Tunecore says typical artist sells $179 of music a year

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JGriffin
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Post by JGriffin » Fri May 13, 2011 12:05 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:have we reached the point in the thread where jeff disappears?
Considering that the dude whose company he's been attacking has shown up to defend himself, I'd say chances are good.

Or, at the very least, ol' hiero will avoid responding to any of Peter's very solid points.


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Post by lapsteel » Fri May 13, 2011 12:15 pm

$179 sounds about right. Consider how much you make per stream.

Rhapsody - 1 cent per song
Napster - 2 cents per song
Myspace Music - .0004 cents per song
Wherever else maybe 1 cent.

When did TuneCore album renewal get cranked to $49.99 per year? :shock:

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Post by jhharvest » Fri May 13, 2011 12:46 pm

PeterTuneCore wrote:FYI, that "$179" thing is a nonsense number created by someone unconnected to TuneCore, who is missing considerable data. You can put it out of your mind, it's meaningless.

The idea of an "average artist" cracks me up, even as a mathematical concept. I've never even met an artist who described their music as "average." ;)
Is there any chance you could post us some actual figures? Especially interested in the median and third quartile figures.

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Post by alex matson » Fri May 13, 2011 1:17 pm

Maybe I'm overly critical. I know I criticize my own songwriting to the point that I haven't put anything out there. But I watched James Taylor's One Man Band dvd last night and was amazed at how good he still is. I can't believe he would be spending his time, were he starting out today, on promoting himself, networking, etc. He'd perform and word would get around.

At work they often have the radio on, and it's astounding how often the I V vi IV progression is used. (I'm talking the kind of station that plays Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Kesha.) I mean it's sometimes 2 out of 3 songs. I don't know what these writers are after besides fame and fortune, and I don't care. I didn't like this stuff when I was a teenager and I don't now. I read an article recently that said that there were no big rock albums last year; it was all country and rap.

This post threatens to get rambling, but so be it. I still think the best music will find an audience and the musicians will be rewarded with enough fans to support them. Maybe not stadiums any more, but theaters and clubs are more fun anyway. My old band in its prime went pretty far. When the records and live shows dropped in quality, so did the airplay and size of the crowds. Like any relationship not treated with care, things got stale and eventually everyone parted ways.

I say this after having experienced a lifetime in and out of music. There are countless people making music in every genre, but how much of it is truly special?
I met dozens of bands and singer songwriters, and with the exception of Sarah Harmer, Cory Sipper and Chris DiCroce, none stood out to my ears.

This is not to say that great artists don't sometimes have rotten luck. But prove me wrong: post something amazing that should be known but isn't.

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Post by PeterTuneCore » Fri May 13, 2011 1:21 pm

Nah, it's misleading. It's the kind of statistic that folds in your sales with thousands of others of all kinds, including NIN and Jay-Z, to come up with some kind of weird fantasy composite that doesn't shed any real illumination on anything for anyone.

Better is advice: we can look at people who are doing really well, and ask them, "Hey, what are you doing to drive those sales?" and get real-world, doable, reasonable answers. Maybe they're touring hard? Maybe they hired a good PR firm? Answers like these are way more interesting and useful.

--Peter
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jhharvest wrote:
PeterTuneCore wrote:FYI, that "$179" thing is a nonsense number created by someone unconnected to TuneCore, who is missing considerable data. You can put it out of your mind, it's meaningless.

The idea of an "average artist" cracks me up, even as a mathematical concept. I've never even met an artist who described their music as "average." ;)
Is there any chance you could post us some actual figures? Especially interested in the median and third quartile figures.
Peter Wells
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Post by jhharvest » Fri May 13, 2011 1:46 pm

Okay. I'm reading your reply as "Not a whole lot". That accurate?

Median value generally eliminates the exceptional performers, which is why it's so useful. But I respect the advice that "See what the top performers have done right and try to apply that."

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Post by fossiltooth » Fri May 13, 2011 3:54 pm

PeterTuneCore wrote:Nah, it's misleading. It's the kind of statistic that folds in your sales with thousands of others of all kinds, including NIN and Jay-Z, to come up with some kind of weird fantasy composite that doesn't shed any real illumination on anything for anyone.

Better is advice: we can look at people who are doing really well, and ask them, "Hey, what are you doing to drive those sales?" and get real-world, doable, reasonable answers. Maybe they're touring hard? Maybe they hired a good PR firm? Answers like these are way more interesting and useful.
Good answer! Thanks for bringing some sanity back to the thread.

The fact that there are artists who put their albums up on Tunecore (or anywhere) and sell negligible copies, doesn't make it a less viable service. Nor does it make those lower-selling artists worthy of our scorn. After all, making music is programmed into all of our DNA. It's not just for a minority elite of professionals.

Anyway, some people just want to present what's important to them, regardless of whether they have serious commercial ambitions. I say more power to 'em: it keeps studios busy, and keeps everyday people consistently engaged and constantly learning about music. Everybody wins.

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Post by @?,*???&? » Wed May 18, 2011 1:10 pm

PeterTuneCore wrote:Nah, it's misleading. It's the kind of statistic that folds in your sales with thousands of others of all kinds, including NIN and Jay-Z, to come up with some kind of weird fantasy composite that doesn't shed any real illumination on anything for anyone.

Better is advice: we can look at people who are doing really well, and ask them, "Hey, what are you doing to drive those sales?" and get real-world, doable, reasonable answers. Maybe they're touring hard? Maybe they hired a good PR firm? Answers like these are way more interesting and useful.

--Peter
peter@tunecore.com

jhharvest wrote:
PeterTuneCore wrote:FYI, that "$179" thing is a nonsense number created by someone unconnected to TuneCore, who is missing considerable data. You can put it out of your mind, it's meaningless.

The idea of an "average artist" cracks me up, even as a mathematical concept. I've never even met an artist who described their music as "average." ;)
Is there any chance you could post us some actual figures? Especially interested in the median and third quartile figures.
Which is why 85% of the crap that comes through a local studio never comes out and yet still gets released on Tunecore or CD Baby. $179 a year is incredibly realistic. The concept you all should be thinking about is the 'long tail' and this is part of it. Is $179 the average? Likely. Does it reflect those who are most successful and who likely had major labels start their careers? No. We have no right to ask anyone at Tunecore or any other independent distributor to open their books, but I suspect like the Moses Avalon parsing of the CD Baby details where 85% of CD Baby artists don't re-coup the $35 sign up fee is akin to this $179 a year figure.

Which EXACTLY the reason why I harp on what is a 'legitimate' release. If band isn't gonna do the minimum, they'll never do better than the minimum- i.e., $179 a year.

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Post by Bro Shark » Wed May 18, 2011 2:15 pm

@?,*???&? wrote:Which is why 85% of the crap that comes through a local studio never comes out and yet still gets released on Tunecore or CD Baby.
Hi @?,*???&?, when you say "never comes out" I assume you mean like, "on CD" or "on physical format with label support and distribution?" Do I have that right?

Are you saying that, for example, small-run CD-R or digital-only releases don't count as "legitimate"?

I apologize to the board if this point has been addressed before, or is tedious, I'm just trying to understand you. Thanks.

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Post by cgarges » Wed May 18, 2011 2:19 pm

Bro Shark wrote:I apologize to the board if this point has been addressed before, or is tedious, I'm just trying to understand you.
Ooooo, boy. Now THAT is one of the funniest things I've read on here in a while.

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Post by Bro Shark » Wed May 18, 2011 2:28 pm

Well my last album came out on limited run 200 CD-Rs and digital distribution. BUT I have ISRC and barcodes, so I'm caught in a pickle between phoney, deluded hack and legitimate artist and I wanna reach base safely.

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Post by cgarges » Wed May 18, 2011 2:53 pm

Awesome! TOTALLY cracking me up!

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Post by JGriffin » Wed May 18, 2011 3:44 pm

My last 2 releases were digital only but had UPC codes and ISRCs...

* tags up *
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Post by @?,*???&? » Wed May 18, 2011 8:38 pm

dwlb wrote:My last 2 releases were digital only but had UPC codes and ISRCs...

* tags up *
Not the point at all- the point is- and I have to ask- are you in the percentage of folks earning more than $179 with your disc in a single year from online sales?
Last edited by @?,*???&? on Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by @?,*???&? » Wed May 18, 2011 8:39 pm

Bro Shark wrote:Well my last album came out on limited run 200 CD-Rs and digital distribution. BUT I have ISRC and barcodes, so I'm caught in a pickle between phoney, deluded hack and legitimate artist and I wanna reach base safely.
Two questions for you;

1. Was it burned not pressed?

2. Did you earn more than $179 through Tunecore/Online sales?

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