Where Indie Artists Get Most of Their Money

This is from a fascinating article in Billboard.

The future may be streaming, but independent artists get most of their revenue from downloads. CD Baby artists will receive 77% of their revenue from downloads, down from 80% last year and 81% in 2011. CD Baby marketing manager Kevin Breuner says that about 73% of digital revenue and about 61% of total revenue comes from iTunes.

In other words, if you really want to support an indie artist, don’t download their stuff for free. BUY IT.

There are a few more surprises in the story.  Go here for more.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Where Indie Artists Get Most of Their Money

  • December 4, 2013 at 3:16 am

    I'd love to buy more tracks by indie artists, but is there a good place to go besides iTunes? I'm running Linux on my home network, and iTunes doesn't work with it. The idea of only buying on my phone does not appeal. So lately that means either I find a Pledge Music project as it's happening, or if I'm lucky the band sells right from their site. Otherwise it's physical CD time — assuming one is available.

    Any alternative stores to try? I wish Amazon sold downloaded music to Canada.

  • December 4, 2013 at 3:37 am

    A couple of things to try. First, find out if your fave artists are selling via CD Baby. If so, they may be offering those tracks as downloads right from the CD Baby store. You can download in several formats, including High Bitrate MP3 and Flac.
    Also, check out bandcamp.com. This store is gaining popularity and also lets you download in tons of formats including ogg. Many artists who submit to iTunes through services like CD Baby also upload to this service, as it is fast, and easy for the customer to buy single tracks or full albums.

    If these artists aren't available on any of the above mentioned services, write them and ask that they submit to bandcamp or something. As an artist myself, if you had written me the above message personally and I hadn't been familiar with either bandcamp or CD Baby's digital store, I would have immediately made my stuff available. iTunes and amazon mp3 are not the End All Be all of digital stores, and more artists need to remember that. Plus, it's more income streams for them.



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