Damon Krukowski On Streaming

“How are musicians supposed to survive on $0.00173 per stream?”: 

“The Guardian”: https://shorturl.at/mCIJ6

This is what I hate about America, it’s all about self-interest, people believe they’re entitled to a living, and the truth is irrelevant.

Mr. Krukowski was in the band Galaxie 500. Their albums were released by Rough Trade. Assuming the label gave them an advance to make them, I doubt there were any significant royalties paid. I’m aware of Galaxie 500, but even household name bands from thirty plus years ago never went into royalties.

Now Mr. Krukowski has since moved on from that band. Presently he has an act with his wife, entitled Damon & Naomi. Go to the desktop version of Spotify, where streaming totals are published. Damon & Naomi’s “hit,” entitled “E.T.A., has a whopping 108,821 streams. No other track of their Top Ten breaks a hundred thousand. This is a hobby, not a career, and this guy deserves to get paid?

Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out that Krukowski went to Harvard, has taught there, I don’t think he’s starving, he’s just standing up for the little guy. Who was standing up for me when I had fewer than twenty bucks in my checking account and had written a bad check for the rent? I don’t want to sound like a Republican here, but I made my own choices and I lived in the bed I made. I’m not saying everybody has to sacrifice like I did, just that if you go down a rough path there is no guarantee of success, very few people succeed, and we as a society have no obligation to support your journey.

Makes me crazy. All these acts who consider themselves professionals who complain about streaming payments. It’s very simple, NOBODY IS LISTENING!

Talk to any other vertical… Do the social media influencers have a lobby asking the government to pass a bill so everybody who declares themselves an influencer gets a living wage, that a view pays more than it now does? At least these social media sites are profitable. Spotify swings from the red to the black. But somehow it’s Spotify’s fault.

As for the payment per stream… Makes a good headline, but Mr. Krukowski pulled that number out of his ass. There are different payments for different kinds of streaming, but the public is drawn to over-the-top headlines, it makes the story sexier.

How come these acts can’t realize that you get paid based on the number of times people listen to your music? That’s basically fair. As for dividing up revenue based on what an individual subscriber listens to… That’s fine with me, but one study said that the big acts end up making more this way! And if people don’t listen that much how much money are we talking about anyway?

Reminds me of ticketing. Yes, you should be able to go see a superstar in the front row for fifty bucks, you’re entitled. And the promoter can’t make any money, it’s a public service, even though the promoter takes all the risk.

Did you know that the bridge collapsed in Baltimore because of the Democrats? Yes, that’s what the Republicans are saying.

As for Ronna McDaniel… Why are these same Republicans worried about what goes on at a mainstream news outlet that they tell their acolytes not to watch?

Then there’s Israel/Gaza. Those poor innocent children being murdered by the crazy Israelis, led by that madman Netanyahu.

I point you to yesterday’s “Wall Street Journal”: 

“What if the U.S. Helps Hamas Win? – The path Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer have chosen means the end of any hope of peace.”

Free link: https://rb.gy/glrbro

And while you’re at it, read this:

“Schumer Stumbles Into Israeli Politics – The Senate majority leader overstepped when he demanded Netanyahu’s ouster.”

Free link: https://rb.gy/usaq9x

Schumer and his crony poseurs keep talking about a two-state solution, but the facts tell us Jewish Israelis reject this by a two to one margin. As for the Palestinians…from the river to the sea baby.

And, only 15% of Israelis want Netanyahu to continue as prime minister after the war.

Yes, the Opinion page of the “Wall Street Journal,” which Democrats tell you to completely ignore. And I’ll admit there’s a lot of right wing hogwash on those pages, but not always. Talk about knowing how the opposition thinks.

The goal of a manager is to get their act paid. And that’s one of the reasons poor streaming acts have handlers complaining they should get more.

Forget that in the old days, Damon & Naomi would have a nearly impossible time getting their music into record stores, never mind getting paid. Retailers paid their big suppliers first, indies last, if at all, especially if they had little product.

As for Galaxie 500… That band would be deep in the rearview mirror. Man, bands from the sixties couldn’t make the bins in the seventies. And by time you hit the eighties many record stores only stocked greatest hits LPs, forget the individual albums. The internet is keeping these acts alive, they should be thrilled. But no, they want more, much more.

Everybody wants more, but there’s only so much to give.

But you can’t convince people they must accept their fate. Tom Rapp had a band Pearls Before Swine, they had multiple albums on Reprise and then Blue Thumb. I knew who they were, they had a major label deal, which was a giant hurdle to jump, but they never broke through commercially. So what did Tom Rapp do? He went to law school. Not everybody can be Elton John or Don Henley. Especially those people who e-mail me their dreck every day. Let’s see… You can’t sing well, you have hackneyed lyrics, but because the tools of creation and distribution have a de minimis cost you’re entitled to a living as a musician?

Once again, I believe in a social safety net, everybody deserves food and shelter. But if you didn’t do well enough in college to get into medical school…should you somehow be compensated?

If no one watches your movie, that you wouldn’t have been able to make so cheaply without modern technology, are you entitled to a living?

Why don’t I declare myself a basketball player and agitate for a starting role in the NBA, at least a benchwarmer. I love basketball, it’s my right!

As for the Gaza conflict… Nobody wants innocent people killed. However, the dirty little secret is that’s a consequence of war. But that first article in the WSJ I linked to above makes the point that if Israel pulls out, it’s a Hamas victory, which will be celebrated throughout the Arab world. And how about the dirty little secret that Hamas could just return the hostages and get a ceasefire tomorrow?

Never mind that BDS on campus was grown by the Palestinians.

I’m not making any of this up, it’s all true.

But the truth hurts. It’s more satisfying to believe someone is at fault. And you don’t want to say anything unpopular, the consequences are too much for you to bear. Do you know how many subscribers I’m going to lose by not calling the Gaza war genocide, by not calling for an immediate ceasefire? Once again, I’m against war, period. However, in this case Hamas did attack.

Not every situation is black and white. But most of society acts like they are. It’s team sports. I thought America was about the rugged individual. But no, now it’s about somnambulant sheep.

As for Mr. Krukowski… Why don’t you just create music that more people want to listen to? That’s what’s wrong with the hit music of today, it sounds too much alike. People are afraid to make unique music for fear of starving. But recorded music is not the only way to make a living as a musician today. Not only are there house concerts, there’s Patreon… Believe me, if you have hard core fans you can make some money, enough to make a living, I don’t know. But I remember a bass player from a major label act who got his car repossessed and then had no wheels. Those were the good old days?

It’s B.S. like that of Mr. Krukowski that makes it so those in charge refuse to engage. Talk to anybody who runs a label, or a streaming service, they’re inundated with misinformation, they can’t fight it, so they don’t. People would rather run on emotions than facts.

And in a world of seemingly unlimited music, getting someone’s attention is the hardest part. If you’ve got attention, you can make fans and money. Why is that Spotify’s job? Seems like it’s yours.

Now the truth is there’s a huge living in giving wannabes hope. I’ve learned this speaking around the world. The audience hates the truth. They want to hear that there is vast opportunity and if they just stay the course they’re going to make it. And meanwhile, will I listen to their CD?

Now let me see… The laptop I take on the road doesn’t even have a CD player. You could give me a streaming link, but you’ll feel better if you give me something physical. Furthermore, when I tell these people if they send me a link to their music in e-mail I’ll listen and respond…they never do. Amazing.

But they’re entitled to a living playing music!

Millions of tracks on Spotify, tens of millions, are never ever listened to. We’re going to pay those people too?

As for the government… It can’t even understand ticketing. I’m for big government, I’m for the Deep State, but when it comes to business, Congress is always about grandstanding and getting nothing done, holding hearings wherein members demonstrate their lack of knowledge of the subject. I wish it were different, but it’s not.

But some wanker musician from Harvard knows better.

Yeah, right.

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