Spotify will list on the New York Stock Exchange on April 3, meaning you can now pay to own a part of a company that are making all their money from selling access to songs that you may already own the rights to. If that’s not irony, then it’s certainly a reminder that life is a chaotic mess of bent, broken atoms, completely devoid of meaning.
It may seem like a sure thing; Spotify are clearly the market leaders when it comes to streaming music, and despite their logo being just slightly off-centre enough to induce vertigo, they seem to be doing okay.
Here are a few things to consider before investing though.
BEING FIRST TO MARKET ISN’T ALWAYS A GOOD THING
They seemed like they had the social media landscape on lock, what with the customisable pages, and auto-playing music, and ability to ruthlessly rank your friends in public.
Then Diaspora came along, and now nobody even mentions Facebook.
Jan and Dean pre-date The Beach Boys. James Dean was around before James Franco – and he died. You get the point.
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TECHNOLOGY CHANGES SO QUICKLY
When was the last time you downloaded a song?
It was probably within the past two years, but it seems as archaic a thing to do as burning a CD-R, or cranking an 8-track in your T-bird while cruising to the beach with your honey. Spotify’s hold over streaming won’t last, but — more to the point — streaming won’t last. I can’t think of a more convenient way to listen to music right now, but then again I once thought the graphics for Donkey Kong Country were as sophisticated as graphics would ever get. They weren’t, although they do still look great – especially the underwater levels.
Brain-chips will be a thing.
You know those Apple AirPods you wear? That’s the first mass-market insertable chip. It has already started. You didn’t notice, hey?
THIS BULLSHIT ROYALTY SITUATION CANNOT LAST
As we reported a few weeks back, Spotify are actually lowering the royalty rates they pay to artists, because they have the power and the people with the power don’t have any incentive to change this situation.
Royalty rates are currently 0.00397 cents per stream; a cumulative reduction of 24% since 2014.
The bottom will fall out; it has to. Artists will revolt, the public will revolt. Unless a really good show comes on Netflix of course.
THERE’S ABOUT TO BE A MASS STOCK MARKET CRASH
These things go in cycles. Like fashion. Like seasons. Like Four Seasons musicals. SEE.
MONEY ISN’T REAL
There was this pre-industrial society on an island named Yap which used giant stones as currency. These stones weren’t native to the island and therefore had to be transported there. Once, a ship carrying these hit a storm and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Rather than consider this lost currency, they simply kept a note that these stones were at the bottom of the ocean, and would continue to trade them. They couldn’t see them, or access them, but they knew they were there, and knew their worth, and so they were valuable.
This may or may not be a metaphor.
As Donald Glover said, getting people to pay for music these days is like a bakery trying to charge people who walk past for smelling the scent.
Once it’s in the air, it becomes oxygen, and humans feel entitled to oxygen. So do dolphins.
Now, a song.