Luke Combs Suggests The “Streaming Era” Has Made Songwriters The Forgotten People Of The Industry

luke combs
The Pat McAfee Show

While Luke Combs stopped by The Pat McAfee Show to talk about his torturous Carolina Panther fandom, he also dropped some knowledge on the current state of the music industry.

Gone are the days of buying full albums. The introduction of iTunes put that trend on life support, but the invention of streaming music officially killed it. Vinyl is back, but it’s easy to see from a consumer perspective, and it’s no secret for the artists that are making the music, they get added exposure.

The “Beautiful Crazy” singer took a moment to peel back the curtain on the industry as the ESPN show asked some questions about his career and country music in general. Combs was asked how he’s crafted his songwriting ability over the years, and the country star suggested that it’s helpful to have multiple minds working together:

“I think it’s like anything, right? If you want to be great… there’s a lot of people that write by themselves, and nothing against that. But I try to lean on the people that are around me. I really spend a lot of time writing with people who mean a lot to me, that I have personal friendships with.

It’s not just a working relationship. We’re friends, we can get together and write a song or we can get together and go fishing or ride around or go turkey hunting or go to a football game. I think to me, that’s important.”

Luke Combs then went on to speak on the state of the not only country music, but the music industry as a whole. He suggested that the way people consume music nowadays has inadvertently consumed, or weeded out, a lot of the people that used to be the backbone of making it.

The former CMA Entertainer of the Year called out the music streaming service era as one of the biggest culprits of the decline in songwriting and songwriters:

“Songwriters are kind of the forgotten people of our industry, which is a shame. Because really, they are the heartbeat of our industry. In today’s day and age, the streaming era has really limited what a songwriter can make.

Even the songwriters that have the biggest careers you could imagine are, to some extent, struggling these days.”

He got into a little math, and how ’90s era songwriters could pull high six figures or even a million for an album cut, but now, you’re lucky if an album cut pays a thousand bucks. All in all, Combs made a couple of great points, and was able to shed light on an industry from the point of view of someone that luckily made it to the top.

It’s not as easy, or at least as linear, as it once was, especially for those who consider themselves songwriters.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock