There was once a time when mid-level bands with a modest following could build a fairly good living performing with their own music. They’d create out a record, sell a few hundred thousand copies and then proceed tour to show and promote it – which would hopefully drive even more sales, even when the tour itself was lucky to break even.
For the most important acts, this formula was a genuine moneymaking bonanza, lining the pockets of all concerned, as well as the musicians, managers, promoters and record labels. for everybody else, it didn’t turn out large material resource however yet supported careers and promoted the creation of recent music.
Times, however, have changed. Besides a couple of superstars, it’s not possible for bands and musicians to get vital revenue taking this approach. and therefore the reason is simple: customers won’t pay anything anymore for music.
Napster jump-started this trend back in the 90s, pirating content and creating it on the market on-line, creating a generation of listeners who did not think of music of anything with value because they were able to download it at no cost. Then, streaming services essentially continued the trend.
The likes of Soundcloud and Spotify don’t steal content, however they still provide it without charge with the support of ads. Others like Apple Music and Amazon Music clearly aren’t stealing either and do charge users, however it’s a nominal fee. both models lead to most artists obtaining the shaft, receiving, in most instances, not even a penny per stream.
Incidentally, from an investment perspective, the streaming services themselves aren’t faring far better. Soundcloud and Spotify have continuously struggled to show a profit, whereas Apple Music and Amazon Music are cash losers, in situ as a part of broader distribution play that simply supports alternative components of their company’s alternative businesses.
The reason for these struggles is pretty easy. As music shifted from a product-based business (CDs and individual downloads) to a service-based business (streaming), nobody was ready to produce a model to support that transition adequately. At roughly $10 a month these corporations are gifting away music at a loss, and till that value purpose rises, perhaps as high as 100%, there’s no reason to expect any of them to attain gain.
A great irony of all this can be that music has become devalued at a time once there are additional ways in which than ever to push it, because of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.