Most people think of music as a form of art. But for thousands of Americans like me, who make our living creating music, it’s also a business.
I’ve been a professional songwriter long enough to remember when a hit song would earn you enough money to pay the rent for a while. Sure, it might not get you a mansion in Beverly Hills, but a hit song once meant enough money in royalties to live comfortably. I was able to put my kids through college on the royalties I earned from my “Old Fashioned Love Songs.”
But in 2016, the royalties songwriters once earned from sales of records, CDs and music downloads are shrinking dramatically as more and more consumers choose streaming. The average amount of royalties songwriters earn for a song streamed a million times on the major audio streaming services is only about $125. It’s barely enough to buy a nice steak dinner for two, much less pay the rent and put food on the table.
You don’t have to be an economist to see that songwriters are facing some troubling trends in the marketplace.
Read the rest on The Hill’s Congress Blog.