Could this be the Era of Ending “Online Trolling” For all Industries ?
The alleged controversy of Spotify deleting over 750,000 songs to fact checking and the president being kicked off of social media is going in the direction of ending “online trolling” and a list of things that is Good and Bad moving forward with the music industry and other industries across the board.
A few days ago I woke up checking my “Spotify for artists” Back office like I do daily and realized both of my projects that I released this year was deleted from the Spotify platform.
Of course, Like most artists I was confused by this matter and sent Distrokid a message. I was then told that Spotify took my releases down because of “artificial streaming”. I then didn’t get upset because I knew my streams were organic and not bought by a fake company. But Yes I did shop my music to a lot of playlists. As a independent artist thats what I do everyday is send hundreds of emails to playlists that have their email addresses listed. Some playlists will put you in for free and some will charge you a fee. Its nothing different than major labels paying for promotion to promote their artists. Its one thing to pay a DJ under the table to just add your song to rotation vs. you doing the legal method of marketing and paying promoters to send your music to curators for them to decide if they want to use your song. With most artists including myself, we don’t just hire random companies to give us 20,000 streams in two days. Now some people are out there doing that kind of business but for me thats not how I’m doing mines. But of course, we’re all being held accountable for doing nothing wrong or illegal.
With this I learned the valuable lesson years ago and why its important to own your own data and have a domain and a website. When I released my first project back in 2016 without a fan base, I knew my value was more important than clout, so I released it only on my website and later on, I decided that I didn’t want my music to just be on my site but it should be available everywhere where people can find it and I stepped away from my website but I realized in this game how important it is to have your own brand instead of relying on data that you don’t own. This was bound to happened. This happening felt like I was back in my “Myspace” days. We treated myspace like it was our baby, just for it to be delete. Your art is your art and you can’t just depend on sites you don’t own to take care of your work. Times are changing and it will change again when it comes to how people distribute and listen to music. As of now, streaming is going to be here for a long time because it’s consumer friendly until we find something that eclipses that.
Earlier I stated this situation of music being taken down has been a combination of Good & Bad for the industry moving forward. One, lets talk about the bad side of this. This mainly concerns not just artists but mostly fans of the music. Some fans have been irate because of missing songs that were saved in consumer’s playlists and libraries. As you’ve realized Spotify is the #1 app where people go to for music. Some have apple music but after the decline of Google play, everyone doesn’t have apple products. Youtube music has been the new kid on the block to elevate music industry as another streaming platform but it all comes down to the simple fact that everyone doesn’t have or everyone doesn’t LIKE apple or iPhone products. So for some, losing music that they have saved In their libraries was a big conversation from music consumers.
The solution will then come quick on how Spotify handles this matter because at the end of the day, this is all about pleasing your customers. Out of 280 Million premium users, everyone doesn’t want to listen to a major artist. A good percentage of these artists would want to hear someone that’s under the radar and has a refreshing sound that they can put on repeat from time to time. This is something that Spotify has WON over radio in the last 3 to 5 years to present also. We don’t have to wait to hear what we want to hear if our mood and head space is somewhere else. Everyone doesn’t want to hear top 40 so we rather search for Easy listening or Neo-Soul. To Radio, “Neo-Soul” is “Old-school” or dead but to Spotify, its available whenever you want it to be. To Radio, major artists and the same artists signed to major labels or have a major marketing budget can fill in those same 40 spots on billboard. To Spotify, the same 10 artists you like that doesn’t have a lot of fans has a catalog that you can play in a matter of seconds and put it on repeat the entire day. The bad thing is, Spotify is not holding the majors to the same standard as the independent artists. Major artists have also paid for artificial streams as well, not just independent artists.
The Good thing about this is the work that has to be put in to be successful in this music industry. Now as I went in depth for the Bad I will tell you the good. This happening with Spotify and Distrokid has also warned a lot of people that want to be entertainers to stop “Trolling” For “Clout” and “attention”. Joe Budden asked on his Podcast weeks ago, If he thought “online trolling” will continue. And this happening to artists that got their music deleted for buying streams and likes and views, answered everyone’s question including Joe’s. Distrokid is a wonderful service. I happen to have half of my catalog under Distrokid and the other half of my catalog under tunecore. When it comes to my dream I believe in putting my eggs all in one basket but when it comes to business, I have many baskets that I carry with me. I made the mistake of putting everything under one distributor just incase if something like this happens. Distrokid offers a service where you can pay $35.00 per year for two artists and put up as much music as you want without any charge.
They say sometimes cheap comes cheap work ethic and results.
Tunecore however, everything costs. You pay per album and per single. I think its fair giving the fact that, you have to invest in your career, Not cheat your career but invest into your career to gain the most out of it. Tunecore’s website and Cdbaby has a structure for their artists when it comes to songwriting royalties and publishing options. This also includes music licensing and connections with professional rights organizations. Artists are now doing the same thing when it comes to marketing their music. Paying a company $25.00 to get you 20,000 streams in 12 days is a result of artists faking and cheating their career vs. actually investing into their career so with this I will stand with Spotify and Distrokid if thats the case. But outside of that, if its artists that are doing it the right way, make a correct investigation before punishing everyone that doesn’t deserved to be punished. I left a complaint to distrokid and my music and analytics were kept up for my other songs and Tunecore updated my data and analytics to my two projects that were put back up after Distrokid took them down. I don’t have a big fan base like drake, given the fact I do have fans that saved and playlist my album because they were fans of my work and contacted me when they couldn’t find the songs. So remember these people were actual people that contacted me, not bots.
Every company should be held accountable of this. Especially when it comes to Instagram. We can’t even comment on a post if its not Bot page saying, “I’m looking for something long and hard.” That means someone is paying for bots so they can get more comments and likes on the page. Hmmmmmm something you guys should look into. Yes major companies do this too.
This also includes a lot of social media influencers as well. Everyone is a influencer until the correct information gets put out. I’ve seen a lot of posts get flagged and deleted because of wrong information. Trolling is making a change moving forward.
So in conclusion let this be a lesson to creatives, you have to own your own data and get a domain and website and make sure you find other ways to showcase your art than relying on a company you don’t own.