News: Bobby Lees to take extended break citing Spotify concerns

Bobby Lees

The Bobby Lees have announced on Instagram that they are set to take an extended break, after finishing their current run of gigs.

The band, whose album ‘Bellevue’ was highly rated by Backseat Mafia, in their post lament the current state of the music industry where small bands are not receiving enough money from streaming giants such as Spotify, making it impossible for them to remain financially viable.

In a separate development, a Professor of Competition Policy, Amelia Fletcher has written an open letter to Spotify protesting about its plans to ‘demonetise’ tracks that would otherwise account for the lowest 0.5% of royalty payments.

It is a sad state of affairs indeed, when as the Bobby Lees point out in their post, most people are comfortable spending $3-$5 on a cup of coffee, but are not prepared to pay that amount of money for an album, because of the mindset that streaming has brought about.

This mindset has precipitated a cultural shift in the way consumers engage with music. The ubiquity of streaming services has fostered a sense of entitlement, and provided access to an almost infinite library of songs, all accessible for a modest subscription fee or even for free with ad-supported models.

Gone are the days when purchasing a song or album was a common practice; instead, the ephemeral experience of streaming reigns, leading many to balk at the notion of paying for music in any permanent form. This trend has broad implications for artists as exemplified by the statement from the Bobby Lees.

So, whilst it’s a sad “good bye” to the Bobby Lees for now, the fervent wish is that, as the digital age continues to evolve, so too will the mechanisms for artist compensation, cultivating a fairer terrain where bands can thrive without the looming threat of financial instability breaking them apart.

It’s a hope for a future where musicians are rewarded equitably for their streams, where the value of artistry is recognised in more than just cultural capital, and where the survival of a band doesn’t hinge on ancillary revenue or relentless touring but is supported by the very platform that delivers their melodies to the masses.

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