There has been a lot of talk lately about what the latest developments in the music industry mean for independent musicians. The rise of streaming services like Spotify make the consumption of music so much easier for music fans: they can stream music from all over the world without having to pay. Some do pay a subscription fee which gives them some perks and helps to support the artists but most independent musicians will only see pennies of this money.
Our music is available to stream on Spotify, but, if you look at the numbers, it’s clear that we’re not getting rich from this method of distributing our music. Music from our two albums, The Golem of Bathurst Manor and Klezmachine have streamed 4092 times on Spotify since 2009. The grand total of our cut from these streams is $15.63. We’re not alone in this world – Check out Zoe Keating who claimed that she received only $808 from over 200,000 streams in the first half of 2013.
Niche, independent artists like us don’t expect to get rich from our music but we do want to be able to keep making it! That’s why crowdfunding is so important to groups like KlezFactor. With contributions from people who are interested in hearing music that you won’t see advertised in the mainstream, we can make music knowing that it won’t take years to make our investment back.
There’s still time to visit our Indiegogo Campaign and help us make KlezFactor Europa but there are other ways to support independent music.
The single most efficient way to support the creation of independent music is to go to iTunes or CD Baby and buy our music! Yes, we know streaming is popular and you can still hear our two previous albums on Spotify and other online streaming music services but, as we’ve explained, the tangible benefits of streaming is extremely tiny. If you buy a CD or digital download of our music via CD Baby or iTunes, we make far more: up to $9 per album. With the cost of producing a CD ranging from $5000 to $7000, you can see that it takes a lot of sales to make back the costs of making the album.
Coming to hear us live is a great way to show your support as well. For those of you in Europe, KlezFactor is going to be in Berlin on July 28, Dresden on July 29 and Prague on July 31. Coming out to any of these shows gets us in touch with people who are enthusiastic about our music and makes us feel happy! There’s nothing better than playing to an appreciative audience.
In short, streaming services are great for the consumer. It’s fantastic to be able to get that much music instantaneously and to be able to hear what you want when you want to. Streaming services are also great for large record labels who sell the streaming rights to their catalogues for millions of dollars. Streaming is very bad for independent artists like us because we don’t get millions of plays which can add up some real money.
KlezFactor: Europa marks a crossroads for KlezFactor’s commitment to making our music available. At this point, it is unlikely that we’ll be able to make the album available on streaming services and will only be available for downloads or physical CD sales. For an independent artist, this solution is what makes the most sense to us.
There are just a few days left to contribute to KlezFactor: Europa on Indiegogo. You can make a difference and help us make Europa as good as it can be!