That’s not really true. Let me start differently. The music business is not broken. If I hear one more artist complain about the broken music industry and the small digital payouts, I am going to pull my hair out. (Luckily I am already bald so it is not a real concern.)
If you are successful, the music business is amazing. Lots of fun, money, drugs and alcohol (if you choose and I am not endorsing this behavior) and of course the opportunity to make music that people enjoy. If you are not popular, the problem is that there is not much money. Still lots of fun, drugs and alcohol (but you have to pay for them) and still plenty of opportunities to make music. But no money. And it has nothing to do with Spotify payouts or the quality of the music.
I used to hear complaints about the broken business back in the 20th century. Here is a list of a few of the common ones:
- I need to get signed by a label to release my music.
- Recording is too expensive.
- I have no way to reach potential fans.
- I can’t get distribution.
These problems don’t exist anymore. Solved. But still there is a lot of complaining. The system must be broken. The business just doesn’t work. I can’t make enough money to survive with my music. Digital services just don’t pay enough.
SSShhhhhhh. Let me tell you a little secret. It is a secret that all the successful artists know. Are you ready? You need to become popular. Then you earn a lot of money. People that knew this: Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, every rapper that ever existed, Taylor Swift, Jarvis Cocker, Oasis, and the list goes on and on and on.
The last time I checked there was still only one number 1 single every week. Make it to number 1 and you will see that the system pays out a lot of money. Don’t get hung up on your numbers of streams, downloads, views, etc. It is only the amount in relation to the other artists. So 100,000 video views may seem like a lot but it really doesn’t stack up to the billion views a top artist receives. Same with streaming payouts. Even 1 million streams is not a lot. There’s no money in 1 million streams.
So please stop blaming the system. It is hard to make money in the music industry. But it is not because the industry is broken.