About fifteen years ago, Beth told me it was time to put my own thoughts and themes to music. As a result we now have about 10 songs for which we do not have to pay royalties when using them. Eight songs are available for sale or streaming on sites such as Amazon and Apple. During the last year and a half, one of these songs A Very Silent Night took off and has racked up tens of thousands of streams.
A Very Silent Night is an easy listening re-make of the traditional Silent Night or perhaps it is better to say it is a lullaby loosely based on the classic Christmas carol. The two songs are not comparable stylistically and the listener is not disappointed to listen to one after the other. I hope to one day hear a children’s choir or a boys choir sing A Very Silent Night. That is definitely a wish I would wish if a big, blue Will Smith crawled out of a genie’s bottle to grant me my heart’s desire.
For now though, I am rejoicing because of something I received in my inbox a week ago… it was notification that after ten years, my online music manager, CDBaby.com, was going to be making a deposit into my checking account for fifty dollars and forty-five cents. Of this $50.45 deposit, A Very Silent Night accounted for almost $35. You heard me… $35! After being listened to by over 65,000 people, my cut was $35. If just 55 of these people had gone to Amazon and downloaded the MP3 file of the song, I probably would have earned just as much. Is it any wonder that the Queen of Stream, Taylor Swift, just five years ago did not release her album Reputation to streaming until she had sold enough vinyl to cover her cost. Who can blame her? A single song and video may cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars to make if not more. Her actions also caused Apple Music and others to figuratively come crawling to her on their hands and knees begging to renegotiate.
So it may be unimpressive to many that a full-time missionary with a music hobby scores his first royalty check after ten years of streaming. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift are impressively racking up streams by the billions, but I am not dismayed in the least. Last week at the age of 58, I finally became a professional music streamer… and in another ten years I might even get another $50 check