Some Thoughts on 'On Soundcloud'

The other day, Soundcloud announced how creators were going to be able to start earning some money from their music getting played 'on Soundcloud'. It will be rolled out as invite only at first (aka bigger name artists at first) and surprise, surprise… it involves advertisements. It's also not entirely clear —as the details on how things work / cost / payout have not been elaborated on— but I imagine these Premier Accounts would also come with a similar yearly fee as the Pro Accounts do, but I'm not sure on that.

There was also this particular sentence from Pitchfork's post on the topic that was a little bit concerning:

“Some labels are negotiating with SoundCloud for equity stakes in the company as quid pro quo for not suing the streaming service over previous copyright infringements.”

So it sounds like the future of Soundcloud (or at least the future of artists earning money on Soundcloud - any track that is not trying to monetize on Soundcloud will not have commercials at the front) is going to involve the involvement of advertisements and the interests of major labels. If only there was another way that artists could make money from their music.

Oh wait. Bandcamp.

Can't we all just stop messing about and just put all the music up on Bandcamp (and by “we all” I mean all you artists and label that are not making your music available on Bandcamp)? And then could everybody else please get back into the habit of buying music again? That sounds so much better than listening to ads or low streaming royalties or really just every other option that seems to get thrown out there that isn't:

Artist puts music on Bandcamp. Artist sets price themselves. Fans can listen to and buy (and a whole bunch more) from whatever country they happen to live in. Artist gets a better cut of sales than from anywhere else.

At the very least, how about everybody tries the 'Bandcamp' model for a year or two and see if it is a better option than the 'splitting a pie between the big artists and labels and platform provider while letting the smaller artists get by on the crumbs' model. And if it turns out that the 'Bandcamp' model is not better, then by all means, we can always go back to the crumby model.



Four From My Bandcamp Collection - 32

This is the 32nd time I've gone over to my Bandcamp Collection and grabbed 4 albums to bring back over here and lay out on the floor for you to take a listen to. If my math is right (and if I keep this feature going until I've featured everything in my collection), there are still a lot more times that I need to do this (even if I buy nothing more, which isn't bound to happen). Luckily, by "do this" I mean "sharing 4 good tunes that are available on Bandcamp with you once a week". Like these four…

This session takes me back to a lovely living room show Ben played in Barcelona. And now I'm craving olives. Favorite track: You & Me.

If you ever need to get the ‘lovey dovey’ feelings flowing (i.e. you need to sort out ANOTHER valentines day or anniversary gift), this is a good one to put in the headphones. Favorite track: I Told You It Wasn't Easy.

Tip of the hat to GoldFlakePaint for putting this loveliness in my ears. Favorite track: dogmas.

I wonder if Mick Foley also puts this on while he does the dishes? Favorite track: Dude Love.

Remember to come back next Friday for the exciting continuation of this weekly feature. You can also check out / follow my Bandcamp Collection and stay one step ahead of these posts (if that's your bag) AND/OR you can also listen to my Bandcamp collection as a big ol' playlist over on Minilogs (not to mention an even bigger playlist of ‘available on Bandcamp’ goodness). And finally, you'll hear the above artists (and a whole bunch more) over on my 24hr internet radio station 'Mix Tape Radio by HI54LOFI'.


How Often Do You ___ Somebody Else's Stuff?

It's very easy to find yourself aimlessly scrolling through Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr, routinely refreshing news feeds and dashboards, all the while increasingly wondering:

  • How come nobody reads my blog?
  • How come nobody is talking about my new release?
  • How come nobody likes/favourites/shares my posts?
  • Why does nobody leave any comments / interact?
  • Et cetera and etc.

I know it is very easy to do because I catch myself doing some variation of the above variations all the time. I doubt I am alone in this.

But if you were to reverse those questions (i.e. how many blogs do you read, how many reeases from other artists are you talking about, how many comments are you leaving, posts are you sharing, et cetera et cetera-ing), you'd probably find that you're ignoring even more stuff than your stuff is being ignored. Since it seems like everybody is pushing something of their own these days —whether that be a blog, or an album, or a vegan cake recipe, or a picture of their kids— there is a whole lot of passively skimming everyone else's stuff while waiting for a bite on your line. But if you can't be bothered to do what you want people to be doing to your stuff, you can't really be surprised at the lack of it. Or at least that's the realization I came to when I took an honest look at my online activity.

So the next time you find yourself throwing a bunch of “how come nobody…?” questions around in your head, take a look in the mirror and see if the way you consume / ignore content online is a lot like how you wish people were not consuming / ignoring your content.

And then maybe, somewhere off in a dusty corner of your brain, the chorus to that old New Radicals song will start playing. Faintly at first, but then increasingly louder as you reach for a share button you usually only notice when kittens r hazzing cheezburgers. And then you find yourself bypassing the favourite button in favour of the reply button. A conversation breaks out. It's brief but it feels good. That 1998 chorus gets louder as you send an old friend a message that doesn't include a link to your blog. You leave a comment on someone else's post, a post that you actually read all the way to the end. You retweet a tweet that wasn't just a tweet mentioning something you did. And right before you can push send on an email you should have sent a long time ago, your phone buzzes with the buzz of someone, somewhere, doing something with yours.*

Of course, giving takes a lot more time, especially if you're being genuine with the interactions and not just doing it to try and get it returned. And if the thought of doing that makes you go "who's got the time for that?", you might be right. Who has got the time? (just keep in mind that the lack of time also works towards your stuff as well)

* results may vary