- Go to all their gigs on a world tour
- Go see them live at least once each tour
- Buy some merchandise at a gig (T-shirts, mugs etc.)
- Buy the CD
- Buy the mp3 downloads
- Stream on Spotify or other site recognized by the PRS
Each of these provides some cash for the band. The best option is of course to do all of the above: go see the band live, buy the merch, buy the limited edition gold-trimmed CD boxsets and all the CD singles, buy the mp3s for your mobile, but store all that away and only listen to the actual music via a streaming site such as Spotify or We7.
All of these options give a one-off payment to the artist, except for streaming on Spotify which provides a continuous (albeit small) revenue stream. At some point, you will be contributing more to the artist by listening via Spotify than by buying an mp3. Assuming of course you listen to your favourite band frequently on Spotify, the micropayments could eventually all add up. This may sound counter-intuitive, but consider this: if you were in a band, would you prefer a fan gave you a one-off payment of £10 right now, or gave you say 20 pence a week, every week, forever?
Of course, you could always still steal the music via filesharing: obviously the band won’t see any direct revenue from this, but it could be argued that before Spotify came along, this was the best way to discover new bands who you might then go on to see live or buy a CD from in the future.