What is the Value of Recorded Music Anymore?

A friend recently shared this article in Mashable. As expected, it sparked a conversation around the unfair model of streaming and how it pays so little to musical artists. But this article made me think… maybe this is the actual value of recorded music? There’s a lot of recorded music out there, and it’s really easy and cheap to consume in mass quantities. Therefore, according to supply and demand, it makes sense that recorded music has a very low valuation.

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Does jazz really suck

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Once regarded as a prestigious and respected art form, for many jazz has become the ugliest kid at the dance, and somehow simply mentioning its name can be a total buzzkill. What happened?

By now, most of us have read that jazz is officially the least popular genre when you judge by album sales. That’s certainly not anything to be proud of, but it’s also a vast misrepresentation of the genre.

Something most people might not understand about jazz albums, even the historic ones — is that all jazz recordings are flawed. Listening to jazz albums is like watching videos of improvised theater; no matter how good the performance, you’re still missing part of the point. If you really want to understand what’s going on, you need to experience it in person, and then re-experience it again to see how the art is its own dynamic language.

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The other reason to be skeptical of online streaming services like Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify

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Writing about the valuation of music and the effect of subscription based streaming services is a popular topic, and I think that’s a great thing. There’s a lot to explore, and a lot to fix.

Most articles I’ve recently read on this topic usually focus on the super low royalty payments payed to artists from services like Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music. And yes, it’s all true. It’s not a topic of debate, it’s something we know and already accept. What’s causing me to sit back and scratch my head is the way most critics of the streaming model use the “smaller independent band” to further justify their argument for unfair payouts. The truth is that smaller bands are being screwed long before they get to put their albums online.

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