Go Back   Christian Guitar Forum > Hobbies & Entertainment > Christian Music
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 12-09-2015, 05:01 PM   #16
Old School
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Geezerville
Posts: 55,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
AFAIK, Christian record companies have been owned by big name secular labels for a long time, including the period that most consider the peak of the industry (mid/late 90s).
Yep.

Word Entertainment was partially sold to ABC back in 1976.

Thomas Nelson bought it in 1992 for $72 million. It has been sold numerous times since then (once to AOL-Time Warner) and is currently owned by Warner Music Group.

__________________
Nothing (Without You)
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
YouTube
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 12-09-2015, 08:01 PM   #17
Registered User
 

Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 21
When I write songs, I just write what is on my heart. Sometimes that is religious in nature and sometimes it is a song about love and sometimes it just a song meant to be ridiculous and make people laugh. My Christianity bleeds through my lyrics but I certainly wouldn't fit into anything that plays on Christian radio.

As far as making money with music in general....I read a pretty inspiring article a couple months back about how all you need is 1000 True Fans. The article is many years old and certainly paints a picture that is ideal but the idea behind it sounds solid enough. That all you really need is about 1000 true fans. Fans that will buy anything you put out. If you can get those people to spend $30-40 a year with you then that combined with any income from peripheral fans is enough to live on.

The goal for a musician that wants to turn it into a real business isn't necessarily to sell millions of albums but to build the fan base to those 1000 True Fans. Increase that number for bands because there are more mouths to feed then. Not to mention if you add the overhead of managers and agents. But for the solo artist that is also business minded, it doesn't take platinum records to make a living.
Yordy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-09-2015, 11:06 PM   #18
...
Administrator
 
thesteve's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 30,107
Send a message via AIM to thesteve
I see how the math sort of works out, but that setup seems to assume that the production costs of maintaining that fan base is near zero.
__________________
We've all got ideas. We are the music makers. We make money to buy things, and write down words.

I'm a podcaster
thesteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-10-2015, 06:31 AM   #19
Old School
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Geezerville
Posts: 55,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yordy View Post
When I write songs, I just write what is on my heart. Sometimes that is religious in nature and sometimes it is a song about love and sometimes it just a song meant to be ridiculous and make people laugh. My Christianity bleeds through my lyrics but I certainly wouldn't fit into anything that plays on Christian radio.

As far as making money with music in general....I read a pretty inspiring article a couple months back about how all you need is 1000 True Fans. The article is many years old and certainly paints a picture that is ideal but the idea behind it sounds solid enough. That all you really need is about 1000 true fans. Fans that will buy anything you put out. If you can get those people to spend $30-40 a year with you then that combined with any income from peripheral fans is enough to live on.

The goal for a musician that wants to turn it into a real business isn't necessarily to sell millions of albums but to build the fan base to those 1000 True Fans. Increase that number for bands because there are more mouths to feed then. Not to mention if you add the overhead of managers and agents. But for the solo artist that is also business minded, it doesn't take platinum records to make a living.
Say you have 1,000 SOLID fans and they spend $100 every year. That's $100,000. Sounds great but unless you are doing it solo, you have band members to split that up with. Say there's four of you. Now you're getting $25,000. Do you have a spouse/significant other that works? If not, then you've got the cost of living to account for. Does you band tour? Record? How do you pay for all that? Oh yeah, you do have to pay taxes on the money you do make. Do you need more equipment? Gas for the Econoline?

Even doing the math, it would take WELL OVER 1,000 SOLID fans to even break even, much less earn enough to live off of. And as you already pointed out, managers, agents, and lawyers come into play at some point (if you get big enough) and they aren't cheap.

5,000 fans spending $100 a year (and that's wishful thinking) only brings in $500,000 a year. That sounds like a lot until you start subtracting the cost of being a "professional" musician out of it.
__________________
Nothing (Without You)
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
YouTube
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-10-2015, 12:03 PM   #20
...
Administrator
 
thesteve's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 30,107
Send a message via AIM to thesteve
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboman
Say you have 1,000 SOLID fans and they spend $100 every year. That's $100,000. Sounds great but unless you are doing it solo, you have band members to split that up with. Say there's four of you. Now you're getting $25,000. Do you have a spouse/significant other that works? If not, then you've got the cost of living to account for. Does you band tour? Record? How do you pay for all that? Oh yeah, you do have to pay taxes on the money you do make. Do you need more equipment? Gas for the Econoline? Even doing the math, it would take WELL OVER 1,000 SOLID fans to even break even, much less earn enough to live off of. And as you already pointed out, managers, agents, and lawyers come into play at some point (if you get big enough) and they aren't cheap. 5,000 fans spending $100 a year (and that's wishful thinking) only brings in $500,000 a year. That sounds like a lot until you start subtracting the cost of being a "professional" musician out of it.
Pretty much this.

Want to go on tour? That costs money. Produce an album? If you're not playing every instrument and mixing and mastering, you're paying someone else to do that.
__________________
We've all got ideas. We are the music makers. We make money to buy things, and write down words.

I'm a podcaster
thesteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-10-2015, 05:37 PM   #21
Person
 
to_be_released's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 1,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
Pretty much this.

Want to go on tour? That costs money. Produce an album? If you're not playing every instrument and mixing and mastering, you're paying someone else to do that.
When my old band made a CD, we needed to sell about 500 to break even. We only printed 300. I'm still happy we spent the money on making the cd, but by no means was our band ever profitable.

The other thing to consider is how media consumption has changed. The other day, the old singer from the aforementioned band was talking about spotify. His (more recent, much more successful) band gets $1.80 for every 10000 plays of a song. If you get a million song plays, you might just break even on a cheaply made album.

And of course, all the fans that listen to you on spotify feel like they're supporting your band by doing so, and as such feel less need to buy the music through means that benefit the artist more.

Anyone that makes enough money off music to live is by far the exception, not the rule.

(oh, and despite my old singer's current band being much more successful, he and his wife both still very much need their day jobs)
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProdigalModern View Post
"Don't worry," to_be_released said. "I'm in the future, and I know what will happen."
to_be_released is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-10-2015, 08:00 PM   #22
Registered User
 

Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 21
As many have pointed out there are definite costs involved in trying to be a professional musician. The theory that you can make a living from 1000 True Fans assumes that there are very few hands in the cookie jar.

As I stated previously a business minded solo artist could pull it off I believe. They would have to handle the functions of agent and manager themselves if they plan on touring. But why risk that overhead? It probably doesn't make sense for most solo artists. But being a pro at social media would certainly pay dividends with comparatively small investment of money.

And producing an album is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be. Even pro musicians can sometimes be hired for next to nothing if you are lucky enough to find them. On the 6 song album I just released I played all of the instruments except for the drums. I could have used programmed drums (and did initially) but I was able to find a drummer that played, recorded, and mixed the drums for all the songs for $5 a song. And it sounds way better than anything I could have done.
Yordy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-10-2015, 08:42 PM   #23
Old School
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Geezerville
Posts: 55,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yordy View Post
As many have pointed out there are definite costs involved in trying to be a professional musician. The theory that you can make a living from 1000 True Fans assumes that there are very few hands in the cookie jar.

As I stated previously a business minded solo artist could pull it off I believe. They would have to handle the functions of agent and manager themselves if they plan on touring. But why risk that overhead? It probably doesn't make sense for most solo artists. But being a pro at social media would certainly pay dividends with comparatively small investment of money.

And producing an album is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be. Even pro musicians can sometimes be hired for next to nothing if you are lucky enough to find them. On the 6 song album I just released I played all of the instruments except for the drums. I could have used programmed drums (and did initially) but I was able to find a drummer that played, recorded, and mixed the drums for all the songs for $5 a song. And it sounds way better than anything I could have done.
This is the only way ANYONE ever makes it in music.
__________________
Nothing (Without You)
Granville Center Church of Christ Sermons
YouTube
My German is pre-industrial and mostly religious.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-10-2015, 10:15 PM   #24
Person
 
to_be_released's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 1,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yordy View Post
And producing an album is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be. Even pro musicians can sometimes be hired for next to nothing if you are lucky enough to find them. On the 6 song album I just released I played all of the instruments except for the drums. I could have used programmed drums (and did initially) but I was able to find a drummer that played, recorded, and mixed the drums for all the songs for $5 a song. And it sounds way better than anything I could have done.
I can (and do) record stuff on my own. It sounds pretty good, and the audio quality is much better than was available to many great artists of the past.

However, the production level that I can pull off does not sound anywhere near as polished as what can be done by an experienced sound engineer. And the hours (and probably money) I'd need to invest to get to that level of capability are much greater than the cost of hiring a decent tech for a recording. It's only worthwhile if I'm going to record other people's music for a living, not just my own.

Sound is one of those professions that many amateurs think they can do, but when you contrast their work with a decent professional the difference is massive. Graphic design is another such profession.

(Tangent: it's a good idea to get a good graphic designer to do your album artwork too)
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProdigalModern View Post
"Don't worry," to_be_released said. "I'm in the future, and I know what will happen."
to_be_released is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-10-2015, 11:21 PM   #25
...
Administrator
 
thesteve's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 30,107
Send a message via AIM to thesteve
Quote:
Originally Posted by to_be_released View Post
(Tangent: it's a good idea to get a good graphic designer to do your album artwork too)
and a good graphic designer is going to cost you...
__________________
We've all got ideas. We are the music makers. We make money to buy things, and write down words.

I'm a podcaster
thesteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-11-2015, 12:34 AM   #26
Person
 
to_be_released's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 1,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
and a good graphic designer is going to cost you...
Generally, yes. For me, no, because I married one
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProdigalModern View Post
"Don't worry," to_be_released said. "I'm in the future, and I know what will happen."
to_be_released is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-11-2015, 12:57 AM   #27
Tiffany Duff
 
Duffany's Avatar
 

Joined: Nov 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 17
Would it be easier and cheaper as an alternative to record albums or songs live than it would to produce a professional studio album? The thought crossed my mind a few times.
Duffany is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-11-2015, 12:58 PM   #28
...
Administrator
 
thesteve's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 30,107
Send a message via AIM to thesteve
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffany View Post
Would it be easier and cheaper as an alternative to record albums or songs live than it would to produce a professional studio album? The thought crossed my mind a few times.
It might be easier for a solo artist that's trying to get a particular sound (Phil Wickham's "Singalong" albums come to mind) but it can also be an arduous process. Many line albums have tracks that were duplicated in the studio and dropped onto the "live" songs because something was missed in the live setting.
__________________
We've all got ideas. We are the music makers. We make money to buy things, and write down words.

I'm a podcaster
thesteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-11-2015, 06:48 PM   #29
Registered User
 

Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 29
if have your own equipment is much cheaper to make album. also depends on instruments used. that one thing that great about the electric guitar that just plug it in to a interface and do not worry about about room acoustics.
spark300c is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-06-2016, 04:41 PM   #30
Registered User
 

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 18
It's not about the money, it's about glorifying the lord. The lord will provide for our needs.
AnthonyYaff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:16 PM.


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2