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The visually-oriented blog Information is Beautiful just posted some interesting stats and graphs displaying how much independent artists must sell through various channels online in order to earn the US minimum wage. It didn’t come as any surprise to us to see CD Baby’s name come up for ALL the channels through which you can sell music to your fans, but it is nice to see what we already knew confirmed by an outside study.

When you’re looking at these charts, it is a little daunting to see how much of your music you need to sell at once to earn minimum wage. This chart reinforces so many of the things we’ve discussed before, especially that artists shouldn’t be earning all their money from just one income stream. A combination of online physical and digital sales, along with revenue from performances and live merch sales using handheld credit card swipers will ensure that you’re casting the widest net possible to capture sales (and the more important force behind a sale, a fan).

The truth is nothing will ever replace the tried and true method of:

  • Making great music.
  • Making a great EP/LP.
  • Playing live shows/sell EP/LP and T’s at shows.
  • Collecting people’s contact info.
  • Alerting folks about new shows and other news.
  • Listening to other musicians play…be part of the local “music community.” It really is about whom you know…really!
  • When you have money or someone to front it, releasing a record with publicist help.
  • Going on tour.
  • Repeating until you get bored or famous.

Check it out below and let us know what you think!

Selling Out

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