Access to a global audience and music-content being tailored to e-commerce solutions were the reasons why artists still believe the internet will be the future source of revenues for independent musicians. New DIY solutions appeared flooded the scene and more are being launched every day.
According to a new study, the revenues from online sales are ridiculously low. The most pointed example is that a song would need to be streamed/played a 1,546,667 times on last.fm to produce an equivalent income to the U.S. minimum wage of around 1160,-USD.
The bottom line is, if you get a simple record deal your revenues will be far north of any income online channels might provide. For an income just above what is defined as poverty you’d need to reach the following numbers:
• In the case of Amazon and iTunes single-track downloads, 1,813 units must be sold monthly; 21,750 units a year.
• For CD Baby full album downloads (under the new commision rates), the numbers are: 155 units a month; 1,859 units a year
• For eMusic single-track downloads, at the rates reported for Q3 2009: 3,392 downloads a month; 40,941 a year.
• With Rhapsody streams, you’ll need 127,473 streams a month; 1,529,670 a year (yep, that’s over one-and-a-half million).
• Finally, Last.fm rates mean you’ll need 7,733,333 plays monthly; 92,800,000 plays a year.
read all details here
David McCandless is sort of a guru in data visualization, and also some numbers/data regarding sales might be interpreted other than here, the general direction is correct.