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Music Sales are a mere 6% of the average musician's income.
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Posted 1/18/13


http://torrentfreak.com/music-sales-are-just-6-of-average-musicians-income-130114/


For the major music labels the sales of recorded music represent the majority of their revenue, but a different picture emerges when looking at the income of individual musicians. A new survey among 5,000 US musicians of different genres shows that on average only six percent of all revenue comes from recorded music. The research concludes that copyright law mostly affects the revenue of the highest-income musicians in a direct fashion.

The RIAA is certain, piracy has a devastating impact on the music industry.

However, a comprehensive study by Professor Peter DiCola of the Northwestern University School of Law shows that musicians themselves are divided on the subject. The survey questioned more than 5,000 United States artists on a variety of subjects, including unauthorized file-sharing.

Of all artists about a quarter say that they are hurt by online file-sharing, but just as many believe that file-sharing helps them. The remaining half have no opinion on the matter or didn't answer the question.

The survey further shows that even if file-sharing results in a decrease in sales, this only impacts a small fraction of their total revenue. The pie chart below shows the income sources of musicians, and their average percentages of the total music related revenue.

The pie chart shows that “only” 6 percent of the average musician's income comes from recorded sales. The revenue from live performances is significantly larger with 28 percent. This last group is also growing rapidly, as previous research has shown.


What do you think about these statistics? Do you think that the RIAA (all major recording/distribution labels for music) are really concerned about the artist at all, if they only earn a mere 6 percent income from music downloads/physical album sales? Or does the RIAA just care about their sales and income, instead of the artist's? (as they earn 90% or MORE of the profit from online stores that carry the music / physical copies of albums sold)

I say probably. The MAFIAA are some greedy motherf*ckers.
Posted 1/18/13
It makes me sick knowing that artists of all kinds struggle so much just to make a decent living due to the greed of those who likely aren't artists themselves.
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Posted 1/18/13
Probably because the record company takes the majority of those sales.
Posted 1/18/13
Oh, isn't that news to me?
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Posted 1/18/13 , edited 1/18/13
That is assuming the artist doesn't teach, tour, or member of an ensemble. If the artist writes/composes the song it's 6% of its earnings. The big earners you may be referring to not only earn the 6% they tour for the 28% in addition and may teach for up to 22% more between shows tours or whatnot. The artist can maximize profits by utilizing any and all combinations from that chart.

The Rolling Stones tickets cost anywhere from $250 into the thousands (in some cases) and they always fill the house. They've done it for years and are looking to do it again. In this case they only have to tour for most of their money and release the occasional CD which may not get too much play time in their concerts.
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Posted 1/18/13
I always wonder how much the ACTUAL artist/singer(s) make when they put out a song.....

I don't really worry as long as my fav singers keep making music and stay happy/passionate
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Posted 1/18/13
If they really did care about the artists they could give them more money out of their massive profits but they never had cared. They say how it affects the artist because if they were to say to the people "you are hurting our profits" nobody would care but when people like someone's music they generally build up a personal relationship with them in their heads (I don't mean think they are friends or anything like that, just relate to them and stuff), so when they are told they are affecting the artist by illegally downloading they are more likely to stop and legally buy their music.
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Posted 1/19/13
The reason these stupid laws against the freedom on the internet appears, though they aren't passed. The big music production companies wants their money not caring about the rest of the world. Also artists have either not cared about them or actually being against it, for example if their Youtube clip gets big and they are on a tour, there is a bigger chance they are going to get more people to come and pay and the big companies won't take everything.
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Posted 1/19/13
From a quick read through of the article, it seems to me that it doesn't specify what % of a sale each party receives, just what % of total income music sales are for each party.

I will assume, though, that other posters are correct in stating that record companies take most of the sales.

Why do record companies take such a large percentage? Why do artists sign with them when they receive such a small percentage?

When I was working at a game company, I saw some interesting statistics; I don't remember them exactly at this point, but it was along the lines that games that were reviewed at 95% sold far better than those at 90%, which in turn sold far better than those around 80%. I don't remember the exact cutoff point, but it wasn't much lower than 85% that a developer/publisher was lucky to recoup their investment. If you think about how many games are released every year, and how few actually achieve that level of acclaim, the vast majority are a financial failure.

Most likely the music industry is similar in this regard. For every artist that sells, there are probably thousands that do not. This is the reason the record companies take the high percentage they do, it offsets the risks they take.

Some will say it's only that they are greedy - I won't deny that they are, every business is out to make a profit.
But if they could get by taking a smaller percentage, they would, because they would have more artists sign on to their label, and that would increase their profits.

Why do artists sign on with a record company when they give up such a large percentage of potential profits? Many reasons.
A record company can provide services an artist might otherwise be unable to get, a few examples being the ability to record in a studio with professional equipment and a professional producer, distribution, advertisement, support when touring. Another consideration is that, presumably, the record company covers the costs of some of these services. Going back to the game industry, that investment was a major consideration when Id became part of Zenimax:
http://www.joystiq.com/2009/06/25/interview-ids-john-carmack-and-zenimax-ceo-on-the-acquisition/

So while it's undoubtedly true that record companies take advantage of artists, in most cases these deals are probably beneficial to both parties. If they were not, artists wouldn't sign on with record companies.

With this in mind, the idea that not paying for music is ok because the record companies take a larger percentage of the profits than the artists becomes absurd, and that's not even considering that whatever smaller % artists get from these deals is still infinitely better than the 0% received from pirates.

Also, some people say the artists don't care or are for file sharing - that's true in some cases, but the stats cited in the article make it very clear that artists are divided on the issue. I'm sure we all (well, us older people) remember the whole Metallica vs Napster thing.

With only 1/4 of artists saying they think file sharing benefits them, attempting to portray file sharing as a beneficial act towards artists seems a difficult argument to make. Personally, I think sending a few tracks to a friend to expose them to a new band or album if you know that they are willing to buy music they like is good, but the whole anonymous p2p thing is just usually blatant thievery. Sure, some people use it to demo music, but I've known people that literally laughed at the idea of buying music, and had hard drives filled with pirated media and software.

I will say that I don't appreciate the ways businesses have tried to combat piracy, they've gone too far too many times and they're always looking to go further. I don't appreciate piracy either, but it's not something that can be fought without stepping all over peoples' rights, and even then, it can't really be stopped, only reduced or delayed - though another interesting stat is that the vast majority of game sales tend to occur in the first 2 weeks after release.
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Posted 1/19/13 , edited 1/19/13
They don't really care about the artists, and really neither do I. Artists make an agreement when they sign with a company, and if they don't like the terms, they don't need to make the agreement. Many don't. I pay for music from these companies, knowing full well that the money won't go straight to the artist, because both the company and the artist bring me the music. Record companies take most of the revenue, but I'll bet that the companies take most of the cost too. I mean, hell, the artists get paid to do what they enjoy. If they're not doing what they enjoy, then I have no pity for them anyway, because that means they just chose a shit job.

If you take a job like that, you can bet that unless you become really popular, your primary method of payment will probably be something other than money. Like, for example, the knowledge that you haven't yet sold your soul for $10 an hour.
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26 / F / irst
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Posted 1/20/13
I hope the OP didn't just share that so they can justify never buying music (and only getting music via illegal downloads).

I think it's been known for a while now that major record companies aren't always the best thing for a musician. Artists might be excited to get the attention of the big league labels, but they need to read the contract carefully and make sure they're getting a good deal out of it.

Most of the music I like is by obscure European artists who aren't with the big American labels anyway, so it's a moot issue for me.
Posted 1/21/13
HA.
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Posted 1/21/13
I was reading about this the other day. I don't plan on making a living off my music, anyway. Of course, I'm planning on making it a big part of my life... As it is now.
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Posted 1/21/13
As much as I hate to support the RIAA in any fashion, 6% probably isn't as small as you think it is. There are many people involved in the professional production of music. Audio engineers, managers, marketers, publishers, manufacturers, distributors, etc etc... And then there are the relatively high capital costs for professional recording equipment.

Fortunately, with the power of the Internet, you don't have to pay people to do this for you! For just a couple thousand dollars, you can buy the equipment yourself, record your music yourself and post it on the Internet! And then you can handle your own publicity and earn millions of dollars!

Except that doesn't happen very often for some reason. Probably because most musicians are only good at making music - NOT at managing a business.
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Posted 1/21/13
i wonder, is piracy as bad as people think it is? plus, music cd's only sell at 20 dollars (from what i have seen) and since most people have ipods/ipads its hard to keep up with how much they get back. i dont listen to much music anymore unless its older. songs these days only seem to be made for money, not for fun.
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