Posts tagged spotify
[Artist Playlist] Slum Sociable - Dip Your Head In The Oven (Spotify)

In my ongoing quest to cure my perpetual musical FOMO I have started following some artist playlists on Spotify of artists whose taste I trust to be good. I've decided as I go through their playlists and identify the active + solid ones that I'll share them through here because we know sharing is caring. 

Since Slum Sociable or "Slum fam" as I refer to them on Twitter were essential to making sure I had a final last day of CMJ 2015 during the Australian BBQ (or "Aussie Heaven" as I called it) I decided to give their playlist titled 'Dip Your Head In The Oven' a whirl. There's quite a variety going on here, which can be appreciated in the order they've arranged as well as on shuffle if that's more your thing. I hope this is an indication of what they drew inspiration from for their new album (which is done as of April according to Facebook). BTW - I've checked this playlist out a few times and they seem to keep it updated fairly frequently, so it's one worth following and checking in on. 

This is really hitting the spot for me today while I work. Finding some good gems as I go, too. 


Let The Algorithm™ Move You: Musings On Spotify Related Things Coming Soon

Ever since I went all in on my support for Spotify I have increasingly become obsessed with how music consumption is changing based on the technologies that have been developed. It will not surprise you to know that I am a person who is always frantically looking for new music. My mission has always been the same since I was a #teen: find the best stuff, support the best stuff, share the best stuff. 

Prior to digital music rising to its current prominence, I used to stroll aimlessly through record shops looking at album artwork inquisitively and buying things at random hoping that they would be good. The features Spotify have rolled out over the past couple years have both broken my brain and my discovery/consumption habits. Sometimes it's in a good way, sometimes in a way I worry will negatively effect the music community. I often wonder if this happens to other people, so I have decided to include this as things that I talk about here. 

Do you do interesting things with Spotify to discover music? Have you made a friend with someone who followed you on Spotify? Has streaming changed your music consumption habits for better or for worse? These are things I want to explore. 

More soon! In the meantime, please enjoy the delightfully random things The Algorithm™ delivers to me. :) 

Why Does It Have To Be Either Spotify Or Taylor Swift? Why Are We Not Saying It's Her Label's Fault?


A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Oct 10, 2014 at 9:43am PDT


The internet has been up in arms all day. Why? Because Taylor Swift somewhat abruptly decided to pull her entire catalog from Suckify Spotify. It's a dramatic move considering streaming is supposed to save the music industry from piracy (and subsequent loss of album sales). It's an even bolder statement coming from the only person who has managed to scrape together a whopping 1.25 million album sales for 2014 so far, making her the only artist to do so for the year at this point.

Personally, I think it's a terrible move. I get it. We've heard time and time again that artists make little to no money from streaming. It's fractions of a penny per stream. When you actually look at the math, it's embarrassing that we have been praising streaming as our savior. You have to wonder though, who really is at fault here? Is it actually the streaming service, or is this another case of record labels being too greedy and them cutting artists out way too much? I get the feeling that we're all to quick to jump on the former and not the latter.

I can't believe I'm actually about to say this, but maybe we all should spend a second being nice to Taylor Swift and Spotify. It's not their fault. Well, it might be Swift's to an extent, but I'll get to that. Either way, especially in this case we should be throwing mad shade in Big Machine Label Group's direction, not her or Spotify's. We should also probably be upset that not much has changed from an overall industry standpoint to benefit musicians since streaming sevices came to town.

It's no secret that Taylor Swift thinks that music shouldn't be free. Last year she wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal where she said, "It's my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album's price point is. I hope they don't underestimate themselves or undervalue their art." This is all well and good, TayTay. You most certainly are not wrong here, but maybe instead of insisting that the technology trying to work with you is to blame, maybe it's the folks you got in bed with when you knew full well that they are notorious for trying to pay your kind (artists) as little as possible for their work.

There are plenty of artists who are well aware that Spotify isn't all to blame here. Last November, Billy Bragg wrote a lengthy Facebook post where he had this very thought regarding labels and royalty payouts. "The problem with the business model for streaming is that most artists still have contracts from the analog age, when record companies did all the heavy lifting of physical production and distribution, so only paid artists 8%-15% royalties on average," he wrote."Those rates, carried over to the digital age, explain why artists are getting such paltry sums from Spotify. If the rates were really so bad, the rights holders - the major record companies - would be complaining. The fact that they're continuing to sign up means they must be making good money." He then goes on to explain that in Sweden that artists have already identified that it's not the streaming service that's at fault and that it's actually the labels wrongdoing. These artists have begun to take action to get better royalty rates that actually reflect the costs in digital production in distribution. 

So why isn't the same happening here? Why is it that instead the largest act of the year is instead doing the opposite and running into the arms of Big Machine Label Group, instead of taking a step back and trying to see what's actually happening here.

The fact of the matter is, streaming gives everyone access to ulimited possibilities of music to listen to. What Taylor Swift is doing is limiting how much of the world she can dominate, not to mention how much money she could be potentially be making. It has been said that whopping 25% of Spotify users have streamed Swift's songs and that her songs were on 20 million playlists. Call me crazy, but that's a pretty impressive amount of penetration within a userbase. It just doesn't make sense to run in the opposite direction of that. 

Although I have many opinions about the way in which Spotify's offerings are available for the masses, I couldn't agree more with Billy Bragg in that same Facebook post when he wrote, "I've long felt that artists railing against Spotify is about as helpful to their cause as campaigning against the Sony Walkman would have been in the early 80s. Music fans are increasingly streaming their music and, as artists, we have to adapt ourselves to their behaviour, rather than try to hold the line on a particular mode of listening to music."

The internet has turned consumers into a la carte fans. Everyone chooses what level of fandom is. Some fans only buy CDs. Some only buy vinyl. Some stream exclusively but opt to see their favorite artists live instead of purchasing music. There are also some who avoid spending money on an artist as much as possible via pirating or only listening to music via YouTube. That's only a small handful of the use cases that are out there and believe me, as long as technology is going to keep changing as quickly as it has it's only going to get even more complicated.

Business Insider has reason to believe that because label owner Scott Borchetta is looking to sell the label that by pulling Swift's catalog that it will cause scarcity in the market and it will thus drive people to purchase 1989 instead of Googling it and almost immediately finding it floating somewhere online. Someone should really remind Ms. Swift and Big Machine Label Group that you can't force people who only kind of like you to buy your album. That's not how the world operates now. We do not live in a black and white world full of absolutes. You either adapt to how things are changing, or your kind dies. 

It would be nice for once that instead of a huge artist running in the opposite direction of technology like streaming services that we witnessed an Arrested Development or House of Cards + Netflix scenario where an album is exclusively made available via streaming. Even if it was just for a limited time before some cool deluxe physical version was made available that fans could purchase. Futhermore, it would be an even bigger deal to see an artist do this after they completely shed themselves of their chains of a record deal so we could see them earn money directly from a streaming service on their own. Any tiny bit of the above would be amazing just so we could see how it works. Everyone is still so worried that the music business is dead and that artists will never may make money the same way again. While this is true, if artists who are able to potentially take the hit for the good of the community were less afraid to take more chances, there is potential for the industry to see a rebirth that the fans in the 21st century and beyond would happily pump their hard earned dollars into in the name of the art. I understand that everything is insanely complicated and it's more than just being like, "BYE FELICIA" to a major, but I really think that's the kind of direction we need to go into before significant change is made.

[News] Spotify To Add Apps: Including, Rolling Stone, Lyrics, Other Third-Party Apps

In their quest for music world domination, music streaming service Spotify just announced that they will be integrating apps into the popular player soon. The service will kick off the apps launch with content partners such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork,, TuneWiki, and Songkick, with more on the way.

The apps will be customizable and will show up in the left bar of the player along with your playlists, local libraries, etc.This is a smart move for Spotify. Why waste time trying to integrate these kinds of features on your own when there are plenty of companies already killing it in these respective fields? Want suggestions from news sources you already know and trust? There's an app for that. Want to be able to read (or sing) along with the lyrics to a song? There's an app for that. Want to know when an artist is rolling through your town? Well, you guessed it. There's an app for that, too. These new features should be rolling out sometime this week and will be available to both free and premium accounts.

It will be interesting to see how services like Rdio, MOG, Pandora, etc. respond to this new feature. Either way it will be better for us music junkies in the long run to have these services fighting over us by upping their features and enlarging their music libraries.