I've written in the past about making Spotify work for independent artists and labels. It's difficult to do, but it's becoming more necessary every year, as music streaming continues growing in popularity at the expense of music sales.
Music sales are certainly down around these parts. Despite my putting iTunes links in the show notes for every episode on both this site and SoundCloud, this podcast sold a grand total of 92 items on iTunes in 2015 — less than four and a half sales per show. That stat makes me wonder if those links are worth the effort anymore.
On the other hand, Spotify payouts seem awfully slim. One label's latest calculations have Spotify paying only four tenths of a penny per stream. Compare that to $0.70 to $0.90 per track sold on iTunes, depending on the sale price. At those rates, it takes between 175 and 225 Spotify streams to equal one sale.
That said, it would take a mere 36,000 streams to generate more revenue than all those iTunes links I posted to the show notes in 2015. If music listeners are moving en masse to streaming, then what helps the artists I want to support more — getting one listener to buy a song, or getting a thousand listeners to stream that same song on Spotify at least once?
With that in mind, I've decided to get a bit more active in creating Spotify playlists associated with this show. I've started by taking the Dave's Lounge yearbook episodes and making Spotify playlists out of them. Here are some links:
- 2008 Yearbook
- 2009 Yearbook
- 2010 Yearbook
- 2011 Yearbook
- 2012 Yearbook
- 2013 Yearbook
- 2014 Yearbook
- 2015 Yearbook
Keep in mind that none of these yearbook playlists are complete; quite a few songs I've played in Yearbook episodes are not on Spotify for one reason or another. My hope, however, is that the artists that are on Spotify will benefit from Dave's Lounge listeners streaming these playlists. After all, I created this show to promote music I felt deserved more support. Spotify streams might not pay much, but they do pay, and that has to count for something.
If there's enough demand, I'll continue to make more playlists like this. I'll also continue to generate iTunes and Bandcamp links for the few of you out there still buying music. If nothing else, it should add to the bottom lines of independent artists and labels, and ultimately, that's a big part of what this podcast is about.
Comments are appreciated. Feel free to post them below.