Thursday, April 28, 2016

Your Cover Songs May Not Be Streamed

Cover songs might not be streamed imageDoing a great cover version of a hit song has been a successful tactic in helping to raise the visibility of an artist or band for some time, but that practice may soon come to an end thanks to new efforts by iTunes, Spotify and other streaming services.

More and more, digital streaming services are either hiding or removing cover songs, sound-alikes, re-recorded songs and live performances in an effort to simply their catalogs and make it easier for users to find the song they really want.

And they have a point. Searching for a popular song sometimes turns up more than 50 choices, making it difficult to find the original that you're looking for.

The problem is that there are many unintended policies that come with this editorial decision.

For instance, it's been reported by Billboard that one service's "blacklist" of recordings that include 400 artists that range from B.B. King, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane and Pete Seeger.

Re-records, the practice of an artist or band re-recording one of their hits so they own the recording instead of the record label, are also frequently marginalized as well, although many fans aren't all that unhappy as most prefer the original versions.

So beware if you're recording a cover song in the hopes of gaining some extra streams. While the practice may still work on YouTube, chances are your cover won't see the light of day on the other streaming services from now on.


Eddie Bowers said...

I hope this ushers in a new era. I'm so sick of covers. On reddit a lot of people are whining about take downs of their covers on YouTube and Sound Cloud. There is quite a sense of entitlement. I'm not sure as a songwriter that posting a cover gets someone listening to your songs anyway.

Phil Johnson said...

I too hope this will lessen the reliance on covers a bit too. But at the same time, this is the streaming companies' taking away from the artists because they can't get their algorithms right.

How hard can it be to prioritize a particular artist's original version of a song and then list the covers farther down the list?

I'm sure the original writers don't mind all the extra money coming from those covers either. So it hurts them too.

Nichole said...

It isn't hard for the streaming companies and they know exactly what they are doing... it's called FALSE POWER because REAL POWER doesn't diminish others who are also working their butt off so they don't have skip the next meal. When you help others, you are helped too.

I don't mind covers and it doesn't irritate me in looking for the original song, original artists.

Sometimes, the cover of a song can be more intriguing than the original.


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