David Byrne Attacks Streaming Music Services


David Byrne is not happy about streaming music services such as Spotify.

In a long essay in The Guardian, he thoughtfully discusses the impact these services are having on musicians.

“In future, if artists have to rely almost exclusively on the income from these services, they’ll be out of work within a year,” Byrne writes.

Later in the piece he says: “I also don’t understand the claim of discovery that Spotify makes; the actual moment of discovery in most cases happens at the moment when someone else tells you about an artist or you read about them – not when you’re on the streaming service listening to what you have read about (though Spotify does indeed have a “discovery” page that, like Pandora’s algorithm, suggests artists you might like). There is also, I’m told, a way to see what your “friends” have on their playlists, though I’d be curious to know whether a significant number of people find new music in this way. I’d be even more curious if the folks who “discover” music on these services then go on to purchase it. Why would you click and go elsewhere and pay when the free version is sitting right in front of you? Am I crazy?”

Disclaimer: I once worked at Mog, which is now a streaming music service owned by Beats.

Read Byrne’s essay at The Guardian.

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