Translation of "Let me break down exactly how we’ve screwed over creative people."

Jon Westenberg, “Let me break down exactly how we’ve screwed over creative people.”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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And so now we look at creative work as something that should be free, or close to it. Hey, stuff on YouTube & Medium is “free” so why pay?

For example: I started using micropayments recently to charge 10 cents for some articles on the Creatomic Wordpress. I got 5 emails calling me out for caring about money. People thought I was a sell out for charging $0.10 for articles nobody was forcing them to read.

People don’t want to pay for content. They want to consume it for free, or monetise it for themselves.

There’s never been a greater sense of people feeling entitled to your creative work than there is right now.

And in that entitlement, respect for creative work is vanishing.

If you tell people you’re an artist, they’ll tell you that’s not much of a career path and you should get a real job.

If you tell people you’re building a tech startup platform for artists, they’ll be impressed and want to hear more.

Sure, there’s some good people out there. The folks who built Patreon for writers and artists. Bandcamp for musicians. But how many people actually pay using those platforms? Certainly, they’re not the average punter.

Or, put it this way. How many people could tell you how much money they’ve given to their favourite artists or writers or creators? Not to platforms, not to businesses, to actual creatives?

To put it on a macro scale. Nicki Minaj, for example, has 77,000,000 Instagram followers consuming her free social content.

77,000,000 followers, and her last album sold 800,000 copies.

That means that barely 1% of her followers actually purchased an album. The rest? Streaming it, YouTubing it, just following without buying.

If a mega star like Nicki Minaj has a conversion rate that low for actual sales, what does that mean for indie creators?

Some folks are going to point out that people don’t buy albums anymore, they stream them. Sure. In 2015, Drake made $15,000,000 from Spotify streaming. Nice cash right? Yes, but it took close to 2 billion streams to make that.

I’m not saying you have to feel sorry for Nicki Minaj and Drake. I’m just saying that once you reduce those numbers down to the indie level, how do you think they look? Hint — nowhere near as healthy. Maybe $0.00084 a stream.

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