Comics Creators

The Music Thread


If you ever think that you’re “supporting” your favourite band by streaming their songs, you’re wrong. You’re supporting Spotify.

Buy your favourite band’s products directly! I know it seems quaint and old-fashioned, but if you still want your favourite band to exist next year, it’s the only way.


But this is Peter Frampton we’re talking about…


No, this is 55 million streams we are talking about. How is newcomer Bandy McBandface ever going to afford his new amp when he’s getting 2000 streams?


Maybe they’re taking it from Peter Frampton, giving it to somebody good and just not telling Frampton.

Out of curiosity, is he talking about one streaming service or multiple ones?


No sure, to be honest I don’t have any context other than what he tweeted.

I do know that the problem hits older artists worse, as their original contracts (obviously) didn’t have streaming income clauses, allowing the record company to give them the bare minimum. Newer artists will have better contracts, for example I’ve seen figures that say Taylor Swift gets $300,000 annually from her 45 million streams.

But that’s still a big name with the power of a massive label negotiating for her. Bandy McBandface still isn’t getting squat.

You’re effectively right, because Spotify have a fixed pot that they can allocate among their content providers, and if Taylor Swift has negotiated for $300k then somebody else is losing out.


Did Frampton write his own music?


Most of it, some may have been co-written when he was in Humble Pie and The Herd. He definitely wrote Baby I Love Your Way. That doesn’t necessarily means he still “owns” them though, because, well, look up “bastards” in the dictionary and it will say “record company” :wink:


That may be the distinction in why he isn’t paid as much. The residual in music are significantly more for those who own the writing credit.



How much money should there be in streaming?

If you’re paying $10 a month for Spotify and streaming 3000 songs a month, that comes down to, like three cents per song. Spotify has its own employees to pay, business costs and overhead, bandwidth, etc.

It’s like the MoviePass model, where you pay a small monthly fee and then eat all you can. At some point, the math just doesn’t work.


Dave thinks we should buy all our music on wax cylinders. So you’re not likely to get much sympathy from him for streaming services. :wink:


Exactly, it doesn’t work. It’s a really terrible way for 99% of artists to do business. If we are honestly heading to a future where all music is consumed this way, the bottom end of the music industry will die.

At the moment, bands at the bottom of the industry are surviving on a loyal core of fans who believe good products are worth paying for. But outside that core, attitudes towards what music is worth are changing. In a generation, Spotify will have changed expectations to the point where spending $10 on a mere ten songs will seem insane. Then those bands will die, and we will be left with a handful of industry-backed megastars, amateurs making music as a vanity project, and nothing in between.

It’s not just music. Comics, too. Marvel can afford to give you everything they’ve ever published for $9.99. Bryan Talbot can’t. Alan Moore can’t. As the accepted model for consuming comics changes, these independent creators will die, and your choices will narrow to basically Marvel or Matt Garvey.


For the record, I’m fine with downloading. Pay the artist $10 and download an album or pay him $10 and he’ll mail you a CD, either one works for him. Paying him $0.00002 for 10 tracks streamed through Spotify clearly doesn’t.


Possibly, or the industry adapts. Getting heard or known is the big issue now. Beyond that, people will seek out or find what they enjoy be it comics or music. It’s a turbulent time bit I doubt it’s the Garveyapocalypse just yet.


The math gets really weird when you have a band with, say, 2000 downloads, and their royalty is a nickel. How much would it cost spotify to process that transaction? And the song with only a few hundred downloads… how do they pay out that 14% of a penny?

We’re sort of a point in the music indistry where artists have to give their music away for free, then hope they can make money by playing concerts, merchandise (t-shirts, vinyl, Funko Pops, whatever), and selling their songs for movies, tv, video games, and commercials.

It’s weird to think of a vinyl LP as merchandise, but when they cost $30 and exist as a specialized product, they more or less fall i to the same category as bobbleheads.


It is quite important because analysis has shown that Spotify pays out around 4 times as much as Youtube per 1000 plays. Apple Music pays 6 times as much.

The connection is what the consumer pays really. Youtube is mostly entirely free and ad supported, Spotify is a blend of free and subscribers and Apple Music is all subscriber outside short free trials.


You realize I’m joking, right?

I just find it weird that we’re all up in arms about artists not making much on music sales. Except for a short blip mostly due to iTunes that’s been the case for the majority of American acts for most of the history of popular music. They always made their money from touring and merch sales.


“Wax cylinders” was my clue :wink:


I take the point, but I think if you replaced ‘music’ with ‘comics’, it would be similar to the discussions we’ve had about the threat of digital comics threatening creators’ livelihoods, and the tone of the conversation would be very different.


My personal feelings (without knowing too much about the detailed economics of the situation) is that there always has to be an eye to keeping an industry (even an artistic industry) sustainable. I do find it slightly shocking that music is now available so cheaply (or even for free), having grown up in an era when if you wanted to choose what music you listened to, you had to pay a decent amount for it.