I am not at all surprised by the almost non-existent money artists are receiving from royalties, especially from online radio like Pandora or Spotify. I believe it is important to note, which the article does, that these online radios are dishing out 70% of revenue…
this change is highly dependent upon the consumer. just like many other consumable products, the big names that earn from those products don’t want their consumers to know they are being swindled out of good products. yes, you will get what you paid for - auto-tuned, tasteless drivel that all sounds the same (seriously, why do Rhianna, Britanny Spears, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, etc. all sound EXACTLY the same? think about it…) - but that’s because YOU the consumer continued to pay for it.
think about this. it is the same for other products in your life. the reason McDonalds, Taco Bell, Hardees, or (insert generic fast food chain here) can sell so much product that hold little to no nutritional value as such a low cost is that they cut corners. they don’t give us the best beef… that would cost more than a DOLLAR. in this case, you pay for what you get, and the mass production hurts our life expectancy…
music (nor most other art forms) won’t literally kill you when you make a decision to buy/support mass produced product by the big labels (or small labels OWNED by the big labels… DO YOUR RESEARCH) but your decision to buy from these sources affects what art CAN be produced.
when an artist gives you the option to buy music directly from them, DO SO. for example, it’s understandable that iTunes takes money from the artist for distribution. but this option only does any good for general artist to use when they can’t get the music out to potential fans ANY OTHER WAY. If an artist has figured out a way to get music out to fans on a more direct level, be a smart consumer and refrain from asking, “Can i just get this on iTunes?”
you’re not an idiot. you know what mp3s are. you know how to put them into iTunes from a folder you downloaded. come on.
tl:dr We are all consumers… even us creators. Choose to be a smart consumer.