Selling Out

16 April 2010


An interesting infographic not only from a design perspective but also from the information it talks about. I can definitely speak from first hand experience that it is almost impossible to make a real living off of creating music.


26 January 2012, 3:01 am Lauren says:

I saw a piece of this infographic (the first 4 scenarios) on facebook and did the math myself. The numbers are quite wrong on three out of four of those instances, and it’s unfortunate that the original “mathematician” who came up with this ludicrous spreadsheet has had the ability to metastasize this misinformation.

Assuming the difference between the $9.99 and the total revenue figure (artist revenue + label revenue) is the total expenses, the only math that checks out is the cdbaby scenario (must sell 155 units per month). “Unit” equals 1 CD.

In order for the artist to receive $1160 per month:

For a self-pressed, if costs are $1.99 per unit (the difference between $9.99 and the $8.00 the artist receives), the artist has to sell 145 units.

For the retail album, if costs are $2.49 per unit, the artist has to sell 580 units, not 1161.

For the album download, if costs are $3.70 per unit, the artist has to sell only 184 units, not 1229.

It would be time-consuming to continue on this road, but please go back and check your math before spreading misinformation in an infographic.

Leave a comment