Octave Records and streaming

December 14, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

12 comments on “Octave Records and streaming”

  1. Artists can make more money than they would have ever made by streaming through platforms like Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Spotify etc. because they get up to 90% of revenues and many of them would never have got a recording contract and commercial release in the first place. They can choose the format they provide, as they can use Bandcamp, for example, to sell mp3, 16/44, CD and vinyl.

    A good example is Matthew Halsall, a trumpeter from Manchester, who started streaming, with his brother set up a label to help distribute his and other Manchester musicians’ music, get international distributors and thanks to streaming can now afford to record at a state-of-the-art studio, 80Hertz in Manchester, which has a top global clientele, especially in TV and cinema.

    There are of course some labels that don’t stream. I buy quite a lot from Hyperion, a leading classical label that represents many top London-based international artists. They have a captive customer base and have no doubt been boosted during Covid as many of their artists have been doing live streams from Wigmore Hall. Linn Records has built up a great roster of artists over almost 40 years. Both labels are known for exceptional recording quality and have won numerous awards, and Linn Records did more SACD/DSD than anyone (but no longer), even though Linn Audio did not adopt the format.

    It would seem that people recording with Octave would be well served financially by streaming on Bandcamp and the like, which some do anyway, as those sales are highly unlikely to impact HD PCM, DSD or vinyl format sales. Just because I can buy a Halsall track for £2, doesn’t stop me buying his albums on vinyl.

    Moreover, vinyl sold direct is far cheaper than from major labels and as good, of not better.

      1. An artist would receive about $10 for 1,000 streams on Tidal, but could make that on 2 BandCamp downloads. According to BandCamp’s website a few minutes ago:

        “Fans have paid artists $851 million using Bandcamp, and $213 million in the last year.”

        So in terms of artists getting income from music distribution, I would put the likes of BandCamp as market leaders, not outliers, and they have forced the subscription companies like Tidal to introduce direct-to-artist payment systems.

        The real issue is that record labels get around half of all Tidal streaming income.

        Independent labels can now use independent distributors to get their physical media in retail and on Amazon, so a Matthew Halsall vinyl double album (distributed in the USA by Virtual Label) costs $35, whereas a UMG album on Blue note costs $60.

        Hyperion and Linn, my main download sources, make world-class recordings, but you can buy them in mp3. Surely an artist would prefer their music to be listened to (and make them money) in low and standard definition, rather than not be listened to at all?

      2. Good afternoon Paul!
        For what it’s worth, I agree with you, hole heartedly about the streaming thing.
        The verdict is out on Apple Music if rather they pay the singers and musicians for their music.
        But if you can remember when Napster got started some 24 years ago, they were ripping people off by giving away MP3 files for free.
        This is why, when it’s my turn to get upon stage to make music, I’d much rather make records cassettes open reels and SACD’s for people to both listen to, and enjoy my musical creations.
        But for me, the streaming thing is out!
        I’ve heard some crazy stories about how musicians don’t get paid for their music because of all of the streaming platforms not paying them at all.
        I think Napster opened the door for that to happen.
        Yay thoe, it was in the news 22 years ago, that Napster got in a lot of trouble for their actions.
        PS. Don’t let the fact that DSD is a pain in the but to put together, get you down.
        I can’t see that far in to the future, but one of these days, DSD is gonna be just as easy to make as WAVE MP3 and AUG files are.
        And boy am I looking forward to that!

        1. Octave does stream. It provides downloads. When I started streaming downloads and rips were the only option.

          Very simply, will Octave ever provide files that normal people can download and listen to from their phones?

          1. Good afternoon Steven!
            As far as I know of, Paul doesn’t offer that service as of yet.
            But if you want the files on your phone, I can tell you how to do that.
            But just so that I’ll know that I’m giving you the correct information, I need to know about your phones and computers.
            Are you using Windows or a Mack system.
            And as for your phone or phones, are you an Android user?
            Or, are you an iPhone user?
            If I know this about your digital systems, I’ll be able to get you going in the right direction to get the files added to your phone.

  2. Do not understand the answer. It is inconsistent Zuil Bailey octave records Bach Cello Suites is on Qobuz. I have been listening to it for some time


  3. I very much support your aspirations Paul and, so far at least, the distribution model you’ve chosen seems to be working fine. If anyone can come up with an equitable arrangement to include streaming, it’s you and your team. In the meantime, keep the faith. 😉

  4. A poor recording brings a top system down to mediocre. It’s sad that Beatles, Zeppelin, the Stones, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath recordings from the 60’s and 70’s are done much better than today’s recordings with better equipment. And it sucks what they do to vinyl when cutting the records from high speed digital crap. They sound terrible. Doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as the first pressings on vinyl or tape. Turns a great turntable cartridge into a cheap crappy DAC. The art of the recording seems dead. I applaud what you’re doing Paul.

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