Archive for March, 2009

Music listening is dangerous

During the life of rock and pop music, it has always had a rebellious and provocative agenda. Different genres was more or less chocking. Elvis was dangerous in the fifties, Rolings stones were dangerous in the sixties, Sex pistols were dangerous in the seventies, WASP were dangerous in the eighties, Marilyn Manson was dangerous in the nineties. But suddenly something happened. The artists are no longer enough dangerous or provocative. Today’s parents were punks themselves and can see through the marketing values of an artist trying to be scary. Politicians and establishment just watch the most aggressive bands and say “Been there, done that”.

Instead of the bands, the consumption itself became dangerous. Because people started working against established market rules. The audience became the lawbreakers and rebels. Along with the peoples movement of creating ones own material and being part of the creative process, this is provocative and dangerous on another level.

Very interesting to follow, however sometimes the debate is dull and stands still. But in the end I think this, as many musical movements, will lead to change, for better or worse. If you are looking for political music today, have a look at the audience. Because they are the ones being most radical today. Bands have a lot to learn.

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Spotify a loss for musicians?

spotifylogoRecently a new service has emerged from a swedish company Spotify. They offer a gigantic music library available for streaming, a brilliant idea at first and we at Gramtone got on the bus. Through our distributor Phonofile in Norway, we are avaliable on Spotify since last week. Our three releases The Modesty, Tree full of people and PAN are all available. Our coming releases Ralph and Kallocain wants to be published too.

But when talking about the economy, the terms are not particilarly ok for the musicians. First, the income generally is modest, where enormous amounts of artists will share a fairy small cake of money from ads and some paying for subscriptions. Then Spotify shares it 50/50. After that the distributor get 20% and the rest goes into the record company. Since Gramtone has a philosophy of high percentage to our bands, 80-90% of our income, they will get what they can. But as our distributor explained a bit ironically:
“…which will come down to about 0,000000001 euro per play”.
So if an atist is played about one billion times, the will get one euro from Spotify. A revolution? No, but hopefully a complement.

An other thought: Will streaming services really benefit music in the long term? The huge amounts of small labels and independent bands will be forced to work with the few, huge companies that can afford this kind of technology. Now when web publishing is cheap, one can set up their own webshop and work directly with the audience without middlemen, this kind of service maybe puts a gigantic middleman to separate this direct contact. But I might be wrong. It would be cool to hear about Spotifys strategies. I will call them. I also have a few more subjects to talk with them about.

This article (in swedish though) tells about recent development. As usual, the comments are very interesting:
http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/musik/den-strommande-musikrevolutionen-1.822297

Edit 8/8 2009: Read the post after our first report from our distributor “Spotify money report”:
https://gramtone.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/176/


Gramtone

Gramtone är musikutgivare och bas för ett gäng musiker och låtskrivare, baserade i Norrköping. Vi äger bolaget och studion tillsammans, folk med olika bakgrund och olika smak. Två dussin är vi, som ställer allt vi äger i ett rum och säger: varsågoda. Ett kollektiv av individualister har vi kallats, och varför inte: Grammisar har vunnits, stipendier har fåtts, medan somliga är kända för helt andra saker. Alla spelar roll, men inte nödvändigtvis rock. En driver ett enmansprojekt, en annan är med i fem band samtidigt. Några är runt 20, några har fyllt 50. En fick pris för årets bästa museum. Någon ligger bakom Softubes banbrytande pluggar och någon har fått utmärkelse för, hör och häpna, bästa fotbollslåt.

Gramtone satsar på en liten, spännande utgivning av ostyrig, vacker musik. Lyssna där du vill, vi finns i alla de vedertagna kanalerna. Vissa spelar live, andra spelar in. Några älskar att skriva låtar, andra spelar gitarr så fingrarna blöder. Gramtone är en plattform som används av varje band och artist som det passar dem bäst. Ibland är vi en lekplats, ibland kreativt nav, affärsyta eller en trampolin för musikkarriärer. Vi blir planterade och uppodlade av varandra, och vi gillar't. Vi tycker att musik gör tillvaron större och vill man att något ska finnas, då ska man också skapa det. Tre dussin utgivningar hittills, och mycket på gång. Titta in, lyssna in, och häng med.