[LAU] [OT] Future of Music Distribution (and examples?)

Andrew A. Grathwohl andrew at grathwohl.me
Thu Aug 27 21:44:18 CEST 2020

Hello Linux Audio folks!

I wanted to see if I could get a conversation going about the future of
music distribution. Given that we are people who make creative works
with free software, I figured this is as decent a place as any to
discuss what is out there, what is possible, and what should be avoided.
My own personal approach to distribution is detailed below, but I invite
others on this list to share their own methods and ideas.

By now, most of us are probably resigned to the fact that the music
world will look quite a bit different going forward, compared with prior
eras. Many musicians feel that today's points of engagement with music
fail to provide adequate revenues, and are taking to social media to
criticize Spotify and the ilk for not being better "stewards" of music.

I largely agree with those sentiments, which is why I have been taking
the opportunity to construct a solid home base for my music project
<https://multipli.city>, which is fully operated on my own physical
hardware and some AWS cloud services at a cost of $7/month. It's just a
simple jekyll template <https://github.com/SacredData/pRoJEct-NeGYa>
hosted on GitHub Pages. However, by publishing my music releases to my
own jekyll page one time, I get the added benefit of also publishing to
all desired locations on the web simultaneously, including to a podcast
feed <https://multipli.city/podcast.xml> compatible with Apple's podcast

It's weird to me that we are still trying to unit-price music in a world
where it's cheaper and easier than ever to record, produce, and
distribute it. I am not necessarily interested in profiting from my own
musical endeavors, but a friend of mine is a rather popular independent
electronic artist, who has pointed out to me that despite millions of
annual streams, streaming services alone don't provide him anywhere near
a livable income. InĀ  my opinion, this shouldn't be so. There's also the
issue of being beholden to the whims of private firms who run various
online music services. Anyone here miss SoundCloud Groups, for example?

I've begun to wonder if solutions like mine could be the foundation for
a new kind of music distribution approach - perhaps one where musicians
maintain podcast feeds, where monetization vectors are much more
profitable and much more flexible for individuals to exercise without
betraying their own values.
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