Music Is Not Free
If that title caught you a bit by surprise then I have your attention. I understand that many of you may not know that music isn't free and some of you may disagree. Disagree all you want but it's the truth. Once upon a time, musicians could make a living from music but now they can't. Digital streaming killed the music business for musicians. In previous posts, I have written about the actual numbers that affect the music makers. Go check them out.
The places that think that music is free the most are the many businesses and venues that play music during business hours and hire musicians to play at their venues. Not only are the musicians supposed to get paid for their performance, but they are also entitled to a Performance Royalty for their music to be played in a public space. Through Performing Rights Organizations (PRO) these royalties are collected and distributed to the songwriters. If the business or venue is not registered with the PRO, then they will be when they come knocking for the royalties.
It does not cost a lot of money to get these licences. They are necessary because if a city wishes to attract great talent, then this is what needs to be done. I'm not talking about the big stars who make millions (or hundreds of thousands of dollars on performing), I'm talking about the little guy - like myself. We are out there trying to just make a living doing what we love to do. Streaming does not pay the bills. Getting our performance royalties helps.
Why wouldn't you want to support a musician properly to make sure they get what the law says they are entitled to? There is a lot of talk about supporting the arts but it takes a solid commitment like this to make back that up. As the saying goes, put your money where your mouth is.