Spotify, the popular music streaming service that delivers music to millions for next to nothing, is being sued by lead singer and guitarist David Lowery (of the rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven) for at least $150 million. According to CNN Money, David Lowery sues Spotify because, as his law firm asserted, Spotify "knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted music."
Music is one of the most simple and intimate ways to connect with people. Internet streaming applications such as Spotify have expanded this notion by allowing users to collect tracks, share playlists and keep tabs on what their friends are listening to. Now, you have the ability to not only see your friends' favorite songs, but the most-loved tunes abroad. Using Spotify data, Software Insider found the top five most played songs in 23 different countries (as of this week).
Much fuss has been made over the impact of online streaming on artists' lifestyles, particularly with respect to Spotify, the streaming giant that offers free music to millions, but only pays artists the royalty equivalent of peanuts. In seeking a Spotify loophole, last year a funk band from Michigan called Vulfpeck set out on a creative mission to get around this issue with the album 'Sleepify', a 5-minute long silent album, complete with 10 tracks, 30 seconds a-piece. The loophole worked for a little while, netting the band around $20,000 before Spotify pulled the plug.
Almost like a classic bait-and-switch, Google's music streaming service, YouTube Music Key, has backed another musician into the corner — this time cellist Zoë Keating.
All this week, news stories have been highlighting the precarious financial situation of many artists. First Salon.com reported that music streaming sites are reducing the royalties paid out to classical and jazz musicians. Then writer Daphne Carr addressed the problem of unpaid gigs. And finally, actor Ian McKellen called for a living wage for stage actors.
Ah the Spotify splendor of millions of titles at your fingertips. A treasure trove of classics ranging from the yardbird himself Charlie Parker--to the grand funk hip-hop outfit A Tribe Called Quest to Metallica and Lang Lang--Spotify may be a vast ocean of unexplored wonder.
Classical Music magazine details the latest reports from the U.S. and U.K. classical music recording trends. Based on figures released by Nielsen SoundScan and by the British Phonographic Institute (BPI, the U.K.'s trade body) and the Official Charts Company, the big news is that digital music downloads have a down arrow by them for the first time ever in the United States, while continuing to grow across the pond, and that the monster that is streaming is getting fatter.
Despite its age, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (founded in 1946) has always been alert to innovation (and no doubt that attitude has contributed to its longevity). It was the first major U.K. orchestra to launch its own record label--albeit in a smaller way than today's much more common model, popularized by LSO Live--and one of the first to spearhead a really top-notch education program. And now, it's getting into the app market.