Ever since companies like Napster, pirated music has created a standard of music listening that is free to consumers. As a result, consumers have valued music less and less. Bands and artists used to make all their money from CD’s and tapes and would further that revenue through concerts and performances.
Nowadays, everyone has access to streaming apps such as Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, Apple Music and many more. While these companies aren’t stealing music from artists, they provide their service for free or on average $10/month for unlimited listening. Listeners used to pay this $10 per CD and with streaming are hardly paying a penny per streamed song. As a consumer, this is great! However, the artist is struggling more and more.
As a result of dwindling revenue from record sales and concerts, artists today are focusing more on brand building, advertising and providing products or services. For example, star artists like Kanye West have started designing shoes with Adidas and developing a high-end clothing line. Or artists like Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber creating fragrance lines and doing clothing advertising. This concept works for A list artists but hurts the new and upcoming musicians. In my opinion, artists are no longer selling good music but instead an image and a product. This hurts the up and coming musicians and gives them a tough challenge to stay afloat, where all they have is their talent. As a result, music is more and more starting to sound the same and bland. It’s not evolving anymore like it used to, without real artists challenging new music and creating good music. We need to go back to investing in good music and the mid-level bands that make music real.