To Spotify, or not to Spotify

I sit here in Denmark as I ponder this question.

In our era, we speak a lot of sustainability, and I wonder if the environment Spotify has created is sustainable for musicians.  For most of us, it means very little revenue from our recordings.  I can see that for big labels, this might be sustainable, but it seems to me, that for everyone else, it is problematic.

Today musicians make their living from live performances. Does that mean an artist like Enya, who never toured, could not survive today?

Independent artists like Amanda Palmer have taken to Patreon to survive. Her patrons on Patreon fund her music-making and therefore she is able to give her music away “for free” on Spotify. That is one solution.  It’s the only solution I can actually see today for an independent artist.

I wonder if there is a future for a kind of musician-owned cooperative platform, in which music would be available digitally, like on Spotify, but that would be more economically sustainable for musicians.

Although there are track marks on The Wild Song, like on any other album, I conceived of the album as a whole. Each song or poem is fundamentally linked to the song or poem before and after it. Putting it on Spotify would mean users could take the album apart and put pieces of it on one playlist or another. It would dismantle the album’s meaning.

I suppose I have a problem with the system. 

For the moment, I have decided not to put The Wild Song on Spotify or Apple Music.  It will be available in its digital format on iTunes and Amazon and in its physical format on Amazon.

“Art and systems are opposed to each other, and those who adhere to a systematic preconceived idea are wrong, for they sacrifice their imagination and their gifts.”

~Giuseppe Verdi

Sanni Sorma