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SjW / Blog

The Price We Pay For Streaming !

What have we done? We (musicians) have allowed ourselves to be taken in by the idea that streaming is a good idea. I don’t believe it is, and here’s why.

Many sites stream music in fact any site that is built to showcase music will allow band to stream their music. I guess the most popular streaming platform at present is Spotify. If you are a musician on Spotify (as I am) you will already be aware that fans can listen to your music until the cows come home, and you won’t earn a penny.

Fans are being given all of our (musical) “product” without having to give anything back in return. I use the term “product” loosely, of course a product by it’s very definition is sold.

Product ”an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale”.

When we allow our music to be steamed in it’s entirety it looses it’s value. We are told that if we let our fans listen to our music it will encourage them to purchase it, wrong again. All it does is encourage them to come back and listen again for free.

If the music industry and independent music producers pulled together on this then this could be changed. If ALL music was partially streamed so that fans could only listen to music for 2 minutes (for example) then this would encourage the listening public to start purchasing music again.

Of course this will never happen. In the main because the “Industry” sold the family jewels lock stock and barrel to the likes of Spotify a long time ago. A decision that can best be described as a colossal error of judgment.

So I guess we’ll just have to carry on letting the music loving public have its cake and eat it. After all, if we let them listen to it enough in the end they might just pay for it.

I suspect that it’s only musicians that will pay the real price. But, in the end we’ll all be left counting the cost.

Simon james White (SjW) is a singing, songwriting, bassist & lyricist.

As well as being the resident bassist in art rock band the Traffic Experiment he has also written, produced & released (so far) 3 albums of original rock music.


2006 - Talk On Corners - (SjW)

2008 - A State Of Delirium (SjW)- on iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/moments-of-magnitude/id480153216

2010 - Blue Suburbia (TE) - On iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/blue-suburbia/id386155642

2011 - Moments Of Magnitude (SjW) - on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/a-state-of-delirium/id480151031

You can also find Simon @

Twitter/sjwrocks - https://twitter.com/SjWRocks

Reverbnation/sjwrocks - http://www.reverbnation.com/sjwrocks

Facebook/sjwrocks - https://www.facebook.com/SjWRocks

or e.mail simon@bassface.co.uk

PENTULTIMA  (over 3 years ago)

Hi Simon, Yes full, free streaming is not good for musicians but is there any alternative? Try limiting your unknown original music, whilst major acts freely let you hear, see their million $ videos of their latest single. Who are you going to watch/listen to out of those 2? The other major point is..every online musician's portal for self promotion is full of more people like us who will "fan you up" on reverbnation to try to get you to fan them back, without even listening to your music first. I find that pretty rude. Who wants a fan list that isnt real? I've seen acts with thousands of fans and only hundreds of plays..how does that work?

Does Social Media Really Work ? (for bands & independent artists)

This is a question that I have often pondered, and off the bat I should say that the question should actually be - How do Bands & Artists Make Social Media Work For Them ?

We are told that Social Media is the way forward and clearly it’s here to stay in one form or another, but as musicians and artists how do we use it to our advantage ? The truth is that I don’t honestly know the answer to this question.

I consider my self a proactive user of Social Media in it’s many forms. If you follow me on Twitter (@SjWRocks) you will be aware that the word “ENGAGEMENT” is my mantra. I truly believe that regardless of the platform any musician that fails to “engage” both their existing and potential audience fails, full stop.

When I ask myself if Social Media really works, I guess that I need to define my own personal definition of what working is. This I can do quite easily, and with one word. Sales.

Most companies will tell you that they use facebook for example to raise their public profile and promote brand awareness. The vast majority of companies do not expect to sell vast amounts of their “product” directly through social media. They use Social Media to promote “brand awareness” which in turn should (in theory at least) result in an increase in overall sales.

In my experience, I have not seen an upturn in my sales despite my best efforts on the various Social Media sites. This of course does not mean in itself that Social Media does not work. This could equally be a failure in my sales strategy. But, it could also be that Social Media despite all of our best efforts simply is not the sales “driver” that we would like it to be.

So, does Social Media really work ?

Without wanting to sit on the fence the best that I can come up with is yes if you want to raise your profile within the market place. But, does this lead directly to increased revenue ? I suspect for most of us the answer is no.

Simon james White (SjW) is a singing, songwriting, bassist & lyricist.

As well as being the resident bassist in art rock band the Traffic Experiment he has also written, produced & released (so far) 3 albums of original rock music.

Discography: 2006 - Talk On Corners - (SjW) 2008 - A State Of Delirium (SjW) 2010 - Blue Suburbia (TE) 2011 - Moments Of Magnitude (SjW)

You can also find Simon @ Twitter/sjwrocks Reverbnation/sjwrocks Facebook/sjwrocks

e.mail simon@bassface.co.uk