The music industry is notorious for short-changing artists. In what has become an all-too-familiar story, a musician creates a song that shapes culture, only to have distributors and middlemen profit from their talent, leaving the original creator with few, if any, royalties. Taylor Swift, indie bands, rappers from the East Coast to the West: It seems as though every artist is destined to fall into the same trap from the same vested interest groups. While streaming services were intended to democratize the industry, allowing talent to explode without gatekeepers, artists still see few royalties from the value they create – essentially functioning as “content creators” for tech platforms, in exchange for distribution privileges.
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