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Streaming, Fake Spotify Artists + Week 39 Charting Artists: Angela Talks (Pt. 3)

Posted By : IHM, Posted On : October 5, 2017

Streaming, Fake Artists, and Digital Distribution: Angela Durden Interview Pt. 3

Angela Durden, Industry Disruptor and inventor of – an online platform we previously covered designed to help content creators/owners document their intellectual property and keep their music safe, recently stopped by for an in depth interview with us. Previously published segments included information on the Soundcloud scare, protecting your music, and how to properly obtain a copyright. In the next part of our interview with Angela, she discusses fake artists on streaming services, and digital aggregation vs. selling direct to fan. What’s going on with fake artists on Spotify and how does it affect my ability to make money?

Angela K. Durden: Who the hell knows what’s going on with this. Accusations and denials are flying fast and furious in both directions. From what I’m able to make out between the lines, though, is that there is a lot of work-for-hire going on in the area of ambient music. That is, Spotify is paying people to make the music and Spotify owns it. So that means Spotify can stuff the streaming pipeline with it, and does not have to pay themselves royalties unless they just want to.

“Spotify is paying people to make the music and Spotify owns it. So that means Spotify can stuff the streaming pipeline with it, and does not have to pay themselves royalties unless they just want to.”

IHM: So how does that effect songwriter’s ability to make money?

AKD: It means their stuff won’t get played as much. If you think of Spotify as a store and they put their songs on the end-caps to get higher profile with shoppers, then you understand there is nothing illegal about this. It is their store and they can lay it out as they please. Songwriters, small publishers, and artists, on the hand, are rightly pissed. They make a cut when their music is streamed. Digital aggregators, who place music on Spotify, should be standing up for their customers and demanding better placement, too, because when their customers’ streaming royalties are being cut, then where are the profits for the digital aggregators? Poof. Gone.

IHM: Solution?

AKD: If you want to get discovered, get out there and play, sell your music direct to the public. Push hard on your own marketing. Those who get discovered on streaming services are unicorns.

IHM: So it’s a fantasy?

AKD: Of course. Even the one or two they trot out as having been discovered, when you learn the back story you find they weren’t as indie as they made out to be or aren’t doing as well as they want you to believe.

Digital Distributors/Aggregators and Selling Direct To Fan MDC always talks about selling direct to fan. What are some of the concerns I should be aware of when digitally distributing my music with any aggregator?

Angela K. Durden: If you have not read and fully understood the agreements upon which your distribution deal is based, then it is a good chance you will be cheated out of not only your royalties, but future earnings, and the rights to the song itself. Too many of these companies say that by agreeing to their user agreement you give them permission to remaster each song you place with them and use them as they please.

IHM: What does that mean?

AKD: It means they can produce a copy of your music, retitle it if it suits them, embed their own ISRC on it, and then upload and market the hell out of that master while your master sits around getting dusty.

IHM: How does selling direct to fan work to solve that problem?

AKD: I recommend uploading one song, and no more than three from your catalog, that you truly will not mind losing control of. In retail these are called “loss leaders”. A loss leader’s sole job is to lead a consumer to the more profitable products.

So, put one, two, or three of your songs with a digital aggregator who can get them on streamers, iTunes, wherever. Then you can say to people, “Oh, yes, I’m on iTunes and Spotify” or wherever. Then you tell them to get your full product — full albums and singles, and vinyl, downloads, CDs — from your own website.

IHM: What does that accomplish?

AKD: From sales on your site you get your money immediately. And you get to keep more of it! Everywhere else you can wait 30, 60, 90, 180 days or more before you see a few pennies. Sometimes you never get any money.

IHM: What about sub-distributors?

AKD: Oh my gosh. I am happy you asked about that. Be very careful of any company that says they can get you on iTunes, Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and hundreds of other sites too numerous to mention.

Durden is the go-to source for real information about anything that attacks the rights of content creators and how those attacks affect your ability to make money with your songs. She is the author of the popular and hard-hitting “Navigating the New Music Business as a DIY & Indie: Coming Clean with the Down and Dirty.”


Week 39 IHM Charting Artists

G.H Hat

g h hate billboard charts

G.H. Hat debuts on the Hot Single Sales with their latest maxi release by reporting online sales direct-to-fan as a Dropkick Smart artist.

Emcee N.I.C.E

emcee nice i got angels billboard

Emcee N.I.C.E. joins three other IHM artists on the Hot Singles Sales by reporting direct-to-fan sales from their official website and live shows as a Dropkick CD artist.

Juan Cristiani ft. Melissa B

jua cristiani

4 out of 15 spots on the Hot Singles Sales charts belong to IHM artists. Juan Cristiani uses the IHM Momentun Plan to drive more sales and climb the charts.


iamstylezmusic billboard

IamStylezMusic remains #1 Reggae album for five weeks and re-enters the heatseekers charts by reporting live show and online sales direct-to-fan as Dropkick CD artist.

Syreeta Thompson Trumpetlady

Syreeta Thompson Trumpetlady stays on the charts for the second week after careful planning of her release using Dropkick and the 12-Step Release Plan.

My Silent Bravery

my silent bravery got it going on billboard

My Silent Bravery remains #1 on hot single sales for 8 weeks in a row while remaining on the hybrid consumption charts by reporting online sales direct-to-fan.

Grant Maloy Smith

dust bowl grant maloy smith billboard

Grant Maloy Smith hits week 13 on the Country Album Charts while remaining strong on Americana/Folk Album & Heatseekers in the second phase of his IHM Momentum Plan by selling music direct-to-fan online and at live shows as a Dropkick CD artist.


Sizzla continues to dominate the Reggae charts reporting venue sales as a Dropkick CD artist. Make your live show sales count, learn more here.

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