"If customers want to see the indie artists they love continue to be able to make music, they need to support them on a greater level than what Spotify royalties provide," Gautreau says. "Many great records never recoup their costs, but with streaming models, these costs have to be recouped at the rate of less than a penny per stream. In many cases, that's just going to be impossible, so fewer acts will get signed and fewer records will get made."

What music fan doesn't want their favorite band to create on a regular basis? Of course, Spotify answers the consumer-based wishes of both the young and old. For those who grew up and discovered music before MP3s and file-sharing, Spotify offers full albums, not snippets or single songs, for a fraction of the cost of buying the complete album, physically or digitally. The downside for the music fan is practically nonexistent when viewed from that angle. A price is being paid to a legal service with willing participants — stealing or piracy, this isn't.

In actuality, the hopes of Gautreau and other notable artists such as Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste aren't in step with reality or technology. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which side one falls on this topic, the habits of the consumer matter more than the economics of the artist.

Crushed Stars' Todd Gautreau.
Crushed Stars' Todd Gautreau.
Pinkish Black's self-titled, released on Handmade Birds.
Pinkish Black's self-titled, released on Handmade Birds.

While Loren sees debate regarding Spotify as passé, he feels even stronger regarding the need to simply accept the popular, modern tide.

"[Streaming services] exist. People that resist it are like turds screaming at the sunset — helpless."

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Spotify is one of the best ways to hear new music.  Despite what Gautreau says, I have bought music I have heard on Spotify.  Too bad he sees no value in it.  His loss.


"[Streaming services] exist. People that resist it are like turds screaming at the sunset — helpless."

What a foul-mouthed piehole... anyone who thinks they are experts in this extremely fast-changing industry are going to be viewed as bumbling idiots a few years down the line. Insulting other musicians who are demanding a more fair business practice coming from a streaming service... you sure are showing them!

I personally love the streaming technology. My theory is that they are offering the service for free to draw in users to make it popular, then start charging. If you're a modestly successful musician it's just not fair. Embrace the technology but fight the business model.

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