Many musicians have criticised Spotify for offering inadequate compensation to artists, yet one ingenious Los Angeles-based band are claiming to have raised $20,000 (£11,800) through the streaming service without recording a note.
Funk act Vulfpeck posted their latest album, Sleepify, on Spotify in March, and invited their fans to stream it through the night while they slept. The gimmick? Sleepify is completely silent.
The band’s drummer and keyboard player, 26-year-old Jack Stratton, explained the strategy in a YouTube video, explaining that the royalties from the scheme would fund a tour of totally free gigs, with a route taking in all the cities and towns where Sleepify was played most.
Mr Stratton and his bandmates Theo Katzman, Woody Goss and Joe Dart have released three previous albums as Vulfpeck. Sleepify consists of 10 tracks with titles including “Z”, “Zzz” and “Zzzzzz”. Spotify’s average rate for royalties is $0.007 per track streamed, and a song must be played for at least 30 seconds to register.
All the tracks on Sleepify clock in at 31 or 32 seconds; an eight-hour night of continuous streams could thus generate more than $5 in royalties.
Shortly after the LP’s release, the band tweeted: “Please don’t ‘shuffle’ Sleepify. I know this might come off snobbish, but we spent a lot of time on track order”.It's Dr Strabismus' world, we just live in it; part the umpteenth. Would it have been better tuned to 432Hz though?