The effects of new media on working composers and musicians is something we’ve addressed from a variety of perspectives on this blog, and we aren’t the only ones thinking about it. Monday, the New York Times featured a compelling article featuring some revealing data that illustrates just how little many artists are making through the new streaming channels. Here’s an excerpt we found particularly interesting, and we hope you’ll click the link below to read the whole article.
Late last year, Zoe Keating, an independent musician from Northern California, provided an unusually detailed case in point. In voluminous spreadsheets posted to her Tumblr blog, she revealed the royalties she gets from various services, down to the ten-thousandth of a cent.
Even for an under-the-radar artist like Ms. Keating, who describes her style as “avant cello,” the numbers painted a stark picture of what it is like to be a working musician these days. After her songs had been played more than 1.5 million times on Pandora over six months, she earned $1,652.74. On Spotify, 131,000 plays last year netted just $547.71, or an average of 0.42 cent a play.
“In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if this is going to be the only way people consume music,” Ms. Keating said.