A lot of people nowadays talk about the music industry like it’s a special entity where the artist deserves more reward than any other. Yes they are artists, yes they deserve recognition when they are good, but looking at any other market that is filled with people wanting to be successful, and let’s just agree that pretty much everyone wants to be a musician at some point, you have to work hard, you hardly break even and if you are lucky, well connected, hard working, etc enough you can break through and thrive, not to mention that only a small minority would actually be doing something they love for a living like everyone in the music industry is, which can be considered quite a privilege already.
Why should the music industry be any different? If you produce good music you’ll break through the same way as if you have a successful product, it is not a guarantee, there are many variables as to how/why a fan base is built around something and it certainly doesn’t solely depend on quality. You can be struggling your whole life even if you have a good product until maybe you get there, if you ever do.
Just because musicians once made too much money doesn’t mean that should be the only reward a struggling one should aim for. Do people forget about the true reward in art? Having said that, I actually agree artists should be getting more from all of this, but I see a wave of people bitching about how this ‘amazing band I know hardly broke even this year, BUT I LOVE THEIR WORK they should be making millions!!!’.. really?!
To also say that this doesn’t encourage new people to distribute their music is just insane! When did companies going bust ever stop encouraging people from opening new ones?
The world has changed a lot in how information is distributed and people definitely demand cheaper and/or free solutions when this same information is so readily available through non-paying mediums, so why shouldn’t these markets adapt? Of course the music industry has adapted a lot, but don’t come telling me to go buy the artists CD’s because he or she is struggling not ‘raking in the dough’, instead tell me percentages being offered to artists by the record labels that made those deals in the first place are ridiculous and that is something that has to be changed, because someone is definitely cashing in from all those clicks and downloads.
If you are a struggling artist producing music, it is much much cheaper to produce it nowadays than it ever was, you have a direct connection with billions of people that you never had before so if you want to make yourself heard you’ll find a way regardless of all this, but if your main incentive is money then you should just stick to what most people do and work on a non-gratifying job with more potential to rake in the dough and stop complaining..