Compensate Musicians Fairly: We Demand It Now! #FairPay4Music

Musicians, it’s time we started demanding just compensation for our life’s work! Another case of “musicians being asked to play for exposure” has come to my attention. Ex Cop, a punk duo featuring Amalie Bruun and Brian Harding, was asked by the McDonalds corporation to play at their SXSW stage “for the exposure only,” and with no compensation whatsoever. McD’s is a mega corporation with a net worth of $97 billion – that’s billion with a B – and they can’t scrape together just compensation for artists? This arrogance blows my mind. When did it become OK to rip off musicians? ex-cops-300x169 It’s not the first time this has happened. Bruno Mars wasn’t paid a dime when he performed at the 2014 Super Bowl. In fact, the NFL floated the idea of having HIM pay THEM to play in order to cover their cost for the multimillion dollar broadcast extravaganza. They suggested he compensate them in a number of creative and self-serving ways, including taking a percentage of his record sales and/or tour receipts. Musicians, we must unite through social media to call out corporations, bars, club owners and venues who attempt to take advantage of us. We can use the power of social media and the power of the purse to make a difference. Let’s take a page from the LGBTQ community and boycott businesses who treat musicians unfairly. I, for one, will not patronize McDonalds until they make a change. We are not powerless to demand to be treated fairly. The power of the purse will make a difference! Let’s also stop racing to the bottom with streaming services who pay fractions of a cent and rip off artists at every turn. Check out compensation models below in a slide taken from a presentation I recently gave with Anderson Jones PR on marketing your music online. (Click the image to view full presentation). Please use this as a guide to put your music on services that compensate you fairly. how-to-promote-your-music-online-a-social-media-guide-for-the-musician-10-1024 Let’s wise up and claim our power to make a difference! Let’s start a hashtag campaign to call attention to abuses in the industry. Tweet #fairpay4music if you agree.

11 thoughts on “Compensate Musicians Fairly: We Demand It Now! #FairPay4Music

  1. I have nearly 5,000 selective friends on FB and receive many compliments about my music, however, my CD sales do not reflect these compliments and I’m wondering when there will be a better way to make my music available to purchase via download? Also, why are some celebs against Pandora?

    • I can address that from a certain point of view…I have a couple of friends who are very popular, in the worldwide sense, I have seen their Pandora royalty statements and although no one is expecting to get rich, they should be doing much better…Using ASCAP payouts as a rough model. I think that is one reason anyway…

    • Pandora pays .003 cents per stream. Not very good. It’s less than Spotify.

    • Pandora only pays .003 cents per stream, even less than Spotify. Not good.

  2. Hi David,
    I really understand the frustration. But as long as there are artists who will perform for exposure only, this “problem” won’t be solved. And there always will be some. To be honest: I would do it myself and I would be thrilled. See an artist as an entrepreneur. It is business, you know. What does advertising cost? How many people do you reach? See it that way and the McD-offer is completely out of balance. A one-in-a-life-time deal for the musicians. And the other example, Bruno Mars. We all know where he stands now.

    • Fantastic Hans! So how long will room and board for us last at your house when we start paying you in our exposure or the years?….I haven’t done anything like play for free for over 30 years, but hey…back in the day I am sure I have a year or twos worth…

    • McDonalds and the NFL can afford to pay musicians, they just don’t want to. They have learned musicians will sometimes play for free, if asked. We need to change this perception. We need to make it uncool to not pay musicians. This can be done through social media and the press.

    • Why don’t the football players perform for just the exposure till some benevolent GM decides to pony up…..or is that what they already do in NCAA? Forms of slavery still abound.

      ‘Exposure’ seldom translates into tangible/meaningful compensation for the average artist. If you’re talking about winning the lottery i.e. a Bruno Mars then why not play one of countless available lotteries – your odds are probably better.

      BTW: People die from exposure.


  3. Pingback: Compensate Musicians Fairly: We Demand It Now! #FairPay4Music | EMR Records Stars of 2013

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