Saturday, October 24, 2015

Joe Elliott doesn't like streaming services

Streaming services, amirite? They're like the work of a demon. A minor demon, perhaps, but a demon nevertheless. Tell us why, Joe:

"I signed up for the Apple one, Beats. It's kind of semi-evil, because whoever owns Spotify is worth more than 50 times than Mick Jagger, who's been in this business for 50 years. And that's just not right.
Mick Jagger, according to The Richest, is worth 360 Million Dollars. So to be worth fifty times that, you would have to be an eighteen-fold billionaire. 18 billion is roughly the GDP of Honduras.

Just to be clear: Daniel Ek is not Honduras. In fact, according to Time, he's worth 300 Million Dollars, which puts him behind Mick Jagger in terms of wealth.

Obviously, the point Joe was trying to make was that it seems absurd that a person who works in the tech industry is worth a lot of money compared with someone who works in the music industry for fifty years.

Although that doesn't make sense generally: it's not like the tech industry away from music is known for being a place where the bosses take home tiny pay packets.

It also doesn't make any sense in this specific case. First of all, it could be possible that Mick Jagger had just invested incredibly badly, or had been generous with his money.

Secondly, although Mick has been in the industry fifty years, Ek's not exactly a newcomer - he started when he was 14, so nearly twenty years, and he made a fortune selling his first advertising business. So it's not like he's built his money up entirely from not making Mick Jagger even richer.

Also: both these people have obscene amounts of money. Even if Daniel Ek was fifty times richer than Jagger, that would mean Jagger had six million dollars. You can buy a bionic man with that.

But you had a point, Joe, to make:
Because when you read stories about Lady Gaga getting 127 dollars for 60 trillion plays, or whatever, you're thinking, this is bullshit.
Well, yes, there were stories five years ago that GaGag got USD127 for a million streams - it's funny that Elliott was spot-on with the amount there, when so many of his other figures are grossly overestimated in favour of his argument, but then I think we all know people in our own jobs who do that.

But why was GaGa doing so poorly out of streaming? Not because of the semi-evil streaming services, but because of the fully evil record labels:
[In] some explosive comments made by Gaga's ex-manager Troy Carter. Carter states that Gaga's label, Universal Music, cheated the artist out of streaming royalties due to her from Spotify and other streaming services during the height of her pop popularity.

Carter, who is no longer handling Gaga's career but is active as a music and technology entrepreneur and investor, said, "We've always gotten screwed from record royalties ... So when you look at it, the live business and the merchandise business have always been the bigger piece of the pie. And with record labels, I think it's more of just chickens coming home to roost. Well, let's rephrase that: labels made a significant amount of money off of Spotify that didn't match up to the artist royalty statements ..."
How evil of Spotify to, erm, not be party to the main point where artists are getting ripped off.

Anything else, Joe? Do you perhaps have an "I can remember when it was all trees round here" argument to offer?
And when you get on Spotify, it's very insular. Which the whole industry has become. Everybody is on headphones now. It's just Zombieland, and we're all guilty of it. I do it too, but only when it's necessary, like on an airplane.
Yes. People listening to music on headphones. In the old days, people used to go to their bedrooms to be insular and listen to music. How can Spotify have ruined that by, erm, inventing headphones or something or... what?