||There's operatic metal and symphonic metal and Tulip have an ex-opera-singer and frequent orchestral flourishes, but in context those things basically just keep this tense, pounding song out of metalcore territory.|
||"In a Moment"
||Call of the North
||We are living in an era of absurd and glorious abundance for metal as melodic/rhythmic maximalism.|
||"Fight for the Fallen"
||Nereids have, as I write this, 17 monthly listeners on Spotify.|
||Mission In Black
||"What Does It Take to Be Alive"
||As best I have been able to tell, there is essentially no end of astonishingly good metal bands waiting for you if you want to go looking for them.|
||Every time I figure out some improvement in algorithmic techniques at work to help the world's collective listening self-organize|
||I point it at the most not-yet-famous metal bands I know,|
||and I find more.|
||Frozen Crown are giants, relatively speaking: 100,000+ listeners and comfortably among the 100,000 most popular artists on Spotify worldwide.|
||"Shine (My Dying Star)"
||Shine (My Dying Star) +1
||These others are fond dreams of love waiting for their turns in our sleep,|
||practicing their band-photo glower for provisional audiences of thousands|
||"Det Døde Barn"
||Det Døde Barn / Das Tode Kind 2
||Call of the North
||Rides In ReVellion
||"MORE THAN WORDS"
||Spotify has a stated goal of helping a million creative artists make a living from their art|
||a crowd of rebellion
||by reaching a billion fans.|
||"The latter part of the NIGHTMARE"
||If we grant that a corporate mission-statement has to be memorably succinct,|
||then these are almost the numbers that have to be.|
||It would sound ludicrous to say that you have a goal of helping 26,700 creative artists make a living|
||"RISE OF FRONTIER"
||by reaching 2.43 billion human fans and 6 cats who have figured out how to use credit cards.|
||"NO! NO! NO! (First Rhythm Version)"
||Current official figures put the listening audience at 500 million, so we're halfway to the billion.|
||A billion fans supporting a million artists suggests that a thousand fans are sufficient to fund one artist,|
||which is probably an unhelpful formulation, since it implicitly treats artists like something only the rich would have more than one of,|
||Now I'm 19 6
||but if we tolerate it for thought-experiment purposes for a moment, it's at least abstractly plausible.|
||Averaged across the various plans and discounts and currency rates, the average Spotify listener generates somewhere on the order of $50 of royalties per year,|
||"Wake up soon"
||and if your band can make $50k from Spotify in a year, maybe your income from all sources is enough for music and music-related activities to be your job.|
||The obvious holistic problem with this simplistic equation is that it assumes fans and thus income are distributed evenly.|
||They are, clearly, not.|
||Taylor Swift has 80 million listeners: 1000 to support a humble daily subsistence for her|
||"Paint Like a Child"
||and 79,999,000 to pay for her to fly around in a private jet while 79,999 artists who they could have supported instead watch from the windows of their day-jobs.|
||"Pink no Buta no Chiisana Yume"
||Current official figures put the number of artists earning $50k+ from Spotify alone at 17,800.|
||Cup of Joe
||Linear extrapolation indicates that if 500m listeners in their actual distribution of love|
||can support 17,800 artists, then to support a million artists with the same social mechanics we need 28 billion listeners.|
||Signals In Airwaves
||"Strict Ang Parents Ko"
||UN projections, uncooperatively, have global population peaking somewhere between 10 and 11 billion by 2100 or so.|
||Story Of The Year
||Tear Me to Pieces
||I have absolutely no authority over my employer's PR strategy,|
||The Fucking Champs
||and am temperamentally unsuited for anything that requires confidently unexplained assertions about the future.|
||"Do You Feel The Same?"
||But I also think music is what humans do best,|
||"Dal Fi Lawr"
||and that bringing all the world's music together online is the greatest cultural achievement of my lifetime so far,|
||"Full Spectrum Dominance"
||Full Spectrum Dominance +1
||but that we're only barely at the beginning of understanding how to convert this vast collective potential into justly distributed collective joy.|
||Genau hier +1
||In that context the billion/million framing seems most useful to me because it is so patently preposterous compared to where we are.|
||How many people should be able to make a living from music?|
||Another of my many interrelated projects at work involves facilitating the collective self-organization of all the world's music|
||La Habitación Roja
||"Vuelve A Empezar Sin Mí"
||through listening patterns, by calculating an automatic associative network of artists according to their shared fans.|
||"Un buon motivo per vivere"
||Qualcosa di vero
||Recently I've been pushing on the limits of this data, trying to find the point below which there ceases to be enough listening signal for intelligible induction,|
||and empirically the answer appears to be 5 fans.|
||El Columpio Asesino
||If you, as an artist, have enough fans that you share at least 5 of them with some other artist,|
||there's a decent chance that this pairing will seem at least vaguely non-random to at least one of you,|
||and so maybe we can treat this as a lower practical bound.|
||However many people we imagine spending their lives making music in better worlds than we currently inhabit,|
||"Cómo me gusta"
||the number of people stubborn enough to make music that reaches a community of listeners,|
||in the tiniest sense of community,|
||despite the inhospitable conditions that so far prevail,|
||"En mi lugar - Día Internacional de la Mujer"
||is about 2.5 million.|
||"Un buon inizio"
||But by the time you get to 2.5 million, you get to artists like me,|
||"Not Worth It"
||and not even I'm arguing that I ought to be able to earn a living from my music.|
||My lifetime royalties are comfortably into the triple-figures,|
||"Out Of That Truck"
||and I really thought I had the potential for a minor breakthrough with my recent electric-kalimba song about Cambridge street-names,|
||Christine and the Queens
||"To be honest"
||but last I checked I still hadn't quite made it to $4.00.|
||If fan-patterns can connect more like 20 artists, though,|
||then maybe that's a better proxy for the level of artists who might deserve professional support,|
||and the number of artists with 20 peers in my current experiments is,|
||coincidentally but evocatively,|
||"till the day i ___ (feat. LØLØ)"
||scared to go to sleep (deluxe)
||about a million.|
||Meet Me @ The Altar
||Past // Present // Future
||Public Spotify figures show the ascending counts, over time, of artists reaching various yearly royalty levels,|
||"On My Own"
||from $10m (40 in 2022) down only to $1k (232,500 in 2022), but if you have the patience to graph these and freehand the curves a little further into the unknown,|
||you can estimate that the millionth most popular artist on Spotify today probably earned something like $50 in Spotify royalties last year.|
||It's not just that we're not yet to our goal, it's that we're not getting there at this rate.|
||The sneaky insinuation of Spotify's mission statement, and I point out again that I have no organizational input into this nor authority to make statements about its corporate intent,|
||Finding Paradise +3
||is that it implies radical change.|
||"All I Wanted"
||To go from 17,800 artists barely supporting themselves, and the millionth artist not even earning a full workday of minimum wage,|
||to all the musically-viable artists we already have freed to focus on their music,|
||we have to fundamentally change the role of music in our moral and actual economies.|
||2% tweaks to publishing shares, 5% fluxes in allocation methodologies|
||Dead Shape Figure
||"Torn Asunder Worn Ideals"
||and 15% hikes in family-plan prices are not counter-productive,|
||but on the scale of our social goals they're sadly immaterial.|
||At least one of two much more fundamental things has to happen:|
||"Cut from the Stars"
||either individual fans of music have to be compellingly invited to pour an order of magnitude more money into the existing money-channels,|
||or else other collective social-structures have to inject that missing order of fiscal magnitude from some other direction.|
||The companies that broker the current flow, like the one I work for, have inevitable incentives to think in the former terms,|
||but as the workers that do or don't comprise those companies|
||Periphery V: Djent Is Not A Genre
||we are still human before and after the temporary alignments of commerce.|
||Keep Of Kalessin
||Asking streaming to have already solved this problem, or its glass-half-empty correlate of blaming streaming for having caused it,|
||"Tilbake Til Opprinnelsen"
||Tilbake Til Opprinnelsen +1
||is a performative exercise in grudge-wielding that supports no rational scrutiny.|
||As of 2022 the recorded-music industry has surpassed its CD-era peak in face-value dollars,|
||and has recovered to about two-thirds of that peak in inflation-adjusted terms.|
||The other way of saying this is that never in human history has recorded music, as a business, been more than half again as big as it is now.|
||Afraid of Destiny
||There were not a million artists living off of their music in the goldenest of golden years of the CD boom.|
||Reverorum ib Malacht
||"Och canel och timjan och salfwa och rökelse och win och olja och semlor och hwete och boskap och får och hästar och wagnar och kroppar och menniskors själar."
||Emet Amen : The dark night of the faith
||Returning to that gold might get us from 17,800 to 26,700,|
||or our millionth artist from $50 to $75.|
||"Varðlokkur, Caller of Spirits"
||Anybody arguing for a return to old ways might as well claim that as their uninspiring goal.|
||Osi And The Jupiter
||The preposterous "million" is not a stock-market come-on or a fiscal-quarter projection,|
||"Jag känner dig"
||it's a diagram of a wrecking ball,|
||or a call for interesting diagrams of potential wrecking balls,|
||or, at the very least, an online wrecking-ball catalog browsed through in a non-incognito tab left provocatively open,|
||Bhinca Lami +1
||albeit with a so-far un-checked-out cart.|
||Masinga Sgqoko Sembongolo
||I don't control Spotify business decisions,|
||but individual Spotify or Apple or Google or Amazon decisions are unlikely to be the milestones in our future history.|
||Billionaires wield the power to have themselves moved around the planet in the fastest planes,|
||but the rest of us stay where we are,|
||or else we get up and move.|
||H I K A R I 5
||We improve not by quantifying OKRs, but by internalizing more hope than dissatisfaction.|
||Calatea - EP 4
||We make better futures not by writing the specification for how they will operate,|
||"Downward Spiralling Motion"
||but by dancing carelessly into them and then refusing to leave or stop.|
||"The New Pastoral"
||The New Pastoral
||The new pastorals might be the old brutalisms,|
||or might be something we didn't yet know to fight over.|
||Fatima Al Qadiri
||"Fidetik (I Lay Down My Life For You)"
||Gumar EP 4
||Fatima Al Qadiri is a gift to humanity. Data suggests we are receiving this gift ungratefully.|
||Msaki, I just checked, is the 17,537th most popular artist on Spotify as of yesterday, so maybe she just makes it into the fortunate 17,800.|
||All of our mythology is vestigial by its nature, and of course this includes the mythologies of CDs and record-stores and whatever existed before software companies and before major labels and before records.|
||"and the swallow"
||But this much I feel sure of: we won't make a more musical world by listening to music more laboriously.|
||We won't make it by bickering grimly over the control of what we already have,|
||"We Are the Airlock"
||Mutiny on the Starbarge
||or by obsessively triaging each other's motives.|
||We will do it by picturing ourselves at the overlapping edges of countless imminent eras of absurd and glorious abundance,|
||The Well & The Gentle
||and then learning how to gather them all together and up as we enter into their intersections.|
||Reverorum ib Malacht
||Emet Amen : The dark night of the faith
||We will do it by learning to hear their noise-floors as solid ground,|
||Novelty / Skarzz Freestyle 2
||and their indignant improvisations as labyrinth exit-maps.|
||"20 Seconds To Comply"
||The new machines might be the old fields.|
||This isn't a war,|
||"WARRIOR - Extended Mix"
||it's a wave.|
||"Dancing in the Dark"
||And we could use, yes, we could use just a little help. We'll get it. We are it.|
||Remember this. Remember this pain. We'll think of it fondly, but rarely, when it's gone.|