In a band who want to tour, but just don’t have the dollars? Easy fix – just outsmart a multinational, multi-billion dollar business and get them to fund it for you.
Indie funk/soul band Vulfpeck have done just that, with music streaming service Spotify forking out the cash that will enable them to hit the road.
Spotify have copped some flack in the past for the amount they pay musicians – currently handing over a paltry $0.007 per stream (Vulfpeck estimate $0.005). Though they’ve promised to increase this amount once their premium user base grows by a casual 32 million), at this amount per track, it didn’t look like the band would ever be able to tour.
In a pretty damn genius move (seriously, why has no one ever thought of this before?), the Michigan locals created something every user could listen to again and again and never get sick of – an album of silence.
They used this video to encourage fans to stream the album on repeat while they slept, pledging to use all money generated to fund a tour and give free admission to everyone. Which of course worked wonderfully, because really, everyone is a tightarse at a heart.
All 10 songs on Sleepify are utterly silent, and run for around 31-32 seconds (the minimum length of song required by Spotify), and the boys calculated that if one fan streamed the album on repeat overnight, it would clock it at around 800 plays and a $4 royalty payout. So if they got enough fans to listen, they were looking at some serious cashola.
After 2 months of streaming, Sleepify generated a stunning $20,000 in royalties for the band (in comparison, indie artists normally get a max of $3300). Although the album has since been removed from Spotify (apparently it violates terms of content, blah blah whatever – Spotify are clearly just sore losers), this brilliant band get to keep the cash, give their fans an admission-free tour, and revel in the fact that they totally stuck it to the man.
You can check out some of Vulfpeck’s previous work below.