Nonstop gigging and the pressure to produce are also contributing to the genre’s artistic decline

Damon Krukowski’s sobering analysis of how little recording artists make from streaming their music under current royalty rates — to wit, he says that his former band, Galaxie 500, would need to rack up 13 million streams to make the same profit they did selling just 1,000 7-inches, back in 1988 — has generated plenty of reactions, both positive and negative. Among the critical responses is the hoary argument that musicians need to suck it up and adapt with the times — specifically, by taking their show on the road. If the only money left on the table is to go to touring acts, then musicians just need to get off the couch and go play some shows, right?

Former Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston has written a cogent takedown of this attitude, but one point in particular sticks out: “Playing live only really ‘works’ as a revenue model (let alone a constant one) for certain types of acts.”

Read the rest of the article at SPIN.