The modern musical landscape: doom-&-gloom, or bright-&-sunny?
It’s easy to assume these days that the whole world thinks music (recorded music, live music, your music, all music) should be FREE.
Talk to working musicians and it seems like everyone from local bar owners to regional concert promoters are growing more reluctant to provide guarantees.
Your friends ask to get on the guest list for all your shows, even though they’ll each happily drop $50 on drinks.
Look at Facebook any day of the week and you’ll see armies of musicians sharing images and memes that express frustration over the dearth of paid live performance opportunities.
Even the NFL thinks it’s OK to ask superstar musicians to pay in order to play the Super Bowl.
As far as music sales go, industry-wide revenue from physical formats (CDs and vinyl) has long since given way to downloads, and now even the giant digital music services (like iTunes, Amazon, and Google) are getting into the streaming game due to declining download figures.
Then there’s the cultural (or is it universal?) attitude that being a musician isn’t a respectable profession but a hobby, something you do for fun. It’s become an all-too familiar tale: the lonely musician struggling without a support system, learning by necessity to tune out all the family and friends that keep asking “when are you going to get a real job?”
A few years back, Jon Simson, former executive director of SoundExchange, talked about a survey that showed there are “a surprising number of Americans who believe that artists should have a second job to support themselves – as they should not expect to be paid for their art!”
Hell, even the IRS makes it difficult for professional artists in the midst of building their careers to be taken seriously.
So what’s the deal? What does it take to get some respect around here? Doesn’t anyone think you should have to PAY for music anymore?
Well yes, actually. Let me share a few stories with you… Read more »