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How rich are music streaming companies getting on the backs of artists?

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Tempest Takeaway:

It’s almost stereotypically acceptable that artists get the short end of the stick. But more than ever, artists are the driving force of their own impact, and the only ones that can truly connect and glue with their fans – from the real world into the looming metaverse.

While music streaming networks offer an exceptional way for ”their” customers to discover music, the artists contribute more than they receive, especially considering the market caps of the networks and their massive non-music payrolls. The average employee at Spotify is reported to make $166k + benefits, while the royalty rate paid to independent artists on spins is legalized piracy at $.003 per stream. That’s the power of networks with all the artists swimming in the same pool. But with all the tech Innovation and AI networks coming on line, is it time for artists to start thinking about getting out of the pool and partying in the jacuzzi?

Enter the Blockchain

Tokenization, smart contracts and DAO operating model innovations (implemented from the artist point of view) on the blockchain, are about to change the calculus for artists, big and small.

For example, NFT models give rise to entirely new ways on how an artist can package their music, touring and branding personas. This triggers an assessment of how valuable the streaming networks really are in the development and longevity of an artist going forward. So, don‘t be surprised to see some artists pull down their music from streaming networks, or at least pull them back and release at a later stage of a song‘s lifecycle. Why? Because NFT packaging allows artists to better leverage and optimize their spins in an array of new ways that create new revenue streams, that could potentially be diluted by streaming networks. After all, what good is a million spins on Spotify if an artist can’t reach fans directly or monetize them regularly in ways Spotify can’t. Artists are going to learn to lean on and take care of their best fans first - in some cases making them stakeholders and financiers in artist careers and publishing. All thanks to the democratization that the blockchain and tokenization offers artists.

Let tempest winds swirl and the renaissance begin for artists.

Here’s an article about an Australian producer with a conscience that recently quit Spotify. His exit point is that artists are being used while others win financially from artist efforts.

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