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By: Owen Mccloskey, Copy Editor.

I’m a musician, I play piano, sing, write songs and I listen to a lot of music. From McCoy Tyner to Radiohead to Anderson .paak, I love all types of music and nothing else gives me a warmer feeling than listening to a perfect song.

I’ve recorded two studio albums and I’ve spent years practicing, playing shows and learning music, but my interest in music has since subsided.

Recently, I’ve taken an interest in journalistic writing and editing, because the music industry is no longer merit-based, nor is it talent-based.

An increase in technology has brought a newfound necessity for instant gratification, and I believe this is reflected directly in all types of media, not just music.

However, this is not going to be an opinion piece that chimes “all new music is trash” over and over again. Rather, I’d like to inform the average reader or music listener on how being a musician has changed in the Information Era.

Technology has changed the music industry drastically, and it is the sole factor in why musicians are losing money.

From the 1940s all the way up to the early 2000s, most musicians made their money through record sales. If you wanted to listen to a song, you had to buy a full CD, and the artist you purchased the CD from would make a large percentage of the sale.

For decades, this is how musicians made their money, it’s why artists such as Paul McCartney and Diddy have net worths of hundreds of millions.

However, this is no longer the case. When was the last time you bought a song or an album? When was the last time you actually paid $8 to buy a combination of songs by your favorite artist?

The truth is, streaming providers like Apple Music and Spotify are slaughtering the music industry.

Artists make money through streaming services per play, meaning that Spotify nor Apple Music actually pay the artists anything but their per-play streaming salary.

An artist makes (literally) less than one cent per play on a streaming service, and because nobody buys records, this is the sole source of income for artists.

You might be thinking, “But artists aren’t doing so badly! Taylor Swift has a net worth of 230 million dollars!”

The truth is, Taylor Swift has probably billions of plays cumulatively throughout her discography, but if she were selling albums, she would make a lot more money.

Big artists like Drake and Taylor Swift make most of their money touring, selling merchandise and doing advertisement deals. The money is simply completely diminished on the topic of album sales.

Startup musicians have it much harder due to the fact that recording is not cheap by any standard (it can cost $125 for a day in the studio), and without an influx of album sales, it is nearly impossible to make any money writing a full studio album.

This brings me to my next point. How often have you listened through a full album? For a while, most artists have gained popularity and money through one hit song.

Every artist has one song that most people want to listen to. If you think of Drake, you think “Started From the Bottom.” If you think of The Killers, you think “When You Were Young.”

Many people just stream one song from artists, which diminishes their revenue flow. Most artists only make money off of one song, and it used to be that people would buy the entire album to listen to that song.

However, now that streaming services have taken the forefront, having only one single is detrimental to the whole business. After all, who can make their money from the plays from one song?

Technology hasn’t all been bad when it comes to music. It has helped artists create amazing sounds, beats,] and songs.

It has expedited the recording process. However, streaming services have absolutely dismantled the industry, and artists are finding it very difficult to make money doing what they love.

Music is dying, so please, if there is an artist you want to support, buy their album instead of streaming it.