Tag Archives: independent artist revenues

How Much Eminem Would Make on Beat-Play (Hint: there’s a “b” in there)

First of all, if you’re not familiar with Beat-Play or how artists will make money, I’ll give you a real quick run-down. Beat-Play will be a Social Radio App launching on Facebook in several months. On Beat-Play, you’ll follow people who you share a taste in music with(friends & favorite artists). The songs those people like enough to actually save to their own playlists, automatically get sent to your radio. If you like a song enough to save it, it get’s sent to anyone following you. So if the music is good, it will spread throughout people’s social networks like wildfire.

Now for the money part. Artists give away full quality streams of their music for free to the fans, and then artists are able to set their own prices for their ad space. There is a small “postage stamp” sized ad affiliated with each stream of a song (shown below). The artists will set their price/1000 plays, that the advertiser will have to agree to. Negotiations between the artists and advertisers will occur until an amount can be settled on. The more plays an artist gets, the more leverage they have to get more money for their ad space. Eminem gets a LOT of plays, so his price/1000 will be pretty high.

The immediately following calculations represent ONLY Youtube and Vevo plays. This includes mostly official music videos for Eminem’s singles. The thing to remember is that Beat-Play will not only include an artist’s videos, but it will also track each time an artist’s songs are played without videos. So this includes an artists whole catalog of music, plus any additional audio/video content that they generate.

According to Eminem’s “EminemVEVO” channel only, he has accumulated approximately 680,588,260 plays from May 11th 2009 to Nov 7th 2010 (about an 18 month time period). That’s approximately 37,810,488 plays a month and about 453,725,496 in one year. Again, this is only in official music videos and things like behind the scenes footage of the making of his videos.

Of course, this also doesn’t even begin to count the views on videos that were not uploaded by the EminemVEVO account. I tried to get an estimate on how many plays Em has gotten from other people’s uploads, and I got up to 216,670,668 only getting to page 5 of the search results for the search term “Eminem.” In actuality, that number is probably more the the 680+ million plays he’s recorded on his Vevo account, though it would be over a longer time span.

Based on the EminemVEVO account numbers, if Eminem were to have this content on Beat-Play, let’s say for a range of $17 – $21/1000 plays (considerably high, but it is Eminem), he would have made anywhere from approximately $7.7 million – $9.5 million in one year, off of videos alone.

Of course since Beat-Play will accommodate more than just his videos, let’s try to figure out how much Eminem would make with all of his content on Beat-Play. We’ll use simple logic to get an estimate.

The search for the number of albums Eminem has sold world-wide returns conflicting answers online, but let’s say 80 million just to be safe (the most commonly agreed upon answer), even though it is probably more since his newest releases. Remember, this ONLY counts the albums that Eminem has sold. This doesn’t account at all for any pirated copies of Eminem’s CDs floating around out there.

So, not including Infinite or the Slim Shady EP, Eminem has had 10 commercially released albums (also not including any mixtapes, leaked underground tracks or freestyles). For the sake of being easy, let’s say that’s about 200 tracks – 20/album (this is a low estimate for all of Eminem’s trackable songs).

If each one of these 20 tracks has been listened to only 5 times for each of the 80 million copies, at $18/1000 plays, that would mean Eminem, by himself, would have made approx. $144 million dollars since 1999 (11 years). If each of those 200 tracks were listened to only 5 times by 80 million people on a radio platform like Beat-Play where they can save songs into playlists to listen to anytime for free, he would have made $1.44 billion dollars, based on an ad price of $18/1000 plays. Of course, Eminem’s songs have probably been listened to more than 5 times by each person who has bought a copy of his CD’s, AND, the number of actual copies of his CD’s around out there has to be over 80 million, so there has to be more plays, which means more money.

Let’s go for a more accurate estimation of how much Eminem should be worth. According to MTV’s Discography of Eminem, including verified audio biographies, mixtapes, greatest hits and other works, Eminem has 50 albums available for purchase. If there was approximately 200 tracks on 10 albums, there might be close to 1,000 tracks on 50 albums, however, let’s be conservative and say 650. That would be an average of 13 tracks on each of the 50 albums.

If each of those 50 albums were FREE, and available in one place (the conditions on Beat-Play), and each one of the 650 tracks were listened to an average of 3 times by say…150 million people (a conservative estimate of Eminem’s word-wide fanbase considering he has sold over 80 million records, and p2p file sharing is now way more common than sales). At $18/1000 plays, Eminem would have made $5.265 billion dollars over his entire career so far, if he owned all of his masters (without a record label), and before recording and production costs. That’s only each of his songs being listened to 3 times, by 150 million people.

Also remember, with Beat-Play there would be no real need to market the music, being that the music spreads by itself throughout people’s social networks (as long as it’s good), and the music is free for everyone.

This also doesn’t include ANY of his music videos, interviews, freestyles, stupid videos of him playing basketball with Jimmy Kimmel (over 6 million Youtube views), ANY merchandise sales, ANY tour money, or ANY profit from ANY of the movies and TV shows he has starred or appeared in, or any other offers he’s gotten during his career.

According to CelebrityNetWorth.com and a number of other sources online, Eminem is worth approximately $115 million dollars. That estimate probably doesn’t take into account his most current releases, but that $115 million dollars equals about 8% of our first estimate of $1.44 billion dollars. I don’t even want to know what percentage $115 million dollars is compared to our (most likely more accurate) estimate of $5.265 billion, so I’m not even going to do the calculation..go ahead if you want to.

If you look at this commonly accepted chart of the distribution of money within the music industry right now, for an album that costs $9.99 in a store, with a high end royalty deal similar to the one Eminem’s label has with the distributors (who then have deals with the retailers like Walmart), the label would keep approx. $2.00 dollars from this $9.99, and the artists would get $1.00 (after they have paid back the labels for paying to record, promote and package the album). $1.00 is just about 10% of $9.99.

Based on this it’s not hard to imagine that if Eminem has himself made $115 million dollars, the industry(including distributors and retailers) has all together made approx. $1.15 billion dollars off of Eminem sales alone. Also, if $115 million is a low estimate of his actual worth, and that figure is 8% of $1.44 billion, our first estimation of how much Eminem should be worth, then the numbers seem to back themselves up pretty closely.

The fact that 90% of Eminem’s money has already been handed out to other people so that he could make 10%, because of a broken, outdated, and seemingly greedy industry model, is pretty disgusting to me, and it almost borders on crime, had Eminem not signed away all of that money when he signed with Interscope. This also shows that with this model, you don’t need to have 80 million fans world-wide to make a decent living from your music.

Finally, an industry model will exist where artists will independently get paid what they properly deserve, while gaining the exposure they need to gain, even if unknown, without having to borrow millions from record execs who want to charge huge interests in return. This is the beginning of real freedom for musicians and producers; of independence and victory, instead of dependence and misery.

This is an opportunity that has never before existed for independent artists, but with the right tools, the internet now makes this model completely possible. Beat-Play is planning on providing these tools. We’re getting EXTREMELY close now. If you would like to get involved and help us beta test our social radio, by submitting your music to us, please contact me directly at Dante@musicwithoutlabels.com and I will send you more information.

Eminem’s not the only one..at least his career 10% has more than 3 zeroes in it. We’re all in this together. The talent is there. The opportunity is there. It’s time we unite and get it done!

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & CEO Beat-Play, LLC

How can Musicians get Paid already?

This is probably one of the most common questions I get asked when I talk about my website. It turns out there is not just one answer, which is definitely a good thing.

There are many different ways artists can get paid today. The most common ones are to sell their CD’s, sell their merchandise, and sell shows. But especially with the internet’s explosion, there are more ways to make money than ever. I will get to these in a minute.

First of all, selling CD’s, merch, and shows sounds easy enough, but it all requires effective promotion. This promotion can be an investment in itself. Buying magazine or radio ad space can get pretty expensive, and there’s no guarantees. Also, online promotion is pretty ineffective at allowing you to reach new people everyday. You are almost limited to the people you know.

Promotion is the key to how artists earn money, but right now the promotion available sucks! (unless you sign to a label, spend millions on billboards and tv, and end up a slave to the label for the next 10 years trying to pay everything back, while they keep your rights)

As an artist myself, I designed my website (Beat-Play – in beta this spring) to solve this problem. We utilize a social network system, similar to Twitter, but for music. You will follow others that you share a taste in music with..like friends or favorite bands..and any music that gets saved into a playlist by those people automatically gets sent to your radio player.

You press play, and the music your friends liked enough to save, comes to you. If you like it, you save it too, and it gets sent to anybody following you. It’s a ridiculously viral way to spread the good music. It is an automated word-of-mouth…and best of all, it’s free promotion and distribution!

With this promotion it becomes infinitely easier for people to find your music, thus easier for them to buy. But with this system, CD sales, merch and shows aren’t the only revenue streams available.

With this social network, the more people that listen to your music, share your music, view your profile, videos, and live events, the more money you can make from advertising revenues. In fact, if you opted to give your music away for free, you could avoid people bypassing your payment page for a torrent, and you can actually track all of the fans you get.

This, with a good ad model that is unobtrusive, but effective, and that gives artists 95% of the revenues generated at each level, is enough for artist to gain a good steady income, potentially for something as simple as Youtube views!

So let’s talk about other revenues possible for artists. Along the same lines of the social network, come the opportunities for live streaming concert ticket sales, regular ticket sales, increased booking of shows, paid video music lessons, blogs, musician competitions and battles for money prizes, auctioning off of samples, sound effects, instrumentals, lyrics, sheet music, rights, ect, and even purchasing and selling of instruments and gear, among many other things.

Add this to advertising revenue for all pages with an artist’s content, including videos, music, blogs, merch, fan groups, and anything else, merchandise sales, CD sales, and shows, and the full time independent artist may be more prevalent than ever would have been expected.

The most important thing to remember in order for this to become a reality, is that independent artists need to organize together as a whole, and support one website. The reason for one is simple. Every band or artist has their followers, but right now they’re all spread out on different websites, and not all of them transfer over. If there was one site, the cross pollination of fans alone would be enough to create a huge boost in artist’s views and promotion.

Add all of the revenue streams I’ve been talking about to that single, strong community of indie artists, and you’re looking at a stable, independent industry, run efficiently, and very cost-effectively. And best of all, it’s free to join and use, and costs nothing up front, not even risk.

The question of how artists can make money is a rarely answered one today, mostly for lack of good answers, but with a good tool, and the power of the internet to connect people, the answers to this question could go on as long as an artist’s creative imagination.

The picture is starting to change, and the future is really looking up. Didn’t even realize? Now you do…cheer up!

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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