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.
I’ve been making Youtube playlists from Dave’s Lounge for quite a while now. Recently I’ve started making them on Google Music as well. On Google Music I often can’t find all the songs but just about everything is on Youtube.
I don’t have the nice transitions of the podcast or your commentary but I found that streaming the songs just generally work better for me. I can skip, rewind, etc with ease.
When I really like a song I’ll purchase. However, lately I just wish it’s in the Play store or on YouTube.
Hey Dave, please make these lists public in your profile so they are searchable and easier to refer people to.
Done. Thanks for the reminder.
One thing that might increase artists sales from the app is if the links were both active and you could easily tell which link corresponded to the song currently playing.
I often listen to the podcast from my ipad at my office where the ipad and speakers are behind me. If I track comes up that I like and might want to either purchase right away or tag for later purchase I have turn around and try and figure out which song is playing in the show note and then do a cut and paste to get to point of purchase.
It would be a welcome update to the app.
Thanks for exposing such great music to the world!
I think that this is a great decision. The only music I buy are the ones that I can find on vinyl which unfortunately are very few independent artists nowadays . The rest of the music I consume outside this podcast I listen to on Spotify.
The music is fantastic and the one before the very last one made me tear up. Somehow old thoughts came to my mind.
I wish I could support every one of these artists. It is amazing to me the struggle with so much shit out there that is pure noise.
Thank you Dave
The song is from Sunbird
Dave I do not know much about these CloudSound and other places. Can you suggest one that I can try for a while. I do not want to create an account without minimum knowledge.
Thank you Dave
I agree with Born One about the benefits of YouTube. You could start a channel there, and people can subscribe to it. Further, the “click to buy” links should already be included by the artist. So, that’s less work on your part too.
Thank you for all of your efforts!