In other words, the fortunes of musicians track the rest of the economy. In the first half of the century life was hard. In the post war boom, it got a lot easier. Musicians, recording engineers, etc. are members of the working/middle class, whose incomes have been effectively falling relative to the cost of living for 30 years now. And since your customers are in the same boat...A BRIEF HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE -- GO ON AND SKIP IT IF YOU WANT--
For the first half of the 20th century, music was usually a brutal way to make a living, financially speaking (as were a lot of other useful trades -- factory worker, school teacher, etc.). The money was in live performance (including live radio) because records usually didn't sell that much.
Record sales rose (a lot) through the second half of that century. Most of the profit off records went to the labels -- the musicians usually got screwed (no money after the advance). However, there was so much money to be made by 1970 or so that what trickled down fed a lot of people -- engineers, studio musicians, songwriters, etc..
Now sales have fallen exponentially and the pot is tiny. If that doesn't change, we will all have folk-quality rather than pro-quality new music to listen to, just like in 1898. Gather round that MPC in the parlor . . .
But actually I wanted to mention this thought I had about radio:
In the early days of radio it was not at all clear how to monetize it, because anyone with a radio could just tune in for free (sound familiar?). Early radio programming was paid for by the companies who made radios, in order to give people a reason to buy them.
Fastforward to today, Apple has made a fortune selling a new widget whose real value lies entirely in content that they paid nothing for.
If you want to get mad, there are lots of people to be legitimately mad at, without having to turn on your own audience. Not to get all Marxist or anything, but the fact is, productivity is up, wealth is being produced, and money is being made. Just not by the people doing the work.