Why Recorded Music Still Makes Artists Money

2010 Jul 02, 2010

There are many studies out there citing the evolution of our music industry (whether big label or local indie circuit) and artists can make money. They say that people no longer want to have to pay for music. Instead bands should giveaway their music for free and then sell other “experiences” (private shows, autographed merch, extra content, etc).

There is definitely a lot to be said for this new model of money making in music. But a recently released study from media selling giant Myxer reveals some encouraging news for us musicians…people are still buying a ton of music.

Now I’m not sure how many of you out there make a living (whether full or part time) off of your music, but this study is encouraging nonetheless. According to the study, “74% of Myxer users still buy CDs. 65%  attended a live music event in the past year and 55% of them bought something from the artist at the venue.” This is amazing news. Myxer users are people who download digital content all the time, and what we’re seeing is that a majority of these music lovers go to live shows, and half of those people drop cash at the venue.

What dos this mean for you practically as an artist? Three things are clear:

  1. People still see value in recorded music, whether physical CDs or digital downloads. With so many ways to listen to music these days, you have to have quality recordings and keep creating content.
  2. People still see value in live performances. If you want your recordings to be heard or to grow a fan base, you really have to get out there and play in front of people. There is more than just money to be made by gigging, the study above shows that every other person at your show will buy something from your merch table!
  3. Doing both online promo and local shows is the way to go. You can’t stop the spread of digital downloads and music sharing online, so just ride the wave and make sure you don’t miss out on the incredible word of mouth potential the internet offers you. But at the same time get out and meet the real people who will buy your music in person. Both are sources of revenue and fan base growth.

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