How one band is hacking Spotify to fund a tour
Musicians frequently fret about music streaming platforms providing insufficient compensation. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, for example, has been a vocal Spotify critic, pulling music produced by his side-project Atoms for Peace from the platform last July.
And it’s not about to get any easier for musicians, either: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) lost a lawsuit against another streaming platform, Pandora, in which they were seeking higher royalties for songs streamed.
But funk rock outfit Vulfpeck thinks it can make enough money from Spotify to not only cover the costs of an entire tour, but to not have to charge admission to any of the shows. The band has released an album of complete silence — no sounds whatsoever — on Spotify and is encouraging fans to listen to it while they sleep. The 10-track, 316-second album is appropriately titled “Sleepify.”
Vulpeck is also planning to route the tour based upon which cities streamed “Sleepify” the most, thus incentivizing Spotify users to tell their neighbors about the noiseless album. Since Spotify pays Vulfpeck a half a cent per stream, Vulfpeck calculates that a users can help the band earn $4 by streaming “Sleepify” on repeat during a seven-hour sleep session.
Vulfpeck member Jack Stratton has made a YouTube video promoting the album and subsequent tour.
While innovative, the marketing campaign could also be construed as slightly unethical. Advertisers don’t like paying for non-human clicks on their banner ads or fraudulent likes on Facebook, so a music streaming service wouldn’t necessarily be keen on shelling out money for streaming silence. (Vulfpeck did not return a request for comment at time of press.)
Spotify has always been quick to defend its position as a platform aimed at helping musicians make money from streaming music, and, for its part, Spotify appears to have a sense of humor about “Sleepify.”
“This is a clever stunt, but we prefer Vulpeck’s earlier albums,” a Spotify spokesperson said. “’Sleepify’ seems derivative of John Cage’s work.”
The platform is not divulging how many times “Sleepify” has been streamed so far. If you’d like to support Vulfpeck’s tour, you can listen to “Sleepify” below. Or, rather, not listen to it.
Image via Vulfpeck
‘Football has lost its soul’: How Copa90 is repositioning itself around the creator economy
Copa90’s overseers believe there’s another shift happening in tandem with the corporatization of the sport that has the potential to be just as transformative
Why The New York Times’ Wirecutter is ramping up focus on style
In early 2021, Wirecutter soft-launched a new dedicated style section and is is currently hiring for style-dedicated roles.
‘Culture change takes years’: Facing ongoing calls for DE&I gains, publishers set new standards for hiring practices
The media industry is trying to solve a long-standing challenge: it is mostly white and male. Here's how some publishers are doing it.
SponsoredHow retailers can be ready for holiday shoppers this year
Suchi Sastri, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group As the holiday season approaches and the pandemic continues to evolve, retailers want to know what to expect. Will e-commerce continue to grow at the rate it did last year? How big of a role will in-store shopping play in holiday shopping? While it’s still early, […]
Meet the ‘absolutist’ with the Section 230 tattoo on Google’s new misinformation policy team
Part of a nascent government affairs and public policy team at Google, Jess Miers is a die-hard fan of the 26-word law that gives legal cover to big tech platforms.
‘A perfect time for someone like me to be in this role’: Maria Reeve is breaking barriers at the Houston Chronicle
Maria Reeve didn’t set out to become the first person of color to oversee the Houston Chronicle’s newsroom. But now that she is, she’s making it count.