A Festive Update

Dec 29, 2020

I thought I would give you a quick update on what is happening at Focused Silence HQ during the Festivities of 2020. To summarise, the label has been on pause for the best part of the year – it has been tricky to do anything. And, now this…

I Am Closing An Account

I would say that it is with a heavy heart that I am closing the label’s account with the digital aggregator, but it isn’t. I really, really hate Spotify and Apple Music are a gun to the head, too. I am glad to see the back of the big stores, to tell you the truth.

I will still be selling downloads from the label’s site and from the label’s Bandcamp. Don’t worry. But, soon the releases on Focused Silence will be removed from Spotify and Apple Music, Deezer and Google Play – all of the big stores.

Why I Am Removing My Music From Spotify etc.

I am removing the labels music from Spotify because I do not want the CEO of Spotify to benefit from the artists graft when they themselves are not being paid for it. Some would argue that Spotify has a role in the modern music scene. I agree, it does. It does for the large, multi-national labels not the small guys who are fuelled by passions, like Focused Silence.

I have written to the artists on Focused Silence telling them about the change and I am positive it is the right thing to do. I have told them the options if they want to keep their music on Spotify / Apple Music / Deezer / Google Play etc. All they need to do is contact an aggregator.

The aggregator I used was The State51 Conspiracy – I recommend them. Another option for the artists on the label is RouteNote, based down in Cornwall. I should not cost a penny upfront to get your music up online – these guys do it for a %%% cut of profit.

… and, that is what it boils down to…

“Please, Tell Me When It Stopped Being Fun, Andrew?”

2020 has been a terrible year – really bad for the label. I think I can count the sales on the label sing one hand. It was embarrassing.

It threw in to light the reasons I am running the label. After all, it was a financial flop. Why am I running the label? It is not to make a profit or to sell out – hell, I would remain on Spotify and Apple Music if that was the case. I run Focused Silence so that I can help create art and beauty. I really believe in every release I have put out on my label – I just wish the Spotifys of the world did too. But, they definitely don’t.

As I mention to the artists on the label – there is always the option of them putting their music up online without my help. Maybe the further democratisation of the industry is the way it is heading for smaller artists? If that is the case I recommend my artists use Bandcamp – that is brilliant for underground music.

Something Positive About Trees

Something positive about trees. As I have written about scaling back on the scope of the label’s digital reach, I thought I may need to offer an incentive to would be buyers on www.focusedsilence.com – so, I have a plan in place.

When someone purchases an item from this website there will be a follow-up email from Tree-Nation offering to plant a tree on their behalf.

This tree is planted in an area that is being reforested for the good of the planet – it is not just the fuzzy feel-goods that I am aiming for.

This website will have built up quite a carbon footprint and I intend to try and offset it. So, if you do order something and you have not had your invite to plant a tree then email me at [email protected] and I will sort it out.

Summin’ Up

If you want to see the Focused Silence forest then click HERE. It is just setting out and you can call and see it anytime. I hope the last message shows this is not a doom and gloom post. I have been having issues with my health and I have been told to take things slower – hopefully the unremitting stress fo not doing my artists proud digitally will lessen that. I hope to start running the label as a hobby again, something that is fun. I do not want to take on the big guys and I certainly don’t want to contribute to a trust fund. It leaves me with a sense of optimism about the future as I sign this post off – just to await the sh*t-storm from correspondence about Spotify in the morning. Andy x

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