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.