Everyone is wrestling with the new musiconomy. The music industry
[a creation of the mid-late 20th century, let’s not forget]
is following a business model that is no longer dying, but has been dead for years
[you know that the corporate halls of Warner Brothers, EMI, Sony, etc. just STINK of necrophilia]
and a common lament is the pittance that artists and songwriters earn from streaming services.
While, objectively, this argument is completely valid, I think the issue is far from ‘per-stream’ rates, instead it is with an audience of listeners who are not willing to pay for the music they consume, either directly or indirectly.
For whatever reason – false humility, misplaced gratitude, insincere flattery – very few musicians are willing to point the finger of blame at the audience.
Such ungrateful listeners will be the death of the music they claim to love so much.
It is, perhaps, the greatest of cognitive dissonances: “I love great music, so I will act in a way that great music can’t be made.”
Yet, as with all cognitive dissonances, it is perhaps the last hope for musicians, that the audience is willing to transcend easy and cheap, and willing to subsidise the conceit and creation of the next waves of great music.
When “thank you, please make more”, is more prevalent than “screw you, I got mine”.
Until that happens, though it saddens me to say, musicians can expect to fund their audience’s listening pleasure for the foreseeable future.