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Bandcamp is joining Epic Games

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52 minutes ago, pwalpwal said:

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This is soooo true.

I think when I started putting stuff out on streaming platforms like Spotify and iTunes the payments were higher. I might have seen a few bucks here and there. Nowdays it's just a loss making venture for me. And it's so un-transparent. The artist really has no idea if the stats are true or false. To give you an idea. I've got music being played by DJs now. I'm 'apparently' in the top 5 on one playlist. If I look at my Spotify stats I haven't had a single listen for a month.   Despite all the gesturing and bragging on line, I would wager that most artists are not even getting gas money from streaming platforms, and I don't know how honest those services are being. If anything, I think it's reverting back to how the old radio playlists used to work. Back when I had my music on 'real' radio, I signed up with the PRS in the UK to collect. I remember having to contact radio stations myself and get copies of their playlists to send to the PRS to prove that my music had been A-listed to national radio to get paid what I was owed. There was a time when radio stations published their playlists online. When they stopped doing that the onus fell on the artists to track them down, and if you didn't have a manager or a team doing it for you.... Good bye money. I feel the streaming platforms lack of transparency is leading to the top earners earning ever more and the bottom feeders losing out.

Bandcamp on the other hand has always been good to the artists in that respect.  Better than most labels (and I'm speaking as an artist who was once signed to a label), when someone buys an album, the artist gets the lion share. That would have been unheard of with the old label system where the artist usually started off in debt to the label.  

I hope Bandcamp stay true to their initial mission statement and it doesn't transform into another content library for streaming platforms or video games in the style of Epidemic Sounds.  That would be the death of Bandcamp as it is now.

And on a final note, you know those people who preach that the internet is a utopia in which the artist can finally be free and make money from their work? I'd like to stamp on their family jewels.  The internet hasn't freed anyone. It's just redefined the prison boundaries.

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On 3/3/2022 at 12:59 PM, antler said:

For those of us not in the know, could the people who think Bandcamp isn't that good provide some better alternatives please?

Uh oh, you had to go and launch hater's kryptonite.  So far we've heard about how Bandcamp is supposedly on a "path to irrelevancy," yet my understanding of irrelevance in such things as entertainment and retail requires something else becoming relevant in place of the thing that has become irrelevant.

So, those with a disdain for Bandcamp, please tell us to which music distribution outlet we should flock to instead. Perhaps one that accepts Venmo or some other form of payment more popular amongst the youth of today?

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10 minutes ago, Philip G Hunt said:

those people who preach that the internet is a utopia in which the artist can finally be free and make money from their work? I'd like to stamp on their family jewels.  The internet hasn't freed anyone. It's just redefined the prison boundaries.

I hold a fairly positive attitude, but I think the most important word is "CAN." As throughout the history of getting paid for creating music, there's no guarantee of "WILL" or "HOW MUCH."

"The internet" is no more responsible for ripping off musicians and listeners than "the radio spectrum" was 25 years ago. Parasitic organizations will spring up no matter how the information gets around, All the internet is is a faster, cheaper, and more direct way for information to get from one place to another. I will say that the channels that the internet has opened up have made it more possible for small-timers to connect with an audience (and even earn money) than before such channels existed. It's not created any goldmines or licenses to print money, but what ever has?

The idea that one person, or a small group of people together could earn more than (or even) a comfortable living playing music is one that only had traction for a small period of human history, starting in the late 1950's.

It's always been difficult to make a living from creating music. It still is. If the only difference is that now it's easier for me to discover new artists that I love to listen to and buy their music in high-resolution form while allowing them to keep 90% of what I pay instead of 12%, that's a big improvement in my eyes.

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4 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

It's always been difficult to make a living from creating music. It still is. If the only difference is that now it's easier for me to discover new artists that I love to listen to and buy their music in high-resolution form while allowing them to keep 90% of what I pay instead of 12%, that's a big improvement in my eyes.

This is only true of Bandcamp.

Artist don't see 90% of sales on other platforms such as iTunes (Apple music).

All of these services are great for the consumer because they keep the costs low for them and you have a massive pool to choose from. That benefit doesn't seem so balanced in the artists favour though.

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9 minutes ago, Philip G Hunt said:

This is only true of Bandcamp.

Artist don't see 90% of sales on other platforms such as iTunes (Apple music).

I think that was the point SK was making

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Philip G Hunt said:

This is only true of Bandcamp.

Artist don't see 90% of sales on other platforms such as iTunes (Apple music).

All of these services are great for the consumer because they keep the costs low for them and you have a massive pool to choose from. That benefit doesn't seem so balanced in the artists favour though.

Today's iTunes, Spotify, et al=yesteryear's major labels and Clear Channel-controlled radio.

The point I was trying to make is that compared to 25 years ago, we have better alternatives.

The difference is that rather than having to pay for CD manufacturing and then trying to find some way to peddle them to stores, with Bandcamp, an artist can issue a song or album and start selling it right away. It's up to them to promote it however they want to. Bandcamp also has room for labels who can act as curators and promoters.

I'd also like to add that whatever audio CODEC's they're using for their web, iOS, and Android players is excellent as far as sound quality, and that's another very important thing to me. The last time I tried listening to the biggies, the sound was a transient-smeared mess. Whether this is due to their CODEC or passing the songs through their automated de-flavorizer, I don't know. I work too hard on getting my spatial elements to work to have it messed up by some service's reprocessing.

Edited by Starship Krupa
insert screed about sound quality
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1 hour ago, Starship Krupa said:

Today's iTunes, Spotify, et al=yesteryear's major labels and Clear Channel-controlled radio.

The point I was trying to make is that compared to 25 years ago, we have better alternatives.

The difference is that rather than having to pay for CD manufacturing and then trying to find some way to peddle them to stores, with Bandcamp, an artist can issue a song or album and start selling it right away. It's up to them to promote it however they want to. Bandcamp also has room for labels who can act as curators and promoters.

I'd also like to add that whatever audio CODEC's they're using for their web, iOS, and Android players is excellent as far as sound quality, and that's another very important thing to me. The last time I tried listening to the biggies, the sound was a transient-smeared mess. Whether this is due to their CODEC or passing the songs through their automated de-flavorizer, I don't know. I work too hard on getting my spatial elements to work to have it messed up by some service's reprocessing.

Absolutely agree on that. SoundCloud seem to actively sabotage tracks on upload. 

I'm not really disagreeing with you on anything. I'm just feeling overwhelmed at the moment. I probably shouldn't be near a computer.

No offense meant to anyone.

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Posted (edited)

This thread is a good reminder why so many musicians are broke. 

Musicians consistently fail to understand that the modern music business is a MULTI-transaction volume industry. One that relies on sustained / repeated engagement across the largest consumer population possible. That's why you should be focused on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube, and NOT on platforms that are built on a SINGLE-transaction volume model like Bandcamp, with an extraordinary small userbase (especially internationally). You will go completely broke relying on the psychology offered in that Tweet screenshot above. It totally fails to understand that the music business has changed. The resources required to consistently generate $1000 of sales per month on a platform of Bandcamp are many orders of magnitude greater than sustaining that same revenue on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music - which are specifically built to capitalize on enormous userbase + repetition on small value transactions. 

Y'all will understand this eventually, likely when you're begging for social security inflation adjustments.

Now - you can say that "I don't care about any of this, I don't agree with Spotify's business model!". That's fine. You're likely misinformed (like Taylor Swift - who has now generated well over $100 million in revenue from Spotify's 'failed' and 'unfair' streaming model...and done so with relatively minimal resources spent), but that's your right. 

Edited by Carl Ewing
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8 minutes ago, Carl Ewing said:

Now - you can say that "I don't care about any of this, I don't agree with Spotify's business model!". That's fine. You're likely misinformed (like Taylor Swift - who has now generated well over $100 million in revenue from Spotify's 'failed' and 'unfair' streaming model...and done so with relatively minimal resources spent), but that's your right. 

But she's Taylor Swift. She's a top feeder. 🤣

How many people on this board can hand on heart say they make real money on streaming platforms such as Spotify?

Their business model is completely un-transparent.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Carl Ewing said:

This thread is a good reminder why so many musicians are broke. 

Musicians consistently fail to understand that the modern music business is a MULTI-transaction volume industry. One that relies on sustained / repeated engagement across the largest consumer population possible. That's why you should be focused on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube, and NOT on platforms that are built on a SINGLE-transaction volume model like Bandcamp, with an extraordinary small userbase (especially internationally). You will go completely broke relying on the psychology offered in that Tweet screenshot above. It totally fails to understand that the music business has changed. The resources required to consistently generate $1000 of sales per month on a platform of Bandcamp are many orders of magnitude greater than sustaining that same revenue on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music - which are specifically built to capitalize on enormous userbase + repetition on small value transactions. 

Y'all will understand this eventually, likely when you're begging for social security inflation adjustments.

Now - you can say that "I don't care about any of this, I don't agree with Spotify's business model!". That's fine. You're likely misinformed (like Taylor Swift - who has now generated well over $100 million in revenue from Spotify's 'failed' and 'unfair' streaming model...and done so with relatively minimal resources spent), but that's your right. 

There's so much to unpack that's fundamentally wrong with those claims you've made. I don't have time to address all of it. But quite simply...Just your argument that Taylor Swift has minimal resources behind her is so fantastically wrong. You consider multi-million dollar ad spends to promote her major releases "relatively minimal resources"???? Relative to what? 

To compare that indie artists and regional artists that don't even have $10,000 USD a yr budget to spend on promotion to Taylor Swift -- who has a massive marketing machine behind her, as big as it gets in the business -- is beyond ridiculous. Unquestionably, if you're an artist, you need to be on the various platforms where the people who consume the kind of music you create listen to music, but Spotify's current revenue model simply is not going to generate much revenue for artists without massive reach and, in the vast majority of cases, a serious ad spend. Only a very small percentage of artists are making significant wages on Spotify. I know several artists who are not currently signed on major labels anymore but had albums on major labels in the past and still produce music on smaller labels and have fans, one who once had a top 40 hit in the US  -- that probably the majority of people here would know -- and he's not even making $10,000 a yr from Spotify. You referred to the resources required to generate $1,000 sales per month on BandCamp. Can you tell us how many plays you need per month to generate $1,000 USD per month on Spotify? And tell us what your marketing strategy would be to generate $1,000 per month so we can understand what your net profit might be. 

Spotify is simply not a platform with a revenue model that provides a decent income for a smaller reach artist. There is no way to make the math work for small artists with limited reach.  Considering the avg payout of $0.003/stream, an artist would need to get around 335,000 streams to GROSS $1,000 on Spotify.  And the odds are that you're not going to get that amount of play month after month without investing in promotion and even $1,000 per month is a very very ridiculously small ad spend that will not reach the volume of listeners to get anywhere near 335,000 streams month after month -- no matter how ingenious your strategy is. So tell me, what would your promotion spend per month be to gross $1,000 per month? 

As you're boasting about your success with Spotify, can you link to your account so that we can see for ourselves?

Edited by PavlovsCat
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9 hours ago, Carl Ewing said:

you should be focused on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube

Let's say for instance that I play music that has a healthy niche, but never goes anywhere near a chart, like....bluegrass. I don't play bluegrass but I have friends who do and an active imagination, so I'll posit a scenario:

My trio and I play all the bluegrass festivals we can get to, usually not as headliners, but we're popular enough to get invited to play them. If we put together a dozen songs, we have a pretty good expectation that about 20,000 people know and like us well enough to pay $10 for their own digital album, and maybe our comedy reggae/metal version of "Orange Blossom Special" will sell for a buck to an unspecified number of people because it gets played from time to time on comedy shows or whatever. It's not hit material, it's a clever novelty song that people will want to listen to every day for a week and then probably only play it for their friends while they're getting loaded.

That's where we sit in the "music industry." We make music that we know how to make and love to play for a small, devoted fan base.

That right there is our "repeated engagement across the largest consumer population possible." But it's the music we love, and our fans love us and we love playing for them.

My trio and I should, per your advice, ignore BandCamp and focus our efforts on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, where the REAL money is? How many times will "Orange Blossom Rasta Meltdown" have to stream on them before we get a check for $100? For $1000? I ask because I have no idea. What steps should we take toward getting that many plays on SpoppleTube? Hire a promotional person (who would then share in the revenues)? Switch at age 57 to trying to make music that teenyboppers will lap up? You tell me, I have no idea.

No fair saying that that's not the kind of musicians you were talking about, that's called "moving the goalposts," as we've been talking about small timers for some time now, and I guarantee you that nobody in this thread has aspirations to be a teen idol. At least none that they'll admit. My friends from high school have grandkids. I do electronica because I figure in the unlikely event someone asks me to play out, I can wear a helmet like Deadmau5 or Daft Punk and nobody will see how old I am.

We're all musicians here, sound off: anyone here know anyone who's making a decent living from having their music stream on SpoppleTube? I didn't say "know OF anyone," I said "know anyone," as in any friend or acquaintance who's recorded some music and put it out there. How many musicians in your wide circle of friends has been paid even $1000 from streaming services? How about $100?

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   I've given up the idea of making any money with my music.  I finished my last album in July of 2021 and decided it was a waste of money for cd's because they were too hard to distribute, and who listens to cd's anymore unless they have a car stereo that takes them?  Does anyone sit at home and listen to an album CD on their stereo system anymore?  Not many, I guess.  Instead, I distributed it online through Bandcamp and none of the other services like Spotify, iTunes, etc.   As sort of a marketing test, I sent emails to everyone I could think of in my area to invite them to the Bandcamp page for my album, and said don't pay for the album--- just click the play button next to a song.  I also pleaded with them to not listen through their laptop speakers, but connect a pair of headphones to get the best stereo experience.  At Bandcamp, there is a tab at the webpage with a bar graph for statistics, showing partial plays and complete plays for all the songs in the album.  There was only one complete play through all the songs.  I confirmed with the friend who did this.   He bothered to go and find a pair on headphones stored in a drawer, connect them to his laptop,  and listen to the complete album.  He even told me which song he liked the best. 

   I'm guessing that the ones that only made it through part of a song before giving up listened through their laptop or smartphone speakers, or those little earbuds.  Hearing a partial mix with no bass frequencies sounds terrible, so why would they appreciate all the work I put into producing, mixing and mastering the songs.   All of this begs the question:  Is there a much smaller percentage of people listening to music than 50 years ago because they expect it to sound good through their laptop speakers or smartphones with earbuds?   Also, there is no concept of what an album is anymore.

   I don't want to start on another song writing project unless I can find someone to collaborate with;  maybe some musician  with some marketing experience.  Instead, I am enjoying live guitar and piano playing to hundreds of songs in Band in a Box 2022  that sounds incredible through my home system.  Thank you for listening to my rant.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Jim Green said:

   I've given up the idea of making any money with my music.  I finished my last album in July of 2021 and decided it was a waste of money for cd's because they were too hard to distribute, and who listens to cd's anymore unless they have a car stereo that takes them?  Does anyone sit at home and listen to an album CD on their stereo system anymore?  Not many, I guess.  Instead, I distributed it online through Bandcamp and none of the other services like Spotify, iTunes, etc.   As sort of a marketing test, I sent emails to everyone I could think of in my area to invite them to the Bandcamp page for my album, and said don't pay for the album--- just click the play button next to a song.  I also pleaded with them to not listen through their laptop speakers, but connect a pair of headphones to get the best stereo experience.  At Bandcamp, there is a tab at the webpage with a bar graph for statistics, showing partial plays and complete plays for all the songs in the album.  There was only one complete play through all the songs.  I confirmed with the friend who did this.   He bothered to go and find a pair on headphones stored in a drawer, connect them to his laptop,  and listen to the complete album.  He even told me which song he liked the best. 

   I'm guessing that the ones that only made it through part of a song before giving up listened through their laptop or smartphone speakers, or those little earbuds.  Hearing a partial mix with no bass frequencies sounds terrible, so why would they appreciate all the work I put into producing, mixing and mastering the songs.   All of this begs the question:  Is there a much smaller percentage of people listening to music than 50 years ago because they expect it to sound good through their laptop speakers or smartphones with earbuds?   Also, there is no concept of what an album is anymore.

   I don't want to start on another song writing project unless I can find someone to collaborate with;  maybe some musician  with some marketing experience.  Instead, I am enjoying live guitar and piano playing to hundreds of songs in Band in a Box 2022  that sounds incredible through my home system.  Thank you for listening to my rant.

 

I'm a former semi pro drummer who has had a long career in marketing with senior roles at major brands who long ago worked with a number of indie rock labels. I don't have experience in music marketing,  but  a good awareness  of how things work and worked and friends from the music industry and musicians.  I only do music as a hobby today and upload it to SoundCloud where only a small group of people listen. Because just like getting a phone number or a website,  just existing doesn't mean much. But to offer some very basic marketing advice for a musician...

For your music to get people's attention,  first it has to appeal to them, if the music isn't up to the task, forget everything else. If your music has the quality level to appeal to a certain group,  you need to find out how to reach that group.  Once you find your audience you need to make them aware of your music. You could spend money on targeting ads at them thar promote your music.  You can identify games that are interested in using  (licensing) your music in their games, and you can find agencies that will do this marketing for you, which,  if your music is realistically high quality and has the potential to appeal to a group,  I think this is easily the best route. 

The old school  ways music was promoted was through radio program directors and radio disc jockeys -- including drugs and bribes, through music trade magazines read by record store managers, then, like today through artists performing concerts and making appearances. 

Anyhow,  my underlying point is that marketing music is pretty complex and costly and there's a lot of elements to the mix. Simply uploading your music to Spotify or wherever with no promotional strategy is almost never going to result in anything more than a nominal awareness of your music.  For a small non-label affiliated artist you're going to need to put together a savvy marketing strategy to get your music heard. And it likely will mean you're going to have to be pretty creative, think about relationships,  look at vendors that have expertise that you can afford -- so you will need a budget. I'd still recommend doing local performances to build awareness of your brand as an artist. Have a plan to stimulate your fan base to share and promote your music. It takes creativity and a guerilla marketing mindset. And the easiest route is always going to be getting signed to a label that handle all of this stuff for you so that you can focus on getting your music to be the best it can be and live shows and appearances which remain very important even in the age of Spotify and social media,  all of these things can work together. 

Edited by PavlovsCat
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, pwalpwal said:

this seems relevant here

 

I just watched a little (I'll watch the rest later today), that's a pretty interesting story and the guy seems really down to earth and comes across very sincere (i didn't check to see if his song actually sold as well as he claimed). I was a bit suspicious that it might be BS from the title, but it seems pretty decent and the guy seems genuine and focused on helping others. Good share, @pwalpwal.  I agree with your point that this is relevant here. If he has a video that gets more into how he promoted his music, that would be even more relevant, as it seems a lot of people in the thread are looking for insights in how to reach a larger audience and this guy appears to have done a good job of that.  

Edited by PavlovsCat

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11 minutes ago, PavlovsCat said:

I just watched a little (I'll watch the rest later today), that's a pretty interesting story and the guy seems really down to earth and comes across very sincere (i didn't check to see if his song actually sold as well as he claimed). I was a bit suspicious that it might be BS from the title, but it seems pretty decent and the guy seems genuine and focused on helping others. Good share, @pwalpwal.  I agree with your point that this is relevant here. 

yeah, he's a bit obsessed with oasis, but seems an honest guy, check his yt channel

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1 minute ago, pwalpwal said:

yeah, he's a bit obsessed with oasis, but seems an honest guy, check his yt channel

Again, I think it was a really relevant and useful share and I really like his very down to earth and humble style of storytelling. I looked super quickly, but do you know if he has any videos on how he promoted his music for him to get two hit songs on the charts? If he has a video on that, I bet a bunch of people here would find that useful. 
(Not me, I only record and share music as a hobby and  am hoping to get more than 3 of my friends listening! But I have a lousy voice, can't play well anymore and am still learning about production and have no idea what I'm doing, I just thought I could share my knowledge of the music business and marketing in this thread and find the conversations interesting). 

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