How many CD sales, downloads or streams does a musician need to get to make minimum wage? Are musicians best off with Spotify, Tidal, or going old-school?
I’m regularly asked, “so how does Spotify work when you are an artist? How do you get paid for plays on their system? How about YouTube or the Pandora streaming services?”
Well the short answer is that you don’t get paid much. I don’t know whether Spotify make money themselves and I don’t know where all the Spotify Premium subscription $11.99s a month are going either. But they must be going somewhere, right? So whether it is Spotify, distributors or record labels making some money out of the streaming services, the people who actually produce the music are losing out.
This brilliant info graphic from Information is Beautiful has been recently updated to include new streaming services. What is tells me is that there is absolutely no point in risking after-show sales etc for the off chance that someone will find your music in the haystack of what is available – whether that haystack is Google Play, Apple Music or Spotify.
Where does that leave independent acts who don’t play (any/many) shows then? I don’t know, I can’t see how they will ever sell any CDs, downloads etc when it is all available on streaming services.
The next record I’m going to be involved in is Soul Messengers third studio album. One thing is for certain, we won’t be publishing it on any streaming platforms in the first year of it’s release, as that has almost certainly cost us sales in the past.
As always, interested to hear your thoughts…. here is the link to the Information is Beautiful article