I've recently contracted Meniere's disease which has robbed me of my hearing, and so doing live gigs to earn a living has been impossible. they say it will eventually cure itself, but as there's no known cause and no sure fire cure I just have to live with it, and wait for it to clear of it's own accord. From day to day it fluctuates, some days I can barely hear anything, next day, I may hear at about 50%, but with bad tinnitus. On very occasional days my hearing will return to almost normal and I think it's gone away and cured itself only to wake the next morning to find myself plunged back into the world of almost silence.
As a working musician this makes playing live gigs impossible so that's my lively hood on hold unless of course I could sell the music I have recorded online. I've have albums on apple itunes, and also on a site called bandcamp. The big problem is of course marketing, when there's millions of other artists and bands trying to do the same thing, how on earth do you cut through all this and reach fans that may buy my music. I'm with tunecore which posts my songs to spotify and other streaming stations but the earnings here are pitiful, 0.03 cents for one play is not going to pay the bills. On another site called bandcamp fans can download my album for nothing or pay what they like. Someone once paid me almost $15 for my album, One life to live, which was recorded with some friends and we called ourselves The Beat Combo, in fact that little team made an album back in 2008 that is also available on both sites but I'm afraid both albums have sold less than 20 songs from both albums. It's not they're duff albums, both are joyfull and well recorded with some class songs on both.
So in the world of instant access, it's still all about marketing. Sell your songs to millions of fans world wide says the tunecore ads and keep 100% of the royalties, all for a one off payment of $29-95. Sounds too good to be true, and in the end it is. Some are probably doing great business with this new model music industry, but I'm not and I wonder how many more of us have signed up, payed the fee and have made less in a year than the fee to join in this new internet game.
I'm not saying that it isn't possible, but wading through all the marketing stratagies that are bound to make it all happen is overwhelming, and so I've been happy to continue in the old fashioned way of going out there and playing live, and selling a few albums at the end of the gig. But since contracting Meniere's this has been impossible so I'm going to have another push at online sales until this dreadful affliction, especially for a working musician goes into remission and I can get back on the road.