6th November, 2013.
Micky's Spotify Rant
So, yesterday evening, there I was checking my Facebook page and what pops up? Spotify recommends for you... Eminem's new album. I thought to myself, why would they recommend that rubbish to me? I use Spotify on a regular basis searching out new music, mainly from original independent artists, but, I have NEVER gone out of my way to look for Eminem or actually played any of his tracks.
I got angry then, because I knew why they recommended him to me. The reason? His record company had probably paid Spotify quite a large amount of money to promote him and give him top billing. I thought to myself, why do they not promote unknown bands and artists in the same manner and give them a break, who in my mind are more musically talented and credible than Eminem? (I just think he narrates fast over someone elses musical samples.)
I decided to vent my anger by way of a reply to the Spotify post.
"Dear Spotify... I remember a time when you promoted new, original and independent music and artists. (At that time you were new and needed to build your catalogue.) Now, you promote this crap. Over-paid, talentless artists who have paid you probably quite a lot, (or rather, their record companies have paid you quite a lot) of money to get top promotional billing and you never actively showcase unknown, more talented people who actually make good music. Why? (We know the answer is.... the money...)
The music industry has just fallen apart. Unless an act/artist/musician has BIG bucks behind them, they will never stand a chance. The days of A&R are long gone, but I think as a "responsible" outlet for music, would it not make sense to just pick out new, independent artists and give them some exposure? Try something innovative. Capture people's imagination by encouraging them to listen to something new, something different to the usual Payloa rubbish that you showcase. Become the "new" A&R!
The Spotify model when it first came out had a lot of promise, but it's turned out to become the major record labels "bitch".
Ok, it's a great money spinner for you, but, if you step back a bit and try and promote more independent music, you will probably make a lot more money, and the music industry will start producing good music in the future.
The "Recommended for you.." statement is null and void. How about... "Something new, independent and original for you..."
I am not angry.... just disappointed. Help the industry... stop kissing the big record company executives arses! By all means, take their money, but use it to be innovative."
I should have finished the reply with "...much love!"
What gets me angry is, when Spotify first started out, the major record companies didn't want a bit of them. They didn't regard their model as viable and actually were dead set against it. Spotify had to turn to independent bands and artists and use their music to build up their initial catalogue. After a while, people started to catch on to Spotify and it was only at that point the major record labels recognised the value of the model to them. That's when the big money ruined Spotify. Spotify took their money and ran, leaving behind the "unknowns". That is the bit that makes me angry.
Now, somebody replied to my post saying... "I would say they are doing just fine and spotify is a tool to find your own new music you can't expect to be spoon fed it." My reply... "Unfortunately, we are being spoon fed what the well financed record companies want us to see. Sure, we can all look for and find new music on Spotify on our own, but, what's wrong giving those acts who would never have that kind of financial backing for top billing a bit of the same promotion every now and again? Make it an even playing field."
What do you think? Have I got it wrong? Has Spotify sold out to "The Man" and the dollar signs have shone too bright? Maybe I am just a grumpy old man!