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There was a time, a long time ago, when I really took to streaming music. My music buying habits, but specially my music download habits, changed to basically streaming to the point when licensing and catalogs began changing, and I found my music collection shrinking. In the end, I started downloading once again.

I have come to the realization that I buy less and less physical albums, or it takes me longer to buy them. :(

As I found myself deeper and deeper into Kpop fandom once again, so deep into Mamamoo fandom that I begun to get irked by fans who publicly post about their illegal downloads AND complain about numbers of comebacks/group activities. I ended up writing this nonchalant post about music earnings, as well as other Mamamoo activities fans can support besides comebacks [1][2][3]. Yes, I’ve become that type of fan. The old one. LOL

As a grown-up who loves the arts, I always try to remind people that if they love and support their artists that they should buy instead of stream because streaming doesn’t pay. I was literally shook when Hyori mentioned that she had learned that PSY’s Gangnam Style only made $38k [1]; even though I knew some of the horror stories like the one of musician Lee Lang (이랑) who, during her acceptance speech for winning Best Folk Song at the Korean Music Awards, stated that she had only made $370 USD in total earnings on the month of January, so she decided to auction her award starting from the base price of her rent [1].

You can support Lee Lang by buying her album, Playing God (신의 놀이), on Bandcamp :)

And to my surprise, one of my favorite groups this year~~~ the lovely girls from Bolbbalgan4, who are considered digital monsters with their songs almost always charting within the Top10 of Melon, South Korea’s most used music site, had made only $61k USD by August this year [1]. Red Diary Page.1 didn’t drop until a month later, and all 5 songs in the album charted within the Top15. But that’s still besides the point. The point being that your faves don’t make money because you stream music on YouTube or Apple Music or Spotify.

So stop demanding expensive music videos that can cost from $100k-$500k for an average medium size budget, or go up to $1M for the splashy ones that we don’t often see nowadays. At the height of the music video era in the 90s, Michael Jackson and Madonna’s most expensive videos hovered the $5M budget without adjustments for inflation [1]. Stop demanding multiple comebacks a year with infinite number of physical prints (these cost production budgets AND storage budget for large stocks) that you will be waiting for price drops and re-sellers.

So now, let’s do some math~

Let’s say a physical album, a regular jewel case priced at -let’s say- $10 USD. According to prices in 2017— Apple takes a 30% cut [1], Bandcamp takes a 15% cut for digital sales and a 10% for merch [1], whereas CD baby takes a 9% cut off digital sales and $4 USD off physical sales [1]. That means that by selling a $14USD album, the independent artist makes $10USD. In the parallel universe in which your fave is an independent, they keep $7 of those $10 in iTunes, but if there’s a label, the artist (meaning singer) probably gets $1 of those $10. If they’re their own lyricist, musician, producer or sound engineer, fees are different.

Streaming is a whole different beast— according to this post on Digital Music News from 2016, to make a single dollar $1 in Tidal, Google Play, Apple Music and Deezer; you gotta play the song +180 times. 196, to be exact, for Apple Music and Deezer. Make that 279 times on Spotify, 483 times on Vevo, 766 times on Soundcloud, and… at the end of the list, YouTube, where you gotta play songs 776 times to make that one dollar. That means a song/music video that has 100 million views on its YouTube official channel, has made roughly $125k USD, which would be made by selling 12.5k physical albums on CD Baby.

So remember, the next time you complain about X official store prices or limited stocks, it’s because all adds up to the price. If you found a cheap album, it’s because someone along the way lost money.

Yes, I’m low-key talking about Bizent LOL I’ve compared prices with YesAsia, and since I don’t get YesAsia free shipping, that’s paying double shipping because the YA price includes the Bizent $20 shipping fee. I’d rather that money go directly to Mamamoo. xD

I think there might have been an extra coma on the YT subs, that I may have put on my screencap, but whatever.

Feelings. Feelings were had. Maybe not the song as a whole, I still think World Without Tears (沒有眼淚的世界) [LV] is much more interesting musically, but the music video for Dearest (親愛的) [MV] by Chen Hung-i (陈宏一) totally sells it. I cried so much, I’ve been crying quite easy these past couple of days. Hwasa made me cry with her short version of Lee Moon Se’s (이문세) Whistle (휘파람). Then this, and now Leehom.

Dearest, you will forever be Baba’s baby.
A kiss on your cheek, so you sleep well through the night.
Dearest, no matter how long the road,
my love will be with you because
you are forever my Dearest.

我很想你,爸爸~

Sighs~

This is just hitting the right mood tonight. Discovered a couple of weeks back on the latest Xiami compilation– it’s called If I Lose my Youth (如果我失去了青春) by the band ZhaoZe (沼泽). Great thing they’re on Bandcamp too!

 

May you rest in peace.

I started listening to Chen Weilun (陈伟伦)’s album, Think Miss Sorrow (念思愁), which just came out last week. While adding it to my iTunes library, it struck me how difficult it was to translate the song names. xD

For those who don’t know because you’ve just stumble upon this post, I usually keep a very organized library of foreign music, which includes ‘Original Name (romanization) – English Name/Translation’; so I was looking if there were official English titles for the songs on Chen Weilun’s album available on Xiami, KKBox or iNDIEVOX. There were not. On my search, already on title #3, I realized they were all titles (or most are, I haven’t gone through all of them yet xDDDDD) for Li Qingzhao (李清照), who is known as the greatest Chinese female poet of the Song Dynasty, mostly for her ci (词)/lyrics form of poetry [1][2].

So this is going to be a (hopefully brief) project to translate just the song names xDDDDDDDD

  1. 一剪梅·红藕香残玉簟秋
    A Twig of Plum Blossoms: The Jade-like Mat Feels Autumn’s Cold [1][2]
  2. 念奴娇·春情
    The Charm of Nien-nu: Spring Feelings [1][2]
  3. 如梦令·常记溪亭日暮
    Like a Dream: I Will Always Recall that Day at Dusk, the Pavilion by the Creek [1][2]
  4. 相见欢·无言独上西楼
    Happy Meeting: Wordless, A Lone Ascend Up the West Tower [1][2]
  5. 浪淘沙令·帘外雨潺潺
    Waves Against Sand: As the Rain Patters Outside the Drapes [1][2][3]
  6. 声声慢·寻寻觅觅
    The Sounds of Adagio: Searching and Searching [1]
  7. 渔家傲·秋思
    Fisherman’s Pride: Autumn Thoughts [1][2]
  8. 行香子·述怀
    Incense Burning: Describing my Emotions [1][2]

I only got three so far. xD

— September 22nd 2017 —

There~

Mamamoo has been delivering all weekend, I’ve been emo all weekend. [I also finished watching Meri Pyaari Bindu, and I was not ready, yo~ Extra emo] I’ve become that kinda fan, tho. LOL The one that finishes work on time for music shows broadcasts, and sets alarms for VLive sessions LOL I’ve set up repeat YouTube playlists and I’ve been checking the charts every few hours. I pre-ordered my double-album (because duh! SUN-BAE-NIM leader-nim said so LOL [truthfully, though, I did that before she said it]), I’m still waiting for it to be shipped (foes of international, farthest away regions) AND I also bought the album on iTunes.

Confession! On teasers and first few listens, Yes I Am [MV] wasn’t my jam. Now it is. It’s kinda how it was with Um Oh Ah Yeh and You’re the Best— those live shows get you going. Have you see the Music Core one? It’s already been subtitled, fan chants and all, BLESSED! Thank you to whoever did that, y’all really take care of us.

AZEGAG, however, damn~ that’s my jam.

There’s different kinds of fans listening to Mamamoo~

  • Listener 1: Those who didn’t like either AZEGAG and Yes I Am (probably just liked You’re the Best or Decalcomanie, unlikely both)
  • Fan 2: Yes I Am > AZEGAG
  • Fan 3: Yes I Am saved summer!
  • Fan 4: AZEGAG! Can’t get it out of my head HELP! Those trolls! Only Mamamoo.
  • Fan 5: Straight-up Moomoo. Loves all songs, has no favorites, all songs are their children.