As we near the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about the Song of the Year and Album of the Year candidates, and to start sifting back thought this year’s playlists and reviews to see what resonated the most, and what we might have missed. But there are still new songs and new albums being released as well.
Pony up you cheapskate. It’s a mere pittance to sign up for a premium account through Spotify, Pandora, or whomever, and you get a commercial-free experience, sometimes with better audio quality, and the creators and industry that served you that music will get a little more money compared to the commercial-supported side.
As Uncle Ned prepares to blow his hand off with a concoction of semi-illegal fireworks, get yourself prepared for the extended 4th of July weekend by listening to Saving Country Music’s top recommended songs via the official Spotify playlist. It’s a repository for the top recommended songs, albums, and artists at any given time.
Saving Country Music’s official Top 25 Current Playlist has just been juiced with reinforcements and fresh horses to spirit listeners into the heart of spring with some of the best country music selections overlooked by most of popular media, but holding an appeal that is deemed worthy enough to be heard worldwide.
Saving Country Music has just added some fresh horses to its recently-launched Top 25 Current Spotify Playlist meant to be a centralized destination for top recommended songs and artists currently setting the pace in country, Americana, and the greater roots realm.
In an effort to create more portals to recommend more music, Saving Country Music has launched a Spotify Top 25 Playlist. Unlike other playlists posted by SCM previously, this one will be regularly augmented as time goes on with new tracks deemed worthy of distinction. And no, there will not be any old country music songs on it, that is why it is called “current.”
The hip thing in 2016 for many big-named artists is to only make their music available on one specific streaming or download service, usually in a deal struck between the artist’s label or management and the streaming service in hopes of drawing more subscribers towards one service, or in many cases, away from another—specifically Spotify.
Instead of having joggers running through parks listening to Spotify playlists, they’re not chasing down pocket monsters with their smartphones. Instead of consumers keeping up with their favorite bands and artists on social media, they’re engaging in Pokemon business in a virtual world.
How to purchase music is a very convoluted subject, is specific to each artist, and it can drive you crazy thinking about it. But despite some rare cases and unusual exceptions, there are a few hard and fast maxims about the best ways to purchase or stream music to make sure you’re supporting your favorite artists as best you can.
According to sources, a deal is in process for iTunes to purchase the Big Machine Label Group for $250 million. Big Machine’s current distribution deal with UMG is up, and Taylor Swift has one more album left on the label before her contract expires, leading to speculation Big Machine wants to sell before they risk losing their superstar.
On December 4th, Billboard will roll out new changes to their Billboard 200 album chart, and the effect will be big on some of your favorite music artists, including legends like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, and up-and-comers like Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. The changes will be the first major overhaul to the album chart since 1991.
Yes, Billy Bragg is is the super cool British songwriting icon with a sharp wit and a penchant for social justice that many know and love, and Taylor Swift is the American pop princess with shallow radio singles selling out stadiums and amassing more money than God in a bid for nothing short of world domination. But the shade Billy threw Taylor over her decision to pull her music from Spotify is wild-ass conspiracy theory.
On Monday, November 17th when Garth Brooks appeared on Access Hollywood promoting his upcoming tour dates and the release of his new album Man Against Machine, he was pretty loose lipped about his hatred for certain elements of music technology, and how it has taken a lot of the power out of the hands of artists.
On Monday, Jason Aldean pulled his latest record Old Boots, New Dirt from Spotify—a big loss for the company from one of country’s biggest stars, and one who has set streaming records. Subsequently, Brantley Gilbert, whose 2014 release Just As I Am has been receiving surprising sales numbers, has also been pulled from Spotify. So has Justin Moore’s “Off The Beaten Path.”
Taylor Swift’s 1989 did not appear on Spotify upon release, though the lead single “Shake It Off” was available. Then the shocking news came down Monday that her entire discography was pulled from the Spotify network, singles and all. The impact of Taylor Swift removing her music from Spotify, especially after she just revealed herself as the biggest artist of the last decade-plus, cannot be overstated.
The one last bastion of revenue for music that has remained however has been live concerts. Ticket prices have remained strong and allowed artists that would otherwise not be able to make a living playing music to continue the pursuit and help pay for recording production. But a new company and a new service could inject the subscription dilemma into the live concert space as well.
For the better part of 15 years, country music Outlaw David Allan Coe recorded for Columbia Records and worked with Hall of Fame producer Billy Sherrill on timeless recordings that have become treasured releases in country music. However obtaining these records had become difficult to impossible over the years as they subsequently went out-of-print.
Today (9-4) at a press conference in Chicago ahead of the very first concert of Garth’s world tour and his official comeback from retirement, he announced that he was going digital, and doing so by launching his own digital company. Garth has launched GhostTunes LLC, which allows the artist to select how their songs or albums are sold.
The underlying problem is that free music is quickly becoming seen as an inalienable right for all Americans, and all of the world’s consumers, if we haven’t reached that dangerous plateau already. And the even more dangerous step of expecting musicians to pay to have their music heard is becoming more of a reality every day—evidenced by this Super Bowl Halftime news.
So before we get too engrossed in this idea, let’s all just appreciate that it’s just an idea. This is sport; a discussion point. So don’t get too exercised about how I’m an idiot, and it would never happen. It doesn’t have to be NPR. But make no mistake, if anyone, NPR or not, offered a sustainable streaming service, the demand would be there.