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The truth about Music Streamers?

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/05/17 06:19 PM

Hi Folks,

I've been quiet of late for several reasons, but one thing I must share with you guys. Everyone knows that something is inherently unfair about digital streaming rates to artists. I've been told first hand directly from someone involved in it all how the scam is working. The rates are artificially low because in exchange for that, the labels are being given large (and progressively growing) ownership %'s in exchange for keeping special private negotiated super low rates so that the music creators get royally screwed and the format survives long enough for the founders/management of the streamers to get rich while eventually turning over the keys to the labels or a subsidiary of their small handful of parent companies. According to my source he named the "top" streamer as the most guilty and folks, he KNOWS what he is talking about.

I am cautiously researching and looking for more sources to confirm this, but as I said, this is someone who is positioned to know the truth. I am just running a free org for mostly independent artists and songwriters, but I have also spoken to some label artists among our members who are outraged by what I have learned.

I suspected some insider deals, but had no idea exactly how they were doing it. Now I know. I hope to be able to source enough witnesses to publish the names and practices, but for now, that's all the details I can share. Is anyone surprised? Big business is as corrupt as big politics and all of us are on the outside looking in. And it is getting worse and worse and the fairness gap is growing worse by the day.

Other than that, did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln...

Brian
Posted By: Barry David Butler

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/05/17 07:15 PM

SO Sad as without the creators of ART in our Society it will crumble into a Black & White Re Run World. How long will all the creators just take this like a punching bag and start punching back. What can we do?
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/05/17 09:03 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Hi Folks,

Other than that, did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln...

Brian


...And Mary Todd Lincoln replied: I thought the play was going fine until it suddenly ended half way through the second act, so I turned to my husband to ask if he knew what was going on, but he gave me no response."

Too soon??

Midnite
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/05/17 09:05 PM

But seriously, Brian, thank you for the information and for all that you do!

I'm looking forward to the responses and discussions about this.

Midnite
Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/06/17 10:26 AM

Please keep us up to date.

Douglas
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/06/17 11:43 AM

Doesn't surprise me at all. Big business has always screwed the little man, and as they get bigger and bigger by swallowing up and squeezing out the smaller competition, it will get worst, as there will be too much power in too few hands.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/06/17 12:40 PM

Well, people don't realize how big a deal this is. It explains a lot as well. Even with ridiculously low rates (again, not the statutory rates, but a super sweet special deal where they could single out individuals or classes of artists to treat differently at a whim based on internal deals and secret agreements. The paperwork is so obtuse and with your own label and publisher in on it, you have little chance of getting to the truth during any level of audit you manage to force, if you can at all. There are so many obvious conflicts of interest when a few companies own most of the music, most of the publishing, all of the promotional money and all of the power, and now have these secret deals to own the distribution and "play" (remember, radio is failing and no one is buying anything anymore.. it's all in the hands of these mega giant corporations who own eac and every step of the process from the artist having an idea to the consumer hearing in their ear. They even make the equipment, computers, software used by music makers and the equipment on the receiving end of the consumer. Can you imagine trying to fight through all those conflicting layers which are all or mostly controlled by the same companies? It's hopeless. Just how they want it.

Folks, between companies like Google/You Tube having their own "deals" with these entities, and no direct way for a creator to take them and their peers on legally on any issue without their own supposed side already being in bed with the company that might be abusing them, there's literally no where for you to go for justice. Everyone who might be a little out of the grasp of these few power corporations understands how easily they can be crushed into oblivion should they cross the elites. This is the same situation that people on the right fear from too big government who is deeply in bed with all these companies, and what the left fear from too big corporations who own the same government and have too much power and protection. The left and the right need to wake up and realize it is the same enemy... big government elites and big corporate elites who are in bed together keeping away competition from upstarts and who can use their power the crush employee compensation with cheap illegal labor who can't complain, and who use gov power to pass laws so mega corporations pay little to no taxes (and the tax they pay they get back 10 fold in corporate welfare) and the big talking heads on all issues that divide us all have their own special interest money vested in their actions. (example: in Hollywood, if they want to get cast and win awards and be in the "in" crowd, they must always virtue signal while their own personal lifestyles rarely back up any of their words, and the politicians on the right who railed against Obamacare for 8 years and voted it down over and over when they knew that Obama would just veto it, of course refused to vote it out once they had all the power to do it). It's the same BS on both sides and I hope people wake up.

The music system is more fixed than ever in history and that is saying a lot. In fact, across the board, things have never been so corrupt on both sides and so unreachable between the elites and the rest of us little people.

I only hope those on the right and those on the left here in our little community wake up to the obvious fact that none of us are the enemy of the other. We're both victims Humans have been studied and found to be in two large groups with gradients between the two that blend. Some think emotionally and some think critically. Both can (and often are) correct if they have TRUE information to draw on. Sadly neither side has the full truth about much of anything. PR groups work to give these types of people the propaganda (one sided of course) that simply appeals to how their brain works. They know that when presented with the right propaganda, good people will oppose anything and anyone that violates those facts as they see them. But in truth, in most issues, especially the big wedge issues, both sides believe to their heart they are not only correct but that their side is the only one with morality and/or factual evidence behind it and their brains are rarely able to even consider the other side of the argument using the same thinking approach (factual versus emotional) and thus see the other side as the enemy. In truth we both need BOTH sides, mixed together on all issues to best solve problems. We need open and honest communication where even what seem like the worst ideas are heard so that when the most outlier solution which might solve the problems that never seem to get solved, only more deeply dug in, so we can move forward. The elites in power don't want wedge issues solved. Those are used to make money, to get elected, to keep us fighting instead of working together to grab power away from the unholy alliance of big government and their force backed by legal use of guns and big business and their stranglehold on both the money and the power.

This scam done by streamers is simply one example of how the scam works across the board. And we're ALL the victims. Together.

Brian
Posted By: Barry David Butler

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/06/17 01:12 PM

LOL You are starting to sound like ME.
It is a Monopoly and what about Anti Trust Laws.
If you read Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED you will get a feel for this.
That Book is amazing and is all about the Creators and Moral Movers and Shakers just dropping out and then the World sees how important they were and begs them to all come back. People are dumb and don't realize beauty until they don't have it anymore.
BLACK & WHITE RE RUN WORLD...

Hey Brian what is your ideas as to how to fix it.
Posted By: Dave Rice

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/06/17 02:33 PM

Thanks, Brian:

Spot on reporting! ASCAP seems to believe streaming is not a good thing if you believe all the articles in their E-Zine each day.

Sad stuff. ----Dave
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/06/17 05:15 PM

Read up on the news about music services and you'd know that none of this has been a "secret." So don't be shocked by the so-called backroom deals. They've been reported upon in the past. Its no secret that major labels have purchased stakes in streaming companies.

The worst offenders are the people that ran the Music Genome Project. If there's anyone that's looking to cash in on streaming its the Pandora people. They've tried every shady trick in the book to avoid paying even legit royalties. There is one company that is at least being somewhat transparent about payouts and such. The rest are all attempting to hold their cards close to the chest, but that doesn't stop the news from being reported.

That being said: get to know how your own business works!! There is no excuse. Saying things are impossible is the easy way out.

Be diligent.

Hell even Brian's quote "Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." Is correct about streaming. You can't release music with no effort and expect it to magically be listened by millions on streaming sites. It takes awesome songs and diligent work and knowing where to collect the money when it comes.
Posted By: Stephen John (singch

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/06/17 08:33 PM

Thanks Brian, the payout is indeed very low. Keep us updated.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/09/17 07:14 PM

Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides
Read up on the news about music services and you'd know that none of this has been a "secret." So don't be shocked by the so-called backroom deals. They've been reported upon in the past. Its no secret that major labels have purchased stakes in streaming companies.

The worst offenders are the people that ran the Music Genome Project. If there's anyone that's looking to cash in on streaming its the Pandora people. They've tried every shady trick in the book to avoid paying even legit royalties. There is one company that is at least being somewhat transparent about payouts and such. The rest are all attempting to hold their cards close to the chest, but that doesn't stop the news from being reported.

That being said: get to know how your own business works!! There is no excuse. Saying things are impossible is the easy way out.

Be diligent.

Hell even Brian's quote "Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." Is correct about streaming. You can't release music with no effort and expect it to magically be listened by millions on streaming sites. It takes awesome songs and diligent work and knowing where to collect the money when it comes.



Jody, I stated what I could without risking getting sued. The number of people these entities crush is unreported and inhuman. You mentioned one company, and yes, I am sickened that I used to talk to their founder on the phone regularly about his business freely offering advice and any help I could give him and it seems to me that everything he said to me was either a lie or a manipulation of words at best. We were one of the entities that worked hard to help him build the music genome project from the start and to see what he's become is sickening. They are public enemy #1 in terms of ripping off music creators any way they can, but their actions simply lit the way for the establishment to go even further. And since he isn't a big media corporation, he doesn't own every aspect of the system like his competitors, and from what I hear, they are in big trouble. (Though I recall his pleas that if the rates weren't changed they would have to close their doors YEARS ago. That was a lie. I said it when it was happening that it would NOT shut them down and of course it didn't.

Sure, people can still make a few bucks on their music if they expertly manage all aspects of their career and have the talent to back it up, but it is much less than ever before and there was a time when at least your publisher would go against the PRO's and/or the Labels and/or Radio and/or online theft etc. and vice versa to protect their own interests, but when most of these entities all work under the same global umbrella or have back room deals (which are much worse than what is portrayed in the public you must realize) with anyone outside of the artists/writers to make sure they have no real power or recourse, it is worse than it has ever been. From the top tier to the bottom tier, it's a travesty.
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/11/17 12:07 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Jody, I stated what I could without risking getting sued. The number of people these entities crush is unreported and inhuman. You mentioned one company, and yes, I am sickened that I used to talk to their founder on the phone regularly about his business freely offering advice and any help I could give him and it seems to me that everything he said to me was either a lie or a manipulation of words at best. We were one of the entities that worked hard to help him build the music genome project from the start and to see what he's become is sickening. They are public enemy #1 in terms of ripping off music creators any way they can, but their actions simply lit the way for the establishment to go even further. And since he isn't a big media corporation, he doesn't own every aspect of the system like his competitors, and from what I hear, they are in big trouble. (Though I recall his pleas that if the rates weren't changed they would have to close their doors YEARS ago. That was a lie. I said it when it was happening that it would NOT shut them down and of course it didn't.

He's been cashing out millions a month in stock options. That's no secret either. Claiming the company couldn't pay discounted royalties and then pocketing millions every month.
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/11/17 01:01 AM

Hey, Jody & Brian...Thank you for your insights on this!

Earlier in this thread, Jody said:

"...That being said: get to know how your own business works!! There is no excuse. Saying things are impossible is the easy way out.

Be diligent.

Hell even Brian's quote "Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." Is correct about streaming. You can't release music with no effort and expect it to magically be listened by millions on streaming sites. It takes awesome songs and diligent work and knowing where to collect the money when it comes."

Fup! ....Thanks for the info & dialogue you two!!!

Midnite

P.S...."Fup" is the title of a wonderful little paperback...It's about an orphaned duck, named Fup, and the duck was given his name because Grand-daddy Jake said: This whole damn world is "Fup-ducked"....and that story was written decades ago, and I found the book in a discount bin....The best 50 cents I've even spent:-)
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/11/17 11:18 PM

Originally Posted by MidniteBob
Hey, Jody & Brian...Thank you for your insights on this!

Earlier in this thread, Jody said:

"...That being said: get to know how your own business works!! There is no excuse. Saying things are impossible is the easy way out.

Be diligent.

Hell even Brian's quote "Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." Is correct about streaming. You can't release music with no effort and expect it to magically be listened by millions on streaming sites. It takes awesome songs and diligent work and knowing where to collect the money when it comes."

Fup! ....Thanks for the info & dialogue you two!!!

Midnite

P.S...."Fup" is the title of a wonderful little paperback...It's about an orphaned duck, named Fup, and the duck was given his name because Grand-daddy Jake said: This whole damn world is "Fup-ducked"....and that story was written decades ago, and I found the book in a discount bin....The best 50 cents I've even spent:-)



I am not worried about those who don't put in the work, I am worried about those WITH the talent AND the work ethic who earn millions of plays and STILL don't make any money. It would be very difficult to achieve those types of play levels without a major label, yet some do and they aren't reasonably compensated for it. THAT is what I worry about.
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: The truth about Music Streamers? - 10/12/17 06:14 AM

As a NARAS member, I'm actually heading to meet with my local HOR rep to talk about such matters for some upcoming bills. Too bad we don't have more musicians in my area doing it.
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