Music is an essential part of our lives. It's a vessel of communion and self-expression: through listening to music, we find connection with ourselves and one another, form lifelong friendships, escape the stressors of life and release tension. However, behind every great song is an artist who deserves fair compensation. In recent years, the issue of fair compensation for artists has become increasingly important. So why should music fans care about fair compensation for artists?
Musicians put countless hours into their craft, including writing, recording, and touring. Despite this, many artists struggle to make a living from their work. According to the Musician's Union, 71% of musicians have been asked to work for free. The rise of music streaming services has made it even more difficult for artists to earn a fair income. Streaming services pay artists a fraction of a penny per stream, which means that an artist needs millions of streams just to make a living wage.
If music is your passion, then the numbers are worth considering. Spotify pays between $0.003 - $0.005 per stream on average, roughly equating to 23,000 streams of an artist's tracks needed to receive $100 in payment. In contrast, Apple Music pays artists $0.01 per stream on average, equaling 1 penny earned per streaming service use.
This is not sustainable, and it puts the future of music at risk. If artists can't make a living from their work, they will be forced to find other ways to support themselves, which means we may miss out on the next great album or song. Music is all about passion and creativity, but it's also a business, and these numbers tell us that artists need to be mindful of where they choose to upload their content if they want a fair shake at getting paid for their hard work.
When artists are not compensated fairly for their work, it significantly impacts the music industry as a whole. Without proper compensation, artists may be unable to afford to record new music or tour, which means that we may miss out on new music from our favorite artists. Additionally, the lack of compensation for artists can lead to a decrease in the quality of music. When artists cannot make a living from their work, they may be forced to cut corners or rush through the creative process, which can result in a decline in the quality of music.
Music fans have a responsibility to support the artists they love. This means not just listening to their music, but also advocating for fair compensation for their work. Fans can do this by supporting independent artists, purchasing their music, attending their concerts, and spreading the word about their work. Additionally, fans can support organizations that advocate for fair compensation for artists, such as the Music Artists Coalition and the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers.
Fair compensation for artists is essential to the future of music. We may miss out on the next great album or song without it. As music fans, we are responsible for supporting the artists we love by advocating for fair compensation for their work. By doing so, we can ensure that the music we love continues to thrive for years to come.