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How much you make as an indie musician vs being signed to a record label

Drew from Crudbump/Toothpaste for Dinner worked up this handy little infographic…

Not sure how this works for no-name bands with multiple members, but the indie artist stuff seems straightforward.

View CommentsHow much you make as an indie musician vs being signed to a record label

  • This comparison is beyond wrong. It’s so ridiculous and completely misleading…it’s like something Fox News would put together for Hannity. First off, the above leads you believe that the artist gets $23.40 if signed to a label, and $700 by selling independently online(which is about 3000% more). But, in reality the money from digital sales ALSO must be split up between the drummer, bassist, manager, etc…so that in reality the “I” in the above scenario makes $126 not $700. So the fact that the number was inflated by 538%, to twist the observer’s point of view, is lame….lame, lame. Bad independent releaser…. nnSecond, the comparison is between physical and digital sales, so essentially the principle of the whole conversation if erroneous. Comparing the income of artists releasing through a label vs releasing independently might be interesting…but don’t mess with people for god’s sake. nnThird, artists signed to a label typically already have gotten an advance and therefore the 13% shown doesn’t go to the artist at all, until they’ve paid off their advance. Advances are sort of like high-interest loans with a few key differences, one big one being there is NO obligation to pay back the loan. (Of course, the artist won’t see a dime until the advance is repaid and repaid with 13% of each record>per example above).nnNow while I whole-heartedly support independent releases, buy them, have a few of my own…there are as many different kinds of record labels as there are record labels, and clumping them all together is just not right. There are a number of labels that function like a community of artists supporting eachother…as some bands get bigger and make more money that money feeds the emerging artists, and so on and so forth. Granted these are the minority, but the point is we need more of them, because things just work better when people work together toward a common goal.

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