Well this is just great. I commit to this big fancy project, set up a whizz-bang new blog, announce to the literally several interested people my intention to release music for download, when this story breaks. Apparently nobody downloads music any more. Yep, Rolling Stone magazine has just run a story entitled “Streaming is king as downloads fade away”. Well thank you very much.
It’s no surprise, I guess, that the popularity of services like Spotify and Youtube is exploding- for the consumer, it’s a great deal. In fact, even though artists are paid a pittance by these outlets, I know many musicians who have signed up, although they won’t admit it. Every day they wait for their wives or husbands to go out, draw the blinds, turn off the lights and start furiously streaming. They just can’t help themselves.
Although a stream seems like the obvious place for a project called Catch and Release, I’m not doing it. When I upload tracks to CD Baby, who organise my digital distribution, I’m offered these options: Sale through CD Baby only; Downloadable through iTunes/Amazon; Downloadable plus “paid” streaming (Spotify, etc); or “Everything” (give it to anyone who asks). I pick Downloadable. I have no real issue with the concept of subscription music services- in fact it’s a great idea. But if this little venture is going to come even close to breaking even, I need to sell these babies. (I’m talking about the tracks, not actual babies. It hasn’t come to that yet.)
What about you? Where do you get your music? Let me know in the comments (no judging!)
In related news, Taylor Swift just wrote an overwhelmingly upbeat editorial in the Wall Street Journal, declaring that “the music industry is not dying… it’s just coming alive.” Her relentless optimism may be influenced by the fact that she earned 64 million dollars in the last 12 months. I’ll be lucky to earn half that.
Here’s Swift’s article (she makes some decent points, actually): http://online.wsj.com/articles/for-taylor-swift-the-future-of-music-is-a-love-story-1404763219
And the aforementioned Rolling Stone piece: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/mid-year-music-update-streaming-is-king-as-downloads-fade-away-20140707