How Should Musicians Get Paid? Through Patronage

Hey, that’s not my opinion.  This comes from Pando Daily–and before you start flaming anyone about how stupid this idea is, give this a read:

In the past 14 years, music industry revenues plummeted from $14.3 billion to $7 billion. People listen to more music than ever, but they do it on platforms like Spotify and Pandora, which pay artists fractions of pennies per play. Things aren’t much better on YouTube, where ad revenues for creators continues to drop. With little monetary incentive, some worry that musicians will simply stop creating altogether. Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne went so far to say, “The Internet will suck all creative content out of the world.”Is the state of affairs for musicians really so dire?Not according to Pomplamoose singer Jack Conte. Last year with $2.1 million in funding, he launched Patreon, a platform where musicians, writers, cartoonists and other creators can solicit donations for their work.  What makes Patreon a little different than Kickstarter and Indiegogo is that users subscribe to creators, paying them monthly for as long as they wish. Creators can offer small rewards for donations, but the focus is less on rewards and more on supporting artists for its own sake.

I understand if your heart doesn’t jump at the idea of yet another crowdfunding platform that also happens to be yet another startup trying to save the music industry. These things are everywhere. What should excite you, however, is that after nine months Patreon actually works.

If you keep reading, you’ll see that this idea may have some merit.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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