CDs sales continue to crater, down 30% from where they were this time last year. Digital albums are down, too, as are individual digital tracks. It’s nearly impossible for an artist to make any kind of living from these sorts of sales. And as we’ve been told again and again, the revenue from streaming isn’t much of a help.
Things have boiled down to this: To make money in music, you music (1) license your material to commercials, TV, and movies–something that’s much easier said than done; (2) tour. A lot; and (3) sell merch.
Next to buying a ticket to a show by your favourite artist (and sometimes even moreso), the best way to support them financially is to buy some of their high-margin merch. This video (via Hypebot) explains why.