Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Grammys and Spotify

Preface: when you commit to writing 30 posts in 30 days, no topic is off limits. So now, I present you a blog post on a topic I would've most likely never written about: the Grammys, and more specifically, streaming music services. 

I didn't watch the Grammys, because the last time I watched them, I felt like I was 100 years old. It was like lights out in the owlery. "Who is that? Now who is THAT? Oh come on, who is that person?!" Yeah, yeah, Hamilton. I'll just watch it on YouTube. I pay to stream the CD and I'll buy a ticket for it when it's in Los Angeles. That's all you get from me. 

Apparently, someone I don't know (I just looked it up - it was Neil Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy) made some remark on the Grammys about how music so great and aren't our singles worth more than a penny? Subtweeting at Spotify, it seems. I am pretty anti-piracy. I pay for movies, I pay for music. I want artists to make money off of their stuff. I always see these things online about how you can get cable for free through a so-and-so device, but I don't want free cable, because someone made that cable, and it's worth more than nothing. Well, some of it is, anyway.

I understand wanting to make money off of your music. I get that. But I'm sorry if I don't feel bad that you don't think it's enough money. Make better music. How about that? Also, HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU NEED TO MAKE? You all seem to be doing fine, arriving at your awards ceremony in limos wearing beautiful clothes, sitting court side at basketball games, vacationing wherever and whenever you want, talking on the red carpet about what you're wearing when so many of us DGAF. Maybe your music isn't as highly valued as it once was. Times change. Maybe we don't want to pay $15 for a CD that has 3 good songs on it. Get on the bus and stop your bitching, or quit making music. It's not up to us to make sure you still live the life you want to live. If you don't like Spotify, stay off of it. Isn't it important to get as many ears on your music as possible? It's not like we're talking poverty wages here, folks. These artists are doing just fine.  How much money did the person who made your iPhone make? Or your sneakers? I'm about to pay $500 for two Beyonce concert tickets, so I think you'll all manage just fine.

I'm not someone who bitches that celebrities make too much money and teachers don't make enough. I mean, that is OBVIOUSLY true. But celebrities are part of a for-profit machine, and if they're making a lot of money, it's because they are worth that much money to the people putting out their art. If Julia Roberts is making $20 million a movie, then it's because her movies tend to make a lot of money in the theatre. No one is getting rich while leaving the makers of this art poor. 

Yes, you work hard. Yes, you are reaching a wide audience. Yes, you deserve your financial success. But when you start complaining that you're not making ENOUGH, that your art has somehow devalued, and you're implying that it's on me to help keep your "dying" art form alive, I check out. Nope. I'll be over here, in a dual-income two-bedroom RENTAL HOUSE, with my kids in full-time daycare, and my travel budget maxed out on trips to Ohio. 

It's hard out here for a pimp. The future is different than imagined - it's the American dream. 

**Edited to add this article, which explains artists' issues with Spotify, and why the model of streaming music is broken.

***Also, edited to add the link to my follow-up post on this subject.

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