The Cost Of Breaking A Major Label Act

IFPI logoBy Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0 Blog

The latest IFPI (International Federation of the Phonograph Industry - boy, is that name outdated) recently came out with a report about the state of the music industry and a few of the elements that were analyzed included how much the major labels spent on developing new acts.

Here are some interesting figures.

  • The cost of breaking an act is between $500k and $1 million.
  • The typical advance averages between $50k and $350k
  • Typical album recording costs are between $150k and $500k.
  • The typical video production goes from between $50k to $300k.
  • Tour support is between $50k and $150k.
  • Typical marketing and promotional costs are between $200k to $700k.

Money_bagsMajor labels spent $4.6 billion dollars this year on A&R and marketing their acts, and 27% of the major label's revenue went to A&R. According to the IFPI, this is greater than what the computer, pharmacology and biology industries spend on R&D.

Finally, there are 7,500 artists signed to major labels around the world. One in 5 is a new signing.

Most artists today really like the DIY aspect of building their career, but there's nothing like the monetary clout of a large label.

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1 Comment

  1. those numbers are really low … so a “major” artist makes like $50k per year … makes me laugh … only the label owners and managers ever really make money … so we’re discussing if an artist is making $5k or $50k … guys, that’s the range … it’s not a career … unless you are one of the 5 artists per decade who can fill convention centers and stadiums .. . all else pays sh.. and it has never been different!!!

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