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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > How Much the Musicians Get from Album Sales

How Much the Musicians Get from Album Sales

How Much the Musicians Get from Album Sales

Added: Saturday, July 17th, 2010
Category: Bit Torrent Freedom > The Industries Of Records, Gaming, Software, Movies
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
As you might have noticed, the major record labels keep arguing that the performers deserve to be paid. However, if you consider the numbers of how money gets split from album sales, you’ll probably come to a decision that labels don’t pay their artists money they deserve on their own will.


The image has left from the early 90s that musicians that get signed on to major record companies always live the luxury life. Perhaps, today there are still many artists out there believing that this is the true way the music business works. Numerous tales about performers going bankrupt after signing on to major record company that have surfaced within the last years didn’t touch them. Unfortunately, this is what happens to the vast majority of artists, because being signed on to a major record label doesn’t mean the performer will follow the road paved with gold.

If you are wondering where the money you pay for a CD actually goes, the following statistics might be interesting for you. The numbers revealed below are not a point of view of a single entity, but it rather has been confirmed by the independent researches of CIPPIC (Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic) and American artist Courtney Love.

It seems like the issue of paying musicians is not what the labels are so willing to talk about. In fact, they only talk about it on anti-piracy campaigns. Moreover, the case of 2008 when the record companies came to court demanding to reduce musicians’ royalties they had to pay out may be just one reason to make a conclusion that the labels only want to pay the performers as little as possible.

Let’s see how the money gets distributed from the album sales. Almost two thirds (63%) go straight to the record label. Around a quarter (24%) is received by distributors. Only after it whatever has left (about 13%) gets split between the band management, lawyers, producers, performers, personal managers, etc.

Although this only describes a picture of physical album sales, the situation for digital sales is most likely similar. The only question is why then the reason for artists not getting paid is believed to be illegal file-sharing, but not the labels’ reluctance to pay performers their hard earned cash.

The last thing that is worth noting is that the scheme above is only adopted by major record labels, while the smaller ones usually treat artists more honestly.

July 17th, 2010

Posted by: 

Date:  Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Comments (20) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2010-07-17 16:04:25)
Noch avatarwell lets not forget that when an artist goes on the road they pay for it themselves, they pay the hotel, the road crew, equipment rentals even merchandise comes out of their cut .The record companies have been fleecing the artists for almost 100 yrs . Think Robert Johnson got paid for what his music is actually worth.

posted by (2010-07-17 17:08:48)
CaptCosmo avatarWorldwide, GREED is destroying our individual societies and, if we are not careful, our Planet. It's not in one place anymore. If the "BOTTOM LINE" rule continues we all lose. Shaekespear was right with his advice on Attornies. Greed rules within their Profession and the record companies hire or are managed by the GREEDIEST! Radiohead gave their music, their art, away on the internet as free download and asked that you donate what you thought it was worth. Their latest recordings were not really up to standards and was lacking. THEY collected 10 MILLION dollars the first week. Most important was the fact that the Greediest Music Companies didn't profit. It just goes to show that we don't need them. We need to continue to share and hope we can bury them. Possibly they will then develope a business model that work in this digital age. One the Artists can actually profit from and the consumers can afford. If they ever want me to purchase media, they better lower the price. You want me to go to the movies? Again, lower the price. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours....

posted by ET junkieET loverTurtle (2010-07-17 17:21:58)
fusseltier avatarthose companies want their cake and eat it too.
they make up some outrageous amount that they say they lose but they are ripping everyone off.
its ok for them to do it though... they are a corporation and have more rights than individuals.

posted by (2010-07-17 18:43:50)
DooDee avatarNice Break down of the matter, this shows that ethics are dictated by the most powerful,those who maintain monopoly over the masses ( masses busy surviving and consuming the powerful's brainwashing toys and leftovers helping them cope with their modern slavery status).

This has become my regular stop : short articles, concise and clear, up to date, illustrated. Regards for the author Sam : thank you

posted by (2010-07-17 20:36:50)
megadethmen avatarNada nothing. just from tours. and thats why i like snatching albums from them :P

posted by Blocked (2010-07-17 21:23:41)
menahunie avatarSam - Great article and you have shown what everyone has been talking about.

For those of you who are not able to figure out what is being said; look at the pie graph. Now think of ONE DOLLAR as a total of 100 - Record companies which also are most time also THE DISTRIBUTOR AS WELL take about $.87 of every dollar made.
The "Artists" get $.13 ( 13 CENTS ) of every dollar and all their expenses come out of that so they if very lucky may get around 2-3 CENTS FOR EVERY DOLLAR ON CD SALES. Now none of the money made by the record companies and they won;t tell is how much from BACK DOOR SALES and sale overseas...

Would you work at a job where you boss took over 87 cents from every dollar you earn because they gave you a job?

This is why allot of "artists" are leaving record companies and starting their own labels or start a co=op where they themselves HIRE the production of their CD's, or direct sales to you and I via the internet.

Now when they do this their cut turns the other way around and THEY make the money and where it goes for expenses.
Here is a link to an interview with Radio Head: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100609/0651119751.shtml

Radiohead's Thom Yorke Predicts Record Labels Have Months, Not Years, Left To Live
from the bit-of-an-exaggeration dept

Ruby writes in to alert us to an interview with Radiohead's Thom Yorke, where he tells young musicians not to sign with a major record label because they're completely dying, and in the very near future:

Yorke claims the mainstream music industry is dying and that this will be "no great loss to the world" before telling aspiring musicians not to tie themselves to the "sinking ship".

Yorke suggests it will be "only a matter of time -- months rather than years -- before the music business establishment completely folds"

That seems like a hefty exaggeration. While it is true that the one major label that Yorke has worked with, EMI, may end up "going under" in the next few months (more likely, it will get bought out), the other three major record labels, while struggling, aren't going anywhere in a matter of months. The key point that he makes, though, is valid: young musicians today don't need the major record labels -- and, in many cases, it's quite risky for artists to sign a deal that locks them to such a label for many years. That is not to say that record labels can't help artists or that they're not needed. For some (perhaps many) artists, labels can be quite helpful. But, with the industry in flux right now, the major labels might not be the best place to go to try to build a career. Yes, they have marketing experience, but more and more indie acts are figuring out how to break out without the majors, and the "cost" of signing with a major is quite high in terms of control, rights and ability to experiment both artistically and at the business level.

>>>Here is another link ALL ABOUT THE RIAA AND THEIR NUMBERS: http://www.azoz.com/music/features/0008.html

posted by Blocked (2010-07-17 21:25:31)
menahunie avataranother great link: http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html

posted by (2010-07-17 21:34:22)
No avatarIts no wonder the RIAA/MPAA'a are going nuts over P2P'ing, they need to protect there gravy train. I dont see Studios/Labels being around much longer, at least in there current form. Studios will shrink, and Rec Labels will hurt the most by going away and making room for artist's to promote there own by way of website and direct sales.

posted by Blocked (2010-07-18 02:19:03)
SaveIt4later avatarFor now though without the record companies. Where do we p2pers get our "original" source of music from? Some dude "buys" the cd, rips it and uploads it to the net. Ummm where did he "buy" it from? You got it the record companies.

posted by ET junkiemen (2010-07-18 10:37:57)
LocoMucho avatarReally great article SaM.
Record companies are not die yet,but i'm glad that artist make their own labels and get more freedom.I was thinking what is the next move of Major Labels,if they want to exist?

posted by (2010-07-18 11:28:59)
messiahx4ever avatarBack in the day, I worked the Richfield Colleseum, Richfield Ohio and I was shocked at what the artists were paid and all the frills you read about some of them wanting was paid for by the artists themselves. I worked with the concert tours section and ALL the promo stuff on the radio was paid for by the industry but they got it all back in ticket sales the acts were constantly compared to see if they would continue to be big draws on the circuit venue. To save and increase profits, festival seating was introduced and this caused all tickets to be high priced and dangerous because people did die from this type of seating just for greed.

posted by (2010-07-18 12:59:40)
dubbsizzle avatarI have know for the last 15 or so years that artist only make pennies on the dollar on their CD sales. Nothing new to me. But what I don't understand is for those artist to keep going to those record companies and signing up for deals promising so many albums to the record company. I think L.L. Cool J had like a 13 record deal before he could end his contract. OUCH. Who could want that. Do what radio head did. Put the album out for everyone to grab and include CD Art for those who want to print their own labels and charge a reasonable price. Since you cut out the record company promoting your product, cut back the cost of printing, making of physical media and shipping it to stores you get way more profit. After the money starts rolling in use some of it to go out and promote your album to sell even more copies. I see the standard music store changing to where they still have some physical copies but more a place to go download what you want, burn on to disc and labeled on the spot type of thing. Maybe even allowing you to pick various artist and songs for one disc. This would not be a bad idea. Since some people do not wish to use their own computers or don't have access to one maybe that would work.

posted by (2010-07-18 21:40:23)
Bustakap avatarRecord labels probably won't die, they'll just continue to do what they're already doing, backing the winning ponies, in this case the teen/pre-teen directed acts like Lady GaGa and The Jonas Brothers,Miley Cyrus, and all their future counterparts/clones, at the expense of the smaller acts and the ones less likely to generate a 'frenzy' in the core market, which has pretty much always been tweens. This whole trend is nothing new, it's just more obvious these days because most of the recording industry is owned by/owns most of the mass media industry, so these days we're absolutely flooded with soulless, vapid money-machines, basically everywhere you turn. Even the internet, the once heralded 'last bastion of the free market' is already flooded with advertisements and payola everywhere you go. It's 'the nature of the biz', or so they say. Everyone's got a back that needs scratching, and most people can be persuaded with cash to scratch that back.
Ok, my comment was a disparate collection of ramblings. What can I say?

posted by Blocked (2010-07-19 00:40:53)
menahunie avatardubbsizzle - you nailed what allot of people have been saying in these posts.

Even looking at the current articles about the only one's making money is the lawyers.

Again all this is, is about control and it is all slipping away from the RIAA and even the MPAA.

It is beyond me how the people who nailed for judgments so high it was clearly impossible for them to even pay it; so they had their live ruined and I am very sure allot of the music fans are aware of this.

The defense lawyers and possibly now even the court are starting to learn what this is all about and the recent court acts show this.

Some one downloads songs they like and wind up with a multimillion dollar judgment against for that; WHEN THESE SAME PEOPLE RIAA give it to radio stations to play on the air FOR FREE and WITH NO COPYRIGHT NOTICE BEFORE THE DJ AIRS IT!

Just think a person gets sued and they state they recorded the music from the radio and stored it on their computer? Many do it with all the current portable devices everyone is using today.

I think this now starts to get into the "fair use" part of the DCMA. How is the RIAA or even the MPAA ( recorded movie from the TV? ) going to deal with that. They are trying very hard too MPAA by getting a law passed where they can at their will block "their" shows on the TV.. I guess they want a chip installed into the millions of DVR's people use so they can setect them MPAA and block the signal to YOU! Veyr frightening when what you watch and when will be monitored 24/7.

posted by (2010-07-19 03:18:24)
KazzGirl avatarNo One looks after your money better that you do! RadioHead learned this and proffited from their last album much more than any album previously. I salute RadioHead for showing other artists the future of music sales. And ofcourse there was no physical production that was incurred and by my reckoning that did not cause wads of pollution ie rubbish, noise, carbon, waste etc. Self Digital distribution of audio and audio visual works is not only better for the artist financially, but BEST for our earth. It leaves less of a footprint on the environment. Not that I am a radical greenie, but this an angle that has not been mentioned in all of this and one that should be considered in any of our P2P arguments. Those grubby lawyers make all the money and the music industry protects their livelyhood. That is so wrong for everyone except the bottom feeding scum. OOOPPPSSS sorry I meant to say lawyers and music producers. My Bad!

posted by (2010-07-19 10:42:51)
IndexTrance avatarGreat reading..

posted by (2010-07-19 17:29:01)
No avatarwow thats a great post an very true. me being a music artist myself ive chose to stay underground an fund my own records/ write an produce my own records so i don half to deal with all the cut throat stuff the record labels like to pull. these days home recording studios are putting out the same quality as what your gettn from the big one. - all the bull shit lone shark crap the big studios like to pull. ps LAfreshhh ( peace love unity respect ) www.reverbnation.com/LAfreshhh

posted by Blocked (2010-07-20 03:48:15)
menahunie avatarIn the past why "artists" signed with bug Record labels was because they had all the "Machinery" in place; promoting, recording, production, advertising, distribution, and concert promoters, etc.
Today that has all changed to a point where the RIAA doesn't have the monopoly on the recording Industry and are losing control as each day passes.

There are recording facilities you can rent by the hour that are NOT controlled by the RIAA and FAR CHEAPER THAN THE SCREW JOB THEY GIVE YOU FOR USING THEIR FACILITIES...

There are artists who made their own discovery of new artists and promoted them seperate from the record Companies; then went on with their own careers.

RadioHead, Courtney Love to name a little and the number is growing day by day. They are showing the artists do not have to take the crap from the record companies any more. They were laughed at and told they are loser's and will fail; BUT look who is laughing ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK...

posted by (2010-07-20 04:17:29)
spiritchaser5150 avatarA lot of good reads on this one. I never knew the breakdown. It's a shame to think Uncle Sam didn't get his share yet either. So 100 sold wouldn't even cover a good night at the bar. Hell how do they maintain a drug habit

posted by (2010-07-21 03:17:41)
No avatarWE SALUTE RADIOHEAD! shame on u LARS ULRICH of metallica, he was the one who against the p2p pair download, SICK ON YOU LARS! gREEEEDDYY!

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