Kurt Hanson: State of the Industry [video from RAIN Summit West]

rsw video kurt clip 01 300wAt RAIN Summit West, April 17 in Las Vegas, RAIN founder Kurt Hanson delivered his annual State of the Industry address. Today we are pleased to release the full video below.

As usual, 1960s-era Star Trek images tested the Trekker credentials of the audience. Hanson also brought an Amazon Echo to the stage, making it (or her: Alexa) a co-presenter and point-prover of how technology is changing listening behavior.

Choice and Control — those were the keywords of this year’s address. Along the way, illustrative examples included beer, pizza, Star Trek, pets, coffee makers, digital dashboards, Star Trek, tablets, data plans, all kinds of streaming services, and Star Trek.

Post-event surveying revealed this sessions as a highlight for RAIN Summit West attendees. Enjoy.


Brad Hill


    • Not all indie artists feel that same way you do about streaming. One of my favorite artists is Adult Contemporary pianist Jim Brickman. In the 90’s he was on Windham Hill Records, which is a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment, which specialized in new age and folk music. He later moved to Savoy Records, which specializes in jazz, R&B, and gospel. I’m not quite sure but I think that Savoy Records is an indie label. Now he’s with Mood Entertainment, which I think is another indie label. He has a stream of his music set up on Radionomy and also a stream set up on Sound Cloud. He’s an example of an artist who has accepted that streaming is the future.

        • They obviously are, otherwise he probably wouldn’t use these services.

        • Not all the streams in Radionomy’s directory are run by Radionomy. I’m willing to bet that his stream is one such station and is more than likely run by his record label.

  1. Spotify, etc. are not killing the music industry.

    http :// finance. yahoo. com/news/spotify-not-killing-music-industry-201309464.html#

  2. 90% of CDs I buy are older so have to I buy them through Ebay or Amazon’s Marketplace Sellers.

    If the older CD isn’t available at those stores, I purchase it from the iTunes store and burn a CD to play in the car, etc.

  3. I second what Billy Bob said. In fact, the music industry killed itself. https :// consumerist. com/2007/06/28/how-the-recording-industry-killed-itself/

  4. If you listen to music on Spotify etc, you are steeling from the Artists.
    An open letter to cdBaby:
    Dear CD Baby,

    As you know, there is a lot of discussion regarding the fair payment of writers and performers of music
    that is being streamed – whether for a very small price per stream or for free.

    At Dynamic, where we have many, many recordings available on CD Baby, we feel that
    our income has been adversely affected by the policies in place right now. A look at our earnings (and therefore the earnings of CD Baby too!)
    demonstrates that through the first quarter of 2016, our revenues are only at 67% of the same quarter last year.
    2015 was down slightly from 2015, and I’m guessing that if we had not added additional titles during 2015, the difference
    may have been more significant. If this trend continues through 2016, being down 33% in CD Baby income is not good.

    And we’re only one company on CD Baby – if other musicians, record companies, independent performers, etc. are seeing the
    same trend, it’s a serious loss in income to people who are not being compensated properly for streamed and free music.

    We believe CD Baby should unite with the others who have taken a stand to gain reasonable payment for artistic endeavors.


    Dave Kaspersin
    Dynamic Recording Studio Independent Label / Dynamic Web Pages

    • Correction: A listener listening to a streaming service is not considered stealing because the music is not in the listener’s possession.

      Stealing would be someone downloading a file illegally from a file sharing site.

      Another correction: CD Baby is not a streaming website. CD Baby is a legal site to buy indie music.

      • Exactly. Streaming means renting access to music rather than buying albums or MP3s.

    • Sally Ann is correct. CD Baby is a web store, like Amazon, not a streaming site.

    • Maybe people just aren’t interested in buying the music you are selling.

      • Maybe nobody’s interested in streaming his music either.

    • a) People don’t want to buy whole albums.
      b) They want to hear samples before purchasing.

  5. If you are listening to streamed music, and the Artist is not being paid, you are stealing. You are an accessory to the fact. To clarify the cdBaby statement,
    I am not blaming them. I want them to help us fight this.

    • Streaming pays the labels. The labels are the ones hoarding the royalties. http :// techcrunch .com/2015/09/23/mo-users-mo-money/

    • Option 1. Kid hears song, proceeds to download illegally on internet. Kid tells friends, friends do same. Option 2. Kid hears song on Spotify, proceeds to share on Spotify. Streams earn money for label, label pay artists the agreement they came to in contract, label drive concerts and shows for said artist. As an artist what would you prefer? Option 1 or Option 2. I guarantee you that most artists would choose 2.

      • Precisely! Well said Beth! Streaming is not illegal. Free downloading is. Anyone stating streaming is theft is plain ignorant.

      • Exactly. I’d much rather get a pay check for something (streaming) than nothing at all (illegal downloading).

    • That’s not true. By law, streamers pay artists. The money goes to the record labels, record label then distributes money to artist.

      • If the artist complaining is a millionaire or a billionaire, I find it very hard to be sympathetic with them.

  6. Dave Kaspersin is completely missing the point. Ad supported “free” music, whether on FM Radio or Internet, is giving the artists (through the labels who actually own the music) the opportunity to advertise their music to you so that you have a choice to buy it, see them in concert, etc. Without “free” music advertising, the music industry would completely dry up. 90% of the audience would evaporate overnight.

    • By Dave’s logic, OTA radio should go away too. It’s supported by ads but cost nothing but the hardware for a listener to tune in. And therein is the reason people want a free option for music. It’s not because of bad, evil Napster. It’s because for several decades now, people have been listening to free music on radio.

  7. I own an Indie Label and we are in out 40TH year. We have over 500 Artists
    and before Streaming we sold a ton of CDS and had even more downloads.
    Our income for us and our Artists has dropped way down.
    This is a typical payment we get from Spotify:
    Spotify payment to Dynamic Recording:

    63 streams – $.06 cents. This is a major rip off.
    Radio stations pay us 8.5 cents per play.

    cdBaby, iTunes, amazon all pay us well.
    Smart music buyers love the free music and do not purchase or download.
    Many top Artists have pulled there music from streaming, because their sales
    and downloads have dried up.

    • What the artist gets depends on their various agreements with labels, publishers, etc. If an artist wants better pay, they need take up their grievance with their record labels, because the problem is more than likely due to the structure of their label contract.

    • It sounds to me like your music isn’t very popular, hence why you won’t ever have a lot of revenue.

      • Billy Bob brings up a good point. An artist’s popularity is a factor into how much payment they receive.

        As Beth mentioned earlier, most artists would prefer to at least get paid something, even if it is a few cents per stream, compared to piracy, which gives neither the artist nor the label any payment.

    • Considering the fact that CDs are $15-$20 for only one or two good songs, people have realized that owning music isn’t worth it.

      • I believe the flaw is with the one price unlimited subscription. For many people (e.g., people who only sporadically listen to music, or listen to a handful of songs per week during workouts) the $10 subscription is too high – they just don’t listen enough, so they don’t pay at all.

        But the people who do pay for $10 Spotify subscriptions – those are generally the heaviest users, and they are thrilled with Spotify because they’re getting an amazing deal: most of them are underpaying based on amount of use and the value they place on it. It isn’t surprising that the people who pay for Spotify tend to absolutely love it – most of them are getting amazingly good deals.

        So the single $10 subscription has two results:

        1. The majority of consumers don’t pay anything because – even though they’d pay something – the $10 price is too high based on the way they consume.

        2. The small group of consumers who do pay $10 are mostly the heaviest users, who both consume the most content and place the highest value on that content; they should probably be paying more than $10.

        So you get less money from each group than you actually should. In fact, except for the very small number of people who pay $10 and get only $10 or less of value from the service, almost every single consumer – subscriber or not – is paying less than they should pay and less than they would be willing to pay.

        Music consumption and the value placed on it varies too wildly amongst consumers (even for the same consumer over time) for the “ad-supported or single price subscription” to be an optimal business model.

    • If you buy a CD, you can play it 30, 40, 50 times or more without any extra payment going to the artist. So, all kinds of formats are hurting you, not just streaming.

      • I was reading an article recently talking abut best ways to support an artists. I’ll include the link to that in this post. The article said that if you buy an alum, you should buy it through the artist’s personal site or at a show, where there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of the revenue.

        http: // fusion .net/story/233399/streaming-good-albums-bad/

    • Making a living selling recorded music has always only been possible for a very small minority of recording artists.

      Since you’re concerned about sales of your music, a good solution would be to set up your stream at services which include an option to buy music. Bandcamp and Soundcloud are two such streaming services that gives listeners the option to purchase music if they like what they hear.

    • Dave – Basically what the others are pointing out to you is that the issue is much more complicated than you assume.

  8. Here’s what some indie musicians say about the issue. I would say it’s a 50-50 split. http :// www. newsweek. com/ten-indie-musicians-weigh-music-streaming-debate-355298

  9. Thanks for that Beth. I agree with those that are ok with streaming said: It’s always been about live performance revenue.

  10. Roger Daltrey: There’s no music industry anymore, why would we make an album?The Who frontman says the internet has stolen the record industry and gives musicians no incentive to make new music
    Roger Daltrey says The Who are unlikely to ever release another album because the internet has “stolen” the music industry.

    The frontman admits he and guitarist Pete Townshend have discussed the possibility of making a follow-up to 2006’s Endless Wire, but as it stands he can’t see it happening.

    The Who unveiled standalone single Be Lucky in 2014 and at the time, Daltrey hinted that a full album would follow.

    But he tells Rolling Stone: “We’ve talked about it, but it’s not going to be easy. There’s no record industry anymore. Why would I make a record?

    “I would have to pay to make a record. There’s no royalties so I can’t see that ever happening. There’s no record business. How do you get the money to make the records? I don’t know.

    “I’m certainly not going to pay money to give my music away free. I can’t afford to do that. I’ve got other things I could waste the money on.”

    Asked why the record industry is in the state that it’s in, Daltrey adds: “Well, it’s been stolen. The way the internet has come about has been the biggest robbery in history, like musicians should work for nothing.

    “You get paid for streaming, my ass. There’s no control. Musicians are getting robbed every day. And now it’s creeping into film and television, everything now.

    “You notice, the internet is a slowly but surely destructive thing in all ways. I don’t think it’s improved people’s lives. It’s just made them do more work and feel like they’re wanted a bit more, but it’s all bollocks.

    “They feel like they’re wanted because they got 50,000 Facebook likes or whatever, and it’s all bollocks. Look up for a while. Live in the real world.”

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