Fred Gillen Jr.

Fuel for the Revolution

This is my blog. I started it back in 1998 when the term "blog" was new and I'd certainly never heard of it. At the time I didn't know I was blogging, I just wanted to post some non- edited pieces I'd written in my notebooks. I do not revise or censor this material in any way. Please feel free to email me through the "contact" page on this site if you have anything to say about what you read here.

Spotify

Recently Neil Young and other famous artists pulled their music off of Spotify in protest of Spotify broadcasting a podcast full of misinformation about health issues. Spotify is in the business of collecting huge amounts of personal data about customers and monetizing it. They do this using music streaming.

Many independent artists have been complaining about Spotify for a long time. Spotify executives have said in interviews and in court that Spotify pays artists "more fairly than traditional radio," yet many independent artists seem to be pissed off at Spotify for how little they pay for our content. Why are we pissed off and if those statements are not true why have Spotify execs not been sued for libel? This question reminds me of a scene in Star Wars, when Obi Wan tells Luke Skywalker that his father is Darth Vader. Luke responds that his aunt and uncle lied to him, and Obi Wan replies, "they did not lie- what they said was true from a certain point of view. When your father became Vader the part of him that was Anakin Skywalker died."

Spotify can make the statements they do because devoid of context they are true. One spin on the radio can be heard by millions of people at the same time, whereas a Spotify stream is one person listening once. When you compare the payment for these two things, the statement is true. The problem is context. Radio caused sales of physical product. Literally a song getting played on the radio drove people to go into a record store or eventually on-line and buy a CD or record. Spotify and other streaming services, on the other hand, made physical sales obsolete. With radio you heard a song whenever the music director played it but with Spotify the listener makes a playlist and hears the song whenever they want, just like playing the CD (but of course with much lower audio quality.) Why would anyone pay for something once they could get it for free? It is all about context...and it is not the consumer's fault or the artists' fault...

To get a meaningful number of plays on Spotify, artists hire playlist influencers. The cost of this is pretty similar to the cost of hiring radio promotional people, but radio promotion drove sales thereby earning artists real money, whereas millions of Spotify plays earns artists nearly nothing, money-wise. So we're pissed off. We complain. We also miss albums with credits and art work, etc, but we want you to hear our music so we go along...

Ok- I'm gonna go spin a vinyl Neil Young record. Keep on rockin' in the free world Neil, and good on you for standing up to the man!

Monday, February 14th 2022

 07/20/2022     Childbirth
 06/6/2022     Breakup Songs
 05/26/2022     Thoughts and Prayers
 05/26/2022     Pro
 05/26/2022     Guns and Capitalism
 04/30/2022     World Religions
==>02/14/2022     Spotify
 06/26/2021     Civil Disobedience for Climate Justice Verses the Power of Song
 05/28/2021     Art work IS work!
 05/24/2021     Healthcare
 12/28/2020     Inauguration Day
 11/6/2020     Facebook Community Standards
 11/3/2020     Masks, Red Arrows, and Entitlement
 07/29/2020     Stella Immanuel
 05/8/2020     Respect the Elders
 03/24/2020     Buddha, Jesus, Patriarchy, President
 03/21/2020     Covid 19 Virus Days
 09/13/2019     9/11
 05/13/2019     Look to the Kids
 07/4/2018     Independence Day 2018
 05/20/2018     Abortion and Guns
 05/2/2018     Civil Disobedience
 12/1/2017     Price of Progress
 01/28/2017     Prayer for America
 05/27/2014     "Free" music
 12/30/2013     Happy New Year
 09/26/2013     Ignorant Bliss
 11/29/2012     Gillen & Turk 2008 Opening for Todd Rungren
 08/27/2012     Shallow Money Trench
 06/22/2012     Crazy Horse
 05/9/2012     Talk
 01/19/2012     Freedom
 12/31/2011     Happy New Year
 12/13/2011     Men of Business
 11/19/2011     WAR
 11/18/2011     Earth And Spirit
 10/10/2011     Occupy Wall Street
 10/6/2011     Independence
 09/20/2011     Anger and Love
 09/6/2011     You Can't Have Everything
 09/1/2011     The Instruments
 08/30/2011     Fathers
 08/2/2011     On Being An Artist
 05/11/2011     Speaking The Truth
 04/25/2011     Tuning the lead vocal
 03/17/2011     Instilling Values
 01/14/2011     The Current Music Business
 11/5/2010     Even The Air
 10/19/2010     Rednecks, Racism, This-ism, that-ism
 09/8/2010     9/11
 07/18/2010     Being Ecumenical
 07/6/2010     Dust
 06/30/2010     Gay Rights/ Marriage
 03/11/2010     The heart
 03/11/2010     Culture
 01/5/2010     Coats
 12/11/2009     Pete Seeger
 12/2/2009     Environmental Protest Songs
 10/5/2009     Adam & Eve
 06/18/2009     The World Rolls Along
 06/11/2009     Clearwater
 06/10/2009     The World Rolls Along
 06/10/2009     War Machine
 06/9/2009     alternative media
 06/9/2009     alternative media
 05/14/2008     God
 02/24/2008     broke
 02/11/2008     HOPE MACHINE
 01/6/2008     Dennis Kucinich
 12/27/2007     NYPD
 10/4/2007     Mitakuye Oyasin
 05/21/2007     The Past
 04/15/2007     Kurt Vonnegut, Indian Point
 10/8/2006     God
 06/26/2006     From the Pe Sla -the heart of the heart of Lakota sacred land -the Black Hills of South Dakota
 06/5/2006     Mowing The Lawn
 03/24/2006     Gone Gone Gone
 02/25/2006     grace
 09/26/2005     Sky To Mountain
 09/22/2005     Love
 09/14/2005     Look Down
 04/19/2005     April 2005
 01/27/2005     Poverty
 01/11/2005     Grace
 12/3/2004     Standing Up 2
 12/1/2004     Tired
 11/29/2004     Standing Up
 11/29/2004     Mercy
 09/18/2004     Beaten
 08/7/2004     Half Full
 07/16/2004     Hallelujia!
 07/16/2004     Battered Feathers
 03/14/2004     gifts
 03/1/2004     Ancestors
 03/1/2004     A Prayer
 12/24/2003     "The Bomb"
 05/16/2003     Safe
 05/16/2003     Satan
 05/5/2003     Faith, Hope, Love
 03/10/2003     Tatoo
 02/11/2003     Folk Music is alive and well!
 01/13/2003     Revolution
 01/2/2003     January 2003
 11/17/2002     FEAR
 11/9/2002     Election Day
 10/30/2002     Election Day
 10/14/2002     Checkpoint Charlie
 06/17/2002     Revolution
 06/3/2002     Gold
 06/3/2002     WAGE LOVE!
 06/3/2002     Mercy
 06/3/2002     New World Order?
 04/4/2002     Real?
 04/4/2002     Billboards
 04/4/2002     Faith
 03/22/2002     Living into the 21st century
 03/22/2002     Comfort
 03/22/2002     Barren Ground
 03/22/2002     Dreams
 03/14/2002     March 11, 2002
 02/25/2002     Germany
 12/14/2001     NOW
 09/19/2001     September 11, 2001
 08/6/2001     #5 Taking Responsibility
 07/12/2001     Television
 06/11/2001     #3: Sprawl
 05/16/2001     #2
 05/16/2001     #1


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