Every time I see some down-on-his-luck independent musician ranting about how nobody wants to pay for music anymore, and how it’s hurting their livelihood as well as the labels, and why are people such cheap bastards who won’t pay me, and blah blah blah, it makes me very angry.
Yeah, I feel your pain, guys. People don’t pay for movies anymore either, and if they did I’d have a clear-cut business plan that anyone could understand, and I’d be rolling in investment money by now and going full speed ahead on a bajillion-dollar live-action-CGI-blend-extravaganza about space pirates or something. But that’s just not the way the world works anymore.
Now, I understand the need for a coping mechanism. Blame the cheap bastards who just want to download all of your hard work that you worked so hard on for weeks and months and years. Maybe they’ve got a point when they say the big record companies shouldn’t keep making money, but you, nooooo, you’re indie! You make less money than a part-time fry cook at McDonald’s, and if people steal from you, then they’re bad, bad people! You deserve to be paid for your hard work!
No you don’t. You’re indulging in your own creative vision; nobody asked you to, and you’re not providing a service to anybody. You are creating all the pretty music in your head because you feel like it, and you are not inherently entitled to anybody’s appreciation and certainly not monetary compensation.
If you’re good, though, and people like your music, then you don’t have to tell them that you deserve to be paid for it, because they know. They’re your fans now, and they’d love to throw money at you.
So, I’m sorry to break it to you, impoverished indie musician, but if you’re not making money from your music, then you’re either not good enough or you haven’t put a god damn PayPal button on your website.