Not So Royal

PiggyBankOnEmptyHere’s my contribution to the discussion about artist compensation from sale of digital media. I got my royalty statement from New World Records today for the album Icons, with the following figures for what I receive:

For the purchase of a physical CD: 52.25¢.

For the purchase of a digital download of the entire album: 39¢.

For a digital streaming of a single track from the CD: 1¢.

Four of the album’s seven tracks are available for individual download at Amazon, at a price of 99¢ each. The price for downloading the entire album is $8.99. This means, (if my arithmetic is correct) that my portion of the price for a digital download of the album is 4.338%. For a physical CD, selling for a discounted $9.99 through a secondary store via the Amazon site, the share is 5.230% (Other outlets charge $16.99 for the disc, in which case my share is 3.075%).  (My “share of the price” figures are different from the royalty rate, which is listed by New World as “8% Net on 90% sales”. I’m not sure exactly what that means.)

Streamings of one track or another outnumbered sales of physical CDs by about 37 to 1.

These figures are for the period Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2013.

As the saying goes, that and a token will get you on the subway.

Let me quickly say that I am not being critical of New World Records specifically – I imagine these are standard industry figures for classical, or at least comparable ones. New World Records is an admirable label that does an important service to new music, and I am grateful and proud to have an album with them.