And I make music so I’m rich !!!!
Let’s celebrate !!!!
Just hang on a minute though. Although acts like BTS, Adele and Taylor Swift might be raking it in (and good luck to them) the fact is that generally speaking musicians have never been worse off, and that situation is only likely to get worse.
Starting with the good news the BBC reports that the global music market was worth £26bn in 2021 and that’s good. Isn’t it? Not in my opinion, because it’s based largely on streaming.
If we go back a few years music revenues were made up largely of physical sales, CDs, cassettes etc. Then along came Napster and Pirate Bay and we all suddenly were able to download free music to our iPods and MP3 players. So music was free? Not if you were the musician and certainly not if you were the record company.
So in came streaming and suddenly you could access every bit of music from anywhere, all streamed to your phone. And again it’s free. Just put up with a few adverts and the world of music is, quite literally at your fingertips.
That’s great, isn’t it? Certainly it is if you’re the consumer or the record company but it’s not so rosy if you’re the musician. The consumer gets their music for free – great. The record companies have huge back catalogues and they can earn money on all of it – great. The musician gets paid almost nothing each time their song is streamed – not great at all.
OK so the biggest stars still earn big money but the average musician cannot possibly earn a living from streams. Even millions of streams is not enough to live on. So companies like Spotify are worth billions, record companies are worth billions, the consumer gets total access to the entire world of music and the musician has to either starve or get another job.
It’s not right that everyone is making money, and lots of it, except the person creating the music that everyone else is getting rich from. The music industry has always been bent, but never like it is today.
And yet there’s never been as much music released. Go figure.