Why is there no radio station run by artists? No streaming service run by artists? Why did artists not create iTunes? Because they are ALL workshy bastards who only dream of signing a fat contract they won't read and then roll is cash for a few hours work.
And the fact remains that radio stations, music publishers etc keep rolling in it and they do this by squeezing the artists who are happy to be squeezed. The money is there, go and get it.
What is missing from the artist mind is the analysis of what music is worth. The article mentions a price of 0.42 cent per streamed song... and? In what context does this price exist in the artist mind? It is indeed seemingly a small sum of money. If say a baker got 0.42 cent revenue per loaf, he would be out of business in a heartbeat. It should be obvious that the costs in that case would be far higher then the price.
But music is not a physical product. How many cents does it take the artist to deliver the song to the listener? 0 cent. That is the real cost. 0 cent. So she makes a revenue of 0.42 cent per listened to song. In Holland there might be VAT applied (paid by the consumer, in this case the streaming service) but the tax office are such nice guys that if your tax collections or not worth it, you can CHARGE VAT but you do not have to PAY it to the tax office. Nice eh? You can collect 20% extra and can stick it straight into your pocket. For small businesses it is a real boon.
"But it is only 0.42 cent" you say? Supermarkets make on some items as little as a single cent as well, they make up for it with big ticket items and scale. Since they got to have the shop in any case with the whole support infrastructure, selling low ticket items is worth it because a cent is a cent. And these items are typically what people need often like butter, milk, bread. So 1 center every day from every customer soon adds up to billions. Not everyone can be an Apple and sell only to the big spenders, a lot of business has to add up the cents to make their millions.
Because streaming music is NOT the same as buying music. It is 0.42 per song listened to. Once. iTunes rather famously charges 99 cents per song (an outrageous price for a small binary file) so some very rough math shows us that 200 times listening to a song has the same revenue as one song bought... oh wait... NO! That is a COMPLETE and utter lie.
Reason: 0.42 cent is what the ARTIST gets per streamed song. 0.99 cent is what APPLE gets per sold song. The artist gets FAR less. 9 cents according to some. So that is 18 streaming events? A bought song I can listen to many times over. I know I have listened over time to some tracks hundred of times. If I had streamed those songs the artist would be FAR better off. The real reason this artist makes so little money is because she just isn't popular. 131000 plays in a year? Give it up girl, nobody wants to hear your music. Just compare it with youtubes most popular movies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw4KVoEVcr0 50 million times. At 0.42 cent, that is an income of 21 million dollars. I think most of us would be rather pleased to see that, even if it is before taxes.
If you are an aluminum drinking can maker, you can't say "I want a decent working wage" and then make a thousand cans and go home. You got to make half a million cans at least, each and every shift because an individual can just hasn't enough value but make enough and you get to take home a decent wage for the hours you worked.
Does the artist in question have to work every day in physical labor to produce that one song streamed a 131000 times? No. If she HAD worked very hard every day of the week, could she have produced far more songs and then have gotten payed 131000 times X 365 songs per year X 0.42 cent = 20 million dollars. No, she is bitching that for one shift at the coca cola can factory she wasn't payed a full years salary. Well, screw her. She is just a high class whore upset that she didn't get an indecent proposal or a pretty woman deal (do your math, Julia Roberts was NOT a high class hooker and to save up what she did she must have been going at it like rabbits)
It is the nasty side of life, in order to make a decent wage, most of us have to work damn hard for it. You can't go "here I baked a loaf, now pay me for the rest of my life". A baker has to get out of bed in the middle of the night six days a week and bake thousands of loafs and deal with zoning laws and rising prices and constant competition from factories. This artist made a song and what the world to pay her a living. Sorry. NO!
And it is NOT all about life performances. Some artist make money making music for movies... and MANY MANY more by making movies for company videos. Those horribly tracks under 80's porn movies? Some artist sat down and worked in order to get payed. Nobody ever said all artists will work a life of glamour. Ever looked into the world of say dancers? Terrible wages, body breaking training, uncertain employment and guaranteed to end before your work life has even started. Well, if you don't like it, stay the fuck out of that industry. Go fill shelves. Go lie on your back and earn money that way.
NOBODY owes you a living wage just because you picked a certain job, especially if you aren't any good at it. I am sure many would be programmers here are bitching about low wages caused by outsourcing, really not that different then low wages caused by copyright infringement but hey, that is how the world is, deal with it.
If you don't like how much you get payed you can:
- Get out. Shocking idea for artists I am sure but many of us had to give up their dreams in order to pay the bills, you are not special, you do not have a right to expect the world to allow you to life your dreams.
- Organize for better working conditions. If all artists stopped producing content, went on strike, then they might improve their conditions. Or risk destroying their industry ala british strike actions.
- Work harder: US working poor, 2-3 jobs and still not make enough.
- Take a side job, Sultans of swing.
- Find a benefactor, it ain't just ballet dancers who make a bit extra by dancing on their backs, historical figures are known to have given private performances for rich suitors and not just girls either.
The above list ain't nice but well... if you want to make a lot of money fast, become an industrial diver. It pays extremely well. And you risk your life daily. But you can retire early. If you survive. And many people do back breaking work until they are broken for not much money at all. Forget TV, you canNOT be everything you wannabe.
If this artist isn't making enough, she either has to increase her earnings (strike better deals, release more works, increase her popularity) or just accept that she isn't good enough to make a living with her chosen profession and just has to find an other job that does pay. It ain't complex. When the car replaced the horse it put countless farriers out of business. There are however STILL people who make a living as a farrier BUT they had to adapt to the world, the world did NOT put itself on hold for them or even adapt for them. YOU adapt to a changing world, the world does not adapt to you standing still.
It ain't nice for sure but town criers, farriers, bakers, gas-lamp lighters, newspapers printer, postmen and countless more have had to change their lifes to suit a changing world.
Music in our modern world has changed. A LOT. Before recorded music existed, every household would have an instrument. NOT as a form of tortune of kids and dad but to make music for family gatherings purely for fun because it was the only music available. When people lived closer together, they would go out and enjoy life music, even life music at early movies.
AND THIS WOMAN BITCHING ABOUT 0.42 CENT A SONG FOR WHICH SHE HAS TO DO ZERO WORK HAS PUT COUNTLESS LIFE PERFORMERS AND MUSIC INSTRUMENT MAKERS OUT OF WORK
I think it is important to mention this. EVERY recorded musician complaining about payment is responsible for countless lost jobs. Those of life performers. Someone playing a cheap piano during a buster keaton movie was put out of work by recorded artists. I say that I will support a levy or such to give this woman a living wage IF she agrees to then pay from this wage a levy to support out of work life performers and gaslamp lighters because she uses electricity and farriers because she drives a car. You want to be compensate for a changing world, then you compensate others for their losses.
Else, GET a real job. The rest of us have.