Fri Jul 24, 2020

Another clickbait headline.Yes, I have been experimenting with things like that. But the whole new world that we see after COVID-19 is starting to be interesting.

I'm in a secret forum with other colleagues in the music industry and there the chatter right now is much how lower Spotify still is in their payment per stream. At the same time, Spotify just launched that you could have one account for two people to the price of one. That will not get more money into Spotify to raise the other. And as many have said the streams are going down during the crisis since people have stopped listening to music to work and from work, since they’re not commuting that much at this time.

The other thing I have seen a lot is how the major companies have embraced Tik Tok, all of them have employed people that are experts on this new App. We can also see that they are cheating for artists on the platform. I saw moderate Swedish artists that no one knows about and they are averaging a couple of hundred streams on Spotify (with extra help from the recordable wink wink). Suddenly, her American label has put in, so she has over 2 million followers on Tik Tok, though she really has done nothing new.

Another big label builds special camps for their artist to go and learn from Tik Tok stars and of course make collaborations. And yes, Doja Cat is one of the stars that come from this new fun App.

It all feels like okay, 2020 is here, let's get rid of the old stuff. Facebook is for old people. I mean people. Instagram is for the hipsters that think they’re cool but now it is actually too old. Twitter is just going down and just alive due to for celebrities. No, the younger generation that you can find some shit music on is available on Tik Tok.

Still, will it come back and bite their ass? Just a few days ago, India just banned Tik Tok and a couple of other Apps. They said they were dangerous. Instead, it's more about the incidents in Himalaya where India and China are not exactly good friends. Suddenly this app becomes political. Even Trump considers banning Tik Tok,  a guarantee that he will have two million younger kids in front of the White House threatening to kill his whole generation. And what about that he should close Twitter just a couple a weeks ago, has he forgotten about that?

Now to the point. Okay there is absolutely no proof that Tik Tok is sending data to China. No proof that Spotify does it either. Neither proof of  Zoom doing it. I had a meeting with some Chinese record label people and nothing that secret or any political stuff. Mainly a trading thing with festivals, but all of them declined to have the meeting on Zoom. Instead, they use a whole other app. an old one that I have forgotten but still exists. In my third meeting, I had to ask why they did not go for Zoom. The answer was simple if you talk china does not do it in the chine partly own apps. They will get the data.

I guess right now the big labels are in turmoil and just seeking out short-lived careers. Who blames them fast money seems to be the thing! But when they invest so hard in this App and then suddenly it gets banned or even the Chinese get the info to use against them. Yes, what can they do against an artist that uses the freedom of speech, yes let them sink or disappear on the channel they have their fans? Or they can use blackmail to tell how the company has cheated or prove fake numbers, even if they are not fake numbers.

Yes, the channels have now become political bats, and that environment and artists should be edgy, good luck with that.

Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes scheduled for February 18-20, 2021.