Everybody's talking about Taylor Swift taking her music off of the music streaming service, Spotify. Some people are angry they can't listen to it on their paid service, and some people applaud her efforts for standing up for the value of music. When it comes to music business strategies, I trust Taylor Swift and her team's decisions wholeheartedly. Every move she makes seems to be well thought-out and basically brilliant. While I think her decision to leave Spotify in the dust was a good one for her, I don't think it would necessarily work for the "up-and-coming" artist, such as myself.
The popularity of Spotify, and other streaming services, has made it easier than ever for musicians to get their music out into the world without a record label. However, it still pains me to look at my Spotify royalties. When I see that I'm making $0.0008 per song play, my heart dies a little. But, I knew going in to this whole shebang that I would not make money initially. I knew that I would have to spend a whole lot of money in the beginning to give people a product for free. As an artist, you have to think to yourself, "How will I gain new listeners if I make people buy something that they're not sure they even like yet?" Even young Taylor Swift thought this way, whether she knew it or not. She began getting a large fan base off of the social media platform, Myspace. There, her music was available for free, and because it was free, people would discover her and find that they enjoyed and related to her music. Without Myspace, her music would not have reached as many people in the early stages of her career, which became a crucial springboard for her future. So, I view Spotify like I view Myspace-- an avenue to reach a new audience, and hopefully captivate them and invite them into your music journey.
That's how I discovered new Country artist, Sam Hunt. When I heard murmurings around Nashville that he had been signed to Universal Music Group, long before his recent CD release, I immediately went to Spotify to listen to his music. He had an early EP ready to go and I started becoming aquatinted with his music and style. Now that he just released his full album, here I am, already a fan, because of his Spotify presence!
I'm thankful to have services like Spotify that help me get my music out into the world, and also allow me to discover new artists. I know like all things, Spotify is probably a trend, but, I will also be thankful for the proverbial day when I can take my music off of Spotify. I know that I'll have laid the groundwork for a great family of people that value my music like Taylor Swift has. With that being said, thank you to those of you that have already bought my music. I really appreciate that you took the time to purchase it and add it to your collection. I value you and will keep trying to make the best possible music I can for you.
Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But sometimes, I think I know exactly what I'm doing.