Eoin Harrington: Up All Night

Eoin Harrington rides high on the tailspin: Aidin Vaziri | Eoin Harrington arrives for our interview late and bleary-eyed. We are at Tal-Y-Tara, a beautiful traditional tearoom in the Outer Richmond with tartan tablecloths, equestrian gear for sale in the front and classical music softly playing in the background. The Irish singer-songwriter, who is sporting a tight-fitting leather jacket and slightly mussed-up hair, sits down and apologizes. He orders a big pot of black tea and two malt balls, explaining he had a long night. But it’s not what you think. Harrington was up watching documentaries and reading up on the state of the music industry. Since releasing his most recent album, “Confess,” in April, he has been paying close attention to where artists stand as the labels struggle to cope with piracy and new technology. On his Facebook wall, he has posted graphs that reveal some shocking figures: To make just $1, a song needs to be streamed 3,494 times on the new free service Spotify. To earn the U.S. monthly minimum wage, an artist must sell 2,044 MP3s on iTunes. Last year, less than 1 percent of the music available for sale online was actually purchased. That’s enough to keep any musician up at night.
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