You may remember Lera Lynn from an earlier post I shared with you a few months ago. She contacted me recently about the new record she's producing called The Avenues, and also about how I can help to get the project finished. I don't pretend to know the ins-and-outs of the music industry, but it's not difficult to see that many independent artists have a difficult road ahead to make their careers financially sustainable.
I can't speak for Lera Lynn, but I can tell you my side of the story. As an independent author, I've gotten a taste of how difficult it can be to make a buck on something I poured hours into. Several other writers I'm close with have found a measure of financial success but are still short of seeing writing as a viable long-term option. The return-on-investment simply isn't there. I'm proud to be an independent author, and I don't regret pursuing this. I don't regret it because it's helped me see the artistic transition we're in the midst of. The devaluation of art, whether it be in the form of music, literature, canvas, or film. The expectation of free content has become a burden to those whose make it all possible.
With the rise of YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, the opportunities for artists of all kinds to get noticed have increased although little argument can be made that the artists are adequately compensated directly. Specifically, the streaming music business model is broken to the point that Pandora has spent $500,000 on lobbyists and is currently trying to argue down the royalties they pay out to the very artists who make their business possible. Perhaps there is validity to the argument that they are allowing artists to be discovered, but in doing so they've drastically cut the record sales revenue stream. They're trying to cut it again.
I've discovered and enjoyed many music artists on Pandora and Spotify but recently I've made the decision to go to the artist websites, read about them, and buy their album. It's a great opportunity to support the artist and also gift the album to a friend. It's the least I can do for an artist whose words and music provide me with inspiration.
What can I do to help Lera Lynn? I'm asking you to join me in supporting her through her Pledge Music page. She's got some fantastic incentives, and honestly, it's very difficult to choose which to settle on. Find one that works for you. I know she'll appreciate it, and you will too when you hear her new record that you helped make possible. In the past year I've resolved to leave the habit of consuming and instead begin giving back and creating. I've found happiness in it, and I hope you'll join me.