Corey Smith’s Manager Responds To $4.2M Claim

On Friday, Hypebot posted an article by Tech Dirt's Mike Masnick on the rise of indie artist Corey Smith, "From Weekend Warrior To $4.2M By Giving His Music Away For Free".  A number of readers questioned whether Corey had actually achieved this level of success as an indie artist self-releasing his own albums.Coreysmith Corey Smith's manager Marty Winsch responds:

This discussion was brought to my attention the other day so I thought that I would jump in and clarify. 2008 gross touring was $3.5 million with another $.5 million on top for physical merch, cd, and digital music sales bringing the total to approx $4 million. Again, let me make sure this is clear. The $3.50 million in touring was the GROSS ticket sales figure, not what our take was from these shows.

Corey has scanned over 450,000 downloads and approx 70,000 albums. Total albums sales though are in excess of 85,000 being that not all physical sales have been scanned.

Those of you who have been running the numbers and calling b.s. were right (as they stood) as are/were those of you who are/were saying that this model might be right for Corey, but not right for every artist. It is easy to make certain assumptions when you are given partial information and I am sorry that I did not jump in until not to clarify these things. We are very open about Corey with his fans and those who are interested in learning more so please feel free to contact me if you would like to continue this discussion.

Thanks for continuing a spirited and very necessary discussion.

Best regards,

Marty Winsch

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  1. So is this $3.5 million gross from his own headlining tours? Or $3.5 million from tours he was “a part of”?
    An opening band could easily be part of a tour that grossed $3.5 million. But that band might only be netting $500 a night for those dates.
    That’s a really large disparity.
    Don’t get me wrong, if this dude managed to gross even $500,000-$1,000,000 from all income sources last year, more power to him. He’s a success story.
    But let’s try to be real about the numbers.

  2. I agree with the comment above – $3.5 million in PERFORMANCE revenue is an incredibly difficult number to hit when you have a gold record, much less a cume total of 85k albums sold.
    I looked at the tour routing on his page, and HOB venues aside, I cant believe that he is making on average $10k show / 300 shows a year. The other thing that doesnt make sense is that for anyone making $3.5 million in tour revenue would definitely make more than $.5 million in merch alone, not factoring in album sales, downloads, etc.
    Something isnt right…

  3. Like I have said before I wish the best for Corey and all other indie artists, but the fuzzy math and B.S. hype has to stop in order to move business forward.
    Even the $3.5M at what I remember being stated at $5.00 a ticket, even if it were $10, $20 for an artist that hasn’t even made a blip on the radar of major A&R, college or standard radio, with no major tours. I just can’t buy into that as I work with many industry folks and indie folks and I have yet to see something as under the radar as this make that kind of impact or money. I never even heard of Corey until last week.
    I also doubt the number of downloads being paid at the 450,000 number, maybe given away or downloaded for free. I think if this were true iTunes or whoever was selling those digitally would have been tossing this to the press to bolster its indie image rather than the manager.
    And the merch sales for a touring act that was doing the numbers they are stating of attendance would make that a much larger number even if it were a 2-5% buy which is low at a live show – it usually runs from 8% up to 25% depending on the act.Either that or you need to get a better designer and develope much better merch.
    I think to dispell this as anything other than hype and a negative thing that may haunt Corey’s career, the manager is going to have to buck up and show some paper on the sales, the venue numbers and make this real or potentially be branded in a negative light in the industry that is really very small when you get down to it.
    I hope it is all true, but common sense is telling me it is a hype job that is starting to go south. Please as a manager buck up and don’t kill your artists career before it has a chance if this is not true.

  4. Well, I guess the manager finally found a way to get his name out !
    Publicity bad or good is great isn’t that the old saying>

  5. I was running the numbers, too, trying to estimate how many shows with how many attendees at how much a ticket you would need to hit $3.5 million.
    It’s of great interest to me because I did a business plan a few years ago for an artist who was grossing $120,000 to $150,000 playing in her local market with an email list of 3000 fans. So we felt that if the numbers and sales ratios held, we could probably hit $1 million gross going national. But again, it was going to come down to how many fans spending how much money per year to do it.

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