A Major Label Artist Makes 8 Cents On a 99-Cent iTunes Download…

That is, according to federal court documents filed Wednesday by attorneys for Chuck D.  The detailed breakdown shows that for every 1,000 iTunes downloads sold, a UMG-signed artist gets paid $80.33.  And that’s after the label collects on a 25% ‘Container Charge for Audiophile Records,’ as well as a 15% ‘Net Sales Deduction‘.

Which means that for every one download, the payout is roughly 8.033 cents.


Which is wildly different than the payout from someone like Tunecore, which pays the full 70-cents.  That is, after yearly fees, and without any of the marketing push, but that’s another article entirely.

Actually, the ringtone payout is loaded with even more artificial ingredients, including the same ‘Audiophile Packaging Deduction’.  In fact, despite a much higher price tag on ringtones (ie, $3 listed here), the major label artist gets a paltry per-ringtone payout of 5 cents.


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