American Expectations

Spotify, Pandora, Youtube. In the current digital landscape, with a little time, and a little ingenuity, you can hear anything you want for free. From the common man’s perspective, this is a dream come true. He/she can stream an unlimited amount of music, whenever they want, for free. Everyone loves free entertainment.

However, for the artist, this is the ultimate tradgedy. The music that they labor over. The music that they pour their soul into. The music that they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to record. It can now be listened to with no recompense for everythig they’ve been through.

So, how do we rectify this? Many have suggested that the best way would be to start charging for streaming services. Writing from the viewpoint of the average American, I don’t see this happening. Not because it’s a bad idea. In fact, I think it’s a phenomenal idea. The issue doesn’t lie in the idea. The issue lies in the implementation. Music has been free to stream for years now. People use Spotify at parties, and listen to pandora in their cars. A lifestyle has been developed. And lifestyles are not easily changed.

The difficulty of change is the main issue here. I believe that most people would agree, Artists deserve to be paid for their work. It brings us joy and takes their time. They deserve to be paid. But have we enjoyed free music for so long that the common man will refuse to pay it? I believe that we will eventually figure out a way to enjoy streamed music, for free, and still pay the artists what they truly deserve.

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