Posted inAnalysis, Reports, Reports-Old

Music Ally Report 339 – Talking Head

In our cover feature, we look at David Byrne’s latest posting on the state of the streaming business from an artist’s perspective and his vision for how things can and should be improved. Too often this conversation has been hijacked by fundamentalists on both sides of the debate and so it is refreshing to read a musician exploring the issues in depth. Rather than slip into Twitter snark, he is providing considered, longform critiques of the streaming model that could help its future evolution. Even when he’s wrong.

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Posted inAnalysis

David Byrne speaks out again on artists’ survival in the streaming music era

The ‘artists and streaming’ debate – or as it often boils down, ‘artists v Spotify’ – is frustratingly polarised. Thom Yorke’s an idiot! Daniel Ek is a tech bogeyman! David Byrne’s a luddite! Dave Allen’s a traitor! And so on. Anyone who speaks their mind gets a barrel-load of abuse.

In truth, this isn’t a black and white debate. You can agree with some of Yorke and Byrne’s points while disagreeing with others, or hold the view that streaming will ultimately be a good thing for artists while acknowledging the reasons why a number of musicians remain unconvinced. This is a complex and important debate – too important to be turned into a shouting match.

Posted inAnalysis, Reports, Reports-Old

Music Ally Report 331 – Moby Click

Lead: artists such as Thom Yorke and David Byrne are putting the boot into the likes of Spotify but Moby is taking a more measured (almost Zen) approach to it all. He tells us why focusing too much on monetisation right now is the wrong idea, how artists will have to become polymaths and work both harder and smarter to survive, why partners like BitTorrent are to be embraced rather than feared and why railing against piracy is like yelling at the weather.

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It’s crunch time for streaming to justify its value for musicians. Here’s how.

Thom Yorke’s claim that Spotify was “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse” caused a stink this month, but it’s David Byrne’s suggestion that “the internet will suck the creative content out of the whole world until nothing is left” that is perhaps more worrying for Spotify and its rivals. It’s crunch time for streaming music to justify its value for artists. And, yes, it’s possible.

Spotify execs will surely have given up long ago on the hope of a celebratory fifth birthday card from Thom Yorke, but that didn’t make it any easier to have its party pooped by the Radiohead and Atoms For Peace frontman’s latest barrage of criticism for the streaming service.

Posted inAnalysis, News

David Byrne predicts streaming ‘disaster’ for artists

Thom Yorke’s recent criticism of Spotify made global headlines, but David Byrne’s op-ed for The Guardian on Friday may be the more important argument for the streaming music company to tackle publicly.

No mention of farts or dying corpses, but in its own way just as stinging a critique of how the economics of streaming music add up for artists, from one who admits he has “pulled as much of my catalogue from Spotify as I can”.