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David Byrne has been raising the caution flag when it comes to streaming music, while the music business and consumers are just beginning to favor streaming. In the last months, Thom Yorke of Radiohead and their producer Nigel Godrich tweeted their views on the evil-ness of streaming. Meanwhile, there have been level-headed public rebuttals by Dave Allen (Beats Music artist advocate), artist Billy Bragg to name a few.StreamingMusic

The continuing debate appears to be welcome by all – the older/established artists, the younger/emerging artists, and the music streaming businesses. In fact, currently, Dave Allen is on a “talking tour of the UK and Ireland” speaking with as many artists, managers and record executives “willing to talk” – all in the name of educating people on the merits of streaming music.

On the surface, artists argue that money they receive from streaming is too small. Businesses say as more people subscribe, they’ll be paying out more money. As for record companies, they demand a big advance to license their catalogs and have not been transparent about money owed to artists. The arguments are nuanced in intelligent ways. For the details and a full picture of the streaming debate landscape, here are the links:

● 07-15-2013, Thom Yorke blasts Spotify on Twitter.
● 07-15-2013, Bob Lefsetz weighs in with a strong opinion for streaming: Thom Yorke vs. Spotify.
● 10-07-2013, more Thom Yorke against streaming – also, the complete interview in spanish here.
● 10-11-2013, David Byrne writes an Op-Ed called Barely Surviving.
Read the 1299 comments on Byrne’s Barely Surviving here.
● 10-16-2013, Dave Allen’s rebuttal Op-Ed: Why David Byrne Is Wrong…
● 03-31-2014, David Byrne raises more questions and offers some solutions in “How Will The Wolf Survive…
138 people comment including:
● ● 04-02-2014 comment, Dave Allen (now employed as Artist & Music Advocate at Beats). Essentially inviting Byrne to discuss his concerns.
● ● 04-3-2014 comment, D.A. Wallach (artist and Spotify’s Artist-In-Residence). He directs Spotifys’ Artist Services team. His comments describe what Spotify has done to become more transparent toward artists.
● ● 04-9-2014 comment, Billy Bragg (artist) thanks Byrne for his concerns about streaming and enters the debate with this blog post reply.
● 04-08-2014, Dave Allen writes Rome Was Not Built in a Day, on the Beats Music blog.
● 04-08-2014, Musexpo devotes a panel discussion on streaming music where talent from YouTube, Spotify, Beats and others discuss the positive merits of streaming music. Panelists included:
D.A. Wallach – Executive & Artist In Residence, Spotify
Dave Allen – Director Artist & Music Industry Advocacy, Beats Music
Ethan Rudin – Chief Financial Officer, Rhapsody International
Heather Moosnick – Head of Music Label Partnerships, YouTube
Patrick Reynolds – Chief Strategy Officer, Triton Digital
Peter Szabo – Head of Music, Shazam
Ralph Simon (moderator) – CEO & Founder, Mobilium Global

I know, I know, lots of information! The only certainty is technology has enabled people to listen to music in new ways and it appears newer generations are embracing streaming.  Quoting from Dave Allen’s Op-Ed:

what the artist Sol LeWitt said many years ago is so evidently true, if not more so: “Every generation renews itself in its own way; there is always a reaction against whatever is standard.