Recently, a blog that I subscribe to (and respect) called Information Is Beautiful published a post titled How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online.
The title of post and the data within the accompanying chart is accurate enough to be interesting. However I vehemently disagree with the premise, which seems to (unintentionally?) imply that somehow streaming, Last.FM or Spotify spins (or any new music technology) equate to something negative. Bullshit.
If you have reached a point where your music is regularly generating 8,000,000 monthly shares on file sharing networks, and/or 4,000,000 monthly spins on Spotify, your train has left the station.
If by this point, you are not selling truckloads of stuff (tickets, music, merch, etc), and you don’t have sponsors pursuing you, than the only problem you have is that you are working with meatballs.
The graphic on Information Is Beautiful (oddly titled Selling Out) in the hands of a politician working on behalf of the dinosaurs employed by the recorded music industry will hurt you far more than it helps you. Use the (just for fun) graphic below instead.
We didn’t have iTunes, Bit Torrent, streaming, Last.FM and Spotify five to ten years ago, but there are more artists earning great incomes today than ever.