The market for music is correcting from a time when publishers acted as artificial hit-makers and rent-seekers and imposed a monopoly on the distribution of music, and a small select group of artists got rich in the process (and we all paid many times over for the same content as formats changed).
It "corrected" too far for a while with piracy, that exploded as a reaction to a bad market, but now with Apple Music, Spotify and other subscription services, we have achieved "better than free" for those of us who are willing to pay a fair price for a good service.
Today's system may pay less at the top (and in the middle) but it pays out to way more people overall who can now more realistically make a living as musicians.
Speaking only anecdotally, I personally know of 3 bands who now make enough money with digital royalties + occasional touring to live a "typically middle-class lifestyle".
They would never have been able to do this back in the major labels + physical distribution days..
I guess to bring this back on-topic, I think there would be a market for someone to provide intuitive, personalized and multi-source access to high-quality news articles and investigative journalism..
"If you’re trying to live off your Spotify spins, stop it right now.
Taylor Swift makes $400,000 off Spotify in a weekend. But nearly everyone else making bubkes. Which means if you’re hoping to making streaming your breadwinner, you’re probably snacking on crumbs."
I would hazard that, for the corporations that manufacture Taylor Swift, $400k is bubkes too.
Over the past 5 years, I paid ~$500 for streaming subscriptions. It is incredibly unlikely that I would have bought $500 worth of albums in this time period. This is money that would have been left on the table.
What does half a cent per stream mean in this context? Half a cent per single song play? Per album play? How many cents do you pay per play to the artist for a song that you bought, instead of streamed?
After $100 registration per album, on CDBaby, the artist receives 100% of the receipt. Bandcamp takes 15%. So, yes, there are ways to buy music in which an artist receives the money: we just don't choose to buy albums because streaming is cheaper and more convenient. But don't fool yourself: virtually none of the $500 you paid went to support the artists or further their work.
Over the course of 3 months (the last month had a whole 30 streams, so mostly ignoring it):
2 albums and 42 songs sold - $57.42
4.3 million songs streamed - $5077.87
The real take-away: All that streaming isn't translating into digital album/song sales.