The Null Device

Free-range music

While the recording industry is going to hell, blaming the MP3 kiddies and the lack of legally mandated end-to-end copyright enforcement for their woes, indie labels and artists have never had it better. Sure, Clear Channel (or Austere-o or JJJ) won't play their material, but profits and sales are up for them. Meanwhile, their artists get a bigger cut of their sales and actually end up seeing some of their money (unlike the major-label artists who don't happen to shift a million units). (And the indie labels are also in no hurry to put the latest form of copyright BDSM on their discs, unlike the majors.) (via Graham)
At a major label, most artists are unlikely to earn anything unless they sell at least 1 million albums, and even then, they could wind up in debt. Everything from studio time to limo rides are charged against their royalties, which might be only $1 per disc sold. That compares with an indie artist, who can sell a disc for $15 at a concert. If they make $5 profit a disc on 5,000 discs, they pocket $25,000.

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