So, What Do Bands Earn for Digital Sales and Streaming Services?


There’s never been a better time to be a music fan. Love obscure Swedish pop music? There’s someone writing about it, easy ways to discover your next favorite band, a variety of services that let you listen to those tunes, and your computer can hold way more albums than a wall of shelves ever could. At the same time, it also seems better for bands as more of them can make a decent living — not on the level of the coke and hooker days or yore, but still akin to a teacher’s salary we’d imagine. So how does a band make their living?

Gizmodo sat down with UK act Uniform Motion to see what they make off of iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Bandcamp, and other digital outlets. Basically, a band makes peanuts when their songs are streamed on a service like Spotify, though more popular bands earn a higher rate. The real money comes from album sales on Amazon or iTunes, which nets them 70% of the purchase. But it also costs nearly $50 to sell their albums at those stores, so a band has to sell about 25 records just to break even. Bandcamp seems to be the best bet as the service only takes $1 per album sold, with PayPal eating up an additional $.50 for the transaction. Anyway, it sounds like a relatively modest band could do fairly well for themselves with a little hustle and a loyal fanbase. [via Gizmodo]