The Pew Research Center has released results from its study of musicians’ attitudes towards file sharing, and the numbers don’t surprise. Artists are split between folks (like Don Henley and Metallica) who believe file swapping needs to be stopped now, and others (like Moby) who concede that it’s a necessary evil in order to grow an audience.
Not much different from what I see anecdotally: artists who have been working for over ten years, who actually do see a chunk of revenue from album sales, are obviously upset. But newer working musicians, who haven’t had the same opportunity to sign favorable record deals, who understand that earnings from those sales are effectively moot in today’s market, are eager to see their material spread through P2P.
In the end, the audience is still the decision-maker here, and they seem to be voting with their feet (or mouse-clicks, anyway).