Gently Down the Stream

Manuel A. Luz

(Photo: Unsplash)

My album, “A Different Kind of Love Song,” is now available on all streaming services, as well as available for download on your favorite devices. I went back and forth quite a lot, debating whether I should manufacture CDs as well, and after weighing the pros and cons, decided to do a short run of CDs which will be available mid-July.

Please hit this link, HEARNOW.COM, to listen to samples, download online, or listen on your favorite streaming app.

It’s been nine years since I released my last solo effort. And a lot has changed in that time. The proliferation of smart devices, streaming apps, online sales, and internet access has changed not only the music and film and entertainment industries, but also the way we consume and market them. Click this link for a legal opinion on how the music industry continues to morph. But from a boots-on-the-ground perspective, it really means that most independent musicians will probably get paid less.

Do the math with me. Spotify pays approximately $0.00492 per play. Now that seems miniscule (and it is), but it is comparable to industry rates which range from $0.003 to $0.005 per play. So on Spotify, 212 plays = $1.00. In other words, if you played one of my songs 212 times, Spotify will cut me a check for $1.00.

Now my songs average 5 minutes in length, so if you were to play my new album on Spotify for 24 hours straight, I would earn $1.36. But, if you played my music for one full year—365 days or 525, 600 minutes—I would earn a whopping $495.85.

Which is about how much a typical small band will earn playing one casual gig.

Just for fun, I thought about how many people I would need to earn a million dollars in one year. Well, that would be 2,017 people playing my album continuously—24 hours a day, seven days a week—for a full year. (So, to all my friends and readers out there, go get to work!)

Things are certainly different from the days of physical CDs and music labels. But this isn’t news for musicians. Business, economics, entertainment, technology, culture—it is natural for these things to evolve. I can’t think of a single artistic medium that hasn’t morphed over the past ten years. In these moments, it’s good to remind oneself that our calling as artists is to create, not to share Instagram posts 14-20 times per week in order to maintain your social media presence. So please don’t let the ever-evolving arts scene discourage you. Make music. Compose songs. Sing your heart out. Just put it out there.

I invite you to check out the songs, and read my previous post to take a peek behind the curtain too.

[Banner and Inset photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash. Album cover: Mosaic by Rachel Luz, Art Direction by Kody Renfro.]

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