There has been much discussion as of late about Pandora and other streaming music sites that feature songs created by talented songwriters and what they are paying those writers for use of those works. Most people don’t give it a thought as Pandora panders to it’s users. However, for the songwriter it’s a devastating blow to their income. As a songwriter, I consider this to be virtually free entertainment.
Recently, the television show Good Morning America asked the question, “How much would you be willing to pay to hear your favorite artist’s new music?” Over 70% of those surveyed stated they would pay nothing. Is this simply because they are not affiliated with the music industry and don’t understand how important the creation of a song impacts their lives? Is it because they think just anyone can create a song and therefore no one deserves to be paid to create a song? With the emergence of shows such as American Idol, The Voice and etc. are people simply blind to the fact that the songs sung on those shows are the products of hard work, imagination and talent of a professional songwriter? Or do they think, anyone can write a song?
Should the creative minds who write books, plays, movies and etc. be paid for their works?
Should artists be paid for their paintings, drawings, sculptures and etc.?
Should those who invent new products such as iPhones, computers and etc. not be paid for their creativity?
There is absolutely no difference in those creative minds and those who create the music that becomes the soundtrack to our lives.
Without songs, movies would simply be “talkies” with no background music. Without music, you couldn’t dance your first dance? You couldn’t sing praises.
My good friend, Liz Hengber recently posted:
My #1 song with Andy Griggs “She’s More” was played on Pandora
412,78 times. My take home pay for that on my Statement is $10.54.
Seriously….. I’m laughing because it exhausts me to cry.
Is not the talent, the expression, the creativity, the melodies, the rhymes and beauty of a song worth more than nothing?