I tend to get sucked into news article that predict doom and gloom for the music industry. ASCAP, my PRO, now sends email blast everyday, that is very high on the doom and gloom meeter. Today there was a link to this article. The basics are that everyone in the biz is having second thoughts of a per track economic model. I believe the exact quote is "Death Knell To Artists?" It's interesting that the focus is on the artist and not everyone else involved in the music business, I'd say it's the;
Death Knell to A&R
Death Knell to R.O.R. radio
Death Knell to CD Manufacturers
Death Knell to Over Produced Acts That Don't Tour
But is the sky falling, for the artist?
Hell no! The acts that have had the major's massive advertising dominance should and are crying.
100 years ago with the dawn of radio and 60 years ago with the advent or major manufacturing of vinyl, there were major shifts in how music was sold. The amount of money made was more but the amount paid to the artist was dispersed to a great many more people.
Music will be fine, musicians will be fine. After all, they write music and there is little that they need to do so. It's everyone else in the business that has their necks on the line. More artist will make more money directly from the fan. I'll even say there will always be the mega artist, fueled by Entertainment Tonight and tabloid-supermarket rags (they can't exist without each other) But more exciting will be the re-emergence of seemingly lost markets, live-regional acts, might just exist again and make more money...probably enough to live well on.
Just don't be fooled, the sky has fallen on the music business before and it always survives.