Fame, What’s there to lose? Not everyone can be Taylor Swift.

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Lua Rosado Perez, Staff Reporter

Everyone wishes to be a famous celebrity once in their life. No one ever seems to realize what these people have to go through to get their work noticed and listened to. Even then, artists never really get what they deserve in the end. Many artists end up not owning their own music nor getting paid for the music they release. The musical artists we listen to everyday may be applying for bankruptcy the next day. Your music could be listened to worldwide but in this race for money in every industry there might not be enough to go around. 

The most popular musicians have struggles getting what they deserve for the music they release. Along with suffering abuse in the music industry, to put it simply, artists get taken advantage of. Record labels have taken the majority rights of their songs and can’t decide when they want to release their own music. A real-life example could be Prince, signed under Warner Bros, his label limited him to one release a year. Under the contract he signed under when he was 19, he couldn’t even own the master rights to his own music. Another artist that had been financially, mentally, and sexually abused during her contract with her producer, Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, Kesha. For over 10 years, Kesha had been abused. Kesha had to admit herself to a rehab center for an eating disorder she developed while under that contract. Kesha signed to his label when she was 17 and is still under contract and trying to leave his label at the age of 35. 

Many streaming services also already put musicians at a disadvantage. Every deal with each streaming service could be different. With new artists, it’s particularly difficult to earn money from these apps. Musicians can take from 45% to 100% of the total payout. Artists earn a percentage of a cent from every stream on their song from Spotify. Streams aren’t even the way artists on Spotify get paid but by “Streamshares”. A singer can have 14k streams on a song in a few weeks of release but only earn $5. Artists that are staring out won’t make it on Spotify as you can barely earn a minimum wage. Spotify never pays the musicians directly but the rights holders, who pay the artists. Rights holders are the artists’ licensors, who upload their music to Spotify. Two-thirds of revenue goes to these rights holders. Depending on the contracts they have with their rights holders that’s what artists are paid. Different streaming services have different earnings for artists’ streams. Apple Music pays $0.01 per play and calculates royalties on a basis of streamshares like Spotify.

The music industry is just like any other. One that only has money as their main interest. Artists are held at a disadvantage when they sign a contract when they’re a young age. The life may seem lavish as you’re having people listen to your music and getting noticed for your talent but what you might be having to do or what rights you might have to fight for behind closed doors could change your mind.