greyfade releases will not be available on streaming services, such as spotify, youtube, or apple music. we do not believe that these services currently offer an optimal listening experience for listeners, nor an equitable or sustainable economic model for artists.
we believe that the ideal relationship between artist and listener is a direct-to-fan model, where artists retain control over the quality and context of their work, and listeners can support the creation of music they value directly, without third-party intervention. in the current streaming model, artists must cede control over audio quality, artistic context, and fair pay for their work as a trade-off for "exposure" or "convenience for fans". we reject all sides of this compromise.
we do not believe that listeners should be treated like pawns, but rather as equals in a creative process that requires their attention to have meaning. currently, listeners are being barraged with peripheral visual information and ads as part of their listening experience, and are being stripped of essential pieces of artistic context like a properly sequenced album, carefully curated textual and visual information, and album credits. the return to vinyl records over the past 10 years has demonstrated that not all listeners are satisfied with this model, preferring a richer, more engaged mode of musical experience. beyond the tactile joys and collectibility of the physical object, it seems that a large part of what fans are responding to with vinyl is the intimacy of a private interaction — without distraction, hyperlinks, ads, or any third party entering into the experience. in the digital realm, we believe that the direct download model most closely mirrors this private interaction and should be the preferred mode of exchange.
listeners are also being asked to accept highly compressed, low-quality audio that often bears little resemblance to the carefully prepared masters approved by artists. this is particularly ironic, as the ability to produce, distribute, and play back beautiful sounding high-resolution digital masters has become easier than ever. streaming services commonly employ proprietary compression algorithms that significantly reduce audio quality in order to stream with fewer dropouts. the calculus appears to be that fans will either: a) not notice, or b) be willing to sacrifice audio quality for convenience, wittingly or unwittingly. on top of this, artists and mastering engineers are not permitted to upload their own compressed versions of their work, which would at least allow a degree of quality control over lower-resolution editions.
lastly, the economics of streaming are directly undermining artists' ability to create. streaming subscribers are often not aware how little money makes it back to the artist. as a point of reference: a single album download via the greyfade shop is the equivalent of roughly 5,000 streams on spotify, or about 10,000 streams on youtube. 1,000,000 streams would allow an artist to break even on an album that cost a modest $4000 to make. this is not a sustainable paradigm for the creation of high-quality recordings moving forward.
by purchasing digital downloads and physical items from the greyfade shop, you are supporting the music in the most direct way possible. in return, you will receive the album exactly as the artist imagined it: without third-party mediation, audio transcoding/compression, or advertising — and with the full detail, dynamics, and depth of the musical experience intact.