeing them now.. LOL There’s some good music on SoundCloud! I mean, you sometimes have to do some digging, but it’s worth it when you find a gem you really like!!
Hi guys… I wanted to quickly share a conversation I had with someone, on one of those music web forums recently. Now, I want to reiterate that my opinions are from the standpoint of being a blogger, music fan since birth, a collector, my years of retail experience, and someone who USED TO purchase music (I do acknowledge being an actual artist is a whole different ball game).
I always seem to bump heads with artists from Bandcamp. An artist threw out a question “what are some of the ways he could promote himself better (something to that effect).” I don’t remember what I’ve written verbatim, I really didn’t think it was worth going back searching for it. However, I do remember getting a negative response back to my answer. He got so defensive, and told me how he was in a band, and they promoted his group by distributing CDs, and got their music playing on college radio. Blah, blah blah.. I told him that was amazing, cause I don’t remember how to even use my CD player. In fact, I’m sure if I walked around with my CD player on the train, people would look at me very strange. It totally didn’t occur to him that they accepted the CDs cause he was already in a college, with computers that have built in players. Today, I doubt anyone wants to carry a CD in their pocket! Not happening. Dude…. You need a serious social update!!
So, to make a long story short. I’m beginning to think that Bandcamp is for those old artists who just can’t let go of the very old business model. They still think they’re gonna make it big with selling CDs from the back of their truck. I want my readers to forward this article to any aspiring music artist you know. It’s important for artists to realize that by the time you publish your CD on Bandcamp, it’s already on YouTube. In other words, CDs are no longer a viable source of income. I’M TELLING YOU AS A MUSIC FAN…. NO ONE REALLY PURCHASES MUSIC ANYMORE!! Even the few that still do purchase music, a significant amount of their entertainment still comes from YouTube. Second, do you guys have any idea on just how easy it is to RIP something from YouTube? It literally takes less than a minute to encode an mp3 from YouTube. I know it’s hard to hear, but you MUST encourage your future fans to use music streaming. Put spotify codes on the back of your business card and distribute it. The people that still purchase CDs are a very small minority!
I know I’ve written about this awhile back, but I think it’s worth mentioning again how great soundiiz is. I’m not on a mission to promote them by any means. However, it is an important tool for people who heavily use music streaming. Obviously there are many different flavors of music streaming; and whatever type of personality you have, there is a streaming service that will fit your needs. Be it paid or free! So, what is the benefit of using something like soundiiz? To convert playlists from one platform to another! Well, why on earth would we want to do that? One huge reason is because most of us (even those with the least technical ability) who are streaming savvy use several online streaming service, but have one main preferred music source. For example, you may like to use the FREE version of Spotify, and maybe you like to also use YouTube, and SoundCloud. But your MAIN music source is iTunes. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t save playlists of songs they love, in whatever platform they’re using. At some point you’re gonna want to bring those playlists together, and share them across the other platforms your currently using. OR, you might be trying out different streaming services to see which paid service you like best! Best of all, soundiiz is FREE!! It is not really necessary to purchase a subscription, unless you are one of those people who need detailed reports about everything. Just give it a try. It’s one of the most important tools every digital music consumer (literally) should know about.
I should remind to my readers that, there will always be some songs that the other platform will not have. This is true especially when converting playlists from SoundCloud, those are often either customized edits & remixes, OR, artists who (for whatever reason) chose to only promote themselves through SoundCloud.
Throughout my blog, I’ve written extensively about both my gripes with people beatin’ up on Spotify, claiming low payouts to artists, and YouTube that gets away with not paying any royalties to artists at all. It’s an issue that baffled me for years.The truth of the mater is, I think both technology and entertainment are moving at such a fast rate, that people including the music industry still doesn’t know the right direction to take. Everyday there is something new to think about with regards to technology and the music business; aside from spending loads of money protecting artists’ copyright. Today, I’m still not sure if I still think whether or not YouTube has helped to ruin the music industry even further. But one thing is unfortunately clear; artists are both forced to monetize on YouTube because of piracy, and because YouTube does not pay royalties. Many artists see monetizing as a good thing… But I don’t…. ‘Cause it means that both artists and the industry is doing it because you don’t have much of a choice in reality. I also don’t think this is good for new artist as they struggle to get followers. Most would not make any money until one person out of a 100,000 views decides to buy something. Get it? If YouTube were paying royalties, you could have made $400 or more instead of a single YouTube follower that made you a $20 or lower commission (depending on who your partner is, and your audience) from monetizing. If you’re not going to make YouTube pay royalties, then you should be encouraging your fans to use Spotify and iTunes streaming.
At the same time, YouTube is also serving some benefit. One huge benefit is Shazam’s use of YouTube. So even if you’re not subscribed to a streaming service, you can still scan a song and have a YouTube link available. However the loss is, YouTube is not really a music discovery service. I really believe this is simply a misinterpretation between the younger generation and the old. Just because YouTube has almost every music ever created, that doesn’t make it a “discovery service.” Why? Because often times you have to know what you’re looking for to search it. Services like Spotify & iTunes use powerful and complex proprietary algorithms that learn your taste in music. To people of my age group, that’s “heaven sent,” as these services serve you with songs you haven’t heard in decades, or songs you would never hear again otherwise, cause you don’t remember it. YouTube gives you suggestions primarily on association, and popularity of videos. Plus, as someone who’s gone through a lot of health problems when I was younger, watching too much music videos isn’t good for us. You need to get something like Spotify, to get better music, and also to insure that you stay mobile and active. So, now that the music industry has accepted YouTube for what it is when it comes to music, copyright appears to be less and less an issue (indirectly). Movies are another matter. Then again, with YouTube’s new subscription services, one never knows what’s going to happen in the future.