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Artists & their income

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26 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

Here are some real world numbers just to show the bare bones of the actual situation. I don't know why people are so protective of this information, everybody should see how things really are. This is for some original music I wrote and released in 2019 and used CDbaby to publish to the streaming services which cost around $90 to do, if I recall correctly. This is all streaming activity since it was released right up to today. I hope to recoup by 2030.

Ok, 2040 😂

Granted, the style of music we play - slow stoner/doom type stuff where our shortest song is 7 minutes long - is exactly the opposite of how to play the streaming game. Ideally, songs should be as little over 30 seconds as possible to register a play, hence why so many albums now feature short songs, short skits and other filler. We're in it for the doom, not the money, though. I have had to go to 4 decimal places to make sure everything gets covered. Pay is counted in US$. To clarify, we're getting 1.05 cents per stream on SoundExchange, for example, and 1/3 of 1 cent on Spotify.

image.png.2492049895d1d0420435b5498d7370d3.png

Why would you bother, I hear you ask? Well, something is better than nothing, I suppose, but only just. People are going to post your music to youtube and the likes, "share" it on your behalf, whether you like it or not, so you might as well get paid (yes, I know) for it rather than them. That was my logic, anyway, based on it being uploaded to Youtube by several different people unassociated with us. I felt forced into it rather than waste my time finding it and having it pulled down (we did that too, a few times).

By contrast, we have around 100 digital sales on Bandcamp, priced at €3.00 and get roughly €2.33 for each sale there. If I ever come across as a Bandcamp fanboy, it's because they are, without question, the only decent digital music provider who aren't ripping artists off. Bandcamp also give you free streaming and downloads for every purchase of music you make. If anyone wants to check out the music behind the numbers, http://witheredfist.bandcamp.com is my shameless plug 😉 If you actually want to support an artist, Bandcamp or direct from the artist is the only way to do it, in my opinion.

I'd be interested to hear what people think of those numbers, is anyone surprised by them?

How have you been paid so little from iTunes (aside from, you know, capitalism)? A song costs 60-99p, do they take a huge cut?

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29 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

Here are some real world numbers just to show the bare bones of the actual situation. I don't know why people are so protective of this information, everybody should see how things really are. This is for some original music I wrote and released in 2019 and used CDbaby to publish to the streaming services which cost around $90 to do, if I recall correctly. This is all streaming activity since it was released right up to today. I hope to recoup by 2030.

Ok, 2040 😂

Granted, the style of music we play - slow stoner/doom type stuff where our shortest song is 7 minutes long - is exactly the opposite of how to play the streaming game. Ideally, songs should be as little over 30 seconds as possible to register a play, hence why so many albums now feature short songs, short skits and other filler. We're in it for the doom, not the money, though. I have had to go to 4 decimal places to make sure everything gets covered. Pay is counted in US$. To clarify, we're getting 1.05 cents per stream on SoundExchange, for example, and 1/3 of 1 cent on Spotify.

image.png.76da8e629764a376b45c1e7251346122.png

Why would you bother, I hear you ask? Well, something is better than nothing, I suppose, but only just. People are going to post your music to youtube and the likes, "share" it on your behalf, whether you like it or not, so you might as well get paid (yes, I know) for it rather than them. That was my logic, anyway, based on it being uploaded to Youtube by several different people unassociated with us. I felt forced into it rather than waste my time finding it and having it pulled down (we did that too, a few times).

By contrast, we have around 100 digital sales on Bandcamp, priced at €3.00 and get roughly €2.33 for each sale there. If I ever come across as a Bandcamp fanboy, it's because they are, without question, the only decent digital music provider who aren't ripping artists off. Bandcamp also give you free streaming and downloads for every purchase of music you make. If anyone wants to check out the music behind the numbers, http://witheredfist.bandcamp.com is my shameless plug 😉 If you actually want to support an artist, Bandcamp or direct from the artist is the only way to do it, in my opinion.

I'd be interested to hear what people think of those numbers, is anyone surprised by them?

My band are in the same boat. We released an album last month and it has been received fairly well in the stoner/doom circles which is great. This means that numerous different sites/blogs and fans have already posted the whole album to Youtube, which means that we get absolutely zilch for those plays. At least a couple of the larger blogs had the decency to ask if they could post the album and made sure to include a direct link to our bandcamp when posting the video. The process of sharing of the album has helped the band in terms of  'exposure' and our bandcamp physical and digital sales are more than they would have otherwise been if the sharing had not occurred in the first place. 

Essentially, the band have almost written off streaming revenue since we don't operate in a genre where that will ever be a significant revenue driver unless Lady Gaga changes style entirely and does an EP with Sleep. We are still relying on people who find the Youtube links to check out the bandcamp, maybe buy the physical album to listen to it in better quality, possibly buy a t shirt and maybe catch us at a gig sometime when it becomes possible. 

The revenue the band generates helps keep the band going but there is little to no individual income for any of the band members. Even if the band 'made it' within this genre it would not be particularly financially lucrative. 

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Posted (edited)

One big upside today is bands who wouldn't have got a deal under the 'old' system, can self promote and sell internationally in a way no-one could before, Bandcamp etc. 

The one constant of the music industry since it started is the musicans themselves are quite far down the list when it comes to getting paid. Rare to come across anyone in the industry who pre streaming felt they were getting a good deal. 

Edited by Drax
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20 minutes ago, Woodwind said:

Is this complete plays/streams?

It's everything. The reason I was specific about the kind of music we play is because our three-track EP takes 27 minutes to listen to. That 27 minutes still only counts as three plays, however. I could get precious about our art and all that but basically it takes a long time to play four bars at 55bpm 😁

The whole thing is weighted in favour of having as many short tracks as possible above 30 seconds. Vulfpeck nailed it with Sleepify.

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14 minutes ago, bassist_lewis said:

How have you been paid so little from iTunes (aside from, you know, capitalism)? A song costs 60-99p, do they take a huge cut?

This is streaming only. Itunes Music or IMusic or whatever their streaming service is called. They're trying to get out of the music purchase game.

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13 minutes ago, thodrik said:

My band are in the same boat. We released an album last month and it has been received fairly well in the stoner/doom circles which is great. This means that numerous different sites/blogs and fans have already posted the whole album to Youtube, which means that we get absolutely zilch for those plays. At least a couple of the larger blogs had the decency to ask if they could post the album and made sure to include a direct link to our bandcamp when posting the video. The process of sharing of the album has helped the band in terms of  'exposure' and our bandcamp physical and digital sales are more than they would have otherwise been if the sharing had not occurred in the first place. 

Essentially, the band have almost written off streaming revenue since we don't operate in a genre where that will ever be a significant revenue driver unless Lady Gaga changes style entirely and does an EP with Sleep. We are still relying on people who find the Youtube links to check out the bandcamp, maybe buy the physical album to listen to it in better quality, possibly buy a t shirt and maybe catch us at a gig sometime when it becomes possible. 

The revenue the band generates helps keep the band going but there is little to no individual income for any of the band members. Even if the band 'made it' within this genre it would not be particularly financially lucrative. 

That was exactly the situation we were in and felt pushed into publishing it on the streaming sites. This one, which we gave permission for as the guy is good about publishing links back, was getting almost 1000 plays per day, initially, which was the trigger behind taking ownership of the music in the streaming world. It had gotten to around 14,000 plays before the licencing kicked in, which you can now see in the description.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9mCQ9JXYYA

Youtube can recognise the music published to it and will automatically apply a licence like that into a previously existing video. A lot of the people sharing music are monetising it themselves. They're getting paid for someone listening to your music. If they're "sharing" loads of band's music every day, however, it can start to add up. If you want to... not control it, you can't, but at least establish your ownership, setting up publishing with the likes of CDbaby is the way to do it. We didn't get paid for the first 14,000 or so plays of this and, granted, it's not like I'll be buying a speedboat, but I think the people who wrote and played the music should get something out of it instead of someone just putting up music they didn't have anything to do with. I am not a Spotify customer, they are the very worst thing to happen original music, but you're in a corner as an original artist. If you don't take ownership of your music, someone else will do it for you, sadly.

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3 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

I'm old school and still buy CD's. Only downloads i get are when i buy the CD on Amazon and i get the free album download too.

I don't use Spotify or any other streaming. 

I'm a great believer in the artists should get some of the profits from their own albums.

I use streaming and still by CDs if I like something. I don't use amazon.

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That list has highlighted something i never gave a 2nd thought. I do watch bands on youtube. On many occasions someone mentions a band to me and i go and have a listen and if i like it i buy the CD album.

I just thought of that as similar to old vinyl days when you would listen in the music shops before buying. If you like it you buy it.

Sometimes i'll play a band on youtube even tho i already have the album.

Interesting how i never really appreciated what i was doing. Will it change me ? i'm not sure but i'm being honest.

Dave

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1 minute ago, Woodinblack said:

I use streaming and still by CDs if I like something. I don't use amazon.

If i buy an album via Amazon i sometimes get the streaming version for free and i just add it to my Itunes. Have to admit i'm not using itunes as much as i used to.

I now just download my own albums onto a USB and use in the car rather than ipod etc.

Dave

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Doctor J said:

That was exactly the situation we were in and felt pushed into publishing it on the streaming sites. This one, which we gave permission for as the guy is good about publishing links back, was getting almost 1000 plays per day, initially, which was the trigger behind taking ownership of the music in the streaming world. It had gotten to around 14,000 plays before the licencing kicked in, which you can now see in the description.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9mCQ9JXYYA

Youtube can recognise the music published to it and will automatically apply a licence like that into a previously existing video. A lot of the people sharing music are monetising it themselves. They're getting paid for someone listening to your music. If they're "sharing" loads of band's music every day, however, it can start to add up. If you want to... not control it, you can't, but at least establish your ownership, setting up publishing with the likes of CDbaby is the way to do it. We didn't get paid for the first 14,000 or so plays of this and, granted, it's not like I'll be buying a speedboat, but I think the people who wrote and played the music should get something out of it instead of someone just putting up music they didn't have anything to do with. I am not a Spotify customer, they are the very worst thing to happen original music, but you're in a corner as an original artist. If you don't take ownership of your music, someone else will do it for you, sadly.

Yes, 666MrDoom is the main guy who shared our album too. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkcohmp8Unw 

We are up to 9k worth of streams in two weeks. I'm pretty sure the band are up on CDbaby but I would need to check. 

There is one Youtuber who run the Stoned Meadow of Doom page who was pretty much accused of monetising the work of artists by sharing albums but claiming he was helping bands via giving them the old 'exposure' explanation. Of course, he took a hit when accusations of bullying towards bands who didn't want to work with him came to light, along with him having various worldviews which would politely be called 'non-inclusive', which resulted in loads of albums being recalled from his page. 

I shall give your EP a listen later today and contribute about £0.00001 to your streaming revenue. Long form stoner/doom is pretty much my genre of choice!

 

Edited by thodrik
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I shall return the favour and line a very small part of your pockets 😂

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Regarding CDbaby, you have to register each song and get a UPC/EAN code for your music as part of a digital distribution setup in order to get payments. If you're registered with them already it will probably be cheaper but you still have to pay to upload and get the songs published to their "digital partners". You need the UPC/EAN codes to qualify for PRS payments. 
 

I would say it's worth doing but, financially, it might not be worth doing, if you know what I mean.

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1 minute ago, Doctor J said:

Regarding CDbaby, you have to register each song and get a UPC/EAN code for your music as part of a digital distribution setup in order to get payments. If you're registered with them already it will probably be cheaper but you still have to pay to upload and get the songs published to their "digital partners". You need the UPC/EAN codes to qualify for PRS payments. 
 

I would say it's worth doing but, financially, it might not be worth doing, if you know what I mean.

Ah right. We are definitely on that. I just remembered that our vocalist did all of that before we pressed the album,. He is really good in that regard. I just turn up and play bass.

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How do jazzers make it work, despite never selling enough to feature in the hit parade, and playing the small gigs that they do? There are some names in the Notable Deaths thread, who I have never heard of, but they seem to have been consistently working as a musicians without having to get a second job.

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1 hour ago, MacDaddy said:

How do jazzers make it work, despite never selling enough to feature in the hit parade, and playing the small gigs that they do? There are some names in the Notable Deaths thread, who I have never heard of, but they seem to have been consistently working as a musicians without having to get a second job.

Good question. Gig money ?

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If you have to ask that question you'll never zah pap ah dil a doo woo bap a doo

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

If you have to ask that question you'll never zah pap ah dil a doo woo bap a doo

See the source image

Edited by dmccombe7
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5 hours ago, bassist_lewis said:

Something that opened my eyes to the reality of the music industry came through friends who were acquainted with bass players who played with big name touring artists (one who played a Superbowl half-time show). When they weren't touring with these artists, they were hustling for wedding gigs, exactly the same as me.

I think this is far more common that people would imagine. I worked with a pretty big name American artist a couple of years ago, band are all ridiculous top class players, some with a list absolutely huge names on their CVs. They're doing weddings/functions and regular church gigs when they're not on the road. An ex-manager of another band I work with runs a very high end function band agency in London and same story, loads of top class session players with huge pop credits. 

It's definitely eye opening when you get on the inside of it. I do a lot of tour management so I juggle the budgets for the shows. I think back to the bands I idolised as a teenager, the ones I thought "that's where I'd love to be in a few years", and I now know they will all have been slogging their guts out in knackered vans, sleeping in stinky poo hotels and barely making any money at all. As a kid, if their album was on the shelves in HMV and they were selling out 300 cap clubs, I thought they were living the dream! 

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The great unwashed believe that being a Musician is the lazy person's path, but in reality you have to really bust your balls to keep your head above water.

 

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1 hour ago, mike257 said:

I think this is far more common that people would imagine. I worked with a pretty big name American artist a couple of years ago, band are all ridiculous top class players, some with a list absolutely huge names on their CVs. They're doing weddings/functions and regular church gigs when they're not on the road. An ex-manager of another band I work with runs a very high end function band agency in London and same story, loads of top class session players with huge pop credits. 

It's definitely eye opening when you get on the inside of it. I do a lot of tour management so I juggle the budgets for the shows. I think back to the bands I idolised as a teenager, the ones I thought "that's where I'd love to be in a few years", and I now know they will all have been slogging their guts out in knackered vans, sleeping in stinky poo hotels and barely making any money at all. As a kid, if their album was on the shelves in HMV and they were selling out 300 cap clubs, I thought they were living the dream! 

I guess that depends what your dream is! For some people the uncertainty, poor pay and poor treatment is all worth it.

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7 hours ago, Doctor J said:


 If anyone wants to check out the music behind the numbers, http://witheredfist.bandcamp.com is my shameless plug 😉 If you actually want to support an artist, Bandcamp or direct from the artist is the only way to do it, in my opinion

Added to my wishlist for tomorrow's Bandcamp Friday

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I might be wrong , but I think Marillion ask people to send them say £15 or the like , this pays to record the album , then they post it out to the person . I think that model , makes them a half decent living .

Also , I know nothing about streaming , as not interested at all in it ; but has anyone actually refused to have their songs on Spotify or the like? Thus maybe forcing people to actually buy something?

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Has anyone on here actually benefited from the exposure of 90,000 (or however many) plays in terms of more punters at gigs, better paid gigs or better festival slots?

I could suck up the pittance per play if it actually translated into more gigs or better paid gigs.

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54 minutes ago, E sharp said:

I might be wrong , but I think Marillion ask people to send them say £15 or the like , this pays to record the album , then they post it out to the person . I think that model , makes them a half decent living .

Also , I know nothing about streaming , as not interested at all in it ; but has anyone actually refused to have their songs on Spotify or the like? Thus maybe forcing people to actually buy something?

Tool and Taylor Swift at the big end both didn't have their music on Spotify for a long time, they do now, so I assume they had the clout to negotiate a better deal.

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, TheRev said:

Has anyone on here actually benefited from the exposure of 90,000 (or however many) plays in terms of more punters at gigs, better paid gigs or better festival slots?

I could suck up the pittance per play if it actually translated into more gigs or better paid gigs.

We put up videos on YouTube and had a fair few people say they got into the band purely via those, as the vids got linked into those predictive “if you liked” sort of track listings. As such they then came to the gigs and in a good few cases became quite dedicated and well-spending fans.

We didn’t get any more gigs to my knowledge as we got asked to do plenty - more than we could actually do - and I can’t honestly say whether the gigs got better paid or not but we certainly got better placings at gigs once the fan base got bigger.

I do find it galling to have to give away music but that’s how the business works at present, if we all want to take part then playing the game along the same lines has to make sense. After all, how many people win at pontoon with only one card when every other player has two or more?

Edited by Lozz196

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