Here’s the terrifying thing about the state of music in 2024 (from The Verge):

“The tech industry’s introduction of MP3 slowly felled major retailers. Behemoth music stores went belly-up in the 2000s: Tower Records, Virgin Megastores, and Sam Goody. FYE bought up the rest. Ads from those retailers vanished, too.”

Like, that happened 20+ years ago and we’re still recovering. All the music knowledge, the time we spent going to those stores, the jobs that were cut and lost… the digitization of music is an atomic bomb that I don’t think we’ve recovered from.

Back when we paid $16 for a CD, yes, music review sites were crucial. And of course, yes, music critics are of course needed, but they’re not valued (as we can see).

There was a time you could write for an online outlet and make a few bucks. There was also a time when you could write for a newspaper and pay the rent.

Ernest Hemingway was paid $1 a word in 1936. That’s more than $21 per word in today’s dollars. The maximum I was ever paid to write for a glossy magazine in print was $2/word, in 2021. No one (and I really mean no one) in media makes $21/word. That compensation just doesn’t exist. 

That’s from Defector (above).

When I ran Noisecreep in 2008 we were paying writers $50 a post.

A few years later, I was writing posts for $5 a post.

Now Yahoo for Creators isn’t even paying per post, but they “offer a competitive 50/50 ad revenue share from ad placements in your articles as well as e-commerce benefits like affiliate revenue share.”

CPM display ad placements. On blog posts. It’s 2005 all over again.