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How many of you are using spotify?


becka80
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Spotify and the others like it are garbage. "Best" quality there is 64 kbps which is a joke and is meant for iCrap users. If I'm looking for new bands, I'll use Metal Archives and then check them out on YouTube. If I like what I hear on YT and the band is available in our local stores, I'll buy their CD/DVD which then I'll rip to an extremely high bitrate FLAC. If it's not, I'll get it from torrents in nothing less than 320 kbps. The most of my music is between 700 and 1800 kbps FLACs.

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  • 7 months later...

I have Spotify premium, so I use it to listen to music when I'm in the car because I can just run it right through my bluetooth thing from my phone. I listen to a ton of podcasts on there as well and currently, Spotify is the only way I have to listen to some albums because I can't find them on vinyl.

It's worth paying for premium so you can search individual songs and not have to deal with ads. But to be perfectly honest, I have a set list of music I listen to when I drive and I don't really drive anywhere other than to work and back.

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My car uses USB storage, as does the tractor, so I just convert everything to mp3 and put it on a USB stick. One of the biggest issues for me using Spotify when mobile would be slipping in and out of range. These days in the car it's not so bad, phone coverage is pretty good in most places but on the farm we loose phone signal in so many places USB is just easier.

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Some here seem to be using Spotify for all it should be good for, which is discovering new music and, if you like it,  going and supporting the band by buying the album, e.g. from Bandcamp or your local store. Which is good to hear. Anyone that uses it as an exclusive way to consume music, know that you are suffocating a band's ability to make a living. The modern consumer that feels entitled to everything as cheap as possible with no thought to what resources or effort went into making it.

I don't personally understand why any small to medium sized band has any of their content on there because its shooting themselves in the foot. It just became the "done thing" and there is a fear of being left behind by not having your stuff on streaming services that, at the same time, ruins their chance of making a living. 

Spotify could have a feature like bandcamp where if you have listened to an artist's song or album more than a few times then you are prompted to pay the going rate for the song/album. But that is not their model. Their model is to devalue music and ruin lives.

Fuck spotify.

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Spotify is great for discovering new stuff and making playlists for long drives, background music, etc. Like the radio used to function for me in the old days. Most of the stuff I use it for I already own and am just too lazy to put on my phone (I have 4TB of music, no way all that fits on my Samsung). Or it's crap my wife likes I have no interest in owning. We have the family plan for the 3 of us and it works out cheaper than XM/Sirius with mostly the same effect for her. I have a few saved playlists too that I follow like Fenriz radio (which is fucking excellent) and some Sovietwave/post-punk stuff that is curated. Mostly things I can't find to purchase. It's pretty much the only way to get some of that besides YouTube which I find annoying for playlist type stuff (too many ad interruptions). Maybe if I played with YT more, but I'm just so used to Spotify.

I like your idea of a Bandcamp style system though and even if they had an option to purchase straight from Spotify. I think they are missing the boat on that.

4 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

Some here seem to be using Spotify for all it should be good for, which is discovering new music and, if you like it,  going and supporting the band by buying the album, e.g. from Bandcamp or your local store. Which is good to hear. Anyone that uses it as an exclusive way to consume music, know that you are suffocating a band's ability to make a living. The modern consumer that feels entitled to everything as cheap as possible with no thought to what resources or effort went into making it.

I don't personally understand why any small to medium sized band has any of their content on there because its shooting themselves in the foot. It just became the "done thing" and there is a fear of being left behind by not having your stuff on streaming services that, at the same time, ruins their chance of making a living. 

Spotify could have a feature like bandcamp where if you have listened to an artist's song or album more than a few times then you are prompted to pay the going rate for the song/album. But that is not their model. Their model is to devalue music and ruin lives.

Fuck spotify.

 

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I have a Spotify premium account which I use for two simple reasons. The primary and most obvious one being so that I can listen to music when I'm on the go, (driving, walking the dog or playing music while at work). Mp3 players are pretty close to being completely phased out and likely will be a thing of the past pretty soon, and I've always had a pain in the ass of a time loading music from my laptop to my phone, so streaming is definitely the easiest solution to all of this.

My other reason for using Spotify is that sometimes there are artists or even whole genres of music where I only like a small handful of songs. I'm not paying money for a Creedence Clearwater Revival greatest hits album if I'm only interested in hearing "Fortunate Son" every once in a while, it simply doesn't make financial sense to do so.

All this being said I'm still a staunch buyer of music and bandcamp is my go-to. 

Another thing to consider is that the purchase of an album, in most circumstances anyways, is a one-time purchase. Spotify streams, however small they may be, are continuous sources of income for artists. Digital album purchases in conjunction with streaming Spotify while on the go is realistically the best way to financially support artists in this day and age. But the "pHySiCaL mEdiA oNLy" boomers sure don't like it when you say that haha.

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13 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

Some here seem to be using Spotify for all it should be good for, which is discovering new music and, if you like it,  going and supporting the band by buying the album, e.g. from Bandcamp or your local store. Which is good to hear. Anyone that uses it as an exclusive way to consume music, know that you are suffocating a band's ability to make a living. The modern consumer that feels entitled to everything as cheap as possible with no thought to what resources or effort went into making it.

I don't personally understand why any small to medium sized band has any of their content on there because its shooting themselves in the foot. It just became the "done thing" and there is a fear of being left behind by not having your stuff on streaming services that, at the same time, ruins their chance of making a living. 

Spotify could have a feature like bandcamp where if you have listened to an artist's song or album more than a few times then you are prompted to pay the going rate for the song/album. But that is not their model. Their model is to devalue music and ruin lives.

Fuck spotify.

I think many people are viewing the music business of decades past with rose colored glasses. Because let's face it, the old business model where record company execs who may or may not have known anything at all about what's good or what I want to hear were the ones selecting the lucky chosen few out of thousands of bands, and then a very small subset of those lucky chosen few becoming multi-millionaires was fucking stupid and unfair too. Most bands died on the vine back then and just gave up the music biz altogether and had to be satisfied with their income from their regular dude jobs and maybe some garage jamming with their mates on the weekends because they simply didn't get noticed by the right people who thought they could make a buck off of them.

And don't forget, lots and lots of bands signed really shitty lopsided contracts back then giving away all rights to the record companies and most bands were making just as little relatively speaking as many bands are able to earn today. This idea that back in the old days most bands were getting rich or even making a decent living from their music is just flat-out wrong. The vast majority of bands weren't making dick. The music biz has always been a longshot. Record companies have always been just as adept at killing bands' abilities to make a living back in the 20th century as you think streaming services are now. I don't have a Spotify account myself, but I do use Youtube to demo new stuff I might want to buy and to hunt down old stuff that I probably couldn't find anyway and might only want to hear once. I really don't feel like I'm ruining anything for anyone or taking food off their table.

The beauty of this new modern digital music era is that pretty much anyone can make albums and get their band's music out there and at least have the potential to be known to fans of that kind of music and receive feedback that their work is good and someone out there likes it. Musicians today as in any era just have to get it through their heads that just because they're in a rock band that makes records doesn't guarantee they'll be set for life or even be able to make a living solely from their musical endeavors. Which isn't so different really than how it's always been in the past, the main difference being that at least now anyone that wants to make music is easily able to do so and get it out there for others to hear while in the past that wasn't really feasible for most upstart bands unless they had a rich uncle od something. Musicians nowadays just have to decide which fate is worse, feeling underpaid for their hard work writing songs and making/producing albums vs. never even getting the chance to make records and have the public hear their music? No band ever made a dime off a record they couldn't afford to make.

Back in my youth as a budding teen metalhead in the 1970's I could count the number of "heavy" bands I knew of and had albums by on my fingers and toes. (and believe me, I had some toes left over) While nowadays here in my golden years I can accumulate literally hundreds of killer new releases each and every year. Most of these obscure underground bands whose albums I buy for relatively cheap download prices (like the price of a large quad flat white or less) would never have even seen the light of day back in the old pre-digital era. How is the fact that these marginal underground bands are able to release albums and sell them inexpensively while keeping 85% of sales prices for themselves, and then also make a very small amount from streaming on top of that a bad thing? How are their lives being ruined? Especially with these more esoteric sub-genres like extreme metal, prog, punk, and jazz where the typical fans tend to be much more serious about their love of collecting music than casual fans of pop music will ever be. Most metal fans will want to own their favorite albums at the very least in digital form even if they'll also sometimes stream them while on the go. Is the way things are today really so very different than hearing shit for free on the radio and then buying the albums we liked best the way us old folks did it way back when?

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6 hours ago, zackflag said:

My other reason for using Spotify is that sometimes there are artists or even whole genres of music where I only like a small handful of songs. I'm not paying money for a Creedence Clearwater Revival greatest hits album if I'm only interested in hearing "Fortunate Son" every once in a while, it simply doesn't make financial sense to do so.

Yeah like I wouldn't buy a Guns n Roses LP but I definitely listen to them on Spotify when I want to hear "Mr. Brownstone" or something. I listen to Sublime and stuff on there, because I'm not about to go out and spend $35 on a Sublime LP.

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Plenty of good point raised.

It was something that occurred to me a while ago that the streaming thing can work and maybe even be fair for legacy bands or back catalogs. Especially if you have time/leverage to negotiate a better deal.

By all means use Spotify as a radio station where you can playlist stuff, old and new. I agree, why would you want to buy a ZZ Top album when all you want to hear is that Back to the Future soundtrack song from two decades ago? Personally, I'd use You Tube like WN does and get the shitty VHS ripped video at the same time.

But for a new release, some underground band is losing big time by putting it on a streaming service. Although, it would make sense to give away one or two tracks as a taster of an album.

My problem with the current model is one of entitlement and devaluation of music but, for sure, the classic model of bands getting chewed up and spat out by the music industry and ending up in debt and on the street was just another flavour of shit raw deal compared to today's inequalities.

There is a real opportunity now to have a "fair" system. There'll still be a bazillion bands, most of whom will never make it, but they could have a fair choice. Streaming platforms are a new form of exploitation just as the old record companies were.

All the while it seems to me that shelling out $5-$10 directly to a band for a download album is fair and reasonable.

But, for the most part here, I'm preaching to the converted.

P.S. I don't see DAPs with huge storage capacities disappearing anytime soo. Downloading an album once is still a lot more efficient than streaming it a hundred times, where you need a permanent internet connection. What about after global societal collapse when there is no internet? I'll be trickle charging my MP3 player from a solar panel while some of you have to crank up a diesel generator to run your turntable or do without music completely as Spotify burns in the fire of hubris.

Who's laughing now!!??

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The flaw in your master plan in case of global societal and internet collapse is that you won't be able to load any new music onto your solar charged DAP. I realize that for some of you geezers listening to decades old music in perpetuity is no problem at all. But at least 90% of what's on my DAP and phone is new stuff from the last 5 years. Which means in 5 years sans internet my DAP would be virtually worthless to me without any new music. If I could only find the damn thing. I only keep it in a drawer in case of global societal and internet collapse because my car won't recognize it even through USB. And now suddenly it doesn't recognize my phone's bluetooth either the last few weeks so I drive around in golden silence.

You know honestly Jon-O it just occurred to me that the reason most actors make so much more money than most musicians (I'm talking about those outside of the very biggest 1% pop/movie stars) is because they have a union. The Screen Actors Guild. You can't work on screen in Hollywood films without a SAG card. Even extras get paid scale, speaking parts earn more. And the behind the scenes dudes and chicks have their own union as well. Musicians really need something like a recording artists guild. Banded together as one they might actually have the bargaining power to negotiate a better deal from The Evil Spotify Empire. I don't know that much about radio but I believe back in the day to have a song get picked up by radio stations and put into their regular rotation meant royalty checks were being sent out to rights holders.

But the thing is when you look up the actual numbers, Spotify has never posted a full year profit. At first glance it would seem like there is a boat load of money to be made there, Spotify had total revenue of $9.15 Billion last year. Apparently this is mostly from premium subscribers and much less from ads. But yet when it was all done & dusted they posted a net loss of $684 Million last year. Pre-tax loss was $810 Million US, that's $2.2 Mill per day, but they got a $128 Million tax break for losing so much bringing the net loss down to just $684 Mill. This shows that unless there's some creative accounting going on here they haven't quite figured out how to fully monetize this streaming thing correctly yet. Apparently they're spending a shit-ton on marketing which is growing their year over year revenues exponentially but they just haven't been able to turn these rapidly growing revenues into profits yet.

My take on this streaming thing is that when the day comes where they're actually making large profits they'll probably be more inclined to pay out more to artists. I suppose there is an upside limit to how much consumers of their streaming product would be willing to pay each month to have unlimited streaming. If they charge too much subscriptions go down and they still end up making less. So they market themselves like crazy to get more subscribers. At some point they will turn the corner as streaming becomes normalized and the pool of the as yet unsubscribed shrinks which will mean their marketing expenses will shrink as well, and their revenue will begin to climb. And then one day profits will come and I believe down the line artists will get paid.

Be patient Jon-O. I know you're sick of working your boring shitty old 9 to 5 job and would love to be able to make your livng as a full-time musician. Wouldn't we all? Maybe you could even move your party back to Aotearoa and let your wife stay home and raise your little girl. But hey you're not that old yet mi amigo, (at least not from my perspective) maybe your day in the sun is yet to come. Kia kaha tuakana.

 

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/spotify-lost-the-equivalent-of-2-2m-every-day-in-2020-as-it-spent-over-1bn-on-sales-and-marketing-for-the-first-time/

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21 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

 This shows that unless there's some creative accounting going on here they haven't quite figured out how to fully monetize this streaming thing correctly yet. 

And yet Daniel Ek's net worth is north of 4 billion dollars, while it takes over a thousand song streams to equal what I get from one Bandcamp download purchase. Hmm. Maybe they're running a loss-leader strategy to capture even more market share? More power to him, some marketplace-minded people might say. I know I don't want any part of it. 

I like local storage, the player/app of my choice, the ability to put song files on my non-internet-connected devices, A/B songs on my recording computer, etc etc. Spotify was never gonna be my thing. I tried it, hated using it, and got rid of it a long time ago; then one day I looked up and it had gone from novelty to fait accompli and taken over the world. The shame of it now is that it's so "convenient" for so many people that some folks will just not listen to anything if it's not on Spotify. It's just too much trouble for them to step out of the ecosystem. And once you've got your music up on Spotify, to reach all those people, why would they bother going anywhere else? Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

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1 hour ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Be patient Jon-O. I know you're sick of working your boring shitty old 9 to 5 job and would love to be able to make your livng as a full-time musician. Wouldn't we all? Maybe you could even move your party back to Aotearoa and let your wife stay home and raise your little girl. But hey you're not that old yet mi amigo, (at least not from my perspective) maybe your day in the sun is yet to come. Kia kaha tuakana.

I have a great 9 to 5 job. It is neither boring nor shitty. I guess it would be cool to make a living from music, but I don't think it is realistic, even in the ideal world I seek. 

The Spotify-running-at-a-loss thing has always baffled me. If it is so unprofitable, what is the point? They are remaking the world into a shittier place for nothing. You can but conclude it must be hopelessly corrupt. I bet the CEO is laughing all the way to the bank. 

Oh, and they won't ever pay a fair amount. They will pay what they can get away with and fight regulation every step of the way. That is how capitalism works.

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I use spotify to check music out before I buy the vinyl copy of it. I primarily use it to listen to Joe Rogan and other podcasts, and when I am out driving around (like today when I was doing my weekly record store runs, I was checking out an album I might purchase buy a Belarussian band called Veitah... album is only $20 so I'm strongly considering it).

New Darkthrone album is on there, so I've been listening to it on there instead of actually buying the album as I am not a huge Darkthrone fan right now (I explained this in another thread)

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7 hours ago, KillaKukumba said:

I know some people live for their daily podcasts

I have a few that I like but I mostly listen to them on drives and breaks at work. Joe Rogan Experience, the Cold War Vault, Jim Cornette's Drive-thru, Red Scare, The Tim Dillon Show, and there are a few others I listen to as well. I don't listen to them every day, but I usually have a day or so where I catch up on all the episodes that I missed because I am working most of the time and don't have a job that enables me to listen to stuff while I'm working.

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13 minutes ago, KillaKukumba said:

I'd have to have a way of saving podcasts because most of the time I'd get to listen to them would be when I wasn't in range of the internet. I presume saving them is an option but I've never looked into it because I guess I've never found anything compelling enough that I wanted to make the effort.

 

When I listen to podcasts, it's usually through the Google podcast app, and they have a download option. I've been listening to more podcasts in my downtime over the past year and a bit, unfortunately at the expense of music. It started because they're easy to listen to on the phone speakers, and now I'm kind of hooked.

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I used to listen to talk back radio in the tractor (my walking cane and membership card for the Grumpy Old Farts Club should arrive tomorrow! :P ) and although it didn't bother me because it was radio, I'd often miss out on conversations or part there of because I'd be in and out of the cab opening gates and moving stuff. I kind of see podcasts, the chatty ones anyway, as the same thing. I suppose if I really found something to get hooked on I'd figure out a way, maybe even a time to sit down and listen to podcasts just like I listen to/watch the news but as yet I haven't seen that hook float past.

 

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9 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

I have a great 9 to 5 job. It is neither boring nor shitty. I guess it would be cool to make a living from music, but I don't think it is realistic, even in the ideal world I seek. 

The Spotify-running-at-a-loss thing has always baffled me. If it is so unprofitable, what is the point? They are remaking the world into a shittier place for nothing. You can but conclude it must be hopelessly corrupt. I bet the CEO is laughing all the way to the bank. 

Oh, and they won't ever pay a fair amount. They will pay what they can get away with and fight regulation every step of the way. That is how capitalism works.

I have agreed with you before and I will agree with you again. Spotify are parasites and they can fuck right off.

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I mean.... Spotify, Apple Music and the like are only a part of the problem here. The biggest issue with streaming services is that they operate in conjunction with the age old music business model of record labels owning the rights to all the artist's work. Large record labels aren't getting mad at streaming, they're one of the beneficiaries.

If every artist owned the rights to their songs there'd probably be a lot less enmity towards streaming services.

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On 10/18/2021 at 6:54 PM, zackflag said:

If every artist owned the rights to their songs there'd probably be a lot less enmity towards streaming services.

That's more possible in today's version of the music industry than at any point in the past though. Artists can now record in their homes, make their own websites to host sales of their digital files, and don't really have to rely on the major labels for much anymore unless they're specifically trying to become huge, international acts.

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