Despite the fact that I work as a software developer, sometimes the advances in technology make me feel old. I more or less resisted Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify and all the other streaming services for a long time. I have quite a collection of Irish trad on CD (and now on my phone, of course).
But last year, I released an album ( https://thesession.org/recordings/5520 ) and had to make the decision of whether I wanted it available on those services or not. Making money isn’t my primary concern with the album (although, breaking even would be nice!), so I decided to put it out there, and that got me interested in how those services work from a business perspective. So far, in 8 months, Spotify hasn’t payed me anything close to the equivalent of a single CD sale.
While I find that frustrating, I must admit that these services give us really amazing access to the world of music, including traditional music. And while Spotify is lacking a number of my favorite trad albums, it integrates pretty nicely with iTunes, allowing me to add my local copies of the favorites into my playlists. But it also gives me nice ways of discovering new music. It took it a while to realize that I was looking for the traditional end of the scale, and stop suggesting things like Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues to me, but now the "Discover Weekly" suggestions it gives me are about 70% interesting to me.
So instead of being sad that I’m not making my investment back as quickly as I’d like, I have decided to embrace the technology, because it’s making my life better. And since I’ve gone through the trouble of becoming verified as the artist of my album, I decided to put together a public playlist, which I named "Friends and Influences", with about 19 hours of music. Some of it is more "modern" and some of it is more "traditional", but I have personal connections to almost all of it. In many cases, I’ve had the pleasure of learning from, or playing with the artists in the playlist. But at the very least, it’s traditional music played the way that I like it, and I thought I would share it with you. This playlist is all instrumental (no songs… At some point I will put together a playlist of my favorite trad songs too).
So here it is:
To be completely transparent, there are 5 of my own tracks in the playlist, and the more people that "follow" this playlist, the more $.01 payments I will make. ;-) For those of you that haven’t tried Spotify, you can do it for free as long as you don’t mind an occasional advertisement.
I would also love it if other people would share their public playlists here, because it’s a great way to discover new artists that we haven’t heard before!