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Benoit's World News

Benoit's World News - Issue # 6 -January 2024

Published about 2 months ago • 7 min read

Issue #6 - January 2024

Benoit's World News

Hello,

2023 is gone, happy new year 2024. I hope it will be good one.

video preview

I have spent the festivities under the weather. I am sorry not to have sent the newsletter in time, but as you could see in the video I could not move! I still want to wish you all a belated Xmas and a happy new year 2024! I hope you don't mind.

New album out now!

Please don't go out it's cold and you won't find it outside, it was just a figure of speech.
Here is my new album released in November 2024. You can get it exclusively on bandcamp, with 11 gorgeous tracks, and you absolutely, totally, undoubtebly want it now. I fact your desire to possess this new creation of ours is so strong that you feel compelled to buy it right now by clicking here for £8.00.

But should you resist the urge to be so trigger happy and think a little bit before you max your credit card, as most people regret acts perpetuated on impulse, you will do the maths, or at least some maths (oh no, no maths please... I hear you saying) and do the clever thing!

If you buy it now you'll get one album for £8.00, but if you think a bit and do those maths, you can get a much better deal by subscribing to my catalogue and get 9 albums for £20.00 a year.

I won't bother much with it's artistic merits, you should go and have a listen to judge for yourself. It is available exclusively on Bandcamp, not on any of the streaming platforms for very good reasons (read about them below).

2024 Concerts (isn't it too many?)

I'm sorry but all the January gigs are SOLD OUT! Please book early to see the band live, I don't plan to perform very much this year as I need time and space to produce new stuff, so please get your tickets now if you want to come.

JAN
13
SOLD OUT - BENOIT VIELLEFON (Quartet) at NIGHTJAR Shoreditch
London, United Kingdom
JAN
14
SOLD OUT - BENOIT VIELLEFON (Hot Club) at RONNIE SCOTTS
London, United Kingdom
FEB
08
BENOIT VIELLEFON (Hot Club) at THE BRUNSWICK
Hove, United Kingdom
FEB
09
BENOIT VIELLEFON (Trio) at NIGHTJAR Carnaby
London, United Kingdom
FEB
10
BENOIT VIELLEFON (Quartet) at NIGHTJAR Shoreditch
London, United Kingdom
MAR
08
BENOIT VIELLEFON (Trio) at NIGHTJAR Carnaby
London, United Kingdom
MAR
09
BENOIT VIELLEFON (Quartet) at NIGHTJAR Shoreditch
London, United Kingdom
MAR
14
BENOIT VIELLEFON HOT CLUB at The Crown House
Hastings, United Kingdom
MAR
17
BENOIT VIELLEFON (Hot Club) at RONNIE SCOTTS
London, United Kingdom

Allaboutjazz.com

I finally did it. I decided not to play very much this winter to get a chance to put my house in order. The first thing on the list was to create my artist profile on the excellent Allaboutjazz.com. I's been on the list since 2011, and I've only just done it. The rest of the to-do list is yet to come...

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/musicians/benoit-viellefon

For those that don't know it, Allaboutjazz.com has been the #1 ressource for jazz content since Michael Ricci founded the website in 1995. It's not my biased opinion, wikipedia says so. The Jazz Journalists Association voted All About Jazz Best Website Covering Jazz for thirteen consecutive years between 2003 and 2015, when the category was retired. Another source said that the site has over 500,000 readers around the world.

The most amazing thing for me is that I contacted their customer support to suggest some integration of third party content plugins and other geeky things to make my life easier updating all my content. The Boss Michael Ricci himself replied to me and developped that said integration with me via email over a period of about two weeks before rolling it on the whole platform for everybody's benefit. I was so impressed! If a genie came out of a bottle he would not have done better. I wish we had this kind of quality service for everything. I can only recommend it.

I've been Spotified in broad daylight.

Early 1990's - people used to say:
"I used a search engine to find information on the internet", and most of their friends would be in awe, so impressed thinking their friend were incredibly smart as they had never been on the internet themselves but heard it was a dangerous place.

2024 - people say: "I googled it", even if they use other search engines embedded by default in their browsers without knowing.

So, reducing is the power of progress and technology.

Early 1990s - in the present situation, artist, writers, musicians and content producers would have said: "I have worked for two years on a musical record, invested £10,000 in recording fees, spent two years writing, practicing, rehearsing, taking lessons, buying equipment, and dropping my full-time work to produce it which cost me another £20,000. I had to build a website, do photo shoots, and hire graphic designers to put the artwork together and have a marketing campaign, that did cost another £10,000. Nobody told me no-one would buy the physical record because they know they can listen to it on Spotify for free (as they have the lion share of the streaming market you know). So I did put it on Spotify as they promised to me reach a global audience for my music but their algorhythms only push the material that is sponsored by massive record companies and smaller artists get no plays unless they pay for advertising (much much more than what they make in return you know). Spotify use the content I have created and paid for, not them, to sell advertising (they pocket all the revenues, not me you know), and they refuse to pay artists for tracks that have less than 1000 plays per year, which represent grossly 2/3 of their entire catalogue. I have been robbed, abused, lied to, conned, mis-sold a service that does not deliver what is promises, my intellectual property is used to generate income through advertising revenues and membership fees of which no share is paid back to me. It is a multi-billion pounds racket and thievery on a planetary scale."

2024 - when robbed, artists and musicians should say "I've been spotified of £40,000." It's a bit less articulate, but it means the same thing.

You can read more about it yourself in the national press:

The Guardian - December 2023
Spotify made £56m profit, but has decided not to pay smaller artists like me. We need you to make some noise
By Damon Krukowski

The truth. In my opinion...

This is only my opinion, but the truth about streaming platforms appears to be simple: they loose money.

They loose a lot of money.

Spotify and co. thought that they could undercut everybody to give away music for free while pocketing advertising revenues, and that when rivals would all be eradicated they'd make people pay through their nose, both advertisers and subscribers. There is a glut of companies using that business model (Uber, Amazon, Deliveroo, Evri/Hermes etc) all very nice people I'm sure. Guess what, for the music industry it does not work.

1 - People get used to free stuff, when you ask them to pay they refuse and go somewhere else, and someone else will have the same bright idea to undercut you.

2 - Spotify competes with Apple, Google/Youtube, Microsoft, Amazon which can all take a loss forever from their streaming services because they have other parts of their business that are hugely profitable.

3 - Shareholders will soon enough want to see a profit and return on investment or sell their underperforming shares and bring the value of the company down.

4 - The infrastructure required to host billions of tracks (about 6000 uploads a day for spotify), gigantic servers, huge amount of energy, staff, accounting, legal costs etc, cost so much and is so hard to maintain that they can not afford it and need constant injection of fresh investment. The business model appears to be unsustainable.

So what can they do about it?

1 - Until recently decide no to pay atists very much: $0.003 per stream.

2 - If plan 1 does not work, refuse to pay 2/3 of the artists and streams (read the article above).

3 - If plan 1 & 2 don't work, give directors as big a bonus they can while they can, while sacking 20% of the work force right away to cut costs and appeal to shareholders (BBC 4 Decembre 2024: Spotify to axe 1,500 workers to cut costs).

Not a pretty picture isn't it?
I speculate that the next headlines for 2024/2025 will be:

4 - Spotify inflates their stock market valuation with big announcements, restructuration, and clever-accounting-induced-record-profits, cut the remaining workforce by half using Artificial Intelligence and new algorhythms, then try to sell the business as soon as they can while it looks good.

Time will tell...

The solution for artists?

I hope that you have read my prose so far without getting a headache, and that you get the point. Small independant artists like me, or many other you may like, need your support to live or may I say survive.

The connendrum is very simple: If you want to have a nice high street with a quality bakery, butcher and florist in your pretty village, every now and then you should go to their shop to buy your bread, meat, and flowers, while still getting all the rest of the stuff from your discount supermarket anyway, otherwise they will have to close and your pretty high street will die.

The survival of them depends on you, and it's the same for musicians and writers. Now that you get the plot you can do your bit to help, it will be much appreciated and it's cheap:

Please subscribe to my music for £20 a year (or £1.66 a month) and get access to everything I have ever recorded and more ( + free tickets to selected concerts for example worth £20-£45).

My whole catalogue of 11 albums is available exclusively in Bandcamp at £8 each per download (£96 in total). But is you are scared of financial Armageddon and want to save yourself a fortune, you can subscribe for £20 a year instead. Lucky you!

From the Editor

That’s it folks, It's was a bit long and militant, and there were not many photos to look at unfortunately, but I hope it was good, or at least "good enough so you read it until the end". The next one will be more fun I Promise. For complaints and accolades please email me, I will respond.

A bientot. (French: meaning "See you soon")

Benoit Viellefon

Benoit Viellefon - St Matthews Gardens, St Leonards-on-sea, East Sussex TN38 0TT
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