The Next Track, Episode #101 – Radio Paradise

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxBill Goldsmith of Radio Paradise joins us to talk about programming a free-form, internet radio station, listener support, and the future of radio.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #101 – Radio Paradise.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.

The Next Track, Episode #100 – How We Listen to Music Today

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxFor the 100th episode, Doug and Kirk discuss how they listen to music today, and how their music listening has changed in the two years they’ve been producing this podcast.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #100 – How We Listen to Music Today.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.

Record Labels Splitting Long Tracks into Multiple Tracks to Maximize Streaming Income

The music streaming payment model is optimized for popular music: short songs, three, four, five minutes long. Record labels are paid by song streamed, not by the amount of time the music plays. An hour of a three-minute song counts as 20 plays, whereas if it’s a four-minute song, it only gets paid for 15 plays.

In an attempt to hack this system, some record labels – notably for classical music – are splitting music into multiple tracks. You won’t see this on, say, your standard symphony, where, while it would be possible to split four movements into ten or more, but you will see it on other works, ranging from long vocal works to non-standard classical pieces.

Here’s on example: Max Richter’s eight-hour Sleep. If you buy this from the iTunes Store, you will get 31 tracks, ranging in length from 2:46 to more than 33 minutes. But if you stream it on Apple Music, here’s what you see:

Sleep

That’s right, it’s 204 tracks, most of which are under three minutes. By splitting the music this much, the record label – Deutsche Grammophon – gets more than six times as much money than if it were in the original 31 tracks.

Each of the original tracks is named, with a part number at the end of the name.

This is a cynical way to hack the music streaming payment process, but I do feel that this system unfairly handicaps classical and jazz labels, along with some jam rock and other forms of music – Indian classical, for example. Streaming income should be paid by duration rather than by song, or there should be multiple tiers according to the length of tracks. It’s a shame that record labels have to resort to this sort of system to get paid fairly.

The Next Track, Episode #99 – Radio, Radio

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxRadio has long been the first way that people have discovered and listened to music. It is still very powerful, in spite of the ubiquity of music streaming services. We discuss how radio works, how it’s changed over the years, and where it may be going.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #99 – Radio, Radio.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.

The Next Track, Episode #98 – 1981

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400px1981 was a pivotal year for popular music. We take a deep dive into the tunes of that year and discuss the most memorable music of the year.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #98 – 1981.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.