To stream or not to stream?

Like many who blog I am on Twitter and because I write about jazz music I follow those who produce the music I write about, listen to or go to see play live. Recently, the jazz guitarist Nigel Price posted the following on his Twitter feed:

I sold a CD online today. That brought in more revenue than a year’s worth of Spotify streams. @Spotify is killing revenue for musicians. The industry has never been in more trouble than it is now. If you love music, buy direct from the musicians you love.

Nigel Price‏ @Nigethejazzer Jan 29

As you might imagine this helped generate an interesting thread resulting in Crispin Hunt, Chairman of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors, asking Nigel to get in touch.

Is streaming good for music?

Most of those who replied to Nigel’s original post support his view, as do I, but also recognize that streaming services do give the artist the opportunity to reach a wider audience than otherwise might be possible.

I do use Spotify but only to check out music before I purchase. I have discovered artists, bands and record labels that I otherwise would not have done and so in that respect Spotify has done me, and the artist whose music I buy, a favour. Unfortunately, not everyone appears to understand what the longer term effects of relying on streaming services might be:

Replying to @Nigethejazzer

I don’t think many people would sympathise with that point of view. People want to listen to the music they like; they’re not interested in financially supporting those musicians. I can listen to all the music I like for free on the internet; I’m not going to donate to musicians.

Hassan Tawfiq‏ @HTawfiq1 Jan 29

When musicians are unable to make a living from their music they will stop playing. Streaming only works for a small percentage of those artists who are currently in the public eye but for the rest, the percentage payed out in royalties is so low that to call it “income” is stretching the definition of the word to its absolute limit.

No doubt this topic will continue to run for some time and will, occasionally, resurface in another Twitter thread for people to air their views. The thread that sparked the writing of this post has reached its end but there were signs that a compromise could be reached. Inevitably the end user will have to pay, and rightly so, in order that those outside the current music mainstream can continue to live and produce music.

My bigger concern in all of this is how, in the future, music will be distributed:

The industry needs to change and it shouldn’t be up to the consumer to pay more for an archaic product. CDs are redundant …


Perhaps that is a topic for a different post.

Tracks played 11 January 2019

Small hospital radio station big on jazz every Friday 4 ’til 6pm (GMT)

Sounds Like Jazz is a Gosport Hospital Radio production and these are the tracks played on the above date:

  • The Big Crash from China by Bob Crosby and The Bob Cats from the album The Dixieland Band, a Jazz Greats Magazine compilation #033
  • Birds of a Feather by Carmen McRae from the album Birds Of A Feather, 1958
  • Israel by Miles Davis from the album Birth Of The Cool, 1957
  • Stealing Time by The Nigel Price Organ Trio from the album Heads & Tales, 2018
  • Shake It and Break It by Sam Rimmington And The Barry “Kid” Martyn Ragtime Band Alumni from the album Back To The Sixties, 2003
  • I Was Doing Alright by Mayte Alguacil from the album, Trav’lin Light, 2017
  • Sambop by Cannonball Adderley & The Boss Nova Rio Sextet from the album Cannonball’s Bossa Nova, 1962
  • What a Treat by Walter Lang & Lee Konitz from the album Ashiya, 2007

Tracks played 5 January 2019

Small hospital radio station big on jazz every Friday 4 ’til 6pm (GMT)

Sounds Like Jazz is a Gosport Hospital Radio production and these are the tracks played on the above date:

  • T’s Boogaloo by Mike Clark from the album Carnival Of The Soul, 2010
  • Full House by Vasilis Xenopoulos/ Nigel Price Quartet from the album Sidekicks, 2018
  • All or Nothing at All by Edana Minghella from the album of the same name, 2016
  • I Got Rhythm by Nigel Price from the album Heads & Tales 2011
  • You’re Getting to be a Habit by Betty Carter from the album Out There, 1958
  • Toki’s Theme by Dave Brubeck Quartet from the album Jazz Impressions Of Japan, 1964
  • New York Afternoon by Snowboy And The Latin Section from the album of the same name, 2016
  • Lizzy’s Bounce by Curtis Fuller from the album The Opener, 1957
  • Hora Decubitus by Charles Mingus from the album Mingus x5, 1963
  • Swingin’ on Nothing by Tommy Dorsey And is Orchestra from the album Oodles Of Noodles, a Jazz Greats Magazine compilation #036