Case Study On How An Indie-Rock Composer Musician Makes Money

from the breaking-it-down dept

We've talked about the Future of Music Coalition's excellent Artist Revenue Streams project for a while now, and over the last few months they've been releasing more and more results from the project. At some point in the future I'll have to dig more into some of the earlier results, but I thought it was interesting that at SXSW they released some specific financial case studies on five (anonymous) musicians in particular, digging with great detail into how they make money. I found the "indie rock composer-performer" case study particularly interesting, given some of the regular debates around here.

While this is just one performer, and clearly not a "representative sample" or even a composite sample of how such musicians make money, there's still plenty to be learned from the report. What comes across is that it certainly takes work, but an indie artist such as this guy has been able to increase both his earnings and his profit over the last four years. Of course, that doesn't mean that each of his multiple revenue streams was increasing, but that he was continually altering his approach to maximize his own revenue and net income. For example, after a few years of relying heavily on income from one band that he was in (and he's in a few), he's been able to successfully shift to being a solo artist. Of course, the revenue shift there is pretty clear. While he made a salary from the previous band, as a solo artist, a large chunk of his revenue now comes from live performances:
One thing that struck me as interesting, and which corroborates similar stories I've been hearing from other artists, is that while touring can be tough, the ability to "tour smarter" these days means that it can be profitable. Frequently, critics insist that touring can only be profitable for the largest bands, but we keep hearing otherwise, and this report suggests something similar. Yes, there is significant expense involved in touring, but it can be done well and profitably. Either way, the entire case study is worth a read.


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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 9:01pm

    If recording was so important why it doesn't occupy most of the bars in there?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 7:37am

      Re:

      Recording IS important. Eventually your fans get tired of hearing the same old songs. You need new material and you need to get it into fans ears BEFORE you tour their area so they know you have something new to entertain them with.

      I noticed this guy has no money spent on recording for 2011, either he is not recording or he is doing it in his home.

       

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        WDS (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 10:58am

        Re: Re:

        Actually if you look at 2010 he had recording expenses but no recording income. In 2011 he had recording income but no recording expenses. It appears to me he recorded and album in 2010 that was released in 2011.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 11:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Plus, don't most artists only record every 2 years or so, usually testing out new material on the road? The fact that he hadn't recorded a new album in one single year is pretty much irrelevant, especially given that 2011 appears to be the year where he finally broke out as an individual artist and toured on his own material rather than as an employee of another band...

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 4:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Plus, don't most artists only record every 2 years or so, usually testing out new material on the road?


            Did I step back into the '70s? This was how bands used to operate, and in my opinion the music produced in this manner is far superior to most modern music. Write some music, the whole band becomes proficient at it, figure out what works and what doesn't through audience reaction at live shows, and then into the studio where the musicians--who can now play these songs in their sleep--can knock out an album in around two weeks. Sometimes much less time. (It should be pointed out that it was the 'evil labels' who insisted on this much more effective and efficient method.)

            If the band can actually play the songs together all the way through, then the production process is a snap, and much cheaper. If the band already "sounds like a record" when they're performing, then a good act can knock out 4 or 5 songs a day.

            These days, usually one person takes several months to write the music in pieces, recording as they go along, then edits it all together (this can get extreme, I've seen vocalists who were so poor that every word in a single sentence has to be pieced together from different takes; not just pop stars, but indie types), then finds musicians to discern what parts from the record are reproducible, and then the band rehearses the songs. Notice that no one at this point has any idea how the songs will be received by the audience. IF the musicians are even capable of making it through a piece without f*cking up (and you'd be amazed at how many 'musicians' can not), the first time the songs will be performed as a whole is usually in front of the audience. I really hope they like it, because the record is already pressed!

            It's kind of sad, really. I can't even remember the last time I heard a vocal that wasn't a comp (multiple takes edited together). If you can't bother to learn to sing, I see absolutely no reason why anyone should bother to listen to you. If you can't perform, I don't see why anyone should come to your show.

             

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    It's tough

    My wife and I have a LOT of friends who are professional indie musicians, and while they make a living at their craft, it is a tough road! They tour almost constantly, depend upon friends and those who book them for housing and often food, fund their own CD production, maintain web sites, manage their business... The list is endless. What results is that they inspire people with their music, and contribute to our understanding of our culture and history. We bless them for it, and support them in all the ways we can, from putting on house concerts for them, having them stay with us when in the area, and just being as good of friends as we can possibly be.

    In the middle ages, bards were revered and supported by the communities they served. This has not changed. We all need to be willing to give back something for the joy and wisdom they bring us!

     

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      Richard (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 2:09am

      Re: It's tough

      My wife and I have a LOT of friends who are professional indie musicians, and while they make a living at their craft, it is a tough road!

      Making a living at what you love will always be a tough road because so many others want to do the same.

      To be successful you need to be a little bit special - and the best way you can do that is by being a great human being. The professional musicians that I know personally are all really great human beings and that is why I will go out of my way to support them whenever I can!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 10:20pm

    https://torrentfreak.com/french-three-strikes-law-slashes-piracy-but-fails-to-boost-sales-120330/

    HADOPI the failure, piracy is down 66% along with revenues of -3%.

    Looks like people who pirated also stop consuming it LoL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 2:07am

    It seems like, contrary to what you have been pushing here, that the live performance part appears to be almost a losing battle. The money isn't being made there. Composing and recording is still very profitable, and really the only bright spot is perhaps merchandise.

    However, merchandise is one of those areas that is probably the most fickle, and the most likely to be subject to market exhaustion. Basically, we only have so much space for t-shirts, knick-knacks, and take homes from shows. At some point, the market for all of this stuff is likely to go stale, as too many people will be offering too much stuff all of the time.

    It paints a bit of a gloomy picture really - if the recording side income disappears or shrinks anymore, these artists will find themselves working a grindstone existence on the live side, where the net appears to be very small.

     

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      Richard (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 3:37am

      Re:

      It paints a bit of a gloomy picture really - if the recording side income disappears or shrinks anymore, these artists will find themselves working a grindstone existence on the live side, where the net appears to be very small.

      Recording and composing only ever made money for a tiny minority.

      Touring has always been mostly a bit hand to mouth for most - but fortunes were made that way before rcording existed - eg Paganini and Lizt - and why should anyone complain if they make a living from doing something they love.

      The base load income for the vast majority of professional musicians has always been, and will always be teaching - which you ignore completely.

      (btw your sense of entitlement is breathtaking!)

       

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      PaulT (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 3:39am

      Re:

      "the live performance part appears to be almost a losing battle. The money isn't being made there. Composing and recording is still very profitable, and really the only bright spot is perhaps merchandise."

      Only if you cherry pick those 2 figures and combine them while ignoring other data so that you can lie again. The actual figures on the report show 30.5% for live gigs, 29.7% salary (performances with bands), 21.1 composing and 15.8% recording (I couldn't see actual figures for merch sales). While there's no separate figures for each year, it's clear from the graph that live income has grown massively in recent years. The report even says "Most of his income is tied to live performance – either through salary for actively touring bands, his own shows as a solo artist, or CDs sold at live shows.".

      If you want to make a point, try not basing it on blatant lies are disproven in the very article you're commenting on.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 6:05pm

        Re: Re:

        What? Look at 2011. As soon as the guy stopped working for other people (getting a paycheck, being a paid worker) and went off on his own, his live performance revenue and expenses pretty much match. It seems most of his money came from everything over that, which has minimal expenses.

        I don't know, it's as plain as day. Are you denying what is right there in the chart?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 8:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, his live performances income almost matches ALL of his expenses. That seems pretty significant to me. I'm not sure what kind of point you're trying to make, but if his entire income is twice his expenses, and live performances pays all his expenses, seems like it's a good thing.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 9:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            A trend I have seen, in part because of the cost of touring and in part because of the increasing popularity/acceptance of computer-driven music, is that more one and two-person acts are hitting the clubs and even bigger venues. Singer/songwriters have often toured solo, but now you have others doing so as well. It's a lot cheaper to travel solo with nothing but a digital music machine than it is to tour with a band lugging around a van's worth of equipment.

             

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      Michael, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 5:21am

      Re:

      You mean *you* paint a picture of doom and gloom for independent artists based on a single artist's net income. In actuality, many of them are very successful, enough to make a living off of music. Sure, some are not so successful but the same can be said of major label artists, most of which wind up in debt and don't even own their own music. The free market can be very ruthless, but just because some indie artist isn't generating tons of income from it doesn't mean they live unsatisfactory lives and aren't happy with what they do. There's a huge difference between creating and performing music for the love of it and getting using music as a springboard to becoming rich and famous.

       

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        Michael, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 5:23am

        Re: Re: Small correction

        *There's a huge difference between creating and performing music for the love of it and using music as a springboard to becoming rich and famous.*

         

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      Richard (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 7:09am

      Re:

      these artists will find themselves working a grindstone existence

      Just like the rest of us then....

       

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      abc gum, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 7:10am

      Re:

      "contrary to what you have been pushing here"

      pushing? - seriously?

      I find it amazing that the presentation of facts is seen by some as pushing an agenda.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, the "Has society really destroyed the meager existence of musicians?" agenda.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        "I find it amazing that the presentation of facts is seen by some as pushing an agenda."

        This post is a presentation of facts (albeit that there is still attempts to mis-represent them). But the overall push of Techdirt over the years has been that artists shouldn't bother with the time consuming, high effort process of writing and recording new songs, they should just go out there and do what musicians are "support to do", perform.

        Some comments have suggested in the past that perhaps it's time to return to the era of kept pets (benefactors) or the era of kings (with musicians as wandering mistrals). Almost every solution proposed by Techdirt for the music industry is "sell the scarce", like scarce performances, etc - things that get sold at shows and the like.

        Yet, the numbers show that, when this indie rocker in fact went truly indie and did it himself, his touring expenses were about the same as his touring income. Only the merch sales seem positive. He made as much his money doing exactly what the new models say you aren't suppose to do, writing, recording, and so on.

        It doesn't add up to a new model that looks very sustainable.

         

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          abc gum, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 4:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Yet, the numbers show that, when this indie rocker in fact went truly indie and did it himself, his touring expenses were about the same as his touring income"

          Let's assume for a moment that your assessment of this one data point is correct, do you then imply that it is applicable universally? This is indeed an incorrect conclusion.

           

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          Michael, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 5:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hold up there cowboy. You're generalizing the entire indie music scene based solely upon a study performed on one anonymous musician.

           

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          Phil, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 9:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well said, and no defense from the author. A lot of the ideas here are half-baked- exactly what the authors are always accusing others of. I see a lot of criticism but no workable solutions, and it leaves me feeling cynical, like the whole blog is an attempt to justify theft.

           

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            abc gum, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "no defense from the author"

            Well, that proves it then - right?



            "half-baked- exactly what the authors are always accusing others of"

            Examples would strengthen your argument, possibly you have some to share.



            "A lot of the ideas here are half-baked" ... a lot of criticism but no workable solutions"

            So - I guess you are saying that if one lacks a "workable" solution, one should just keep quiet. Which fallacy would this be ... Perfect Solution Fallacy, False Dichotomy, No True Scotsman, or some other fallacy, suggestions please.

            Whether a solution is presented, workable or not, does not affect the validity of the criticism nor the point of contention in any way. Or putting it differently - claiming a point to be invalid because there is no solution or the solution does not meet your standards is a fallacy.


            "and it leaves me feeling cynical, like the whole blog is an attempt to justify theft."

            And here we have another fine example of logic fail.

             

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            PaulT (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I see a lot of criticism but no workable solutions"

            Yeah, the fact that we're pointing out that you're driving toward a cliff is invalid because we haven't suggested an alternative route you like...

            "it leaves me feeling cynical, like the whole blog is an attempt to justify theft."

            Which is utter bullshit, of course, but you can feel whatever you want.

             

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 8:41am

    Keneally perhaps?

    This sounds a bit like it might have been Mike Keneally. Keneally has his own solo projects, his own bands, and tours with Satriani; sits in on keys for Chickenfoot; does studio work (and is generally a super nice guy).

    And notably, per the TechDirt model, he does living-room concerts for fans, sells product directly with regular deals, and his recording policy is: feel free to record and shoot shows and share them -- just send him a copy.

    I've been wondering why Keneally hasn't shown up in these pages. He's the epitome of the CwF + RtB model.

     

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    Kristin Thomson, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 10:41am

    More case studies

    Most commenters above are correct: for musicians who perform, money from live performances/shows is a critical income stream. But we tend to mention at least three caveats when we talk about this revenue stream, all of which have been hinted at already:

    1. touring costs money. Duh, but there's often a big difference between gross and net. Bands can be making five figures a night, but if they haven't got their costs under control, then the net is in danger.

    2. touring expenses are not scalable. Essentially, the more shows you play, the more money you earn, but also the more money you spend (unless you set up a residency somewhere).

    3. touring and live performance require constant output. Commenters above got it right -- to make money as a live performer, you have to play shows. Stop playing shows, and the cash flow stops as well.

    This makes touring unique, but also very different from income earned from sound recordings, compositions, or brand which can continue to earn money over time. And, as a commenter mentioned, there's teaching and other income-earning activities based on their knowledge of the craft. We have data about these revenue streams as well.

    As mentioned in the article, this case study is just one component of the Artist Revenue Streams project. For readers who are interested, there are a lot more charts for this case study, as well as four others: a jazz bandleader, a jazz sideman, a chamber music ensemble, and a professional orchestra player. Access any of these, plus an executive summary, here:
    http://money.futureofmusic.org/case-studies/

    The financial case studies are one of three data collection methods that we've been employing as part of the Artist Revenue Streams project. We've also conducted 80 interviews, and we ran an online survey that was completed by over 5,000 US-based musicians and composers.

    More published stuff here, with additional reports forthcoming.
    http://money.futureofmusic.org/findings/

    If you're a musician or composer who would like your own financials to be considered for our next batch of case studies, fill out this intake form here. We can't guarantee we'll get to it but we are always seeking additional participants: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ARSinterviewcandidates

    Thanks for your interest --

    Kristin Thomson
    co-director, Artist Revenue Streams project

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 6:19am

      Re: More case studies

      Thank you Kristin for restating the truth about touring. It's not just a revenue stream, but also an expense stream. There is a point where an artist can do it and make it pay them well enough, but there are also points along the way where it isn't working as well as they might like.

      It's very easy to end up with your expenses eating your revenues these days, especially if your gigs are further apart (more gas and other expenses) or if you aren't getting enough density in your shows (playing 2 or 3 nights a week instead of 4 or 5 night... you are still paying 7 days worth of expenses).

      Touring isn't the solution for everything. It's a part of the business with the most gross money, but not always the highest net cash. The indie musician in the profile was doing better financially touring with someone else (and getting a salary) for at least part of the year, than he is working alone. But the satisfaction of leading your own projects is likely part of the deal as well.

       

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Fuel costs rising again

    Many bands were hit with the increased cost of touring when fuel prices hit $4 a gallon. But prices came down again, so that became less of a problem.

    Now that gas is going back up to $4 a gallon, and this time shows no likelihood of coming back down below $3, I expect that touring costs will again be a challenge for most musicians.

     

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    Richard (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Many bands were hit with the increased cost of touring when fuel prices hit $4 a gallon.

    Ah $4 a gallon - the good old cheap fuel of yesterday (viewed from the UK - where prices are currently: over 8 of your dollars for one of your gallons)

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 12:34pm

      Re:

      Ah $4 a gallon - the good old cheap fuel of yesterday (viewed from the UK - where prices are currently: over 8 of your dollars for one of your gallons)

      I know. Fuel prices here have been too low for too long, not encouraging us to be more frugal. I live in Colorado, which has some of the better fuel prices in the US, but touring from here is hard because once you go beyond about an hour from Denver, you've got to drive hundreds of miles to get to another major town to play. Denver is pretty much a day's drive from the next major stop (e.g., Salt Lake, Omaha) on a tour.

       

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        Richard (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re:

        You make life difficult for yourselves by shunning diesel engines - you can easily make the difference between $3 and $4 a gallon by switching to diesel (I did it 15 years ago - never looked back).

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 2:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I've personally owned diesel cars (VW and Mercedes), but you don't see as many on the road as you used to. And diesel doesn't seem as cheap relative to gasoline as it used to. I think these days people are more inclined to go with more fuel efficient vehicles than with diesel cars.

          I know bands that use biodiesel for their buses/vans, but I am not seeing as much news about them now, perhaps because it's getting more expensive to get that too. The price has gone up enough that people are stealing grease from restaurants.

          My own solution is not to drive more than I must. My world is pretty much within a few miles of my condo (but this being Boulder, it's a great world to be in).

          I've been reading that more and more young adults aren't buying cars. They don't see owning a car as a necessity. They get by on public transportation, bikes, and car rental/sharing.

           

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            Richard (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 3:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think these days people are more inclined to go with more fuel efficient vehicles than with diesel cars.

            ? Don't understand you - where I am the most efficent cars are diesels (by a big margin)

             

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              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 4:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'll have to see why we don't hear much about diesels in the US these days. For example, here's this and not a diesel on the list:

              2011 vehicles with the best fuel-efficiency ratings

               

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              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 4:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Okay. This explains why you don't see many anymore in the US.

              2012 Diesel Cars in USA: Here’s the Lineup: The good news is that many of the world’s manufacturers make great diesel products. The bad news is that lack of domestic demand and tightening budgets mean that few have been certified for sale in the U.S.

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 4:14pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                And it also says what I thought was the case these days, but wasn't sure. In the US, diesel is now more expensive than gasoline, so every time you go to the pump, you see a higher price at the pump for diesel. That wasn't the case when I had my diesel cars.

                 

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                  Richard (profile), Apr 1st, 2012 @ 11:41am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  In the US, diesel is now more expensive than gasoline, so every time you go to the pump, you see a higher price at the pump for diesel.

                  I get 62+mpg from my diesel - more than makes up for the difference in pump price.

                  (It's not even the latest "most efficient" version - which is I believe 10% better)

                   

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                    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 1st, 2012 @ 12:00pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I get 62+mpg from my diesel - more than makes up for the difference in pump price.

                    Well, thanks for reminding me about the value of diesels. As I said, when the VW Rabbit diesel became available in the US (maybe 30 years ago), my husband and I wanted one enough to fly from Denver to Chicago to buy one from a dealer there. And then after that, we bought a string of used Mercedes diesels. But then we switched car brands and I haven't had a diesel since. My current car is 15 years old and I don't plan to ditch it until it doesn't run anymore. To save on fuel costs, I just don't drive more than I have to.

                    Boulder is environmentally conscious and I see quite a few Priuses here. And we have a Tesla dealership here. But I never see any diesel cars here anymore (there could be some converted cars, but I wouldn't recognize them). There are still quite a few local gas stations that have diesel pumps, but I'm not sure who is using them right now.

                    As I mentioned, I know of several bands that have toured in biodiesel buses, but I haven't heard much about them lately. It was a story that got more coverage a few years ago.

                    Anything that reduces fossil fuel consumption is a good thing, whether it is a more efficient vehicle or driving fewer miles.

                     

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    Michael, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    How about touring on a more local level? An artist needn't go all-out with touring expenses, trotting all over the country.

    I have a point of contention with that study because it's misleading. For one thing, it measures touring expenses against touring income but fails to take into account how much merch and albums are sold as a direct result, i.e. purchased at live venues. I'm betting a healthy portion. The study is somewhat misleading in its presentation.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 1:36pm

      Re:

      How about touring on a more local level? An artist needn't go all-out with touring expenses, trotting all over the country

      I have a good friend who does that. She's played across the country, but she has three kids now and finds that it's far more economically efficient to stay within Colorado and the neighboring states. So she plays about 100 gigs a year close at home (pre-kids she played about 200 gigs a year and had a gross income in the six figures).

      However, I have found that being regional tends to work against your image in the local press. You can be one of the most successful local musicians, but if you aren't touring, the press tends to write you off as "local" and therefore not buzzworthy.

      That's changing, though, because we now have an explosion of local talent who can't tour because they have day jobs and/or don't have the money for it. So now you're less likely to be dismissed by the local press if you only play local gigs.

       

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        identicon
        Michael, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 5:17pm

        Re: Re:

        "
        I have a good friend who does that. She's played across the country, but she has three kids now and finds that it's far more economically efficient to stay within Colorado and the neighboring states. So she plays about 100 gigs a year close at home (pre-kids she played about 200 gigs a year and had a gross income in the six figures)."

        That's a good example of a hard-working artist on the local level.

        "However, I have found that being regional tends to work against your image in the local press. You can be one of the most successful local musicians, but if you aren't touring, the press tends to write you off as 'local' and therefore not buzzworthy.

        That's changing, though, because we now have an explosion of local talent who can't tour because they have day jobs and/or don't have the money for it. So now you're less likely to be dismissed by the local press if you only play local gigs."

        I wouldn't put too much weight in press coverage. Nowadays, most people bypass media intervention and connect with the artists directly online. Which would you rather do, allow some random critic in the press to dictate what's good and what isn't or listen to the music firsthand and make up your own mind?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 10:09pm

        Re: Re:

        That is why the internet was invented.

         

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    I know it seems like a foreign concept to some people but it really is very simple and I will spell it out so even the most simple can understand.

    If you work hard enough AND are talented and intelligent enough, you WILL be successful AND you WILL make money.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 1:44pm

      Re:

      If you work hard enough AND are talented and intelligent enough, you WILL be successful AND you WILL make money.

      That sounds good, but there are still things beyond one's control that can affect the outcome. For example, if you are a poor woman in some countries, hard work, talent, and intelligence may not be enough.

       

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    Alternative rock, Mar 31st, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    yeah

    Only time will tell..

     

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    identicon
    Phil, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 5:39pm

    As a musician, composer, recording studio owner, all I can say is, this blog is full of clueless people who have no idea what it's like. And i don't just mean the author... I mean the comments, too.

    The chart that this entry is based on is stupid. It doesn't have any actual numbers on it so we don't know if the guy spent $50 and earned $75 or spend $50000 and earned $750000. Either way you can bet that he doesn't have a real life like a person with a normal job. I doubt he owns a home, supports a family, or has any real potential of looking forward to those things in his future.

    Tell yourself whatever you want about how you should be able to listen to whatever you want without compensating the creators. But don't kid yourself into thinking we're getting rich. It's a joke.

     

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      teka, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 11:34pm

      Re:

      ok "Phil"

      Trotting out the ol' "you damn kids just want listen to free music" line is great, but you can't just say those numbers are wrong without offering up something else.

      Tell us about your music career, Phil.
      Tell us how you own a home, support a family and have potential to look forward to things like that (or better!) in the future.

      Try to be a bit better then a lobbyist.
      We would all love to see some facts.

      Oh! have you applied to give data for a case study?
      Have you done anything useful, at any point?
      Are you anything but an unsubstantiated voice of negativity?

       

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 1:23am

      Re:

      "this blog is full of clueless people"

      Many of them claiming to be musicians...

      "It doesn't have any actual numbers on it"

      Complain to the people who performed the study. If you click on to the original source linked in the article, you would see the words "Graphs do not have a Y-axis dollar value in order to observe the conditions of our privacy policy.". You would also see that he derives 100% of his income from his musical career and has been working as a professional musician since 1999.

      He may not be getting rich, but he's also not making $50 a year.

      "I doubt he owns a home, supports a family, or has any real potential of looking forward to those things in his future."

      I think he does, based on the same evidence you have. Pulling assumptions out of your rear end doesn't make them true.

      "Either way you can bet that he doesn't have a real life like a person with a normal job."

      So? Nobody forces him to have his chosen career if he doesn't like it.

      "But don't kid yourself into thinking we're getting rich."

      Can you point out where anybody has suggested this, or is this just one of the strawmen so beloved by people who claim to be "musicians" here (without ever mentioning their name or linking to their music, of course...).

       

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      identicon
      Michael, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:36am

      Re:

      "As a musician, composer, recording studio owner, all I can say is, this blog is full of clueless people who have no idea what it's like. And i don't just mean the author... I mean the comments, too."

      I'd like to assess the quality of your work first-hand.

      "Tell yourself whatever you want about how you should be able to listen to whatever you want without compensating the creators. But don't kid yourself into thinking we're getting rich. It's a joke."

      That's quite the presumptuous statement. I for one don't download paywalled albums -- consequently, I also don't purchase them. I'm all through with the antiquated business model of the past century. As far as "getting rich" is concerned, that's not what creating music is all about, unless of course you're a major label. What do you think, that you hit the record button and the money just pours in? For the record, there are some extremely successful indie musicians out there. Many freely share their music online. Hard to believe, I know, but it's true.

      Once again, I'd like to assess the quality of your work, even if just one song, to determine whether or not it's something people should be supporting with their wallets.

       

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      identicon
      Michael "I went to Cornell!!" Assneck, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 9:09pm

      Re:

      Phil. you are right. but it's not worth arguing with these guys. they are in the pay of the steal from the artists tech industry. the rest of them are angry untalented musicians who want to the destroy the industry because it rejected them. mostly terribly untalented white canadian rappers. come look for real independent musicians/engineers/producers who actually over on gearslutz forums. You'll find a real balanced discussion there and most of the people know what they are talking about. Oh by the way it's funny that masnick the author is so against musicians getting paid. this blowhard charges 20k for a speaking engagement.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 1:18am

        Re: Re:

        "it's not worth arguing with these guys. they are in the pay of the steal from the artists tech industry."

        Prove it, asshole. No, a one time event at Google still doesn't count.

        "mostly terribly untalented white canadian rappers"

        Yeah, that's right... nobody else objects, certainly not just the very customers you idiots are chasing away?

        "this blowhard charges 20k for a speaking engagement."

        Awww, jealous?

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 5:27am

        Re: Re:

        it's not worth arguing with these guys. they are
        1) in the pay of the steal from the artists tech industry
        2) the rest of them are angry untalented musicians
        3) mostly terribly untalented white canadian rappers


        Nice list of stereotypes there, you forgot pimple faced hot pocket eating dork living in mother's basement. Oh well you still would've been wrong.

        btw ... shameless plug - is that all you've got?

         

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    identicon
    Michael (I went to cornell!) Assneck, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 9:00pm

    This indie artist netted less than 34 k before taxes.

    If you take the the union dues AFM AFTRA and AAA and reverse engineer his revenue and expenses you get about 57k gross revenues and less than 35k net before taxes. Wow some success story.

     

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    identicon
    Michael, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 4:51am

    Phil, where's your music? Do you in fact have any?

     

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    identicon
    jaman miah, Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 10:54am

    You Want to Play Song.

    I have a few videos on YouTube of my original songs and I'm getting some views from my loyal fans, but I'm not getting any new fans from those videos. Mostly because nobody knows who I am. So I decided to go the route of playing a cover song for my YouTube channel. So to try and get new fans I decided to record a video of myself performing the song "Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan. I don't like to speculate, but I'm pretty sure that most of the people on YouTube that do covers just record the song and post it on their channel.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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