June 23, 2017. Well, the day has finally arrived. Ghost on the Car Radio is loosed upon the world.
We get asked from time to time, "Which buying option is best for the artist?"
We did a little research on that and came up with these figures:
Buying a CD directly from slaid.com puts about $14 into our pockets, which will go towards paying off the expense of making and promoting the album: about $38,000. So if we sell 2715 CDs we'll break even. Of course that doesn't count the estimated 1000 hours of work that went into the writing, production, promotion, etc. If we were to sell 4073 CDs on line and at shows, we'd realize a 50% return on our investment. It could happen.
Buying a CD from Amazon or your local record store puts about $5 into our pockets. So we'd need to sell 7600 CDs to break even if we only sold through stores. But we appreciate record stores and want to see them survive, so we're OK with that. (But 7600 is a big number for us).
Downloading an album from iTunes or Amazon will net us about $5 as well.
Streaming. It took a considerable amount of figuring, but our estimate is that someone would have to listen to the whole album about 200 times in order to generate $14 in royalties. That's with a Spotify premium subscription. On the Spotify free plan, you'd have to listen to the whole album 500 times (because we get a smaller royalty through the free plan).
We figure people might listen to a CD 25 times (unless it becomes that rare, desert island CD). And we're told Spotify will expose us to new fans. So I guess if Spotify generates a 20-fold increase in our free-streaming fan-base we'll break even. (20 new fans playing the album 25 times = 500 album spins). We'll be watching our statements to see how that works out . . .