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Sound is the force of creation, the true whole. Music then, becomes the voice of the great cosmic oneness and therefore the optimal way to reach this final state of healing.” Hazrat Inayat Khan
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Future directions for music business

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Spotify can at least claim to be paying a lot more than YouTube, whose average per-stream rate has been put at a princely 0.051p. But big issues remain.

If you've just mastered Spotify it might be time to move on already to a streaming service that uses Blockchain to ensure that artists are able to set their own price and receive 100% when a user streams music. Could the days of the tech industry's stranglehold on the music business suddenly be becoming much more democratic? 

This week in the Guardian, John Harris writes on the problems with Spotify. Even though he is a member, he admits to its shortcomings - the service really doesn't benefit most musicians or fans "It’s a miracle of the age, but Spotify’s suspect ‘playlists’, shaky finances and low pay are bad for music fans and creators alike." 

"Only a generation ago, we all had to pay to own music; now, it is either free, or available in abundance in return for paltry subscription fees."

The issues created by algorithms have been evident for years but Spotify's ascent have accentuated the effects. Some users may delight in access to fulfil their own musical eclecticism but there is another side to the playlist mentality - the segretation and ghettoisation that is inclined to follow from the pursuit of musical 'genre'. Harris explains:

"Each day, I wake to find that Spotify’s systems have sent me an array of personal playlists, grouped together as my “daily mix”. On the day this piece was started, for example, mixes one to three were sold to me chiefly via the mention of such acts as Oasis, Happy Mondays, Bob Dylan and the Smashing Pumpkins, while mix four featured Pharrell Williams, Solange, the Mercury prize winner Sampha, and the uncategorisable Frank Ocean. Do you see what they did there? Presumably thanks to a moronic set of ideas about genre, white musicians go in one kind of box, while black ones tend to go in another."

"Put all this together, and you have quite a charge sheet: exploitation, the turning of music into wallpaper, and the slicing and dicing of great art according to the crassest of considerations. One thing amazes me: notwithstanding the one or two acts who still refuse to have anything to do with Spotify, why do musicians still blithely put their art in such unreliable care?"

 

With the likes of Apple and Spotify controlling the music industry for some years now, it is almost inevitable that alternatives appear and it seems that platforms such as Voise are ready to enter the fray and enable a musician-led revolution that has the potential to move control back to grass roots.

We will be watching with interest.

https://www.voise.com

 

 

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