Spotify — How it Will Help Your Music Career


Spotify, a music service with instant access to over 13,000,000 songs, launched in the United States last month to huge buzz. Users have three options to access it. There is a free service, with limited access and commercials, a “computer” based sevice with unlimited access for $4.99/month, and a “mobile” service, also with unlimited access, but with higher quality streaming for both computers and mobile devices for $9.99.

It’s a great service. More or less, you type the artist you want to listen to, click on the song you want, and it starts playing.

And I think it’s good for the music business. At the height of the business, when people were both new CDs as well as back catalog, to replace worn out vinyl and cassette albums, the average consumer was spending about $3/month, which was split between retailers, distributors, labels, publishers, songwriters, producers, and artists.

If we can get 2–3x that money, without worrying about the “middlemen” and costs of physical distribution, we’ll be in good shape as far as revenue.

Plus, a service like Spotify allows consumers to explore music. You can find an artist that you like and, instead of focusing on one album or a single you’ve heard, you can dig deeper, going into back catalog and more obscure recordings, of which Spotify has many.

This gets people more interested in and involved with the acts they like. Knowing one song is great, but knowing entire albums worth of material creates a relationship.

Imagine having fans who knew everything that you’ve ever done, thanks to a service that paid you every time your music was played? That’s Spotify.

Spotify, and services like it, will help you to develop the type of fans you’re looking for. People who have access to music like this are more likely to come to a live show, more likely to buy a t-shirt or other mechandise, and more likely to support you in future endeavors.

If your music is not available on Spotify, you can make that happen now via CD Baby or Ditto Music.


Should Digital Collections Be Worth Something?

Most people don’t care whether they own music downloads or not.

Of the more than 8 million people that are estimated to buy a Kindle this year, only a small fraction of them understand that the ebooks bought on the device are licensed — not owned — which means they can’t lend or sell their titles. By agreeing to Amazon’s terms of service, which they didn’t read, they’ve accepted these conditions. Soon, single ebook lending may be allowed on the Kindle, but users won’t be allowed to buy used ebooks.

The “first sale” doctrine indicates that consumers can sell their physical books, give them to a library, or do just about anything else. This legal principle covers CDs, DVDs, and videogames too. It enables the used marketplace and retailers like eBay and Amazon to exist and sell used titles. In the digital age, this concept is under fire. It’s no longer clear that consumers should be granted the same rights when they buy digital downloads.

You own an iPod and Kindle, but not the songs or books on them.

“In the context of a downloaded book or music file, the Copyright Office suggests that first sale rights could be limited to the medium used to make the copy,” Seth Greenstein writes. “In other words, to resell your digital downloads, you must also sell your hard drive, ebook reader, or iPod.” However, he notes, even those rights may be forfeited by “clicking” agree to the terms of service that Amazon and iTunes put forth.

This amounts to 10 billion music downloads — that nobody owns.

As far back as 2006, the RIAA said in a statement to MTV that, “Selling an iPod preloaded with music is no different than selling a DVD onto which you have burned your entire music collection. Either act is a clear violation of U.S. copyright law. The RIAA is monitoring this means of infringement.” To which they conclude, “In short: seller beware.”

So, fans can’t resell music downloads on eBay or Amazon — it’s not allowed. Nor can they try to sell an iPod that’s full of songs that you bought. That’s illegal. Thus, digitalcollections are worth nothing. And as I suggested, most people don’t care about this.

Should we care? Should digital collections be worth something? As someone that recently purchased an iPod and Kindle, this question has renewed interest to me.

What’s your take?


Music Eases Cancer Pain

Music Eases Cancer Pain

musical notes

Listening to just thirty minutes of music significantly reduced pain and distress for cancer patients.

The patients were receiving medication, but still had pain.

Music reduced pain scores by more than 50 percent for almost half of them compared to fewer than 1 in 10 similar patients who just rested in bed.

Nurses randomly assigned Taiwanese patients to listen to their choice of music for 30 minutes or to rest without music. They measured pain at the beginning and end of the time using a visual scale.

42 percent who listened to music had their pain scores fall by 50 percent or more, compared to 8 percent of those who merely rested. A statistical test showed a large effect of the music for both changes in the sensation of pain and changes in the distress patients felt.

Patient had their choice of folk songs, Buddhist hymns , or American harp and piano music. Although 7 out of 10 chose the Taiwanese music, the American music was also enjoyed and effective.

Writing in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, lead author Shih-Tzu Huang said,

Offering a choice of familiar, culturally appropriate music was a key element of the intervention. Soft music was safe, effective, and liked by participants. It provided greater relief of cancer pain than analgesics alone. Thus nurses should offer calming, familiar music to supplement analgesic medication for persons with cancer pain.

SOURCE: Huang et al, International Journal of Nursing Studies, Volume 47, Number 11, November 2010.

What This Means for Patients

Sometimes the simple things that we do intuitively prove to be effective scientifically.

In this study music was not offered instead of medication, but in addition to it.

Patients also got to choose the music that they liked from culturally appropriate choices.

This simple method may help cancer patients both in the hospital and at home.

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Posted by Kate Murphy on September 28th, 2010
Tags: cancer pain, complementary therapy


New Artist Advice

Advice often sounds like clichés and I am sure mine will, too: be true to God, be true to your calling, be true to yourself. Remember whose you are. God has not called everyone to the big arenas. If we all go seek fame and fortune, who is left to minister to the local church and community? We need more creative types that are community focused. Our goals should be about utilizing the talents God has given each of us, in the place God has called us to be.

That is why I usually suggest people plug in locally, wherever they live. Find a good church. Minister there. If you have talent and a heart for ministry, it will be noticed. Volunteer to sing to the young kids, the youth, the college age, the picnics, local festivals, wherever.

What has allowed the message of Christ to endure for 2,000 years? It is a message of hope; it is a message of truth. I think that shines through the Christian arts. Also, you have often heard “Music is the universal language.” It is. When you combine a powerful message with a well-turned tune, what’s not to love? This is why a song like “Friends” from Michael W. Smith is still one of the most requested and beloved songs of our day. If you ask a music high brow, they will tell you the tune is simple, the lyrics are lame, but the simple tune penned by Michael and his wife touches us profoundly with its truth and its simplicity. It surpasses the musical formulas with its message of the love shared among friends. God has a way of doing that. Christian music can get too contrived with books, formulas and gimmicks. Bob Carlisle wrote “Butterfly Kisses” for his daughter, not to be the next #1 hit. He went past the formulas with his message of a father’s love for his daughter. The simple things from the heart are often the best.

I have seen the pitfalls of the Christian music industry as people that are called “ministers” in the industry have stumbled and fallen, sometimes again and again. Yes we are all human and all stumble, but the Bible makes it clear more is expected of those in positions of teacher, leader, minister. Character is more important than talent in ministry, but talent is often esteemed more highly than character in the “industry.” There is a tightrope artists walk between “ministry” and “industry.” I would offer this advice to anyone seeking a career as an artist that would put them up in front of people as a leader, role model and minister: clean the skeletons out of your closet and deal with any issues you have BEFORE you climb up on that tightrope. No matter how fabulous your talent is, it is your fruits that will leave the lasting impression of what your ministry was all about.

 — Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™.

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