It's no secret that being a musician in the age of streaming can be difficult, but very few musicians actually break down just how hard it can be to make a living. That's why Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel took to Facebook this week to give people a "peek behind the curtain" of what's really going on.
In a lengthy post published on Tuesday, which has now been shared by over 2,400 people, Michel opens up about some of the finances and math behind his income. He notes that his album sales have dropped by 95% this year as a result of music streaming services. He also adds that he has never worried about his financial stability till this year. In an act of complete transparency, he uses his song "Purgatory Cove" from his latest album, White & Gold, as an example of how little one track earns now. "This song has been in the TOP 20 charts (CBC Radio 2 & 3) for 10 weeks, climbed to #3. In 2018 that equals $44.99 in sales."
"I'm not alone," he continues, illustrating how changes in the music industry have hit virtually every working musician in some way. "As a result, bands/musicians are downsizing, recording at home, cutting corners wherever they can [...] And with every band in the world back on the road, venues are clogged and ticket prices have tripled. For me it means being away from home and taking on more work than I ever have."
Michel goes on to reference a study that says "24% of musical professionals indicated they were considering leaving the music industry." He says he believes that number is actually higher than reported. "Over the last few months, I've spoken to many brilliant life-long musicians (some you know) who are quietly beginning their exit strategy," he explains. "I fear musicians are reluctant to admit any of this because so much of this industry is perception."
He concludes by telling fans not to feel sorry for him. Rather, he is warning music lovers of a big shift that might be on the horizon. "Music fans deserve to know how this all works and why artists they love may soon be gone."