This question becomes more relevant with each passing year. Either things are improving, or they're not. Depends who you talk to.
In fact, I've been writing about the decline of AOR and melodic rock since.. well since we began this website nearly twenty years ago. So perhaps it isn't in decline, or not at the rate of decline equivalent to the extinction of certain animals for example?
The scene is still populated by ageing dinosaurs (many of which are extinct btw) but these are ones who don't quite know when to give it up. Just a quick checklist: Aerosmith, Whitesnake, Fleetwood Mac, Bryan Adams, and even the Rolling Stones (though not technically melodic rock) still managing to stand up on stage without the help of a zimmer frame. And that's just a bare sample, there are many more oldies trying to relive their heyday on the boulevard of broken dreams.
More recent artists are trying to survive by doing the smaller circuits and doing the heavy loading themselves in terms of management and bookings, while making use of the Internet to spread their word. It sure is hard work being a band if you don't have the support structure around you.
Other acts/projects don't bother touring at all, instead preferring to work out of a home studio just for the love of it.
So where does the money trail lead to? Not that far up the road I can tell you that much.
Most established labels in our favourite genre of rock prefer being presented with the final product, rather than fork out the extra costs for a post recording session mixer or engineer. Just look at the big three: Frontiers, Escape and AOR Heaven.
To be honest, does an artist actually make any money these days? Does a record label? Does the effort equal the reward? I would suggest to you that on all three counts, the answer is: no, no and no.
I've heard many tales of woe over the years. Musicians should be applauded for their 'I do it all for love' attitude, because yes, that's about all they get out of it.
Even to play live, some acts have to 'pay to play' just to get a foot through the door, let alone think about making any money from performing. It's certainly a different business model to the one that used to operate thirty or forty years ago. I am reminded of that recent TV show called 'Vinyl', as to how ludicrous the record industry was back in the 70's. These days, it's a different kind of ludicrous!
Regarding large scale live venues, I haven't seen a balance sheet analysing what it costs venue organisers to put on a large scale gig (like Sweden Rock Festival for instance). How much it costs, the logistics versus how much they make via ticket sales. There's also the security, insurance and imdemnity issues, and you wonder at the end of the day, whether these guys make any money either! If that's the case, why do they bother? A loss making venture year after year is not something to be shouting from the rooftops!
The reissue labels won't be making a lot of money either. The regulars here who are interested in this activity know full well how much of a hit and miss arena this is, as we discuss the merits of Rock Candy Records for instance. Some items will sell, some will sit on the shelves, and from there we debate the merits of the remastering quality.
As we venture further into 2019, is the scene really thriving or is it treading water? As mentioned above, I've been saying for a long time then the melodic rock scene is one heart beat away from a pulmonary. It's still only just hanging on for dear life, but it has now since the turn of the millennium.
In recent times, I haven't seen one act that has shaken the scene to a point of revival. In fact, it's not just melodic rock, but the entire music industry in general. We can blame dumbed down TV shows and couch surfing audiences for the brain drain. The real music packed up its suitcase and left the house a long long time ago.
As for this website, should we just give up on the current scene, and turn GDM into a 70's and 80's tribute site? That's what the title says: glory daze, and it surely isn't in the here and now.
What say you 'brethren'?