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Matt Zimbel Humour: Streamers To the Rescue

In December, I wrote in these pages of the paucity of payments coming to musicians from the streaming sites.  Little did I know, that just four months later, the rest of the industry would collapse

Matt Zimbel Humour: Streamers To the Rescue

By Matt Zimbel

In December, I wrote in these pages of the paucity of payments coming to musicians from the streaming sites.  Little did I know, that just four months later, the rest of the industry would collapse, when a vicious virus rode into town and shut down live.  


What we do for a living has been vaporized.

Apple Music, Spotify and the gang have all found creative solutions to aid musicians because, um, they do not pay them fairly at the source.  

In Canada, Spotify contributed an “undisclosed amount” and will match donations to the non-profit emergency charity Unison Benevolent Covid 19 Fund, which helps people in the music industry with counselling and financial assistance.

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Of course, the Slaight Family Foundation came up with a wack of dough, as they always seem to do. They pledged 125K to Unison for the Benevolent Covid 19 Fund, which Unison matched. 

You know, as a very rich guy myself, those Slaights are starting to piss me off.  

My excessive wealth is rarely spoken of, but back in the eighties, during disco but before drum machines were invented, conga playing was very lucrative. So, yes, I try to give, I try to do my part, but the Slaights always seem to be one step ahead of me. Do you know how many times I’ve tried to give to a theatre company or a hospital or an indie label focused on emerging artists only to be told, “sorry, the Slaights got here first, we can’t use your money”? It’s very frustrating. I guess I’ll just have to keep my money for my very large brood of children, some of whom I have not yet met* (see- conga playing in the ’80s.)

But here’s the breaking good news! 

Spotify will be adding a new feature to its platform – a “Tip Jar” for musicians!  This way fans can directly tip a musician they like. And then after Spotify takes their cut for the shareholders and the record company and the distributor take their cut, the artist gets what’s left! So rather than Spotify paying a reasonable fee for the use of our copyright, they have found a wonderful workaround, one in which you, the listener, can pay instead, while they increase their profits!

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Pure evil or MBA genius?

I guess that depends on your point of view.

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