Was this part of an earlier discussion? Here's my personal experience:
I don't make much money with online CDs or shows. I think I get a lot more listens from having my music online.
(It helps that 2 early CDs were reviewed by The Wire, and the artist-run record label I've been on has sent copies to college radio stations around the country.)
According to last.fm, I have 282 people who have scrobbled at least one song by me. (Scobbled = played while the last.fm application was running.) I imagine less than 1/4 of people who buy music on the internet log their plays with last.fm, so that suggests at least 1000 people have downloaded at least one of my tracks (or bought a cd). That's nuts! 1000 people! And I’m one of those people who is lucky if 10 people come to one of my gigs! However, like David says, there has been very little income from these sales.
The other side of that is – like you can figure above, by having music released where people can download it, and since it’s been reviewed and played on college radio stations, a LOT more people hear me from my CDs than at my concerts.
When I finish my next release, I plan to try the radiohead thing – release it for cheap (probably $5) on either bandcamp.com, or figure out how to do a web-release from my own website. Even if I sell 1/10 the downloads that I sell on iTunes/Amazon/Emusic, I’ll probably make more income. But the big drive is that I’d like to see who some of these people are who like my music!
I sell downloads via CDBaby (which gets me onto iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc.) and festivalink.net (which also gets me onto iTunes, Amazon and HDTrack.net). CDBaby sends me money via PayPal whenever it the running total exceeds $50, and that happens a few times a year so I think I'm in the $200-250 range there. VERY few actual CDs go out that way any more.
Festivalink.net has a couple of my live shows and two studio albums. They offer downloads, CD on demand, and individual track sales. I was also part of a performance of The American Beauty Project in 2007 that still sells pretty well, so I get a few pennies from every sale of that one. I think I get maybe $300 a year from festivalink.
My March 2012 statement from SoundExchange, reflecting online plays of all my (registered) releases, was $126.68, comprising my composer's royalties and my publisher's royalties (I am my own publisher, of course). SiriusXM, Pandora, and something called "webcasting proxy II" are my biggest outlets. So again, not much money, but every little bit helps.
I also get a few bucks from sales of my book "Conversations with the Dead," which found new life as an eBook in the Kindle era.
My point is that the lion's share of my income from music is from playing live, not from sales of my recorded works.
I love to record, and I put money aside for that as often as I can. When I have enough to pay for studio time and some players, I record a song or two. When I have enough songs for a CD, I'll put one out. It's great to have CDs to sell at gigs. And in fact, that business has picked up considerably this year: I sold 21 CDs at a festival in Ohio last Sunday and another dozen or so at a house concert the following day.
On Sep 7, 2012, at 6:34 AM, Stephen Goodman wrote:
> As always LD is a valuable resource for communication and information on many levels. What about downloads' income?
David Gans - email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Truth and Fun, Inc., 484 Lake Park Ave. #102, Oakland CA 94610-2730
Web site: http://www.dgans.com