I've been hearing quite a bit lately about streaming being the future of music. All you can eat services (free or otherwise) like Spotify and Pandora are the future. And the future is now. And the future is a steaming pile of bullshit for independent artists.
Sure, there is more potential exposure having my music on these services. They are convenient and are delivering music in a way consumers want. I've read articles about how great this is for labels and listeners. Notice who gets left out? And despide hundreds of plays on streaming services, I've not seen any uptick in actual purchases. See, that's the point. Just stream all the time. The claim is that pretty soon people won't own any music. It will all be streamed.
Here's the problem. Services like Spotify are relatively new, and as with a lot of online ventures, no one has really figured out how to make good money on it. So they make some money somehow. That pile of money is divided among everybody. I'm competing with Madonna and Green Day. Their cut will obviously be bigger than mine. What's worse, and what really compounds this problem is that Spotify pays $.007 per play. You read that right, less than one penny. The highest number I've seen from other services is just over one cent per play. I don't know how much profit these streaming services are making, but I'm going to be extra pissed if they aren't putting most of it back to the artists. Really, it's no different than is ever was. It's still radio, and the little guy still gets screwed.
Honestly, I would rather someone steal my music than insult me by paying 7/10th of a cent for a play.