Spotify on Wall Street: are they the villains?

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Streaming systems and record labels: let’s get the facts straight

Do you remember that time when Taylor Swift was not on Spotify? Everybody was mad about it. The motivation behind it was that she figured that a lot of the agreements on streaming platforms undermined musicians over their royalties. The streaming platform gets some, the record label gets the other chunk (UMG made 4,5 million $ a day in 2017), and musicians are left with crumbles. 

Taylor Swift music

Taylor Swift has recently joined Spotify again

In fact, musician’s income has been spiralling downwards since, and it’s getting worse as streaming grows. It simply pays them too little. For them, to have the US minimum wage (1260 $), it takes 1,177, 021 streams. Basically, you need to be a fairly famous musician to be able to make a McDonald’s employee salary. And, with the breaking news that Spotify has just gone public and is giving its investors a huge payout in market shares on Wall Street, it’s no wonder that musicians are pointing their finger at them and looking for alternatives. It is true that, the “all you can stream” business model came about as an answer to music piracy, when the music industry was facing a crisis. There was indeed a big problem to solve: “how do we get users to pay for music when they could easily download it everywhere, anywhere, illegally and for free”

Spotify Wall Street

The opening of Spotify’s stock cam along with their nation’s flag.

Spotify and the problem with illegal downloads.

The only answer possible was, stream all you can for a fixed low fee. No worries about piracy, low mp3 quality, and the threat of viruses anymore. Pay 10 $ a month, and have all the music you want, simple and straightforward. Perfect, right? In fact, consumers bought it at increasing numbers and since then, music labels revenues hit record numbers over digitalisation. Mainstream users were no longer hooked on the “illegal & free” model. They loved Spotify and swore by it.

The question then is: “problem solved, right?” Well, Spotify is not really the villain. With illegal downloads musicians were paid nothing whereas now they’re at least paid crumbles. That’s a small step forward at least. So potentially, the glitch in the Matrix is that some consumers won’t care, just like whenever there’s a street musician performing, not everyone stops to listen. Nor tip. A big portion still does, and increasingly so. For those of us who love music, who do stay and listen, and tip because we appreciate the music, shouldn’t there be an alternative?


Blockchain technology is about to revolutionise the music industry

Volareo and blockchain: the alternative to a rigged system.

Well, there is a whole new movement coming up, fueled by the revolution of blockchain technology. It allows the process to be fair, transparent and exciting. Big names are behind it. For example, Hardwell, Imogen Heap, Matt Sorum (former Guns N’ Roses drummer) have all released music on blockchain. Companies like Musicoin, who are the first worldwide streaming platform based on blockchain, with over 2500 artists (and growing) under their belt, giving around 0.01 $ per stream to the artists, against the 0.007 of Spotify. Here at Volareo, we’re backing up their streaming platform with a top notch speaker designed to make music lovers and musicians one entity. Basically, it is as if your favorite artist is playing in your living room. You could tip him with a clap or cheer him thanks to speak recognition technology and perhaps most importantly the whole band gets paid fairly and equally thanks to smart contracts technoloy. Could you even ask for more? 

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