Thursday, April 25, 2019

Fair plays

Streaming services are here to stay - that much is evident. As a music fan, I'm now a regular (if eternally reluctant) user of Spotify, and, as Aidan Moffat commented in a recent discussion on Twitter, artists have little option but to allow their music to be available to stream.

However, that's not to say that we should simply accept the current situation, in which artists are incredibly poorly compensated for their creative endeavours. As Bill Cummings recently argued in a lengthy opinion piece for God Is In The TV, it's possible to simultaneously acknowledge (however grudgingly) the benefits and advantages of streaming for both consumers and musicians and recognise that it's financially unfair for artists and likely to be detrimental to the industry in the long term.

It's incumbent on Spotify et al to adjust their payment models so that musicians reap a reasonable reward for plays, certainly. But it's also incumbent on us fans to appreciate the inherent value of music, to understand the consequences of our listening habits and consumer behaviours, and to choose to act in an ethically responsible way - one that enables musicians to keep doing what we love them for.

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