The Unsustainable Music Streaming Business from an Artist's Perspective

"The Unsustainable Music Streaming Business from an Artist's Perspective"



In the digital age, music streaming platforms have become the dominant force in the music industry, offering listeners instant access to an extensive catalog of songs. While these platforms have revolutionized the way we consume music, there's a dissonant tune playing in the background for many artists. This blog post aims to shed light on the unsustainable nature of the music-streaming business from the perspective of the very artists who fuel the industry.

  • The Payout Predicament:
  • Streaming platforms often boast millions of users, but the financial rewards for artists can be minimal. The payout structure, which is typically based on the number of streams, often leaves artists with mere fractions of a cent per play. This model raises questions about the economic viability of a career in music for emerging and independent artists.
  • The Perils of Per-Stream Payments:
  • While streaming platforms may argue that per-stream payments are a fair reflection of an artist's popularity, this model fails to consider the immense effort, time, and resources that go into creating a single piece of music. Artists argue that this system undervalues their craft and places the emphasis on quantity over quality.
  • Dependency Dilemma:
  • Many musicians find themselves in a Catch-22 situation – they depend on streaming platforms to reach a broad audience, but the returns they receive are often insufficient to sustain a livelihood. This dependence on streaming raises questions about the long-term financial stability of the music industry, particularly for those outside the mainstream.
  • The Impact on Creativity:
  • The pursuit of streaming-friendly content can influence artistic decisions, potentially steering musicians toward formulaic approaches to garner more streams. This raises concerns about the impact on creativity and the diversity of musical expression in an industry increasingly shaped by algorithms and data-driven recommendations.
  • The Value of Music:
  • As streaming becomes the primary mode of music consumption, there's a growing disconnect between the perceived value of music and the compensation artists receive. Exploring alternative models, such as direct fan support, could be a solution to bridge this gap and ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their work.
  • Towards a Sustainable Future:
  • To address these concerns, artists, industry stakeholders, and streaming platforms must engage in a collaborative dialogue. Exploring fairer revenue-sharing models, offering more transparent reporting, and finding ways to support emerging talent are crucial steps toward creating a more sustainable ecosystem for everyone involved.


While music streaming platforms have undoubtedly transformed the way we experience music, the current landscape poses challenges that demand attention. From reevaluating payout structures to fostering an environment that values creativity, it's essential to address the unsustainable aspects of the music-streaming business to ensure a vibrant and equitable future for artists. As consumers, we play a role in shaping the industry, and understanding the artist's perspective is a crucial step toward fostering positive change in the world of music.




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