“Artist’s Lament (Streaming Sweatshops)” is a country music / folk song about the current state of the music industry…streaming is replacing sales and pays very little while downloads and cd sales are dropping rapidly (12% last year and 14% this year so far), and there are very few venues to play in compared to just a decade ago. So…the opportunities to make money in this biz are drying up for artists.
People say that we should be happy to be streamed by companies like Pandora and Spotify, it provides an audience. The audience no longer wants to buy music they can stream for free.
People say we should make our money playing live shows….but places that have live music are closing at an alarming rate.
If I cover a song, copyright law requires that I pay $0.091 for every cd or download I sell, to the songwriter/publisher.
When I cover a song, and it is streamed on Pandora, Spotify, or their competitors, I must pay one-penny per stream, so it will cost me $10,000 in royalty payments to the original songwriter/publisher.
When Pandora plays/streams a song, whether it is an original or a cover song, they pay a fraction of one-penny to all involved…that includes the cover-artist, the songwriter and publisher.
That means if I have a hit on Pandora or Spotify, I will lose money every time it plays, and since those people already have all the music they want in streaming format, they aren’t going to turn around and pay to download it or buy a cd.
So, the new streaming business makes money off the artists (just like the old music business), there are few places to play live, and sales are dropping because people feel they are entitled to free or almost free music….doesn’t leave much room for most artists to make a living.
Please listen and then download this song, and pass it along to your friends. I would sure appreciate it! Thank you! Rick