Randy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

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« The Feltron Annual Report 2009 and an Online Class April 29th | Main | An Infographic Evolution of the Bra »

How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?

From David McCandless at Information is Beautiful, is a great infographic about How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?  This is a fantastic topic for an infographic because the information is so confusing and difficult to find.  I also really like the comparison of how many songs an artist needs to sell to equal the U.S. monthly minimum wage.

This image is based on an excellent post at The Cynical Musician called The Paradise That Should Have Been about pitiful digital royalties. (Thanks to Neilon for pointing that out). I’ve taken his calculations and added a few more.

As ever, this was incredibly difficult to research. Industry figures are hard to get hold of. Some are even secret. Last.Fm’s royalty and payment system is beyond comprehension. (If you can explain it to me, please get in touch)

Found on both Information is Beautiful and Social Media Graphics


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Reader Comments (4)

I find it interesting that the record companies complain about the lack of CD sales and the increase of downloads at places like iTunes when, if the data are correct here, the label makes a ton more money from downloads than from CDs. Given the production costs of the CD, the container and the inserts, it is a wonder that any CDs are produced. I know that I favor downloads over actual CD purchases because after I rip the CD I have no use for it - but, looking at these figures, I think I might start buying more CDs instead of downloads so the labels don't make as much money - I can always clean off another shelf in my closet...

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConfused

Check out idolcontacts.com is a great place to get in touch with all the major recording labels. I used there cds a few times and they worked great with me networking with other people in the industry.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn


April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Just use a digital distributor and you’ll get up to 100 % of the revenues. Here you can find a nice graph that compares the distributor recordJet with labels:


April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSeanc

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