Indie artists face many challenges in the music industry at large.
Their voices struggle to get heard.
They also rely on music sales in order to make a living.
Indie artists today are running into many problems because of how easy it is to access content online. Indies want to share their music with the world but donâ€™t get credit for it. People do not think of the consequences when they are able to listen to music for free. The ones that suffer are the indie artists that depend on music sales but are taken advantage of instead.
Read more about the challenges that indie artists face.
The letter Taylor Swift wrote to Apple asking the company to pay artists whose music is streamed during customerâ€™s free trial period shed a light on a continuing battle between digital creators and consumers that donâ€™t want to pay for digital work.
Many musicians applauded Swift. Large companies like Apple, Google and Spotify routinely make money off othersâ€™ talent and do as much as possible to compensate as little as possible. You can go online and read horror stories from musicians who had hundreds of thousands of streams for their songs on those services, but whose royalties barely cover one night at Dover Downs. This is especially a problem for so-called â€œindies,â€ or people who create music with a small record label or none at all, and rely on their music sales to earn a living.
- Indie Rock Band Near Break-Up Story
- Indie Techno-Pop Artist Kelly Lee Owens
- The Indie Talent of Krish Ashok
Part of the challenge, in addition to persuading people to pay for artists they like, is piracy. Someone decides they like a movie, song, e-book, or game and upload it without permission to file sharing sites where artists get nothing for their work. Even worse, these sites make it easier for someone who doesnâ€™t respect intellectual property rights to just take an artistâ€™s work and start selling it illegally without compensation. This is a problem for all creative industries, but unlike multinational corporations, indies are unable to fight piracy at all.
Unfortunately, those who are not creators tend to assume that if one isnâ€™t making money from their work, then their product must not be worth buying. The problem with that belief is, in the age of diffused media, being discovered by enough people to earn a living becomes more difficult without money, endorsements or name recognition. This has resulted in many unknown creators giving away a lot of work for free, in the hopes of being discovered. As the public became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content, and as if the ease of finding stuff for free was just too easy, the incentive to pay any creator disappeared.
Nearly everyone is guilty of this. Whether itâ€™s listening to free music on YouTube or Spotify, heading over to Amazon to download free e-books, playing a free game on your smartphone, or watching Game of Thrones on BitTorrent, weâ€™ve simply come to expect digital content to be free. Itâ€™s interesting that people will pay $5 a day for a Starbucks latte, but will get annoyed if a creator charges a dollar for their product.