We live in such an interesting time when it comes to the music business.  It has never been more possible for artists to make their own CDs and get their music heard out in the world. We can be the record labels ourselves and present our own musical visions.  That’s pretty exciting.

Musicians are so excited that it seems like everyone is putting out their own CDs these days.  Because of this, the sea of new music can be hard to navigate for listeners.  There is just so much to choose from. Luckily, for listeners, there are places such as Spotify and Rhapsody.  I have some friends that adore Spotify because they use it to discover new artists and their music. It IS exciting, until you’re the artist that makes $.00119974 per stream.  Yeah.  Its that bad.

Here’s the breakdown from a recent downloading report:

  • Spotify (streaming) 1 track = ranges from $0.00119974 to $0.00635864
  • Spotify (download) 1 track = none
  • iTunes album = $8.67321910 (you pay $9.99)
  • iTunes (streaming) 1 track = $0.00360499
  • iTunes (download) 1 track = $0.62306881 (you pay .99)

Many artists battle this by fundraising before they record their projects through things like Kickstarter and and other fan-based fundraising websites.  I think that is a wonderful way for artists to collaborate with their fans to get the projects done.  I, however, feel bad asking folks for money.  I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Here’s my thought on supporting the artist:  Buy music from the artist’s website.  If you like them and want to support their next project, donate a few extra bucks.  (They even have buttons for that now.)  If an artist is selling directly on their website, the money you spend goes directly to them.

I’m not going to say exactly how much it costs for me to make a CD, but know that I want my recordings to be of the highest quality for my listeners.  At the Spotify rate, I will never be able to make another CD again.  I do, however, keep my music up there in hopes of finding new fans who will eventually come to concerts and buy CDs or downloads (on my website :-)).

Buying directly from the artist’s website makes it possible for the money to go directly into the next project.  That also means that the next CD can come out a lot sooner.

Also, pleeeeeaaaasee don’t make copies of your favorite albums for all your friends.  I had a student come up to me (very excited) at a festival with a burnt CD.  “You are so awesome!  Would you sign my CD?  I’ve made copies for all my friends!  When is your next CD coming out?” 

I wanted to cry.

Don’t make me cry.  It isn’t pretty.

Here’s your chance to give yourself a gift and support the music at the same time.  What’s Your Story is now available in digital form.  (The CD officially comes out on April 2, 2013.)  Share it with your friends by forwards and social shares instead of burning.  If you don’t like the music, forward it on to your enemies.

Download WYS now.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.

Kristin