Streaming and Indie Bands

With the launch of Tidal Music the new streaming service from the hip hop artist/businessman Jay Z. Tidal may have started with Jay Z but many other big name artist own equity in the business such as Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Dead Mau5 to name a few. Tidal is a streaming service that is trying to be geared towards being more artist friendly, the service is established by artist to benefit artist. The service boast that it provides high quality FLAC songs, HD videos streaming and play list curated by the artist if you pay for the premium service. The service cost roughly $20.00 for the premium service that allow you all the perks. With all this being stated what can Tidal do for the smaller Indie artist.

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With the new streaming services Tidal trying to make an effort to help the artist more. It made me examine how much a band is capable of making per stream in the past by having their music on other streaming outfits like Spotify. It is no secret that Spotify is anything but a money maker for small bands and stands more as a way for bands to get their music to the public to advertise for their live shows. Although Spotify gives 70 percent of the money they earn towards the rights holder that money is divided among many different groups such as publisher the label ect. after the money has been completely dispersed the average band make $0.007 to $0.009 per stream. If you are a bigger artist this doesn’t hurt as much but when your just finding your footing as a band it can be hard hitting.

Recently their have bands exploiting this model and earning money for a tour of free concerts. The band Vulfpeck whom has a considerable social media following exploited spotify payment model to fund their tour in a creative way. They Released an album called Sleepify of nothing but silence on Spotify and made a social media announcement to have their fans stream the album while they slept to help fund their tour. Each song clocked in at about 30 seconds each. For and average person sleeping for 7 hours a night they were able to bring in a profit of roughly $5.88 per person. The campaign went on for a little over a month before the album was pulled off of Spotify. By the end of the campaign the band had earned around $20,000, more than enough for their tour.

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Although past streaming have not benefited the artist in a suitable way there has been a push for bands to find new and creative ways to utilize these services to earn funds. Their has also been a call at the highest level artist of today to reformat how we value music and where the funds are going with the introduction of the streaming service Tidal music.

-Andrew Beeh

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