In some cases where there is a clearly defined charitable cause I consider a no pay/expenses only situation acceptable, but sadly I have witnessed the behaviour extend far further to include projects that have commercial interests at heart and have a definite revenue stream attached.
I’m not only concerned by the jobs advertised with no payment, but also the increasing number of composers (and audio content creators in general) who are prepared to work for no pay or unrealistically low pay. Last week I lost a job with a video game developer after they chose to use a composer who wanted to build his portfolio and therefore significantly undercut my fee. Organisations such as G.A.N.G. (the Game Audio Network Guild) have worked hard to make sure that the commercial value of audio and music are understood by developers, but when content creators themselves don’t understand the value in what they are producing, it makes the situation appear hopeless.
I am worried that the global value of music and creative content in general is being devalued in a way that will soon make many career paths completely non-viable. I would like creators of all types of creative work in general to understand this; if the trend continues, we will be victims of our own demise!