Sales are down more than they have ever been, and yet music is also more popular than it’s ever been. In the last ten years since iTunes killed the idea of the album in favor of the downloadable single, music has become a new beast tamed to favor not the artists who provide the source of income, but the distributors and CEOs of the recording labels of these artists. Then came the music streaming services with power and sheer ease of use there’s no need to purchase singles let alone entire albums anymore.
As bad as these record label executives may be, they are nothing compared to these streaming sites. For example, Meghan Trainor’s hit “All About That Bass” was a number one single in more than seventy-eight countries. Gathered more than 178 million plays on Spotify alone, yet the person to write the song was only paid $5,600 by Spotify despite them gaining upwards into the millions in revenue. That’s less than $90.00 per 1 million plays. That’s days of work for virtually nothing.
So if it’s really a seventeen billion dollar a year industry, where is all this money going? It’s not going into the hands of the people who are actually creating the “product”, but those who are treating it as so, a product to be bought and sold.