For all the arguing over streaming income, there's this. According to stats just shared by CD Baby with Digital Music News, the typical artist makes more than 82 percent of their revenue from paid downloads, with CDs accounting for more than 11 percent. That leaves streaming revenues - including Spotify - with a scant 6.5 percent contribution.
CD Baby, one of the largest direct-to-fan distributors, shuttles music to a broad range of endpoints that include iTunes, Spotify, Facebook, Amazon MP3, Google Play, and even YouTube through synch catalogs like Rumblefish. That's just the start of a menu that also includes discs, and CD Baby president Brian Felsen clarified that these are aggregated figures that tend to mask considerable variation between different artists. "Artist money is all over the place," Felsen noted. "Some make it exclusively from CDs, some from downloads, it depends on the artist and genre."
That said, this is what happens when you pool everything together from all CD Baby artists, and average it out for the typical artist.
Everything is climbing. Felsen noted that download revenues are currently increasing by 21 percent, streaming is booming 124 percent, and even CDs gained 1 percent over last year. That could be a sign of physical bottoming, though Felsen also pointed to a number of business improvements and partnerships. "I definitely am able to attribute the CD increase to our deal with Alliance [Entertainment], improvements in processes with Amazon, and new international retail partnerships," Felsen continued.
The company is undoubtedly invested in the CD as a format, given that its parent is Discmakers. That said, the purchase of CD Baby was understandably motivated by the continued erosion of CDs, and the latest staying power can only last so long.
Digging deeper into the digital picture, here's a breakdown of various online and mobile outlets. This was shared with us by CD Baby in February of this year, so we're guessing that Spotify has probably notched some meaningful gains since then.
Jabsco Friday, August 10, 2012
How can this info graphic not include YouTube stream revenue?
Casey Saturday, August 11, 2012
I am going to guess CD Baby doesn't make anything from Youtube?
Central Scrutinizer Saturday, August 11, 2012
CD baby isn't in the streaming business either. This fact must be taken into consideration when judging the veracity of the data.
Faza (TCM) Thursday, August 16, 2012
I think there may be some confusion as to how CD Baby works, so let me clear some of that up, as an artist that is distributed by them.
Summing up, there are many reasons why YouTube revenue still isn't included in the above figures. This might change if and when CD Baby chooses to publish similar information in the future. However, based on what I know about how much YouTube pays (and the fact that accounting is likely to be shady at best) I don't expect licensing revenue from that source to be a significant component for a long time to come.
HansH Monday, August 13, 2012
From CD Baby to Download Baby to Stream maybe?
Steve Monday, August 13, 2012
I really think streaming is the way the industry is moving. This change will be predominant in the next generation of music fans.
Artists can also get their music on to Spotify even cheaper than CDBaby at RouteNote.com
musicguest Monday, August 13, 2012
It costs $50 for an artist to list their album with CD baby and take advantage of all these aggregators. It does nothing to promote the album. Artists can also place their albums on the aggregators themselves. Even then, the aggregators get all the promotion a.k.a. "buy our album on iTunes!" Trying to make your $50 back or get anything done is a collossal task, yet they also tell you to place as much of your old catalog on their site as possible because it may be used for synch licensing (at $50 a piece) It's becoming a reality that artists are getting tired of these aggregators, we didn't need them in the past and likely won't need them in the future.
Brian Felsen Monday, August 13, 2012
Actually, that one-time fee is not only very affordable, and not too colossal of a sum to make back for so many independent musicians, but it gets you many other services and tools, including our widget, the YouTube deal, our Facebook music store, and many other things at http://members.cdbaby.com/ and to come (not to mention physical CD distribution!) And many of the retail stores we deliver to - actually, most - don't take artists going direct (because they don't want to deal with nonstandard metadata and encoding or millions of accounts) - and, even if someday they would, our handling all of the accounting and delivery for you would save you many hours of hassle. As far as promotion, we don't want to make false promises or charge huge sums to offer "marketing packages" as other companies do - we're all about providing advice (at diymusician.cdbaby.com and in our newsletters) and tools to help you look good and get you everywhere. Cheers.
- Brian Felsen
President, CD Baby
Visitor Tuesday, August 14, 2012
What was the method used to compile these stats?
Antho9 Tuesday, August 14, 2012
So CD Baby should change it's name to "Aggregator Baby"? I've been reading for years about CD Baby boasting how it has sold millions of CDs for independent artists but now they're revealing that they don't really sell many physical CDs at all? I'm confused - when did this happen? I was under the impression that downloads only accounted for a small portion of CD Baby's revenue (unlike the majors).Weird... so much for making a living from selling CDs I guess!
@mfioretti_en Sunday, August 26, 2012
here is another piece that, albeit comforting of course, repeats the mistake that musician=artist
Alexis Acosta Monday, September 03, 2012
I've seen many of my wish list items not having cd purchase available anymore.I'm an upcoming audiophile and I'm trying to purchase cds whenever I can afford them.It just so many artist,it's expensive.I hope cds stick around.I don't want to be stuck with 320 bit rate max.Most digital music services only provide 256bit rate for mp3s also.everyone loves and has hd tv,and I want my hd music too.
Digital music distribution has only made piracy easier,most people under 50 just donwload torrents and mp3s illegally.I was sent reports to the FBI and RIAA about limewire and megaupload months before they were both shut down;I hope my reports led to the shut downs.Everyone at my job tells me they download music for free,even my boss,pisses me off.People have no morals,becasue they think they can't caught.they have that everyone else is doing it too mentality.