The other day I received a very generous donation from some fans who listen to my music frequently on Spotify. They said that my music really helped them through their day-to-day, and they wanted to make sure I was compensated adequately for my music, given that they were listening on the streaming service(and they no doubt had seen my tweets grumbling about Spotify’s unfair payment system 😄).
This really warmed my heart, and gave me that jolt of connectivity that artists look for. We want to connect with people. We want our words and music to help people, and be useful in their lives. Knowing that it does is what keeps us going, especially when playing live is so limited, and we can’t feel that connection in person.
Their kindness also caused me to think about, in the age of streaming, what is our responsibility as music listeners? Should we passively listen and take for granted unlimited music at our fingertips? Or do we actively take further steps to support the music that speaks to us?
Just because Spotify only costs $9.99/month, it doesn’t mean our commitment should stop there. Most of us know that the streaming platform pays artists something like $0.00000025 per stream.
If something is on your playlist that you return to frequently, if you’re spinning an artist’s discography on the regular, reach out to that artist, send them a donation, or buy some physical merchandise. We, as music listeners, have a responsibility to put our own price on what music is worth, and if free is what you think it is worth, then you are actively compromising your favourite artist’s livelihood.
In the COVID age it is more important than ever to do this. So many artists are struggling to make ends meet. Do your part to keep the music playing.
P.S. I would love to hear from you. How do you think we can support artists in the streaming age?
What value do you place on the arts in society?
What can we do as a community( locally, nationally, online) to ensure musicians not only survive, but thrive, post-COVID?