What has changed since you started out?
I’ve been making music for close to 25 years now, so I bet I’ve seen more changes that almost any period in recent history. From tapes to CDs to downloads to streaming, I’ve been making music through all of it. Some good changes, some bad.
I would say audiences aren’t as willing to take a leap of faith and go see a random band they don’t know as much as they used to be. Now you can just look up a venue, see who’s coming and literally check out every song they’ve ever put out. Problem is some bands are much better live than recorded. I’ve seen many bands I would probably never listen to at home, but the live experience is so great.
Also, the obvious answer is that’s it’s really hard to make much money from streaming. I retired from playing live a couple years ago and now entirely focus on recording. What used to be selling 500 CD’s, you’d make around $5,000, then it was 500 album downloads you’d make maybe $3,500. Now you could have 5000 song streams and be lucky to get $25-50. That’s a ridiculous drop-off in revenue.
On the positive side, it is the easiest and cheapest time in history to record at home. So an artist like me, that doesn’t play live anymore, has far less overhead than the old days when you’d spend $10-15,000 to record and press CD’s.