photo: istock © rev606
The following interview with Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation will strike a chord with those who believe that YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and the majority of streaming services are destroying a musicians ability to earn a living from their work.
Rob confirms what many of us have been saying for sometime. Musicians need to be able to sell their recordings to survive. Their work was never intended to be used as barter to sell advertising.
Back in the day, we knew any artists we signed, and put out the record, it would sell at least 5,000 copies. Right? You give artists an advance. There was some money to be made through selling CDs and through licensing, and touring.
Now, a lot of these artists…I don’t know if you saw that thing with David Lowery, from Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, where he talks about how, he had a million plays on either Spotify or Pandora, one of these streaming services. Basically, he earned less money than he would have made selling a t-shirt at one of his concerts.
Those are the kind of economics we’re dealing with. When you run a small independent label, at a certain point, it becomes like trying to squeeze a dry lemon. It’s a lot of work, and you’re not getting a lot of juice. In one way, it’s allowed people to learn more, about these different artists that we have on our label. Even when we were dealing when it was just, iTunes was the only thing on the block, it was a lot more beneficial and sustainable for artists.
The Gigaom interview: Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza on how “we live in a streaming world”