Downstream is about his experience with the music industry. In October 2019, he began releasing parts of his compositional work through the major and sometimes smaller streaming services of our time. It has led to remarkable results. While through some services there is hardly any listening, through other services some listeners hardly seem to listen to anything else.
Someone unfamiliar with how the music industry works might imagine that a musician will make a nice living from it. Little could be further from the truth, however. Alex Ruis is both composer, producer and performer of his works. For that, he receives about €0.001 per stream from the major services. So per €10,000 investment, you need about 10,000,000 streams to recoup that alone. Without compensation for all the work.
Someone who is listened to 10,000 times a month needs €10,000 / €10 = 1,000 months = 83.33 years to recoup such a simple investment. Few musicians are listened to 10,000 times a month. So one might conclude that musicians who release tracks are doing charity to a large extent. But it is unclear how long they will continue to do so.
He recently discovered that there are also producer-friendly solutions that take into account that producers need more than fractions of pennies to get their work out there. The above investment can be recouped with such a service in 3 years and 4 months at an equal number of listeners per month. Releasing your work through them currently seems to go against the grain, but that may change. If an unknown composer/producer/performer dares to release his work exclusively through an "insignificant" streaming service, it is only a matter of time until better-known ones will follow. Then we will collectively go Downstream.
* according to him, music industry could more aptly be called money industry. In which the most important links - composers, arrangers and performers - are the least rewarded for their efforts. As a result, music, like many valuable things, loses out to greed for money.