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How much do you make off of a CD in a band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Garrett Mireles, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. So a CD is about $15, there are 4 members. This is from like..major labels. Elektra..etc. Would each member get about $1-2? Or less?

    I know it depends on the contract, but I'm just tring to get an idea here. Thanks :D
  2. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    much less. try one dollar per cd for the whole band.
  3. :eek:

    25 cents? lame...
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    how's this for lame...

    The label give you an advance of $100000 dollars for the ablum. You spend it on the album. The recording studio, their staff, the producer and even the pizza boy go paid. You have not.

    The album goes on sale with the band getting the aforemention $1 and the record company getting $3 per sale. To keep things simple the album initially sells 100000 copies. Fandabidozy!!!You have made $100000. The record company have made $300000. The record company now take back the $100000 that you owe them for making the album and now they have made $400000 and you have made $0. With every subsequent sale they make 3x you and have that 4k headstart. Unless you can sell millions of CD's you are better off being a pizza delivey boy.
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Oh I forgot that you have to pay your manager a % of your earnings so you probably wont break even at the 100000 sales point.
  6. Independent record labels screw you much less, but all labels do it somewhat. It's unfortuantely a fact of the life of a band :(
  7. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Wow I dont get to move things to this forum very often!! Band Management.
  8. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    You're not completely screwed though. Assuming you sell enough to break even, you can probably make a decent amount of money touring with all the new publicity you got from all those albums being sold. The musician is still getting raped though.
  9. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000

    If you're huge. Then, as mentioned above, there are expenses - manager, lawyers, co-writers (if applicable), producer (if getting points), drug habits, paternity suits, ex wives, equipment, etc. etc. etc.

    Only the biggest bands make anything worth counting off record sales. The money for most bands is in ticket and merchandise sales. Publishing can be lucrative though if you have a hit.

    For example, Lemmy has made more off lyrics he's written for Ozzy - off the top of his head on a napkin and given to Sharon Osbourne on the spot - than he ever has from being in Motorhead.
  10. :eek: :confused: :mad:

    Oh well. Beats having a REAL job, am I right?

    As long as I have enough money to make a decent living/retire on I will be happy.

    Although, I want to go big of course. Not Britney Spears big, but ... ya know. On TV basicly.
  11. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000

    Actually no. A very high percentage of bands signed to major labels go bankrupt as an entity in fairly short order. That leaves the membership without debt, but also without real job skills and if they did it the usual way too many piercings to get a job and having taken too many drugs to remember what happened.

    Many platinum selling artists from the early '90s for example are now flat broke. They thought the pop metal gravy train would roll forever, and instead it derailed. Even people who were selling top-10 albums, playing in arenas, and wrote major hits (Jani Lane / Warrant) are now working in a restrauant (working in, not owning) and making extra money touring to 100 people in shady bars and selling autographs.

    Very few saved for a rainy day. More often they spent more partying in a typical month than they'll now make for the rest of their lives.

    Even KISS was nearly insolvent in the mid-'80s.

    Don't believe the hype.
  12. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton valar morghulis Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    record companies suck

  13. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    My favorite comment on this subject was made in an article in Performing Songwriter magazine, in which a succesful singer-songwriter who has been performing and recording since the '70's pointed out that NOT ONCE has she gotten a royalty statement that didn't say she owed the label money.

    She also pointed out that she benefits from systems like Napster and Kazaa. She said that people downloaded her music, then decided they liked it, then bought her back catalog. The label receives money only from the 'back catalog' section of that process. To the artist it is all the same. She only receives money for purchases of her more recent, independent stuff.
  14. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    $100000 to make the album? Are you serious? How do pressing & duplication costs fit into that?

    Right now, I could make an album of a suitable standard & quality for commerical release for nothing or next to nothing. And when I say suitable standard & quality for commerical release, I'm talking about recording, production, mixing & mastering. As far as the quality of the music itself, it'd be above the quality of much of what does get released.

    Obviously there's the cost of duplication & printing above that. But I mean could write, record, mix, and master the album itself for nothing. No producers, engineers, songwriters, sessions musicians, studio time, or pizza boys.
  15. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Well this isn´t the case when you are signed to a label. They decide where you record, thus it is always in some fancy studio which costs a bucketload of money.
  16. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    That's gonna depend on the label. I recall hearing that Wheatus actually had it written into their contract that they could record & produce their album themselves in their garage (or somesuch). And that was Columbia - not some independant label.
  17. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I beleive that Wheatus recorded the album before they got a deal. Gomez have done a similar thing. However regardless of detail-how many bands can actually make a decent album?(on their own this is not a pop at the current state of the music industry).

    I met a bassist from a hardcore band who whilst signed and have albums/T shirts/tours all still have 9-5's. This is probably a safer route if you cannot be sure of securing superstar status.

    EDIT click the link for the sort of stunts that can go on and BTW the budget is $2 million http://www.prosoundweb.com/recording/mm/week1/mm.php
  18. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You mean how many bands would be capable of making a commerically releasable album on their own? Not many, I would imagine.

    But I would like to think that record companies would do like Columbia did - and let artists record and produce their own work (as long as the artist has proved they are capable of doing this, of course).
  19. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    It's a good theory but if you make your own album it's better to copy them in 500 runs and sell them at gigs or off the internet.

    Record companies want sure fire hits.

    Here's a horror story for you.

    Back in the 80's there was a band called the Armoury Show consisting of musicians from the Skids, Magazine and the Banshies (all signed and fairly successful). THey got a deal and made a very expensive and IMO good album. The band folded the guitarist went to PIL and the singer went on Sky as a movie critic. The apparent reason (true or false) was that the record company got bought out and the new management didn't like the album so they never advertised it.
  20. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed. However, personally, though I can make the album (and I am!) - I can't afford at the moment to get it pressed. I don't know specific prices for getting CD pressings done - but I know that getting the glass master made is pretty expensive - and then there's the cost of the pressings on top of that. Getting the artwork printed up is another matter entirely :)

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