A Long Strange Trip — How Musicians Do and Don’t Get Paid
musicFIRST Coalition

Music for Free — Steal My Song, Please!

How else is my music ever going to be heard

One thing the streaming services (Pandora excepted who has a strange algorithm of what they will or won’t put up) do is provide an open forum where anyone can put up their music.

So, I guess another side of the argument and one that the streaming services would make is that they provide an opportunity for musicians to distribute their music that would not be available to them if they had to pay too much.

As a musician who records his own music and makes videos in my room, I have the same opportunities to be discovered (and ripped off) as the big acts.

I can upload and distribute my songs through Distrokid.

I can sell my songs on Amazon and iTunes.

I can be streamed on the online music channels.

I can upload by videos to YouTube and Vimeo.

I can design, make and distribute my own CD’s (though Amazon’s Createspace because they are “constantly evaluating our service catalog” will no longer provide this service).

I can load my van, tour, sleep on couches, play shows where nobody has heard of me, busk at farmer’s markets, sell merch that I’ve paid for myself (better have some vinyl), slowly build a following.

I can send my songs to college radio stations (practically the only terrestrial outlets where the DJ’s can play what they want).

I can send my songs to National Public Radio who may use it as a bed or play it on a radio show.

I can dream of a crack band playing my songs, of working with professional producers and engineers in state-of-the art facilities (never mind the artists — who’s paying them now and with what?).

I can pay for the recording, mixing, and mastering myself.

I can crowdsource the funding of a new album.

I can dream of tour buses, roadies, and buying new instruments.

I can get married, have a family, make music and videos in my bedroom, and play in local bands.

I can hope that a local movie star wants to have a band and at least for a few weeks I can live the dream.

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