11 Comments
Apr 12Liked by Darren Hemmings

Yes, this is exactly it on working-class artists and Spotify. It is simply a discovery tool.

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Apr 13Liked by Darren Hemmings

I appreciate that TS has made some stands for the small artist throughout her career, but at the end of the day, she's running a business and always has and always will in the end make the decision that's best for herself.

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Taylor loves taking a stand when it’s convenient for her

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Apr 12Liked by Darren Hemmings

Not surprising that The Brand Called Swift pulled this move. Those new AI kludging tools may be a particular threat; given AI's proclivity to churn out generic, leached-out product.

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Agree on your stance re: TS.

Regarding that speeding up functionality – what do you think IS the point of doing it?

Thoughts: Speeding up and slowing down songs have been part of remix culture for ages (screwed'n'chopped in hip-hop, +/-8 pitching in techno and house, slowed + reverb, vaporwave/barber beats etc.).

Through TikTok, it's also become part of expectation for a new user generation.

I think there's a good argument to be made about Spotify allowing this as a premium feature.

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author

I agree about it being a premium feature; now you mention it that seems like a no-brainer.

I think there's perhaps a wider discussion to have about whether this type of speeding up or slowing down is equivalent to dance remixes or the Chopped N' Screwed style. I feel on TikTok, a lot of the time the songs were being sped up to enable more of the song into shorter clips and attention spans. It didn't feel like an artistic move so much as a practical one.

Hence my comment really; just changing the speed of a track on Spotify feels oddly pointless to me, because you can't share that with friends or indeed anyone. So what's the point? It's like a remix only you can hear.

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Yeah I understand your point. Partly agree. But there's been many of these sped-up 'remixes' on Spotify already that were quite successful (sometimes more so than the originals). So it seems like people are actually listening to these versions – not just sharing them.

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Ad your comment on blank CDs: Afaik the tax in my country also goes to any storage device, including external hard drives and even MacBooks as they contain hard drives.

No idea if it “solves” anything though

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There was other news about Spotify allowing UGC uploads (news via job postings hinting at it) …so speed up/slow down allows them to improve upon TikTok’s UGC music by giving that control right in the app and letting others use that version in their UGC videos. It looks like they are trying to compete more directly with TikTok or hedging bets if there is a US ban.

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author

That feels like a hot mess waiting to happen. They tried allowing artists to upload directly before now, and quickly u-turned on it, I suspect when it became clear just how much paperwork it generated, and often for little financial return.

They've also been moving to cut hosting costs, so again, that kind of UGC move feels rather reckless in the face of that.

But then that's Spotify to a T right now (IMO): chasing trends and behaving reactively rather than proactively.

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