Sunday, 3 March 2013

Are Musicians Rich?


You know when you go to a decent size venue to see a band and it's £25 a ticket, how much money actually goes to the band? 

£25?

£10?

£5?

£1?



What if a gig makes £200,000 but costs £220,000 to promote?

Fair enough at that level the band will most likely be on a guarantee of some sort, but it's frustrating when people presume that musicians are getting rich. 

OK, here is another one. 

An album sells £20,000 worth of records but costs £30,000 to promote.

Yup it's still a negative number. Robbie Williams was massively in debt to his label, even at that level. Many bands never recoup. 

A lot of people want to attack record labels but if the revenue isn't there they can't pay the artist (it's too easy to attack labels as at the moment, lots of good people work for labels). Economics! 

And this is even before you get into labels/film studios etc who have dodgy accounting practices...

Want an even more scary example of the entertainment industry promotion versus profit equation (plus dodgy accounting):

Hollywood Accounting: How A $19 Million Movie Makes $150 Million... And Still Isn't Profitable

3 comments:

Anna said...

The cost of making music is so much more than most people realise, not just physically recording an album but also the promotion, as you rightly said.
That's why I continue to get very fed up by piracy, the fact that third parties are making money from your music whilst you foot the bill is incredibly frustrating.
Hence this track to try and highlight the problem:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr37eG_DAw4

Record companies are not always the bad guys and I was delighted to see you pointing this out.
As you have been finding out, the behind the scenes work involved in promotion is hugely time consuming and I know if Robin had to do this himself he simply wouldn't get any practice done or write new material!

Good luck!

Bassmike said...

It's another example of how difficult it can be to determine what the hell is going on in some areas of the entertainment industry, crowdsourcing & the Black Flag approach can help, but when you want to reach the maximum group of potential listeners there's inevitably colossal amounts of cash needed & that has to come from somewhere & a fan base regardless of size & generosity usually can't do enough to help... Big business can usually put up the money but then you're into their accounting practices. Good job I'm still near the bottom as it does get more financially nightmarish the closer to making a living you get.

Matt Stevens said...

The weird thing is that the more offers and interest you get the more stressful it becomes, although you think this is what you would have always wanted! :)

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