It’s the hard-knock life for artists online

How much do musicians make in a digital marketplace?

I just can’t keep quiet about this any longer. InformationIsBeautiful.net has created the most lovely, elegant infographic depicting how much music artists earn online. Seriously, take a look at it. It really shows you how the type of format impacts a musician’s profits. It also proves that album sales are most profitable for an artist, and that music streaming services are bad for business for an artist.

The formats that provide royalties, in order from baddest to bestest (I know, not a real word) for a musician: stream on Spotify, stream on Last.fm, stream on Rhapsody, track download on Amazon or iTunes, retail album CD (low end royalty deal), MP3 download (via iTunes) on CD Baby, MP3 download on CD Baby, album download on Napster or iTunes, retail album CD (high end royalty deal), CD album on CD Baby, self-pressed CD.

Is your head spinning? Yeah, mine too. But no matter, I’ve had time to turn my thinking wheels in the right direction and dream up a few major conclusions (thanks again, David McCandless, London-based author, writer and designer, for the infographic!). You’ll notice a theme to my deductions: the best choice to make as a consumer if you’re keen on playing nice with the musician (why? because I’m one of those people who think supporting the artist should be a factor when making a purchase).
1) If you really want to support your favorite musician, purchase the CD album.
2) If you’re going to purchase a download, album download > track download.
3) If you subscribe to a music streaming service, that’s not very helpful.

Please leave a comment below if you have an additional conclusion you’d like to share!

Hooking up your car

Digital music on the road

A guest post from Alyssa Severn

­­­Just like Wisconsin and snow, music and cars are inextricably linked. The other week I was thinking of selling my car. It’s pretty old—it was made right around the time when the cassette tape was going the way of the dinosaur and compact discs were swiftly becoming king—but I still started mulling over all the things I’d miss about owning a car. Top of the list: listening to music while cruising around.

Now, twelve years after the production of my car, digital formats have climbed their way to the top. Although I must admit I still enjoy listening to old mixtapes from high school on the tape deck, I no longer have much of a need for a tape or CD player. After deciding to send my discs in to Murfie, I started thinking, “How can I listen to digital music in my car?” After all, those mixtapes are going to wear out eventually and thanks to Murfie, I’ll no longer have CDs sliding around my car floor, shoved into the door cubbies, jammed between the seat and the console.

So what to do? I started looking into ways to use an iPod inside a car, and found a few different options. So, if you’re a lover of belting out your favorite songs in the privacy of your own auto and are also interested in getting rid of your CDs and going totally digital, here are some ideas to get you started. Remember, Murfie can also help you get started.

If you have a tape deck, you can find adapters that have a cassette tape with a wire attached and a jack at the other end that plugs into your iPod.  For those without a tape deck or an auxiliary jack, you can buy an FM transmitter (also called a wireless adapter). Basically, you plug a transmitter into your iPod headphones jack that transmits an FM signal. Then all you have to do is find the right frequency on your car radio and boom! digital music plays through your speakers! Or, if all else fails, buy a pair of travel speakers, figure out how to stabilize them somewhere in your car, and hook up your iPod. It’s definitely the least sexy of options, but in a pinch, it’ll definitely work.

If any of you Murfie-ites out there have other suggestions or know of cool/better gadgets, we’d love to hear!