Talk to any independent artist who is making new indie music about how they are faring in selling their digital music, and you will get an unsatisfied look expressing something like ‘it’s not that bright,’ ‘things are murkier than ever.’ With that reason alone, it makes hard for musicians to upload and sell music digitally, yet not much is being done to encourage creativity, experimentation, and collaboration.
Let’s have a look at some of the disheartening realities of the digital music scene
Streaming royalties paid by online sites are low
Pick up any online streaming portal including Spotify, YouTube, or even Apple Music, etc. and you will notice that the royalties paid to artists are meager — it is almost impossible to live off these payments. Further, many online portals threaten to take off the music if artists don’t agree with their terms and conditions that benefit only the sites and not the artists.
Nobody wants to pay to listen to new music really
The number of listeners who want to pay and listen to new music is dwindling, and streaming music to earn money is not that lucrative at all. Availability of too much music, measured as quantity in other industries, also discourages the listeners to eagerly look out for new quality music and be willing to pay.
Labels don’t sign artist’s anymore!
Labels, driven by the impulse of consumer economics, do not look to sign up new artists and experiment — they get involved with only the popular and already established ones. Furthermore, this takes away any chance independent musicians have to earn fixed money, which would have encouraged them to keep going and produce more music. Further, because touring is increasingly expensive, it is hard to expand the influence over listeners which limits the popularity quotient of musicians, thereby reducing their chances of getting signed up by labels.