5 Reasons People Should Pay For Music

by Marty Dodson
Jun 2, 2016

As the music economy continues to move toward a streaming based model, people are drifting rapidly toward the idea that music should be free. I think it’s vital to remind ourselves (And our friends) from time to time WHY it is important to pay for music:

1) For my song to get out to the public, I have to demo it. A conservative estimate of the cost of that demo is $800. I make approximately 9 cents per sale of the song. So, I need 8,888 people to buy the song before I even cover the cost of my demo.

2) When people stream music, I make in the neighborhood of .001 cents per stream. At that rate, I need 800,000 people to stream it before I cover the cost of my demo.

3) Musicians and songwriters have families they are trying to feed. Many people point to wealthy artists and say “They don’t need or deserve my money.” That is like saying “Walmart is owned by billionaires so I should be able to take whatever I want from Walmart without paying”. But, that’s not the point. Songwriters deserve to be compensated for their work. If they aren’t compensated at a reasonable level, they will quit writing songs. Less songs being created means less great songs.

4) It takes a large quantity of songs to create several masterpieces. While I’m spending years and thousands of dollars trying to get my music recorded, I’m making nothing in return. When I finally do get that one hit, I’m having to pay for all of the demos and all of the hours spent without any compensation. My first hit song was downloaded for free (illegally) by over 10,000 people before it even hit the stores. It was great to know that people loved my song, but disheartening that they didn’t even find it worth 99 cents.

5) It’s the right thing to do. People know it’s not right to take something from a store without paying for it. But, many think nothing of taking a song without paying. A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into the creation and recording of a hit song. That music that makes you laugh, cry, sing along, or drive a little faster was born out of passion and hard work. For less than half a cup of Starbucks coffee, you can give the writers 9 cents (all the writers share the 9 cents BTW) and compensate everyone else involved in making that music for the joy that the song brings you.

That’s not a lot to ask. Feel free to share this blog and spread the message!

Marty Dodson


Co-Founder Songtown Songwriter/Producer/Music Lover

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi #1 songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing


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