john-mayer-1376403903Lately there has been a lot of light shed on the low royalty rates being earned by artists for thousands and thousands of plays on sites like Spotify or YouTube.  This is true–and it’s really sad.  I don’t want to go into the numbers, or try to make anyone feel bad for enjoying their favorite music or discovering something new.  Please do those things.
However, also find ways to get behind those artists that you love in any way you realistically can.  It’s not your job to save the struggling music industry–it will change, adapt, and hopefully bounce back. Embrace the new technologies, enjoy the free music, but also go out and support what you love.  Selfishly, I’d hate to never find out about my next would-be-favorite artist because they couldn’t afford to make music anymore!  Know what I mean?

Buying tickets to a live show, picking up an album (actual copies, or iTunes), or a piece of merchandise goes a lot further than you think.  We’re in a digital world right now–you can watch a show without being there, and enjoy an album without buying it. That’s amazing! Speaking as a lifelong music fan and full-time musician, I think it’s incredible how much music is at our fingertips. We are really spoiled. That said, it’s easy to forget how many moving parts go into making great music happen.

More than ever, musicians count on their true fans to step up and show their support to allow them to continue making art. If not in the form of buying music or attending shows, help spread the word and share what you’re listening to! Your friends do actually listen to you! The soundtracks to our lives can make us laugh, smile, dance, cry, remember, and forget. Now we just have to remember to support those who made it possible.

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