This Chart Detailing How Many iTunes Downloads, Spotify Streams, And So Forth It Takes For A Musician To Make Minimum Wage Is Pretty Dispiriting
Well, this is unpleasant. Based largely on data collected here, somebody went and found a very pretty way to illuminate a very ugly reality: how many CDs, or downloads, or streams (via Rhapsody and Spotify -- this chart also includes Last.fm, but they've since axed that part of their service) to make minimum wage. ($13,920 a year.) Highlights: 143 self-pressed CDs. 1,161 retail CDs with a label deal. 12,399 track downloads on iTunes or Amazon. 849,817 Rhapsody track streams. 4,549,020 Spotify streams. (Spotify is a little wacky, based on the "Lady Gaga made $167 for one million "Poker Face" streams story, which Spotify has contested before.) In any event, look at those dots for awhile, and, if you have not yet made the decision to be a professional musician... don't do that.