Royalties & Schmoyalties

I played music today, that I own, does the publisher, label, or artist know? Nope. Let’s say the internet is where I go instead, is that traceable? Yes.

I own a collection of music, that I should be able to upload to Youtube, in a playlist form, and generate enough views to bring on sponsors and advertisers. These are the original recordings, capable of being captured by Youtube’s content ID system. The rights owners retain the right to say if the playlist is taken down or allowed to generate income through sponsors and advertisers.

If I make the same playlist on Spotify, I do not get the right to bring on sponsors or advertisers capable of generating an obvious difference in income due to a better product offering. There is no doubt I’m better playlister than your average college grad, computer science geek, or video gamer. But, Because there are faux experts at the top of the record industry, they allowed, for money, a fake award presented to the nerds, as the best at deciding how music is delivered.

The problem was that Spotify (who recently blocked me on Twitter) paid an enormous amount of upfront money for plays to happen in the future.  VCs somehow fell for this and the money went straight to the labels, to prop up their dying business model. Why didn’t VCs just bail out the labels and help them build a streaming service….because due to lack of an R&D model that would have never happened, but it indirectly did. Spotify was funded through VCs believing they were a music player software not a predictor of rockstar success. Now, if the nerds’ data crunching analysis & predictions were a real business model, they would be as close to forecasting rockstars as your local fortune teller. Every musician should beware of the ponzi scheme that is Spotify.