You’ve heard about the struggling musician. It’s a tough business. How tough is it though? David McCandless of Information is Beautiful, looks at how much musicians make from major online outlets. Bubbles are sized by how many sales or plays a song must get before someone makes US monthly minimum wage.
Sales vs. Plays
To place sales and plays together seems unfair, as it makes the bottom three look really bad. For instance, label revenue on last.fm is actually much lower than what the artist makes per play. I imagine the sales business model is pretty different from that of streaming too, so there should be some kind of division there.
Let’s not forget that artists usually have songs playing through most or all of the revenue streams, so it’s not all bust. I’m not saying the splits are fair (really not my area to judge), but still, I’m just saying.
Don’t like the bubbles? Grab the data to give it a go yourself.