Is now the time to give up? I don't think so. Playing in a band feels like it did when I was a kid. "Making it" seemed unachievable back then but it was still worth taking a shot. It's very much the same now. The business has completely changed but the opportunity to make a living may be even better than it was in the past. That is, if you are willing to put in the work.
Starting a band is the same as having any other business; it takes more work than you think you can give. I see bands that rehearse twice a week for 3 hours, play once a month, barely scratch the surface of what is available for online advertising, and then they complain that the band is not going anywhere fast enough. If you opened a restaurant tomorrow you could not spend only 6 hours a week working on the business, only serve dinner once a month, never advertise, and expect the business to survive. Why would you think a band would be any different?
I still hear people talking about how if they get a deal they will "get a bunch of tattoos" or "buy a nice car" with the money. As if they will receive some kind of signing bonus. I am not sure if they are reading back issues of RIP magazine, but that sh*t isn't happening anymore. You need to be content with making music you believe in and maybe you will make enough money that you don't need to have a day job.
The opportunity to be rich and famous is, for the most part, long gone but it's a new frontier. Some others might see it as too daunting or another reason to hang it up completely and choose a different path in life. I see it as an opportunity worth taking. I choose to prove that even a 40-something rocker, living in Nashville, can make a statement and make a difference playing rock music.