AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
Money News
Hint: Have a news tip? Submit us news.
Money
Inside AP.net

Galaxie 500 Drummer Writes Column on the Business of...

Posted by: Adam Pfleider (11/14/12)
Damon Krukowski of Galaxie 500 has written a column for Pitchfork discussing the business of royalties since releasing the band's first LP in 1988 to streaming services' payouts now.
From the ColumnTo put this into perspective: Since we own our own recordings, by my calculation it would take songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one-- one-- LP sale. (On Spotify, one LP is equivalent to 47,680 plays.)
    
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
12:39 PM on 11/14/12
#2
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
Offline
User Info.
Jeff_Ryan's Avatar
Ahh I just submitted this but this was really really interesting.

Also, Galaxie 500 is awesome.
01:02 PM on 11/14/12
#3
Born_For_This
Registered Member
Offline
User Info.
Born_For_This's Avatar
Wow, that was way more interesting than I expected. Kind of glad I don't use spotify now...
01:11 PM on 11/14/12
#4
incognitojones
http://auburn-hills.tumblr.com
Offline
User Info.
incognitojones's Avatar
Pandora and Spotify definitely aren't the answers the industry is looking for, especially if they can't even figure out how to turn a profit. I wonder what's gonna come next...
01:14 PM on 11/14/12
#5
Holly HoX!
*
Offline
User Info.
Holly HoX!'s Avatar
I cannot stress how shitty Spotify is for artists. The only (lazy) argument I always hear for it is that more people will hear a given album. Ah okay....

Love Galaxie 500
01:18 PM on 11/14/12
#6
George_mm
You bred raptors?
Offline
User Info.
George_mm's Avatar
Damn. Good read
01:27 PM on 11/14/12
#7
Jason Tate
Online
User Info.
Jason Tate's Avatar
Interesting article. However, there's not a scalable model to increase the royalties of these services to be on par with physical media. And without the streaming services, the royalties from a google search for "latest Galaxie 500 album zip" are zero.

I think streaming services should increase their royalty pay-outs as their own profits increase, but how the services make money and the data consumption, mean they're not going to hit physical media rates anytime soon. I would like to see the streaming services offer direct-to-artist donation spots on their pages though. So if you were listening to Brand New a lot on Rdio, you could then click a button and donate some $ directly to the band or something ... donators get week early access to any new material from their favorite artists or something.

I'd be curious to see what the "rate" would look like if the band had gotten a loan/fronted the money for their own recordings, and then put it on bandcamp, or even a kickstarter model.

Bottom line: Making money by making music these days ... is not easy or lucrative.
01:30 PM on 11/14/12
#8
cshadows2887
Offline
User Info.
cshadows2887's Avatar
Great read. It seems more and more that there is no solution to the digital age for musicians.
01:42 PM on 11/14/12
#9
Gaugzilla
and one head can never die
Offline
User Info.
Gaugzilla's Avatar
That's why I always buy albums. Bands don't always come to Kansas City, so I can't directly support them through that, might as well give them an album sale.
01:49 PM on 11/14/12
Holly HoX!
*
Offline
User Info.
Holly HoX!'s Avatar
Jason, Galaxie 500 aren't exactly a relevant, buzz worthy band, so that's just kind of silly thing to say - as far as googleing them. However, I really like your idea of the donations icon in these streaming services. But what then would essentially set them apart from Bandcamp and pay what you want?
02:03 PM on 11/14/12
Jason Tate
Online
User Info.
Jason Tate's Avatar
Jason, Galaxie 500 aren't exactly a relevant, buzz worthy band, so that's just kind of silly thing to say - as far as googleing them. However, I really like your idea of the donations icon in these streaming services. But what then would essentially set them apart from Bandcamp and pay what you want?
Why? Google can find their music just the same regardless of their relevancy. Scale, mainstream/all artists, and putting the places to pay for music in front of as many people as humanly possible. If I could listen to the new Andy Burrows album for "free" whenever I wanted via Rdio, and I knew I could drop him 10$ or something personally ... I think I'd do that instead of buying the digital album. And I'd probably still get it on vinyl later as well.
03:13 PM on 11/14/12
DandonTRJ
~~~ヾ(^∇^
Offline
User Info.
DandonTRJ's Avatar
Economics 101: Use the infinite to increase the value of the scarce. Get people to hear your music, then use the exposure to leverage more profitable revenue streams. If all you do is wait around for Spotify or Pandora to pay you a living wage, you have no business being in business. Nobody owes you a living for just making music available. Figure out an income model that makes sense given current market conditions and chase it. Some artists will do it better than others, but it can be done; looking at these royalties in isolation paints a much bleaker picture than the broader reality would suggest.
03:25 PM on 11/14/12
I am Mick
http://www.worncolors.bandcamp.c om
Offline
User Info.
I am Mick's Avatar
Pretty crazy.
05:14 PM on 11/14/12
CluckyB
Modern Baseball is WAR
Online
User Info.
CluckyB's Avatar
They are still making more money than they do from piracy or traditional radio play...

So they got 6000 plays on Spotify in a quarter and made the $10 - or a single user's subscription. Now how much does a user listen to in a quarter? One 12 song album a day seems reasonable. For 120 days that's 1440 plays, meaning a quarter of Spotify's subscriber income would be going towards royalties. Keep in mind there is also salaries (good developers don't come cheap) and servers (everything gets streamed) to pay for as well. So that 25% doesn't seem too unreasonable. Without increasing the subscriber price, I can't see how they would be able to pay more in royalties.

People just need to realize that your Spotify/Rdio/MOG subscription *shouldn't* be your end all of music listening. Use them to discover bands so you don't need to pay $10 to listen to an album you hate but still can discover new music then support the bands you like by going to shows, buying merch, and maybe even getting albums. (Jason's donate approach would also work, but I think pride would get in the way for most bands. I mean, you see bands super reluctant to ask for money even in cases where their van dies or they get robbed.)

My current support philosophy has been to pay for an Rdio subscription and get the good stuff on vinyl (in addition to catching tours of course). That way I support the bands I like, if something happens to Rdio or my internet I still have the music I like, and vinyl is pretty cool looking to boot. Obviously this doesn't work perfectly - there is some stuff I can't find on vinyl and its also easy to get lazy and listen to an album a lot without buying it ("I'll just get it next time they roll through town so I don't need to pay for shipping" you say), but for the most part I think it works.
05:58 PM on 11/14/12
GeeBee
Tertium Non Datur
Offline
User Info.
GeeBee's Avatar
Economics 101: Use the infinite to increase the value of the scarce. Get people to hear your music, then use the exposure to leverage more profitable revenue streams. If all you do is wait around for Spotify or Pandora to pay you a living wage, you have no business being in business. Nobody owes you a living for just making music available. Figure out an income model that makes sense given current market conditions and chase it. Some artists will do it better than others, but it can be done; looking at these royalties in isolation paints a much bleaker picture than the broader reality would suggest.
This.
The whole article assumes Galaxie 500 can cut a record and wait around for the money to start flowing. That's nonsense. He talks all about how Pandora's all about capitalization...why isn't Galaxie 500?
Options
Related News Stories

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm