Mick jagger says that record labels no longer pay money to artists (and only did for 25 years) http://bit.ly/cVWDuY
The article has a lot of background to the Stones, the Exile on Main Street album and his thoughts on Internet distribution:
I’m talking about the internet.
But that’s just one facet of the technology of music. Music has been aligned with technology for a long time. The model of records and record selling is a very complex subject and quite boring, to be honest.
Well, it’s all changed in the last couple of years. We’ve gone through a period where everyone downloaded everything for nothing and we’ve gone into a grey period it’s much easier to pay for things – assuming you’ve got any money.
His comments about record labels and their “support” for artists are much more interesting:
I am quite relaxed about it. But, you know, it is a massive change and it does alter the fact that people don’t make as much money out of records.
But I have a take on that – people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When The Rolling Stones started out, we didn’t make any money out of records because record companies wouldn’t pay you! They didn’t pay anyone!
Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone.
So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the time they didn’t.