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Old 03-26-2011, 05:12 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 941

I'll try to find a source and update this post. But I know for a fact as I've talked with an independent on iTunes who told me they take a 30 cent flat cut from every download. If you are an independent artist with no label or promotion to pay off, you therefore get all of the remaining cost. Like I said, you will probably have to pay a digital distribution service, and I can't say how much that costs. I would guess you would make at minimum 30 cents.


Here's a link to something about digital distribution services:

7 Ways To Sell Your Music on iTunes

Here's an article on appleinsider where apple states that they take between 60 and 70 cents per download:

Apple Insider

So, as you can see CD Baby charges $35 in processing and $20 for a UPC code, then takes a commission of 9% on every sale. So, assuming the artist was receiving 60 cents (which I think is almost always the case for independent artists with no label), they would be paying 5.4 cents per sale to CD Baby, leaving the artist with 54.6 cents. To cover the initial charge of $55, you would therefore have to get about 102 downloads of single songs or just over 10 album downloads (assuming $10/album) to cover the cost, at which point you would be making 54.6 cents for every download. In my opinion, that's a sweet deal, and ends with a huge chunk of the money in the artist's pocket. The real issue with iTunes is the fact that they make deals that give the labels large amounts of the profit instead of the artist, but it still leaves the artist with a oomparable chunk of cash in comparison to physical music, where the amount of cds they would have to sell is going to be much higher before they start making a profit, but will receive more after that point.

These chart is a good comparison for how the label makes a lot and the artist less, but iTunes can still be better than other options:

Revenue to the artist chart

Basically, the best way if you are really concerned to get money to the artists is to buy directly through them when possible or go to concerts and buy merchandise there. Just wanted to point this out, because I think that iTunes gets a LOT of unfair hate for the amount of money going to the artists, where in reality it isn't really unreasonable at all unless you're a relatively large band with tons of iTunes downloads.

Last edited by music_phantom13; 03-26-2011 at 05:41 PM.
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