This is a tough subject to begin with. Allow me to look at this topic from the following perspective:
To me; 'Music' embodies Soul, self expression, Joy, hard work perhaps.
'Industry' points towards Money, Greed, Exploitation, Agenda.
So, how do these two fit together..?
In 2017, while visiting Hamburg Germany to help looking after my gravely ill father, my friend Ute and i bought tickets to the "Reeperbahn Music Festival" taking place in various iconic locations around the center of the city. The 'Music Industry' workshop interested me so I signed up.
What I heard there came as a shock, an eye opener.
Basically, musicians in their desperate and competitive craving for recognition, fame, fortune and glam ~ have made a deal with the devil and become slaves / victims to the music industry ~ these days called 'platforms'.
Allowing platforms like Spotify and all the others that have mushroomed once they realized how much money they can make off music the artists are willing to let them sell, yet only give a tiny fraction of the income to the artist ~ is actually unbelievable.
Independent from platforms, I have made 100 times the income I would ever derive from Spotify and the likes. Unfortunately, I had caved in to peer pressure and placed both my albums with these platforms.
They are out there now forever, basically available for free. One consolation is that I still have a couple of boxes with CDs that can be sold at a later time and platforms will never reach me to rake in my profits.
Musicians rush to platforms like Bandcamp, thinking they can only succeed if they latch on to one of these corporations, which make billions off the hard work musicians pour into their craft.
I am so done with 'platforms' and their agenda. I am tired of collecting 'fans', 'likes' 'followers'. If my music touches someone, that is wonderful. I have no desire spending hours and hours online hustling for feedback and fame. I have no desire being humiliated by large corporations, earning mere fractions of a penny for my tracks. 0.01 penny, often after spending thousands of dollars on instruments, equipment, recording sessions, not to mention time.
The platform concept makes no sense to me.
As an independent artist I have come to the conclusion that I want to be in complete control of my artforms, want to feel the spirit of my music. I deleted my Bandcamp account (yeah, I'm free!) and will solely rely on my website, which I can navigate and control anyway I wish.
Live concerts are still the best way to connect with listeners, sell CDs, merch and tickets.
In the future, none of my music and other artforms will be available on platforms, only directly from me. A statement, yes. Happy to be in charge.
If I am the only lonely artist who insists on independence, not running with the pack, so be it. Dignity.
To conclude: Yes, both my albums have basically been stolen by music platforms and now swirl around for free everywhere online. And the most sobering part: It is my own fault (according to the presenter at the "Reeperbahn Festival" workshop).
I gave permission, let this happen, signed up, followed suit. Yup, my fault.
No more. The true spirit of art & music is returning.