the internet vs music, 2017

How do you release music on the internet in 2017?  We’ve got at least:

  • Bandcamp
  • Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal
  • SoundCloud
  • iTunes
  • Mixcloud
  • YouTube
  • Patreon
  • DropBox
  • Self-hosting
  • ?????

Now let’s look at the tape:

Bandcamp is probably my favorite, but it lacks a bit of jazz, and is more of a store than a place where things can gather momentum.  

Spotify and the streaming services are not really great for bootleg stuff or for things aimed at DJs. (Disclosure:  I’m a Spotify employee, and it’s not perfect, but I don’t think it is bad.)

SoundCloud is probably dying.

iTunes is boring as six horses, and most people don’t buy music.

Resonate is adorable, but is even more niche than Bandcamp.

Mixcloud is designed for radio sets (and has iffffyyy design).

 YouTube makes you no money.  

Patreon doesn’t work for shy people, and has no hosting.

Dropbox and OneDrive and Google Drive are pedestrian.

Most people can’t self host.

So is the answer, as ever, for artists, to do everything?  Cut your 200 vinyl or cassettes, push it to Spotify and everywhere else with DistroKid, put a video on YouTube, link it all to your Patreon on Twitter / Instagram / Snapchat?  

It probably is, really.  As someone who’s been around this field for a minute, it is sort of frustrating that there is no easy answer for me wanting to upload a few edits where they might get a tiny amount of attention organically.  (I am, of course, probably just a lazy old man.)

But along these lines, what’s an instagram record label?  What’s a Snapchat record label?  Is AR / VR stuff going to do anything?  What about Twitch?Will there be a boom in compact-disc (or minidisc!) nostalgia soon?  What about the newsletter trend?  The blockchain?  What’s next?