If you're in the music business, you've probably seen this infographic from 2010, which starkly contrasts payouts from older formats like CDs and iTunes downloads with streaming formats like Spotify.
Well, a lot has changed in two-and-a-half years. On the indie and DIY artist level, streaming payouts are steadily improving, at least on a percentage level, according to information shared by indie labels and bands like Uniform Motion. Unfortunately, that improvement is not being felt by most major label artists: according to a recent analysis by industry attorney Steve Gordon, most major label artists see nothing from their Spotify streams, outside of the biggest superstars.
Other sources for this updated infographic include Chuck D, whose lawyers recently spilled the beans on depressingly threadbare ringtone and download payouts from the majors. We also tossed in vinyl, which seems to be the breadwinner if you can scale it (even after all the costs). Enjoy!
Please note that indie label and artist payouts on Spotify and Rhapsody are purposely left equal, simply because these are rough figures based on information that has been shared with us (not company-confirmed information). Rhapsody appears to have a fixed per-stream payout, but label pass-throughs are another animal entirely.
Regarding publishing payouts, this assumes controlled compositions from artists (meaning, they own both recording and publishing copyrights). In situations like iTunes payouts, major labels pay publishers from their cut (or at least that's the idea).
And, if you want to dig into some of the source data, it's here.
F. Hampton Monday, July 30, 2012
P.S. – Your art has been relegated to a state of utter worthlessness.
Just Some Guy Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Yeah, this infographic is more like a confusographic.
@michellebranch Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Visitor Monday, July 30, 2012
46 streams from Premium Users = 1 Itunes $0.99 download.
Many people would "sample" a CD on Spotify but would never download it.
Spotify is projected to make $889 million in 2012. It will pay 70% of this or $622 million in music royalties.
Finally. Monday, July 30, 2012
I've been waiting for this.
Paradox Monday, July 30, 2012
comparing Apples to Oranges.
Which is harder?
Getting 100 people to stream a song ONCE
or getting 1 person to download the song?
Look at VEVO views on Youtube. If it pays $0.005 like Spotify, it would mean 200,000,000 views = $1 million USD.
paul Monday, July 30, 2012
Just uploading some tweaks, pardon these:
(a) I listed $0.05 instead of $0.50 in the CD section
(b) Ringtones were listed at $0.08 for artists, instead of $0.05.
(c) I made a minor updated to the calculation for LPs, which bumps the number for minimum wage a little bit.
If you see anything else, let me know.
HansH Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Inspired by my version at http://www.spotidj.com/spotifyroyalties.htm ?
But doesn't Rhapsody pay a little more? My sources show $0.0113 per stream. Spotify pays a little less BTW.
But maybe we should stop focussing on the rate per stream/sale?
The real strenght of a streaming service lies in the number of streams/sales. The rate is determined by the businessmodel, Freemium or subscription only. It's easy to start a service that pays $0.1 per stream but that would require a monthly subscription fee of $100.
Graham Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This graphic is definitely informative, but it's misleading. The ultimate goal is take home pay that the artist can use to live their life with. This only represents income to a business or net profit on a specific product with absolutely no consideration for expenses that are incurred in creating these sales. I have a hard time believing that any artist could consistently sell 150 LPs, 1700 itunes downloads or any combination of the sources, with zero costs in the process.
Vincent Monday, July 30, 2012
Listeners are much more likely to stream a song via subscription, versus buying the download or discs. The system appears to be scaling appropriately, until the Spotify/major label section.
To simply imply that more pink is always bad is bad infographics.
TheMadMonk Monday, July 30, 2012
Compare and contrast
unmastered Monday, July 30, 2012
we were paid $0.0076 recently for Spotify subscription streams. Spotify being the 2nd highest source of digital income for our indie catalog behind iTunes downloads.
@curtsmith Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Who says being independent is not the way to go?
@safewordproject Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This is depressing.
@faulknerd Tuesday, July 31, 2012
@papasfans Tuesday, July 31, 2012
@fnfiwen Tuesday, July 31, 2012
something to think about...
Mathieu-Gilles Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Is there any revenues for youtube streams ? I would be curious to see the data.
Jorge Tuesday, July 31, 2012
If this is really meant to be an update, I think Rdio and MOG should be included. Those are streaming services so the numbers will be close to Spotify, but they add to the complete picture.
guest Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Yeah...even if rdio and mog are a rounding error even among streaming services, they should be noted...and maybe update the rhapsody logo while you're at it.
Vistor Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Spotify just announced that it has over 4 million paying subscribers.
Itunes is the #1 source of revenue.
Spotify might have overtaken Amazon for #2.
Kevin Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This is a helpful update. Any reason for the omission of independent labels? This was the biggest problem with the original graph--it gave people a very faulty impression that independent labels paid very poorly for iTunes and CD sales, when many (most?) abide by the very fair Touch&Go/Dischord 50/50 artist/label split after recouping expenses.
Broken Hours Tuesday, July 31, 2012
How is this graphic anything other than prejudicial? Take the LP/CD out of the equation and compare single tracks only, or compare only full album sales and streams in all formats - but don't compare apples (LP sales) and oranges (single streams) in the same statistical array just to make your point. With this graphic you are simply propagandizing.
the artist Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I can make CD's a lot cheaper than 4.00 a piece.
@timschram Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Why I don't use Spotify. It takes 232k plays for artists to make .05, while some labels make millions with fixed deals.
@cdagrp Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Unbelievable the price you pay to be a major label artist.
@seaninsound Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This doesn't include YouTube (or Soundcloud).
@andyw_audio Tuesday, July 31, 2012
A must read.
@elliotthurst Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Most Infamous (aka Depressing) Music Infographic...
MDTI Tuesday, July 31, 2012
To those who ask about revenues from youtube:
1/ there is the monetization of pages thanks to advertising, but I have no idea of the price. Probably interesting if you are lady gaga or david guetta, ie a handful out of thousands...
You got to ask the major labels for their special deals.
2/ Youtube gives 500 USD (i think it is USD) + a camera case (yey) for *channels* that pass 100.000 subscribers. It doesn't matter if you are musician, comedian, video blog maker, specialized in cats & dog cute movies: youtube wants to reward content providers.
A few musicians got the reward (yey, gaga gets 500 USD + a camera case !).
Here is where I learnt about it
500 USD / 100 000 = 0.005 cent per subscriber.
How do subsribers compare to streams ? Subscribers are only a small portion of those who watched the content.
However, the last *content* I bought (cd, blu rays) has systematically been after listening/watching on youtube, as a "last precaution" before the purchase. The tubes I watched were not official apparently, were complete rip offs of cd albums uploaded with only the cover image as "video". But it made me buy the albums, movies etc.
Please note that I care about quality, and if I still buy CD and Blu Ray, it because I want the super quality to listen on my super high end audio setup. Also, buying a few CD/Blu-rays per month does not hurt my finance at all (very important point).
The last one I got was trippy; the band I was a fan in the 80's reunited and made a new, excellent, album: it was trippy to go in the shop, and actually find the album, like in the old days!!! wow this album purchase was actually like when I was 16. Nowadays kids are missing a lot of the excitment around a physical album purchase ;-)
@hatross Tuesday, July 31, 2012
did a quick blog on how these figures compare to bandcamp - http://spoonfuloftar.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/bandcamp-compared-with-selling-outhow.html
selling an album at $9.99 with the optiumum options on Bandcamp you'd need to sell 136 copies.
Bobo Records Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This only shows the inovation needed to make money in th is business. The music can only been a inlet to other outlets and then let nature take its course.
Caspar Milquetoast Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Spotify is a sleazy, cheap cheat site.
@ashmont Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Attn: recording artists - you are so totally screwed
@aeoudemuse Wednesday, August 01, 2012
268 CDs = MIN WAGE??
@adamwiener Wednesday, August 01, 2012
@locobedoya Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Go ahead, support your favorite artists by playing their songs an infinite number of times on Spotify.
wallow-T Wednesday, August 01, 2012
From the customer perspective, the dirty secret is the hundreds and hundreds of albums which I purchased at full price over the years, which got played zero, one or two times.
Most low-priced hard goods come with a promise "Satisfaction guaranteed," but curiously, very rarely have music recordings come with that sort of guarantee.
daz Friday, August 24, 2012
Sorry, this really begs the question,why are you buying such shit albums?
JustLikeAmmy Thursday, August 02, 2012
I make experimental electronic music under the alias JustLikeAmmy.
I vowed years ago to never charge for anything I produce and keep it freely available because of these very points.
I'm literally losing nothing but stress--just look at the charts. I could make more money cranking that minimum-wage-penny-art-project thing rather than stressing over how to turn my passion into dollars.
Especially when realities such as this article make it so incredibly clear how much nobody else gives a shit. Handling my music the way I do I've learned one thing: when it's free, people just take it. No donations ever or anything, just dang--theres. And people LOVE giving Apple/Spotify their money. It's so fun for them.
Therefore musicians are screwed over because the world is retarded. We just gotta deal with it--but that's why we're musicians and make art anyways, right? The tasty irony.
@sarcasymptote Thursday, August 02, 2012
Eek. Good thing I decided NOT to be a rock star. Also, stop stealing music everyone.
@Rampensau Friday, August 03, 2012
ja diese Streamingdienste sind das Letzte, was man als Künstler braucht
@bradsawicki Friday, August 03, 2012
Making a living as a musician = impossible
@_vrtx_ Friday, August 03, 2012
La realidad que viven muchos artistas.
@samnel84 Friday, August 03, 2012
Nice to see that, not only is vinyl ice, it pays the artist well too
@tomstrumreed Friday, August 03, 2012
This is unbelievable. This is why I fukin hate Spotify
@lifeishard Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Not that our band ever made that much money, but we did chart past top 20 twice and iTunes did pay a few thousand a month for a year or so. Now, thanks to Spotify etc the cheques are more like $200 split three ways... yeap being a musican just got a lot harder and pointless, at least financially speaking.
Max Rotvel Wednesday, August 08, 2012
You really should add Bandcamp to the mix. Should be easy as they are completely transparent about their pricing: http://bandcamp.com/pricing/
Visitor Friday, August 10, 2012
Good luck selling 149 LPs a month.
Faza (TCM) Monday, September 03, 2012
FYI: it requires you to put out one album a year and have 1788 vinyl-buying fans. It's not exactly easy, but with a bit of luck (and targetting) doable...
Not that it's nearly enough - these are absolute, rock-bottom minimum numbers after all.