12/27/2015 8:43:12 AM
---- Updated 12/27/2015 9:07:02 AM
The Song Machine
If you want to read a really interesting book about today's music scene, THE SONG MACHINE: INSIDE THE HIT FACTORY (by John Seabrook) is for you. It exposes the nuts and bolts of how an assembly line of the same few writers and producers create most of the hits you hear on the radio. It's truly scary!
The book also delves into all of the things that are wrong with the industry that we often discuss here.
Seabrook speaks to Rosanne Cash, who said she made $104 from 600,000 streams. A lot of artists are getting less of a cut of a shrinking pie. But what’s happening to songwriters is much scarier, and it has the potential to truly kill the industry. In order to get into business in America, Spotify struck a deal with the labels that does not give much to songwriters: The owner of the recording, the label, gets most of the money, while the owner of the publishing rights, the songwriter, gets a teeny piece. “If streaming is the future,” the songwriter Savan Kotecha says, “no young songwriter will be able to make a living.”