Free Tier Music Streaming Comes Under Fire at Grammys

Since the introduction of Spotify and Apple Music, there’s been quite a stir in regard to streaming music and particularly free streaming music. When Apple Music began offering free 3-month trials, the company wasn’t going to pay artists or labels any money during user trials until Taylor Swift brought the issue to the forefront. Last night, as Apple aired its Apple Music + Sonos ad, the opportunity to address the issue came up again. Recording Academy President Neil Portnow and Common both took moments to speak on it. Portnow stated, “Isn’t a song worth more than a penny?” Referring to the miniscule amount of money artists earn from ad-supported music streaming services.

Portnow went on to say, “Listen, we all love the convenience, and we support technologies like streaming, which connect us to that music. But we also have to make sure that artists grow up in a world where music is a viable career." His point is more than valid. We see the top performers in music and think, “oh, they don’t need my money,” but it reaches far beyond ‘top artists’ as the ability to listen to nearly anyone, mainstream or underground, grows with technology. Last year, Portnow addressed Spotify directly at the launch for the Creators Alliance, an activist group that lobbies for fair pay for artists, “Remember that music matters in our lives, and that new technology must pay artists fairly."

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Common gave a shout-out to those who are supporting artists with their money, "So tonight, my comrades of the recording academy would like to thank our fans who support our work by going to a concert, subscribing to a music service, collecting vinyl, or speaking out for artists’ rights."

My Apple Music trial was up quite some time ago now, and I’ve been paying the $9.99 a month since. Considering I could have also acquired a Hulu account for this monthly price, I was hesitant. But then I thought back to the 90s, when each CD I bought was $10-$20. We’ve grown increasingly accustomed to getting more for less but often fail to recognize the underlying business model of all things. Whether it’s supporting an artist you love or buying from your local farmer’s market, it’s important to put your money where your heart is.

 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.