How I Made 20 Bucks

erica bryan, behind the mic, beaverdamusa.comIf anyone was wondering how well the music business is doing, I would like to share with you how I made my last $20. 

The direct ACH deposit was to pay you:
$4.56 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through CD Baby Publishing
$3.80 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through CD Baby Publishing
$1.27 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Apple iTunes
$1.27 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Apple iTunes
$1.27 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Apple iTunes
$1.27 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Apple iTunes
$0.83 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through CD Baby Publishing
$0.68 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through 7digital
$0.64 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Amazon MP3
$0.64 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Amazon MP3
$0.64 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Apple iTunes
$0.64 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.64 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Apple iTunes
$0.61 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through CD Baby Publishing
$0.17 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.16 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.13 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.07 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.07 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.06 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.06 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.06 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Locker
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rumblefish
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Slacker Radio
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rdio
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes – Apple Music – US
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes – Apple Music – US
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Google Music Store

My Distributor: “$20.19 was transferred to your account.”
Me: “What?! But I scrolled down this list for so long! Aren’t there enough transactions here for at least $30? Excuse me, I need to go get a business degree.”

The Changing World of the Music Business

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI read a Facebook post by Marv Ross the other day that took me really by surprise.  I had heard that online streaming royalties (Pandora, etc.) were low, but I didn’t realize how low.  Marv and his wife Rindy are the group Quarterflash which broke onto the scene in the 1980’s and arguably, their biggest hit was “Harden My Heart”.  Marv posted that he had received his quarterly ASCAP royalty statement and noted that “Harden My Heart” had been played on streaming media 500,242 times.  His payment as was $62.66.  That’s $0.000125/play for you non-math peeps.  In other words, it would have to be streamed 100 times to earn a cent.

If you don’ know, my day job is accounting, so when music and numbers collide, it is kind of like nirvana (the place, not the group) for me.  Marv’s post kind of got me thinking about how the music industry has changed.

Flash back to the olden days of when there was only vinyl and 8-tracks.  Bands and artists would form and build a name for themselves.  If they were good enough or had something unusual that caught the eye of a producer, they would get the golden ring of the music industry – a record deal.  With a record deal came advances (that means $$$), recording of the debut album in a full blown studio, and tons of marketing by the record company.  Out of all of this, it was hoped that the band/artist’s music would “catch” and they would take off to stardom.  If so, then came record #2 while the act was hot (I have a theory on sophomore albums that I will muse on later) and the cycle continues.  Should the music not catch on, often there wouldn’t be a second album unless the company really believed in the band.

Fast forward to today – people can record music on their home computer, burn it to a CD, upload it to the internet and publicize their song via social media.  It may even get “popular” and several people purchase their song.  All this without a record company.  Of course, this is over-simplification and I realize there are still record companies and distribution deals for the really big acts.  However, it is easier to get your music heard by the general population.  A friend of mine was in a rock band that was formed at a strict Christian college in rural Tennessee back in the early 1980’s.  Through hard work and self-promotion, they were able to draw close to 5,000 for some of their shows.  They got the record deal, but didn’t make it to the second album.  One day he told me that he wondered how big they could have been if they had the Internet back in the day.

I recently contributed money to a friend through a “gofundme” page to help her get enough money for to make a CD.   For my contribution, I got a thank you on the liner notes.  Pretty cool.

I also learned that a Tennessee company has formed in which you can purchase shares and you will own a portion of some country songs and receive royalties.   The company buys pieces of the songs from the artists – they get money and the investors hope for a return from royalties.  An intriguing concept. (http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2015/10/12/law-gives-investors-entry-into-music-royalty-world/73829584/).

Yes, by this point, it may be obvious that my ADD is kicking in high gear as I write this, but I do think they are all related.  Yes, we need to pay artists and songwriters more for their art,  But maybe we can pay them in non-traditional ways (like the crowd sourcing or new Tennessee company).  While the modern age may have diluted album sales, it has given greater opportunity for new music to be heard.  I guess in all this rambling, I am trying to say, like a lot of things in life, which with change comes good and bad.  I guess we have to take the good, improve the bad, and learn to know the difference.

Musing on the business side of music –

Zach

 

 

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