If you listen to music of any genre, in any form, via any medium, please consider the following…
We are 6 months into 2014 so these 2013 statistics hardly constitute breaking news, but they do convey a trend that is literally “breaking” the working musician and will have a profound impact on the future of music (or lack thereof). According to Rolling Stone, Music Streaming rose 32% and Digital Sales declined 6% in 2013. That’s pretty startling since iTunes and the digital download made it easy for people to do the right thing and buy music. Overall album sales declined 8%. How’s 2014 looking so far?
Clearly streaming services like Spotify and YouTube are the way we want to consume music, so lets look at what it would take for a solo musician or ensemble of 4 (i.e. band) to make minimum wage.
A solo musician would need 15,751,488 streams per year to make $7.25/hour or $1,260/mo. For an ensemble of four they would need 63,005,952. And that’s assuming that their album costs them $0 to make (at least there’s crowd-funding). Check out all of the data here.
Forty years ago, co-writing a song with Ringo Starr would have provided me a house and a pool. Now, estimating 100,000 plays on Spotify, we guessed we’d split about $80. When I got home, on closer study, I found out we were way too optimistic. Spotify (on par with other streamers) pays only .00065 cents per play. – Van Dyke Parks
I love Information is Beautiful. The graphic below is from 2010, but perhaps we missed it, since the problem has gotten exponentially worse.
So, yes I agree with Cynical Musician: “all the problems of the industry can easily be boiled down to one: music has become way too cheap.”
Should everyone raise their prices? What would happen if they did?