Robb Flynn Congratulates Drake on Chart Success, Says “We Have Got to Stop Demonizing Streaming”


Machine Head’s Robb Flynn has been a vocal proponent of streaming services like Spotify for years already, as he’s often written in his General Journals diary entries. And his latest entry continues in that vein, praising Drake for his recent chart success — spurred on mostly by streams, not physical album sales — while preaching to the rock and metal communities to stop demonizing streaming and get on board.

It’s refreshing to see a high-profile metal musician not only acknowledge and support streaming when so many still come out against it, but sharing his tastes that lie far outside the metal world. Not that it should come as too much of a surprise; Robb’s always been an open and honest dude, not to mention a man of the people.

Here’s the entry in full:

Congrats to Drake for 9 weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts. Can’t say I love the latest record, last 2 were much stronger, especially the one with Future, (love the tune “Jumpman”) but an incredible feat in this day and age. That is the power of streaming folks, I haven’t seen this weeks numbers, but last week his sales we’re only 33,000 CD’s, but his single downloads we’re over 200,000 and streaming numbers are astonishing. Over 105 million streams last week, and his single “One Dance” is pulling 30 million streams a week(!?) which all equaled out to 124,000 in sales
If you haven’t heard: The Billboard chart is now made up of 3 variables, CD sales, single song downloads, and streams = 1 album sale. Say what you want about streaming, but the overwhelming majority of the music listening public (which is not rock or metal) have spoken… in 2016, it’s a streaming/singles world.

Other Top 10 acts on the chart last week include Rihanna who had 30 million streams, and Twenty One Pilots with 19 million. Rihanna only had 8,500 actual CD sales, but single sales were 80,000, and her streams were 30 million, making her her total sales 37,000.

For a little perspective, the biggest rock act had just under 3 million in streams. At the rate we’re going, no rock or metal artist will have this type of staying power at #1. If rock/metal artists ever hope to compete in this day and age, we have got to stop demonizing streaming, and convince our fans to embrace it. The pop fans and hip hop community already have, most grew up in the post-CD-age anyway, or as the case with older artists like Jay-Z, have just adapted to the new game, and because of that pop and hip hop will continue to dominate the music culture.

Metal has always been an album-based format — independent of the streaming revolution — and metalheads seem to value physical media more than fans of other genres. I don’t think metal is about to shift to a singles-based model, and I wouldn’t want to take away the enjoyment of physical media from people if that’s what they’re into.

On the other hand, Robb’s right: streaming isn’t just here to stay, it’s dominating, and metal has got to start embracing it if it’s going to push through to the next generation.

What do you think?

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