During the years of vinyl records, and later with CDs, music listeners purchased a physical product. Now, in today's world of digital music -- while one can purchase music downloads from sites like ITunes, CDBaby, and Bandcamp -- many people listen to music without paying for it on streaming sites like Youtube, Soundcloud, etc. These sites make money through ad revenue, third-party use of music, and other ways. However, the musicians, whose music draws people to these sites, typically receive no or little money for the number of plays their music receives. This is a departure from TV & radio where composers receive royalties for the use of their music.
Musicians need financial support from those who listen to their music. Fan-funding is a simple concept and it can help: If individuals give a small amount of money as a show of support to a particular artist, the collective amount spread across many people can help to fund new projects. Fan-funding campaigns are typically done within a specified time period for a single project. However, this concept can be used by fans in on-going ways such as licensing the artist's music for videos, purchasing sheet music, as well as buying MP3 downloads or CDs as several possibilities. Simply put, even in small ways, please support the artists who are creating the music you enjoy.