So, we’ve been doing this music thing for awhile now. We started playing music together in May, 1971. We started releasing recordings for sale in 1974, with our now out of print vinyl LP Possibilities. Over the years we’ve sold our recorded music as LPs, cassettes and CDs. We’ve never cracked the Billboard sales charts, but we’ve had respectable sales for independent artists. When (legal) downloads became available, we made our music available for sale in digital formats as well.
And then came streaming. Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, YouTube and a host of others offered plans that allowed listeners to stream just about any recorded music that they wanted to hear, anytime. Some listeners stream for free (ad supported tiers of the plans allow for this), and some choose to pay a subscription fee and have more choice in their listening. Personal record, tape and CD collections have been gathering dust, and have stopped growing.
On the music creator end, can you guess what happened? Well, we used to have income from the music we recorded. Now, not so much. Recording sales used to be a respectable portion of our music income. Streaming royalties, while they exist, are a tiny fraction of what our sales used to be, even accounting for the percentage that record companies, distributors, and retailers used to (rightfully) take from our recording sales.
It takes a lot of time, effort, and yes, money to create a recording. It’s something we still want to do, and will continue to do, but there is little financial incentive now. We do have artistic incentive, but it doesn’t pay the bills.
Which brings me to my point. If you like the music you choose to listen to, whether it’s ours or someone else’s, consider paying for it. While CD stores have all but disappeared, we still sell CDs in our online store. We also sell digital files on BandCamp. We’re glad to share the music with you, and it will help us afford to make the next recording. Thanks!