What really helps your favorite “local” musician’s bottom line?
I really wanted to call this… A deep dive into the making of The Average Joe Band and what really helps your favorite local musician’s bottom line, but didn’t have the room.
Being a musician for years, seeing the industry and technology change drastically I’ve been thinking lately about …”what really helps local musician’s bottom line”. Let’s put that into perspective. Remember this is all relative to what kind of fan base you have.
If you are hitting it in the middle of your scene, I.E. you have around 1,000 Facebook followers & around 600 Instagram Followers and you release a new project lets take a look at what you’ll get out of your fans. Ultimately, I hope this helps you focus on what you really want your outcome to be.
Now stay with me on this.. before we get started on what helps our favorite musicians bottom line I need to set up the usual scenario happening with bands in every town in the area.
Introducing The Average Joe Band –
- Heads to the studio – AJB really tries to keep it cheap and either records a cd themselves..(seems like at least one member always has a “studio” in his house) or you actually put a budget together and head to a recording studio. With just a few quick messages to some local studios in the area I found out the average band spends from $400 to $1200 recording their new project. Yes all bands would love to spend thousands and really make the most of it but the fact is money plays a major factor in almost all records locally. Lets say AJB is in the middle of this and spends around $800 in the studio.
- To dupe or not to dupe – With downloads and streaming all the rage you have to really ask yourself … “do we get cd’s duped?” Lets say AJB is really cutting it close with the money so they decide to only have 100 CD’s made. This can cost around $200 to $400 depending on what kind of case or packaging you use. Lets see how AJB is doing… $800 for studio and and again lets hit it in the middle.. $300 for 100 CD’s. Their total so far NOT including the hundreds of rehearsals, gas, etc is at $1,100
- Marketing – Lets face it bands just don’t market themselves at the Average Joe Band level. At most we all get on social media and tell our friends and family we have a new CD out. Yes this is marketing but it’s a “hope for the best” kind of fingers crossed mentality. Unfortunately I see bands all the time completely shocked with they ask their 3,000 followers and friends to buy a CD and by the weekend they’ve sold a whopping 17 units!?
- Digital Downloads & Streaming – Hopefully someone in the AJB had the wherewithal to use a service and get their new release online at itunes, amazon, google, & the most coveted spot right now, Spotify. Lets crack this open and see what downloads and streaming services really do for your favorite band. Nowadays everyone sells their release online for $9.99. For $9.99 you get to download your favorite bands project, play it on your phone, pc, burn a cd etc. What does The Average Joe Band get? On average your $9.99 turns in to $5 to $7 for AJB. The real question is how does streaming services benefit your favorite band? If you use spotify for example and crank up The Average Joes Band newest release and listen to it in it’s entirety lets say 10 times… no wait.. lets say 100 times… what do you think they’ll receive? Listening to The Average Joe Band’s release for a whopping 100 times equates to around $3.80. Yes $3.80. And we all know you probably won’t be listening to it 100 times. We probably listen to new releases in the 5 to maybe 20 time range which is just a few cents return to AJB.
So the quick breakdown is as follows. If you really want to help your favorite band finally recoup what they sunk in to their release.
Purchasing one CD returns $6 to $8 dollars. This means they’ll need to sell around 125 CDs to break even.
Purchasing one Digital Download returns $5 to $7 dollars. This means they’ll need to sell around 150 digital downloads.
Streaming the release in it’s entirety for 20 times returns .20 cents. This means they’ll need to have around 400,000 streams to break even!!!!
Clearly purchasing product is still the way to help your favorite band. Even if you are subscribed to a streaming service purchasing a hard copy or digital download goes considerably further and is helping keep the band making the music you love. So the next time you go to a club and watch The Average Joes Band think about taking a trip to the merch table. Shirts, CD’s, Stickers are more times than not the only income the band is getting. It helps more than you’ll ever know with moral and the sense of achievement when a band realizes they sold merch.
Stay tuned for my next article. I’ll be covering the merits of Spotify and how it helps bands but in a completely different aspect. Yes bands need Spotify too.