Music Sales and You
Let’s get straight to the point, digital music sales mostly suck. Being a producer for the vast majority of people means you will rarely even make enough money in a quarter (every 3 months) to buy yourself a cup of coffee. And forget the fancy kinds, we are talking a plain ol’ cup of joe.
Ya ya I know this is not what you want to hear. And you might not even believe me and think the labels are all out to steal your money (in which case I’d be rich right now and I am pretty sure I’m not). I am going to break it down for you.
If you are releasing your music on platforms like beatport, traxsource and itunes, the store is going to take 30%-50% of the money from each transaction, straight off the top. Average it out and say they take 40%. If the average track sells for 1.56€ at release and after a while sells at only 1.30€ then only .94€ and .42€ makes its way to your labels distributor. Now depending on your distributor, you also generally pay between 15 (for example on bandcamp) and up to 50% percent (in which case you need to find a new distributor, we recommend Proton). Lets say your distributor takes 30% as soon as they get their payments from the shops. This leaves you with the before mentioned .94€ and .42€, which means only .66€ and .30€ is left for the label and artist. How much the label you work with pays you can also range wildly. We personally do a 45% split between artists and the label, with the remaining 10% going to the cost of mastering, with no other fees charged to the musicians. You’re now looking at .36€ and .13€ for every track you sell. Ya… not feeling so rich anymore huh? Back to the analogy, we are talking about selling 10 tracks, as soon as they come out, to get a cup of coffee. Haven’t released in a while? Then you’re looking at around 25 tracks to get yourself a little something for that morning hangover.
Want to make 50€ or ask for a 50€ advance? Then you have to be prepared to work your ass off, make all the right connections, network with DJ’s that have reach, and find ways to get yourself and your music out there as much as possible.
Are you ready and able to sell between a 140 and 380 tracks to make that 50€ investment worth it for a label, and maybe even yourself if you are wanting to make a living out of production?
Luckily if you’re releasing with us on DeepWit, you can normally buy yourself two coffees or a fancy coffee every quarter! And if you are one of our better sellers, you might even be able to afford a nice new plugin once in a while.
Ya… we aren’t really all that impressed either 😒
As a small underground label, we are always willing to do what we can to get some money back in the artists pocket. That’s part of the reason we work with Proton, because they keep a running tally of your sales, which turns over each quarter until you reach their payout amount of $100USD. Want to get paid what you’ve earned before that? You can ask them for your balance to be paid at any time also.
All of this is part of the reason we go out of our way to share our labels music across several social media sites. We send our promos out to dozens and dozens of tastemakers and DJ’s and this year we will be focusing on putting the labels artists even more in front of the screen with mixes, spotify and itunes playlists and compilation releases.
Take your time and really think it over before you ask for that 100€ remix fee. And believe us when we say, we do it for the love of the music.