Is There Ethical Music Streaming Under Capitalism?

This March, the livelihoods of independent musicians went from unsustainable to dire in less than a week. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, bands like the Philadelphia-based Mannequin Pussy were forced to cancel tours, a primary source of income for many DIY musicians. “This is not only financially devastating but so emotional as well,” the band said succinctly on Instagram. “Playing shows and making music is our life and having the rug pulled out on our livelihoods is hard to process.” They were only one of countless bands forced into the same position. Many lost not just their source of income playing shows and selling merch on tour, but their side hustles dried up, too, when restaurants and bars closed indefinitely…


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