Dweezil Zappa Says Spotify And Streaming Services Are Not Useful For Small Bands

In a recent episode of Tone-Talk, Dweezil Zappa has talked about streaming services such as Spotify, saying that they are not beneficial for smaller bands.

Son of the iconic musician Frank Zappa, Dweezil Zappa was exposed to the music industry since he was young and had an interest in guitar playing and music producing. Dweezil also had a chance to learn first handedly from successful guitarists like Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen and released his first single when he was 12. Dweezil has also been keeping his father’s legacy alive by touring with the band Zappa Plays Zappa, playing Zappa’s original material.

Speaking to Tone-Talk, Dweezil Zappa has commented on the financial side of streaming services like Spotify and criticized how they treat artists and their works. He said that musicians nowadays have less income contrary to the musicians from the 1970s and 80s as people do not buy records anymore. He then said Spotify and similar streaming platforms don’t buy the music from the musicians, and the artists get nothing from them. Giving details about the revenues, Dweezil said that if the record costs twenty or $30,000, the artists cannot even make that money back. He then added it takes 3.8 million streams to make $15.000, an unpleasant amount.

Dweezil Zappa told Tone-Talk that:

“… in these current times, as a musician, you don’t have the income that used to happen for musicians from the ’70s and the ’80s in terms of music publishing. That used to be a huge part of people’s earning potential, but because people don’t buy records anymore, there’s very little of that publishing money coming in for a lot of people.

Spotify and all these other places, they don’t buy the music from the artists, it’s just given to them, and then they get all this money from this membership, and the artists get nano-pennies on a dollar. So if you look at what an artist can earn from streaming, it’s remarkably small, and people don’t realize it.

Now you can’t even make an album and survive – if your record cost you twenty or $30,000, which would be a cheap album, you can’t even make that money back, and if you do, you can’t live on that. To say that streaming is the way, ‘Oh, you’re gonna really strike it rich,’ it really isn’t because you can’t rely on this possibility. It takes 3.8 million streams to make $15,000. It’s crazy.”

You can check out the interview below.