CAN MUSICIANS MAKE A LIVING SELLING RECORDED MUSIC ANYMORE?
Metal Injection posted an interesting chart from Mashable that shows how many copies of records or tracks sold through various outlets a solo artist needs to sell in order to earn the U.S. monthly minimum wage. Before looking at this chart, please understand a couple of things:
- These numbers don’t take into account fixed costs like recording, gear, mixing, mastering, etc. They assume you’re starting at $1 and profiting from the very first record sold. Of course, most bands who do this all independently will already be in the hole from the above costs, and most bands signed to labels will have to pay back money to the label (“recoup”) before ever seeing a cent.
- This chart shows what it would take for a SOLO artist to earn said amount of money. Since most metal musicians are in bands of 4 or 5 hairy, sweaty dudes… they’d really need to make 4x or 5x this amount of money just to be earning minimum wage.
OK. Now let’s take a look (click to enlarge):
Pretty dire if you’re looking to make a living just on selling recorded music, eh? In short: better hit the road and sell a bunch of t-shirts.