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The Weekly: Lazy Abundance And Making Music For Free

Developer Chris Randall has restarted his vlog on the Analog Industries YouTube channel. I rarely feature vlogs here, but this one brings up some interesting points and an even more interesting question.

"The value of music is already less than the cost to make it." This premise launches a consideration in to all of the factors that have brought us to this point. Today people sink thousands of dollars into gear and software, but never see a return on that investment. Chris asks if you get enough from the creation of free music to justify that expense, or at least be satisfied with this norm.

I personally started making music a year after Napster was a thing. As a consequence; at no point in my entire life have I even fantasized about making money from my music.

Video Description:

Back to the weekly vlogging slog! In this episode, I have some Thoughts about how it's essentially impossible (or at least highly improbable) to make music that pays for its own creation.

The RIAA site I mention: https://www.riaa.com/u-s-sales-database/

Social Media:
Patreon - http://www.patreon.com/chrisrandall
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/chris_randall
Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/chris.randall

July 09, 2019  | person_outline Tim Webb
I think about this often and I always come back to the same place.

I currently have tens of thousands of dollars wrapped up in music related gear (it adds up really quick!!!) I make rhythmic noise as a personal hobby, but I never say no to being paid for creative projects on those rarified occasions that somebody will let me do what I do and pay me for it.
He made that point about passive consumption of music-- which is related to his question about "it all being worth it".

You can put various listening and playing activities on a continuum of passive-to-active:

stuck in a public place, muzak playing (you have no influence)
you choose a radio station (they play what they want)
pandora your fave band (they play what they want)
you purchase your media (what you want)
you mix/play 3rd party loops (more of what you want)
you play an instrument (more expressive still)
you build your own instrument (active!)
you invent, design, build an original instrument, compose your own music, devise your own tuning system, etc.

I have this one life. I want to have rich experiences, be kind, help people, have friends, make the world a better place.

I spend too much on gear & software. I will be broke when I retire. Oh. And probably deaf, too (though I try to protect my hearing)
I’ve never expected to make money out of this hobby either. Doesn’t make me stop wishing I could. Doesn’t stop me wanting to buy gear to play with.

This is a problem with much of the arts. No one wants to pay for stuff they think has no monetary value. Art is not respected. It’s considered a commodity or a thing to “share” freely.
July 09, 2019  | person dysamoria
I create music because I enjoy the activity, especially exploring various musical ideas. I would be surprised if there were ever a group of people who ever wanted to listen to me though it would be nice to collaborate with others at some point. I hope there are enough people invested in music creation to support the people who develop these tools for us.
There are some artists for which I am an official fan: Imogen Heap, Rubblebucket, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Todd Rundgren, etc. etc. And those artists do get my money. I buy their recordings, and sometimes even go see their shows.

I get paid to teach lessons, play at a local dinner theater, perform with a couple local bands. I can pay my bills, buy some gear. I kinda break even. Yea, it's gonna be bleak when I "retire".
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