An overview of twice asked questions and given answers by Alex about the online music service and website of Alex Ruis. To prevent frequently asked questions / FAQ.


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Online Music Service

Q Can you come play at my party tonight? Free drinks and snacks?

A Although it is not out of the question, that I can perform at your party tonight, we will have to make some more arrangements beforehand. To avoid disappointments in mutual expectations.

A detailed contract will have to be drawn up before I even come to play a single note. In which questions must be answered such as: Where exactly am I expected at what time? How long do you expect me to play? Do you expect me to provide my own musical instruments, insurance and the like, or do you have the instruments and insurance to meet my - high - standards?

Nor do my rules preclude my coming to play for a cup of coffee after every 10th excellent paid gig. At least then this philanthropic gig must serve a - obvious to millions of people - human interest. Before that 11th time at the earliest, my base rate is, among others, based on answering such economical questions as: 

Am I the worst composer / performer in the world? Then look up the corresponding rate. Am I the best composer / performer in the world? Look up the corresponding rate.

If you really want me to come and play for you, you better ask yourself how badly you want this. Because throughout his life, he has developed at least one payment allergy. You will at least have to avoid typical exploitative strategies, such as:

'Others do this for free.' 'You get promoted for free.' 'You are a beginner.' '... gives you a chance to be known'.

Q How is your music doing?

A Slowly but uncertainly, more listeners are coming through all streaming services. Uncertain because the number of listeners fluctuates. Still: through Spotify, I never reached more than 100 listeners per month in 2021. At the time of writing (April 2022) 1256. By the way, the number of streams does not correspond with the number of listeners. I presume that the lower the number of listeners, the more you are able to observe how much your music is appreciated by true fans. Thousands of streams per month. Thank you fans! Moreover, there are other licenses that are more financially beneficial. I will continue to publish. Hopefully surprise in a positive way.

Although it may seem like nothing is happening anymore, the opposite is true. Since the publication of Simple Syntunes, I have tried in many ways to bring more attention to my music. The payoff from these efforts has been so small, that late last year I published my own playlists with copies on Spotify, Deezer and YouTubeMusic. Without placement on a playlist it is hardly possible to reach more listeners. As difficult as it is to acquire a spot on a playlist, it is easy to get on and stay on here.

In addition, in music it is unfortunately different from what I am used to in education, health care, municipalities and insurance. That what you have earned is actually registered by the parties that should represent your interests in it. 

One of those organizations seems to be doing quite well. A PRO that records where and when radio and TV channels have played your music. With that data and that of my former distributor, I can point out to another PRO that it has overlooked at least 93% usage. 

I have been working on that for months. Typical of the music industry is the viscousness with which data become available. 2-12 months for streaming services. 1-? years for PRO's. 

That is why I have been looking for an other distributor, who has better payment arrangements. The tricky part is that you can first read all kinds of promises and reviews from others. However, qualities of distributors keep changing. Can be neutral, favorable or unfavorable. My own reviews of them are also partly outdated in the meantime. After the actual switch, I noticed that the new distributor did not meet my requirements in all situations. For those situations I have a third one. Even then, not everything runs smoothly, so distributors continue to require attention.

For 2022 I resolved to do things differently. More music.

In 2023, I discovered opportunities to release music under more pleasant conditions for both listeners and myself. Listeners through these services have to pay a little per song they actually listen to. As in the 20th century when I began my life. Ranges from €0.011 - 0.043. They get a subscription- and ad-free experience in return. The musician receives a much larger share of this than with traditional streaming services. I prefer like or dislike over non-commitment.

Many services pay producers, musicians and composers fractions of cents per stream, so the people who work hardest for it can rarely make a living. If they are not extremely economical, they do not recoup their costs. An alternative service like Sonstream could be a solution to this problem.

An increasing number of listeners is using Sonstream. Though it promotes itself little and only allows others to do so to a limited extent. Because of the difference in revenue per stream, the ratio in mid-2023 is: 38% via Sonstream versus 62% via Amazon, Apple, Deezer, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube. If that ratio becomes 91-9%, this could change. Future releases perhaps exclusively via Sonstream.

At the end of 2023, I will revoke my licenses to have my music performed on major music streaming services. The reason is:

A lack of transparency and favorable terms & conditions. Unlike usual, I have been tempted in 2019 to license my music to be performed on a variety of platforms. Without sufficient knowledge of the terms and conditions of individual streaming services(!) These have turned out to be SO unfavorable over the past 4 years that I have regularly asked myself: couldn't the unfavorable arrangements be different?

The unfavorable arrangements include:

So far I have found 2 parties - Sonstream (preferred) and Bandcamp - that meet my general delivery terms:

Sonstream is the world's most serious music streaming provider: It understands that musicians and producers can't deliver music from not paying or paying in fractions of cents. Bandcamp understands that too. But unlike Sonstream, it lets customers pay not for streams, but for tracks. Not rent but buy. That has proved less popular. Hence I'm sticking with "stream-only" for now.

In April 2024, I released a compilation album through Apple and Tidal as a compromise. While these services are not guaranteed to pay at least a penny per stream listened to, they regularly pay more depending on listener location.

Q When is the best time for me to contact you?

A In connection with various activities at varying times. Do you rather mean: in what situation, then in any case that you did not receive properly what you have ordered via this site. The easiest way to reach me is via the media that are the least abused, respectively: 

my contact form. If you clearly state why you are writing, you can expect an earlier response or action.

dm via

dm via

Q Why music disappeared from Amazon, Apple, Deezer, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube music streaming services?

A Look under 'Q How is your music doing?'


Q No questions?

A As long as no questions are asked by an interested party, I assume that everything on the website is clear. 

If your answer is not listed among the questions, you are the first or second to ask the question. Then ask your question via Alex Ruis' contact form.