In a recent article in Wired magazine, singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc wrote about the amount of royalties most artists recieve from streaming radio. It was shocking to read that it equates to mere pennies for the artist when their music is played on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, or any other streaming radio. After doing some research, we learned that artists are paid $0.00011-$0.007 per play on average, even from companies that earn millions in revenue.
As far as record sales, by law, the writer/publisher split $.08 on each recording sold, and the person who performs the song can get as low as 8% of record sales. In addition to decreasing music sales in general, even if a song is a hit, after everyone gets paid (management, publicist, booking agent, session musicians/singers, record company advances and recoupments, administrative fees, etc.) it is nearly impossible for creative artists to make a living.
That being said, I know that you, like me, need music in your life. For some of us we need it like air and food. Lets just imagine for a moment that there was no more music, no new melodies, harmonies, and words to match how we feel at that moment. Nothing to groove to, dance to, clean to, drive to, make love to, sing along to…we’d all be meeting at the pharmacy for our prozac refills lol…
So I propose that we the fans become more proactive on how we support these people who bless our lives. Let’s buy the album rather than download it….ok don’t want to buy the whole album? Now you can pick and choose which tracks you like and just buy those! Especially independent artists who lack the marketing machines that put them everywhere, let’s take the time to find them and support them how we can. If an artist is selling merchandise, writing a book or whatever, lets support them in their other ventures.
In addition, there’s absolutely nothing like seeing an artist perform your favorite songs live in the flesh. Performances do cost more nowadays, plus parking, transportation, drinks, etc. But its an experience we always remember for the rest of our lives. So lets save our little pennies and return the love they give to us everyday. And we can feel good knowing that we help put food on their table. And this way they can continue to make the music we love so much.