Infographic Does A Great Job Misrepresenting Opportunities Of The Digital Era
from the ooo-pretty-charts dept
Clearly, it's difficult to make a living simply by selling albums, but it's always been that way. Musicians have long known that in order to make real money, they'd either have to be U2 big, or tour. However, it's very interesting to note that in the new, digital era, artists actually make more off of their album sales in iTunes than they did in the old, physical world. And selling albums digitally through cdbaby, without a label, stands to bring in much, much more money for the artist -- and frees them from the headache of distributing a physical product. The band Pomplamoose, for example, is making a perfectly good living doing just that.
format average retail price musician revenue sales to earn min. wage Self-Pressed CD $9.99 $8.09 143 iTunes Album Download $9.99 0.94 1,229 cdbaby Album download $9.99 7.49 155 Retail Label-backed CD $9.99 $0.30 3,871
Moving on, the data claims that to make minimum wage, an artist would need 4.6M plays on a streaming service like Spotify. While that might be technically true, it's a pretty meaningless calculation. It does not take into account the promotional value of streaming -- and unlike selling 143 CDs, getting 4.6M plays of a digital track would certainly lead to significant revenue elsewhere. Surely an artist would be able to translate that much attention into successful live shows or their own CwF+RtB offering. After all, we've seen time and time again that focusing on something as narrow as money earned per track sold (or streamed play) is a limited way to view a musician's earning potential.
So, while at first glance, this infographic may seem pessimistic, digging a little deeper into the data gives the real story. Exciting opportunities still abound in the world of music for those creative enough to seize them.