Hey Kids! This is a little article I wrote for a zine a while back (hence myspace rather than facebook references, right?) that covers some of the joys of working in the music industry, Enjoy!
“Pretty much everyone seems to be Illegally downloading music at the moment, and yeah when you can pay up to £17 for an import and Cd’s cost pennies it serves the industry right? Well minus the fact it makes you a petty thief it seems a dilemma for most(If you don’t care for numbers feel free to skip the next section).
Say an average CD in the metal section in HMV is £12 well take £6-7 of the price since trade prices are £4-5; more like £4 for the smaller releases. Cds costs about £2 to manufacture with artwork and cases so we’re left with £2. The royalties get split 50:50 between the recording copyright and the publishing copyright (the ownership of the songs). Providing said band have retained ownership of the songs (sometimes it gets signed away; The fools!) then take 20% of 50% away away for the publishing company to retrieve the artist’s fees, so 80p a record for the songwriting and the recording copyright gets split 76:24 with the artist, take another 4 points of the artists share for the producer the band are left with 20p; The band only get recording royalties after they have paid of any advance given, the loan that pays for the recording and the band to live while recording and the all essential ad campaign, and that can be £50,000 plus. The band are left with a rather meagre pound from the sale of a £12 Cd but we haven’t finished yet; the manager will take 20% of what ever a band earns so
(Join in back here) the band end up with 80-fucking-pence for an albums worth of songs and the year or so it took to make!
So I’ve proved how artists get fucked by the industry, not really treading new ground I suppose but now you see how its done. The smaller an artist you are the worst deal you get usually, so every album purchase really counts with smaller bands and they need all the support they can get. It isn’t just the artist’s that suffer either, both the independent record shops in my home-city have now closed and they aren’t going to reopen; a pretty common story now, so the variety of music thats available to you is going to decrease, (I can’t by super rare japanese imports through chain stores). Indie labels are getting fucked too, so bye bye infrastructure for new bands to establish themselves. Still we all have a page on Rupert Murdochs website myspace, and we all have an amazon account, (hooray for globalisation and the deconstruction of independent people earning a decent living, and shareholders getting paid for doing bugger all). I guess if people are going to download there are options left that support the band, by a bands t-shirt so they can eat, give them cash at shows, fuck if you download the album and buy a t-shirt for the same price the band’d earn way more on the shirt.”
Well I’m on the way to get a boob job right now if it means I can get signed quicker. Bye! Zap,