dinsdag 8 oktober 2013

Spotify; Figures, Facts, Confession and a question...

(posted this on the Gramophone forum, but no answers yet, so try it here!)
Starting with a confession and a question;
As I hardly buy any CD's anymore, it has been more than two years since I last bought a Gramophone magazine... Think it was june 2011, and although I peeked once and a while on this forum, my connection with the magazine was broken. But, since I discovered Spotify, the "need" for a magazine like the Gramophone grew and... I bought the 2013 awards issue. The combination of the Gramophone magazine and Spotify is like an "all you can eat" ticket in a paistry shop... Not only in the reviews (not all recordings are on Spotify *yet*), but also the advertisements make me hungry and explorative... :-)

At the same time, there are many discussions about the benefits (or rather, disadvantages) of Spotify for the music industry. Surprisingly little on the effects it has on the Classical music industry, except short shoutouts like:
Now, for my own understanding (and for the story below), a question: Does anyone know if classical labels are payed "per track"? Does a short Schumann piece from the Davidsbundlertanze earns a label the same amount of money as a 25 minute Mahler track? Or is there an other arrangement made for that?
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In the early days of CD, large works were devided in separate tracks, even "theme 1, theme 2 development" etc sections. If Mahler of Bruckner symphonies are payed per track, that would be an interesting extra income for classical labels, I guess... ;-)

But wait, did'nt Spotify pay *anything*, or way too less for artists? And does nobody use Spotify for listening to classical music? Well, yes and... no. It's interesting to look at the amount of plays a spotify artist has had. Ok, someone like the now obcure pianist Pierre alain Volondat dit not go above the 1000 plays so far for any of his tracks; but someone like Roland Poitinen has some amazing amount of followers and track listenings...
Now note, and the label Bis does this quite cleverly, the separate "tracks" come from different re-packagings on Spotify, each with an own trigger to "lure" the listners to the same recording(s), analog to what this article:
describes in "what is lacking" in the sense and cleverness of classical labels...
and see, a Scarlatti recital by Yegvreni Sudbin get's over a million trackplays, small pieces by Eric Satie, played by pointinen (again, in different repackaging!!) a multitude of that...!
Again, maybe Spotify does not pay much:
but in the long tail thought, all these bits and pieces add up to some nice earnings for "dead" CD's...
A vague stockmusic company called "Cavendish" has around 20 million plays per smartly tagged collections like
and not only for Mozart, also their Bach, Beethoven etc collections let them earn a nice amout of income. And remember, it's not only Spotify, but also comparable services like Deezer, Rhapsody etc and future services like Google play music...
So, questions are,

1) do long tracks generate the same amount of money on Spotify as short tracks?

2) Looking at the figures and the future; if you tag your music cleverly (and do that in numurous repackagings so the user can *find* your music, also read  http://community.spotify.com/t5/Spotify-Ideas/Why-Classical-Fans-NEED-Composer-Metadata-and-what-that-could-do/idi-p/219306) is a service like Spotify a welcome new source of income for the classical music industry?

PS, Spotify and web-streaming services do not nessicarily have to "replace" other ways of listening to recorded music (over 1000 CD's I'm not throwing away!!), but can be a new way to explore music....