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.: June 2006 --> Do online sales cut musicians out of the profits?

Do online sales cut musicians out of the profits?

» Well, this is disappointing, if not surprising. Weird Al says he makes less on downloaded songs than on CDs, in spite of the lower overhead required for online sales. (There are, of course, IT costs but these would be borne primarily by the store selling the music, not the recording company.) And the recording industry can't understand why so many people don't mind cutting them out of the profit stream—they've made a career of doing that to musicians. (thanks, Kevin!)

According to widely circulated data from the coverage of The Alman Brothers suit against Sony BMG, you could expect something like $45 of each thousand songs sold to be paid to you in royalties. That's around 4% of the amount paid to Apple for your work, and around 5.7% of what was paid to the label. For The Almans', that works out to $24,000 when taking Nielsen SoundScan data of 538,000 Almans' songs sold as downloads since mid-2002. I don't have SoundScan data on your sales, but I'm sure you do. So the labels and Apple got 96% and you got %4. And as you said, there were no packaging, shipping or storage costs for your album sold though iTunes.

 [ 06.19.06 ]



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