Infographic: Most Artists Earn More Revenue Through iTunes Than At Retail

Infographic: Most Artists Earn More Revenue Through iTunes Than At Retail

This incredible infographic from Information is Beautiful really puts the iTunes business model in perspective: for the vast majority of artists, iTunes gives them a significantly larger share of the revenue than traditional retail outlets, and orders of magnitude more cash than any other digital music service out there.

Full infographic and breakdown after the jump.

According to Information is Beautiful, an album sold at retail for $9.99 results in only a buck going to the artist… but only in a rare high-end royalty deal (think U2, Madonna and the like). The vast majority of artists releasing their albums at retails have to settle for a mere thirty cents on every $9.99 record sold.

If that same album is bought through iTunes, the artist’s share of the revenue is $0.94. That’s more than three times what most artists could have expected to earn at retail. And the label’s share triples too: they’re share jumps from $2 for every $9.99 album sale to $6.29! The cut’s about the same per $0.99 track too.

In short, every album you buy on iTunes gives the average artist significantly more money for his creative efforts. The likes of the RIAA, for all their belly-aching about iTunes, are making off like bandits too.

The message is clear: if you want to support musicians, either support them directly or buy their music through iTunes.

Sadly, the worst thing you can do? Listen to your favorite artists through the superlative music streaming service, Spotify:

Infographic: Most Artists Earn More Revenue Through iTunes Than At Retail

No wonder Spotify still hasn’t managed to make any headway into the American market. The industry must be crying out in terror.

Infographic: Most Artists Earn More Revenue Through iTunes Than At Retail

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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