Streaming music impacts local stories, musicians

Kellie Bowen, Staff Writer

There is a lot of controversy over whether or not digitalizing music is a good thing or not for the music industry.

On one hand, being able to stream music on outlets like Spotify and YouTube allows some bands to get great exposure, but a lot of people don’t buy the albums if they can stream the music or download it for free.

Scott Ian of Anthrax said in an interview with Blabbermouth, “If Spotify would pay more money to the bands for the art they’re creating, I think just in general people would have a better view of music and think it was worth more. Music should be worth something. It is worth something.”

Grey Patterson, ’18, who focuses on music technology, says that iTunes, in its core, is beneficial to independent musicians because Apple takes only 30 percent of the purchases.

“The reason I don’t use Spotify is I just don’t agree with the formula for how they pay people,” Patterson said. “It’s based on who gets listened to overall.”

Patterson said that this is how Spotify controls where the money is going.

Even if someone was to only listen to less popular, independent music, they would still be paying the most listened to artists more.

The Internet dictates the pay and attention that certain musicians do or do not get. Social media seems to decide who becomes popular. Kanye West, Beyoncé, Adele, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber are a handful of the most popular musicians in the world.

All artists have a strong social media presence.

Since today’s generation of teens and college students have a common taste in music and use social media every day, they amplify the media content of their favorite musicians.

Social media has a strangle hold on main stream music.

This means that bands and other genres that are still trying to survive in the music industry are being overlooked.

The Vortex, a music store on Third Street, is the only record store in Yamhill County.

Before coming to McMinnville, the owners, Bruce Laverne and assistant Aaron Schroeder, were in Longview, Washington. They came to McMinnville because McMinnville was an improving area economically.

Laverne and Schroeder said that they realized that they needed to sell and buy more accessories and novelties five years ago.

However, the Vortex currently sells about 50 percent music and 50 percent novelties.

The Vortex was able to stay afloat through the digital age by not overbuying CDS and vinyl.

“Tower Records [for example], all of those major names, they couldn’t change fast enough to react to the changes in the market, and little stores tend to have the capacity to change a lot faster,” Laverne said.

Record stores are almost gone. If physical music formats were to disappear, this will cut back record sales for everyone.

Some will be better off than others.