This doesn’t look good. Most numbers here look way off than what smaller bands/artists will be able to achieve, and that’s a shame. To get an idea, in order to make the minimum US monthly wage of $1,160, the solo artist must sell 143 self-pressed CDs or 1,161 retail album CDs. That last number more than doubles if you’re in a low end royalty deal.
Online streaming services such as Last.fm and Spotify don’t seem to help much either. If you thought they’ll save the music world, think again. The artist will need over 1.5 million and over 4.5 million plays per month respectively to earn as much.
That puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? It shows how hard life is these days for most music artists. So please support your favourite musicians. Buy direct from them (I still feel 143 self-pressed CDs is the most achievable target in there), go to their shows and buy some of their merchandise.