Even with all the digital ways of cutting out the middle man, it’s harder than ever for independent musicians to earn minimum wage from sales of their music. That’s according to a new infographic from Digital Music News, which updates a similar one produced in 2010.
The graphic factors in a number of outlets, including old-school ways like self-pressing CDs and new-fangled means like iTunes and Spotify. In order for a solo artist to earn a monthly minimum wage in the U.S. ($1,160), they would need to sell a hefty number of CDs, LPs, digital downloads, ringtones, and streams. The good news is streaming payouts are improving on a percentage level. The bad news? Most artists (outside superstars) see next to nothing from streams.
The underlying conclusion is that it’s incredibly hard for independent musicians these days. While they have greater ways of getting their name out, they don’t have similar opportunities in monetizing their own music. So many trumpeted the death knell of the label years ago, yet it would seem that having a label in your corner might be better than going it alone. Check out the infographic below.