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Shakespeare to stream with Dodgy Headphones

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay except the dodgy headphones – that was me

To stream or not to stream? Now there is a question not even the bard could have dreamt up. Users love it, but artists have divided opinions. Whether we like it or not, it seems that streaming music is here to stay. I have resisted up to now. But it feels like time for me to take the plunge.

Streaming services are great for music lovers, and is now an essential on-line presence for new artists. Some services are better than others, but to have nearly every piece of music at your finger tips feels like a very nice thing. Music is now available on tap, which can be both good and bad in my opinion.

This article is also available on Medium.com

Streaming music on tap

Having all music available 24/7 is great, but it takes the mystery away from discovering new music. Don’t get me wrong it is great to be able to access all artists all of the time. But it is almost too easy. I can remember the days when we waited to hear the latest tunes on radio and then we would need to visit a record store to buy it. Discovering music via streaming is definitely less arduous. But it does not feel like the achievement it once was. Nor is it a physical item. When I buy a CD or record, it is mine to have and to hold and cherish for as long as I like. And believe me I have a lot of them. Hitting the play button on my phone is just another online action.

What would happen if all the streaming sites suddenly decided that music was no longer a viable option, and these services stopped? Today this seems like a very far-fetched scenario. But this world changes so fast. Is this scenario so outlandish? Have Netflix or Spotify ever made a profit? Depends on what report you look at. How long can this go on for before the plug is pulled? Technology moves so fast now, and the music industry is no different. One would imagine that another tech will replace streaming if it was to go, but what that will be is anyone’s guess. Maybe NFT’s or another blockchain technology?

Old skool

Here We Sit CD

Here We Sit CD

I am not afraid to say that I am old school when it comes to buying music and still like CDs and vinyl. The artwork and liner notes still interest me, so that’s how I collect my music. When I buy a new album I can actually touch the product and read the details. Although even I have to admit that YouTube has given me access to music that I probably would not have listened to in the past. But for new music that I have found on-line and really like, I will buy the CD if available and it usually is. So I do believe there is room for both streaming and the physical format to co-exist.

But to be honest, all that negative stuff I have just written is countered by the fact that streaming is the best way to discover new music. When someone mentions that they really like an artist, all we have to do now is search on our phones or PC’s and 99% of the time you can find it. And it is exactly for that reason that I am having a re-think. I simply want more people to hear my music and streaming seems to be the best way to do that. To those of you who already know about me, I am very grateful and honoured by your interest. But it is time to try to branch out and gain new listeners.

Let’s get streaming

Here We Sit is now over a year old. I have kept it available exclusively through this web-site up to now. And I have been very happy with how it has done and with the feedback from those of you who have already got it. Unfortunately, it has not afforded me a new house in Hawaii. (Sorry Mick Fleetwood but hoping to be your neighbour soon). And neither will streaming. It is well documented about the minimal payment terms musicians get from streaming. But I do not write music solely for profit. I simply would like more people to have a chance to listen to the album, and streaming feels like the right place to do this.

The real achievement for me is all the new skills I gained in getting my music out to market. Song writing, recording, production and mastering are just the tip of the ice berg. Web site management, blogging, video, social media and music promotion are more new skills I have acquired during this time. But there is a lot more to learn and how streaming functions is going to be something new for me. Unfortunately, it is all too much for one person. So its time to get some help from some industry professionals.

A helping hand

I have decided to go with an music aggregator called CD Baby. I will still be doing all the same blogging, social and website stuff. But these guys allow me to get the album up on Spotify, Amazon and Deezer to name but a few. The CD will also be available to buy from CD Baby, as it will still be via this web-site. All the organising is currently in mid-flow, and the release date has yet to be decided. But I think it will be within the next few months, maybe August-ish. I don’t want to commit to a definite date at this stage as I am not sure how much is involved. But I can guarantee that the wheels are in motion. To stream or not to stream… Seems like it is essential. More updates coming soon…

Stay in touch – stay well and safe.

Noel.

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