Royalties are bound to be sought by those that can get them, wherever they can get them, but I think they’re getting a false sense of monetary windfall, especially when it comes to bluegrass listeners as compared to other types of music listeners. Many will listen for free, but many fewer will pay for a service, much less internet based streams. If they are avid listeners, chances are, they’ll pay for a satellite radio service that they can use everywhere, not just at a computer. Or, they just won’t listen, opting for other listening opportunities, or playing the music, as bluegrass listeners have a higher percentage of players listening than many other types of music. Simply put, in the greed for money, the music could be listened to less, resulting in less CD sales as a result of hearing music that is liked.
Musicians need to decide if they want some of their music played in the interest of free advertising for that which can be purchased, primarily CD’s and DVD’s. You have to get a little to get a little. If you don’t believe me, the next time you make a CD, don’t give any copies to radio stations or streaming internet sites or other free listening venues. See how many CD’s you sell.
Artists and song writers are entitled to royalties for their wares, but rather than cash payments, those royalties could be in the form of internet streamers having to link to sites where the music can be purchased, as many do now. That way, the free listening prompts purchasing. If that is working now, then there’s no reason to fix a system that’s not broken.
Years ago, player would be glad to get air time. What happened? Are the players falling prey to organizations who will represent them in a shortsighted effort to wing every penny from every listener? We’ve already seen that happen with the badgering of venues that allow the music to be performed. So what happens, the music isn’t performed in the venue and the public (future fans and music purchasers) lose out as well as the original performer who’s material is being played. I don’t lose, I’ll just go pickin’ somewhere and enjoy the music with friends.
What will be gained? Aggravating those that support your livelihood while driving internet radio stations off the air? Gaining new fans generally will only happen if they hear the music. Listeners won’t buy CD’s or pay to attend festivals or concerts for performers they’ve never heard.
Musicians and writers, it’s YOUR music. YOU take control of it. You are some of the best performers around, but beware, the fans and listeners are getting weary. It is you who will lose in the long run.