However what I found most interesting was that the first two comments beneath the article related to music piracy. The first suggested that a good way to make money was to sue music pirates! The second comment stated that "Music has to be locked in virtual walls and monetized at the discovery moment. Beyond discovery point music is a public domain and monetization is nearly impossible".
This I thought was an interesting concept. It suggests that music loses its value - monetarily at least - after the point it is discovered as people consider it public domain.
This is in part why I created my business, Need For Keys. I recognised that posting my songs to Bandcamp and promoting them would not draw me much income without significant support from an existing fanbase or through massive and ongoing effort in promotion to build that fanbase. To me, music quickly became a business rather than an enjoyable artform, unless I changed my approach to it.
As a result, I focused on offering something to the world which no one else could. Myself. I was no longer competing within genres on countless music streaming or download services. I was no longer competing with large corporate stock audio libraries to have my music used in film, games, television, or elsewhere.
I was no longer competing.
And what a freeing feeling that is. I stood up from the piano to walk over and write this blog. I didn't neglect the very instrument I'm trying to spend more time playing, in efforts of promoting that I can play it.
So how do musicians make money in the digital age? Well, as the aforementioned article (and many others) attest, there are countless ways. So often, however, the degree of money to be made via these methods comes down to your commitment to being away from the actual craft of playing. Striking a balance is important, so you remain passionate about what you do without getting sucked into a whirlpool of endless digital promotion.
It reminds me of some of the quotes towards the end of the documentary Before The Music Dies, most notably from Dave Matthews and also Hubert Sumlin - skip forward to 2m 50s.