It’s a weird thing to think about really, bands being like banks and comparing music to the coins floating about in our pocket, but… on the back of finding out that artists make on average, a measly $0.006 per song stream on Spotify I thought I’d give it a crack and turn the tables a little bit.
For starters, bands would charge you, to take your money, to use their services i.e. listen to their music. It’s what the banks do right? They charge us money so that they can keep our money, so we can continue to make money. But what if every time you invested in a CD, a record, or turned on your streaming service, you had to pay a fee. An extra fee on top of the retail price, just to have the pure enjoyment of listening to whatever it was you wanted to listen to. Would we then be much more conscious in the way we listen to music? Perhaps we wouldn’t use it just to fill the silence drowning a bad date. Would we take the time to really listen to each individual track? Would we relive the (proper) days of vinyl and sit and soak it all in? Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
And sure, it’s the golden age of streaming, but what if we as the listener, had to pay per track? What if that money went straight to the band or artist? Maybe the whole starving artist thing wouldn’t actually be a thing. Maybe every artist might be able to make some hard earned cash and put food on their table for the thing they both love and enjoy? Would you pay? Would we as a society pay? I mean we pay the big banks to do pretty much the same thing right?
The Spotify figures surprised me, actually baffled me to tell you the truth. How would you like it if you poured everything you had into something, to know you’d receive such low dividends but also being unable to do anything about it?
Maybe the whole point of this piece is just to plant even the tiniest seed. To spark and encourage us all to be a little more conscious about the way we listen to music, and throw some support behind the (struggling) artists we love so much. It’s all a commodity after all, shouldn’t we start to treat it like one?