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Digital Royalties

Won't amount to much if you're working for a label.

Here's the number of monthly track sales a solo artist needs to make in order to be earning the equivalent to the US minimum wage. (Inforgraphic) (Spreadsheet)
The problem with making money online from music isn't piracy. Music pirates spend over twice more on music than non-pirates. Music pirates are the ones who cannot get enough music, they're the industry's number one customers. The guy who has 12 terabytes of music on his computer is the same one willing to drive eight hours to pay see his favorite act and pick up a t shirt. And they're the ones the RIAA is suing "on behalf of the artists." It's like if Apple were to start arresting people who stood in line for hours for the iPad in order "to make way for paying customers."

No, it's not piracy. Today, the problem with making money online is outdated cost structure. Back when the only was to move music was pieces of plastic, the cost-heavy structure for major labels made sense. It was essential to have access to many distribution, promotional, and retail channels. There was no other way for the music to get out. 
Now music has left the physical medium and returned to it's natural state, in the air floating into your ears. It's music, that's what it does. The only difference is that people now have access to even more music than before.
Now look back at that chart and compare what a self-released CD earns for the artist versus a major label released CD. 
If a self-released artist sells 10,000 CDs they're AMAZING.
If a major label artist sells 10,000 CDs they *might* have broken even. No royalties to the artist unless the advance was covered (it wasn't). Only one in ten major label backed albums turn a profit.
Makes you rethink what being signed means, doesn' it?

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