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Desc:A fun, if possibly flawed, comparison of different revenue streams for music artists online.
Category:Educational, Science & Technology
Tags:music, online, artists, royalties, spotify
Submitted:Yip Man
Date:04/28/10
Views:1185
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Comment count is 20
pastorofmuppets
They're getting paid .00 too much if you ask me. It's just a series of ones and zeroes, and those are FREE!!

For serious: doesn't look flawed to me. I know people that get more back from retail CD sales than .00, and from a big label, even, but the .00 is fairly representative of what goes on. Obviously if you owe them money for the studio you don't even get that... if I'm not mistaken they take their cut and then pay themselves back from your cut.

There are a lot of 360 deals now, and maybe it shifts the numbers somewhat. I don't know.
splatterbabble
I know a band that sells about 2000 self pressed CD (at ) a month, but that's paying four people while touring constantly. Fortunately, the van and instruments are paid off already.
Cheese
So, k a month plus the door of whatever clubs they're playing. Let's say the door covers your gas, food and lodging, which it wouldn't, but hey, I'm a nice guy. So k X 12 months = 0k, split four ways, is about k a year. Minus self employment taxes, you're looking at something on the order of k, and you live in a van with four other dudes.

F
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La Loco
If you figure that it costs approximately to manufacture (disk, printing, packaging) each cd, then divide the profits by four your left with 00 each a month. Not bad when your only expenses on the road are gas, food and lodging.

APE_GOD
Yeah, totally your expenses when you are touring are only gas, food, lodging. Most people in bands these days totally own their own property and have already paid off their mortgages, so they don't have to worry about rent AND they usually have super flexible internet and cell phone contracts that let them suspend service when they are touring. Also, gas prices have never been lower so now really is the time to $tart touring!

pastorofmuppets
You don't tour because it pays well, you tour because it's fucking amazing.

Cheese
Alright, let crunch some more. Say you play 20 dates a month and get 50 people at every show (you won't, but again, I'm a nice guy) who pay a head to see your band. so that's 250 a show x 20 shows, that's another 00 a month.

Say you stay a cheap-o hotels the whole time, x2 (2 guys to a room) while on tour, so 20 nights x 0 = 00.

If the venues have a kitchen, your dinners will be covered, so let's say that's true. You'll still need to cover breakfast and lunch for each member, so let's go the cheap route and say a head per day. so x 20 = 0.

Gas. Let's say your tour takes you on a straight line from New York to LA. That's 2777 miles. A 2000 Chevy van gets about 17 miles a gallon highway and gas costs .85 a gallon, so about 0 in gas.

CD costs as noted above, are a buck a pop. That's another k a month.

So your ,000 from the door is whittled down to 0, minus another 00 or so. 00, divided by 4 is 275 beans per member off the top. So your 30k a year is now ,700. If you are a proud American and pay your taxes you're now under k and you still haven't paid your rent at home, cel phone, band posters, band websites, internet access, recording, rubbers, strings, amp and guitar upkeep, etc. You're pal there would be better off financially working at McDonalds.

Cheese
A) of course you can cut a lot of stuff out, stay in hotels only half the time (or less), skip breakfast, live on the cheap, etc. But it's not a road to riches nonetheless.

B) I type, "So,...," a lot it seems.

pastorofmuppets
hotels... is that a new brand of van or something?

Hooper_X
You don't tour for the money. You tour because you enjoy it and because it's one of the best ways to expose your music to new audiences without a major-label contract. Which you aren't going to get without some exposure.

tmavomodry
jesus christ why are none of you people mentioning that you start a band to get chicks?

spikestoyiu
What kind of diaper baby band stays at hotels every night?

I spent years on tour and I think we splurged for a hotel room maybe 3-4 times. Usually we stayed at somebody's place or -- worst case scenario -- you slept in your van, because that's what bands do.

The ultimate hustle though was scamming some 17-18 year old kid into letting you stay at his place, because chances are they still lived with their parents, which meant that A) the place was clean and B) there's FOOD. We stayed with this 17 year old and his parents in Indiana once and his parents cooked us a motherfucking breakfast buffet.

kwash
A real touring band eats raw ramen noodles and sleeps in the van in a Wal-Mart parking lot, after stealing said ramen from said wal-mart. A real touring band scares has competitions to see who can go the longest without showering. A real touring band never sees the inside of a hotel room unless they're puking in it.

Touring was fucking fun.

kwash
Also, for those of you in bands who need floors to crash on:

http://www.betterthanthevan.com

spikestoyiu
Protip: Never sleep sandwiched between semis in a truck stop parking lot, because those things are as loud as jet engines and stay on ALL NIGHT.

APE_GOD
GUISE COPYING ISN'T STEALING
spikestoyiu
This is a pretty loose definition of "fun"
kingarthur
My idea to never tour, record the album on home equipment and distribute the shit for free and break even on donations doesn't seem so odd now, does it?
Syd Midnight
It's sloppy to organize the list by "have to sell" instead of "percent of revenue"so mp3s are counted the same as albums. Several of these are out of order in the name of dramatic presentation because they compare mp3s, mp3 albums, and CDs comparably.

CDbaby is next best if the band can't sell to you personally.
fluffy
And then there's the middle ground between 'self-run direct sales' and 'CDBaby' that is Bandcamp, which works pretty nicely. They do take a rather large cut considering they're just providing some convenient access to the Paypal API and so on, but it's a lot less of a pain in the ass than doing it yourself, and works out way better for the artist and listener.

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