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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Musicians Against Streaming

Several years ago music has moved from the music stores online and that’s how a fight between music studios and online download services started. The first battle was started by Metallica, which managed to shut down Napster ten years ago. Last year, iTunes revolutionized music industry by allowing people download Beatles’ tracks from their online store.

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However, aside from infringing file-sharing services, there are others, which preferred to offer a subscription-based streaming service to their customers, because they thought this kind of music distribution was able to reduce online piracy. Indeed, it was, as music creators get paid for their works, unlike the situation when their tracks are shared through BitTorrent and similar services absolutely for free. Nevertheless, not all musicians are happy about this method of songs distribution, including, for example, the UK’s famous Coldplay, one of the most successful bands, which accounts for 50 million records sold within the last 15 years.

The Coldplay’s record label, EMI, announced that the band, loved by many British for songs like “Yellow” and “Clocks”, was not going to distribute its new album “Mylo Xyloto” via streaming services. However, local media noted that no other details about the reasons for the decision were provided by the label management.

Coldplay is not alone in its decision to refuse employing streaming distribution model for promoting their works. Their American colleagues – for example, Tom Waits, – are also against music-streaming services. This musician has also declined his support to distribute his new album, which is currently considered one of the biggest selling records, on streaming service Spotify.

At the same time, industry observers point out that streaming is much better for content creators than illegal file-sharing, to which users will switch if they don’t find music on streaming services. Jaimee Steele, representative of Rhapsody, was quoted when making an interesting argument during his interview to the media. Steele explained that with streaming musicians are getting paid each time their song is being played. This happens because people pay for one download, after which the revenue is distributed. With selling a record, the musicians won’t see any more money from future plays of that record, while with streaming, the content creator will earn money from each of million times the track is played. 

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