Rarely do we say this, but this video How the Music industry works is essential viewing. It is the best 3:44 seconds you will ever spend watching anything.
If you do anything related to music in this industry, or have read anything that we have promoted here, including how David Prose, the actor who played Darth Vader was never paid for his work on the Star Wars series because Star Wars was never considered profitable, you know that this type of thing exists in the film business and sad to say, it is literally no better and in may ways worse in the music industry.
The music industry in 2011 is a strange place indeed, with not even those who’ve been working in it for years knowing precisely what the future holds. However, systems for making money remain in place, and anyone who’s thinking seriously about turning their music into cold, hard cash would do well to have at least a basic understanding of how they operate.
Sorry to break it to you, but a record deal itself usually doesn’t mean you’ll get rich. If you are fortunate enough to get signed by a major label, realize that this is only the beginning. Many artists are signed but never record, some record but are never released, some are released with no real push or backing by the company and many flop and are dropped by the labels, even though they may have sales in the hundreds of thousands. The last estimate I recently saw said that an artist that goes GOLD (sales of 500,000) stands to make only around $47,000!Â This is why so many major artists are choosing NOT to resign with their record companies, but instead, to release their new CDs independently. An independent artist selling 10,000 of their own CDs can theoretically make twice the amount of money as the signed artist selling 500,000 copies! (there are exceptions to this and every other point).