Latvian musicians break their way into streaming services

Take note – story published 1 year ago

As summer begins, the active concert season also begins for musicians, with town celebrations and festivals underways. Concerts remain Latvian musicians' main source of income, but in recent years they also derive additional income from music listeners that use streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Tidal, and others, Latvian Radio reported May 22.

Among young people around the world, the most popular streaming site is Spotify, while the older generations prefer the YouTube platform. Music critic and editor-in-chief of the new online media “”, Jānis Žilde, says that the musical tastes of the audience are also different, according to music streaming tops.

“Young people use Spotify more and listen to urban music, so often the top of the tops are taken by hip-hop artists, even those who may be quite unknown to the general public, such as the Kastrācija project. There is also an interesting electronic music artist Tobu, who has again been able to interest audiences outside Latvia with his instrumental electronic music. [..]”

Latvian Radio met the station “” program manager and musician Marta Grigale in the studio. She said that her new music albums are presented in the digital environment and she herself is an active user of Spotify.

“Honestly, there is such a small market in Latvia, we have so few [people], that is why I believe that we should also aim outside Latvia and maybe write not only for ourselves but for others. I have a completely new phase in my life, too - a huge inspiration, because I was at a song-writing camp in Bulgaria recently, and now one song I wrote will be a summer hit for one of the great stars of Bulgaria. And I realized - hey, you can actually do it, you just need to fire and not be afraid, and look for contacts and opportunities. Jānis Žilde, the music critic, told me that only huge stars can earn on these platforms, Adele, [Taylor] Swift, with an audience of 10 million. What audiences do you expect? It's not that only the big stars can earn. If you regularly come up with songs that have listeners, then I'd say it's possible,” said Grigale.

Kārlis Kazāks, director of the Latvian Radio “” station, said Latvian musicians have been more active on streaming platforms in the last three or four years, and this is an additional opportunity to earn with their creative work.

“We get rewards both as producers, record owners, and performers. Copyright on the Internet also pays. Only Latvian authors who have registered the right to represent their works on the Internet will actually receive them. And if, in the first few years, the amounts were really ridiculous, now everyone is developing, our copyright organization is evolving, publishers are developing, and we are beginning to see how things are to be done. Of course, this is not nearly what musicians receive from broadcasting stations, from cafes for public playing. But if a Latvian musician has not yet thought about it, then it is the last time to jump on the train,” Kazāks said.


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