Musicians actually have it harder than ever before when it comes to making it – and it’s all because of the internet. With free streaming, album leaks and downloads making their way online, it’s hard for musicians to have control over where their music is available, not to mention actually getting paid for it! Speaking on how the internet is harming the music industry, these 5 musicians have discussed the changes currently happening and what lies ahead.
Beck believes streaming music means artists don’t get paid for their work: “Streaming is inevitable, it’s something that is coming, like it or not. But I question how I can hang on or stay afloat with this model, because what Spotify pays me isn’t enough for me to pay the musicians I work with, or the people producing or mastering my music. The model doesn’t work, so we have to come up with ways in which people can help us to make music for free, or at least for much less. But the current way isn’t working, something’s gotta give.”
Jay Z just launched his own paid streaming service, Tidal. He said that he thinks people need to pay for music: “People are not respecting the music, and devaluing what it really means. People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap and it’s good water. But they’re OK paying for it. It’s just the mindset right now.”
Kanye believes the internet has completely changed how the music industry works now: “The entire music industry was hit by a fucking glacier by the internet… Shit is changing.”
Taylor pulled her music from Spotify, commenting that her music shouldn’t be available for free: “All I can say is that music is changing so quickly. The landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”
Will.i.am sees that technology pushes the artist to one side: “That’s a very, very, very touchy, touchy, touchy subject that no one’s talking about, as far as technology killing the music industry. Actually, the music industry has been redefined, utilizing the technology, leaving the artist out of the equation. So the power has to go back to the artist, and that’s what we’re experiencing here. Somebody’s monetizing it, you can’t just say a billion views and be like ‘yup, you’re free just like the artists are free’.”