More Windowing

This post is a follow up to Windows and Other Transparent Ideas – a post where I talked about an emerging trend among some pretty big names in the industry. ‘Windowing’ is essentially the process of withholding an album from streaming services with the assumption that they threaten album sales. Turns out the ‘monkey see monkey do’ saying can sadly be applied to this scenario. The sadder truth is that it might actually be working a little bit, and the saddest truth is that even a little bit, is a lot in todays music market.

With the addition of Taylor Swifts’ “Red” and Rihanna’s (ironically named) “Unapologetic” to the list of artists partaking in windowing it is definitely bringing some attention to the idea. And this is definitely a problem for Spotify. Especially since both of these MASTERPIECES OF ARTISTIC AND MUSICAL CREATION debuted at number one on billboard.

GOOD GOD WHY AM I IN THIS INDUSTRY? To hell with you and your shitty music! Actually I’m going to go off on a little tangent because this little bit of research pissed me off. If you want to save this industry, think LONG TERM INVESTMENTS and Artist Development! Enough with the plug acts pumping out bullshit that expires in ‘coolness’ after the first weekend. That is unsustainable simply because you can’t forever rely on the demographic of 15 year old white girls who hate their fathers to keep your industry alive.

Record companies NEED to start investing in artist development again. Create an act that someone can grow up with and follow and support through decades. I repeat. LONG TERM INVESTMENTS. Let the act grow, who gives a shit if the first four albums don’t make a profit? If the band is growing you have something great in the works. Cleavage is nice but the porn industry is better than you at it. Sell music, not tits. For the love of sanity somebody make me CEO of Universal Music Group. The first thing I’d do is dump all these horseshit one-week-of-selling-sex acts and tell Vivendi SA to kiss my ass. Then I’d put some money into A&R and tell them to think Bruce Springsteen, and Prince, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Or any act that doesn’t need the help of 10 million other hired songwriters to make albums. Then I’d push album after album OF GOOD MUSIC out and down the throats of people until they LOVE it with all their hearts and souls so that on their 50th birthdays the artists they loved growing up are still kicking ass and releasing albums years and years later. This industry is a damned circus.

Anyways, back to my original topic, here are some reasons why windowing is an ugly mess.

1.) You are giving a substantial number of your fans a big middle finger to the face. Specifically your fans that are paying members of Spotify or other streaming services.

2.) Fans are giving the middle finger right back. “Unapologetic” is already the most pirated work of music on Pirate Bay. See for yourself, and hell, why not pirate that shit while your there. http://thepiratebay.se/top/101

3.) Restricting access to your recorded music is detrimental to your popularity. Honestly, in this day and age what is important is that your name is out there. That is how to gain fans and that is how to attract fans to live music and just as importantly that is how to keep your music alive.

4.) If this becomes a trend it will no doubt destroy Spotify because honestly if my favorite artists all start doing this I’m going to start wondering if my ten bucks a month to Spotify are worth it. Furthermore, If Spotify goes down the tubes I will bet all my Bruce Springsteen albums that iTunes sales won’t be significantly affected, but that the traffic on Pirate bay will explode.

Whatever, you know what I don’t even care. My rant was longer than what the post is actually about, but still, you’re now up to date on the windowing world, AND you have my opinion on it. Along with the rant that’s like a three in one, so give me a break.

Phillip Richard

Sources:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/music/Rihanna+scores+first+album+with+Unapologetic/7621421/story.html

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13485692-rihanna-taylor-swift-refuse-spotify

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4 thoughts on “More Windowing

  1. I seriously dislike the idea of windowing and I would even go as far as saying there should be options for diehard subscribed fans to actually stream music BEFORE the album comes out as a perk of being a devoted member or a perk of a pre order. “Windowing is bad, mmkay?” it’s steep since the industry still is like a headless chicken when it comes to handling the capabilities of streaming (See the Margaritaville episode of South Park if you don’t quite understand that analogy)
    Not sure how artist development would work with the budget and its demand right now. To be honest today’s pop acts are more like the artist development offered ten to twenty years ago, only half assed to fit the current budget of things. Of course I’d be down to see another say, Eminem rise up to the top and take over the scene, but instead of pooling a bunch of cash into one guy it seems the big guns are allocating smaller amounts of ammunition to make these one-week hits. I actually can respect Gangnam style solely for the fact that it was able to remain at number 1 for so long. The rest of these singles hit the #1 spot on the iTunes charts and you’ll never hear of them again except for at the grammies or on shit car radio provided by your local payola-run station.
    SO it’s really all about the next generation taking over this music industry (although it’s hard to say with the faith I have with the results we’ve gotten since the turn of the millenium) If we can have another 1996 or another 2005 we’ll be able to consider ourselves and the industry lucky, but I don’t see a big chance for that to happen.

    • I like to think that there are artists out there worth focusing on and building up. If they want to increase the budget of A&R or any other department for that matter this is the way to do it. No more overnight sensations.
      HAHA margaritaville. For real.
      But what else is neat is that XBOX music – being part of microsoft – has a lot of money to support it unlike Spotify. And if Spotify and the others kick it because the revenue streams suck, XBOX music will be the only one that will support itself and when the time finally comes when streaming is more than half the revenue of recorded music, XBOX music will have it alllllllllllll boomshak.

  2. Pingback: Taylor Swift, Windowing (Again), & The Future | nishadgeorge

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