Some points of clarification from my post yesterday.
Seeing as my post has been picked up and has had a much wider reach than I expected I want to clarify some points:
- Artwork costs being $1000 / other EP expenses
It has been commented that this is a lot. What I said is that this is artwork ‘usable across ALL platforms’. That is, usable as a digital album picture, a sticker, an ad mat, tour art (vectorised and layered to make for easy adaptation) and more. I also paid for the original photo. I believe in paying people properly for their work.
- Label deals / splits etc
It has also been commented that labels will split costs on a 50/50 deal. Without going into the specifics of this contract, I paid for the art up front. The mastering expense (I just looked up a statement) was $1700 and was split with the label, so yes, that does alter my maths a little. I only tried to provide a rough guide anyway.
I also mentioned other expenses. These include things such as vocal sessions and lawyers (for sample clearance and for record contracts). These came directly out of my pocket (the track with the sample was completed including clearance before the label was in the picture and a label is not going to pay for your lawyer to sort out a contract with them).
- Travel expenses
It has also been commented that venues should be paying for travel. The deals my US agent (AM Only) works on for me are all-in deals. They do not include flight shares. This is not the case for me worldwide (in Aus and NZ travel is certainly added on top of the fee), but I wanted to use a REAL tour to highlight the situation.
I wrote this post as a way of being transparent. I spend money on things I think are important to my art, in this case the costs of mastering and art fall into that category. I now do all my own mastering.
I will also say that yes, there are other streams of income for artists I didn’t include. There is publishing (which is like a lottery and can vary from $5 to $5000 a year with apparently no reason), there are performance royalties (APRA in Australia) that again seem to operate largely on an arbitrary base. There are remixes and session work mixdowns the like too. My point was to isolate one EP and one associated tour.
Once again I want to state that I LOVE what I do. And I want to thank everyone who has ever supported me, bought my music, booked me for a show or let me stay on their couch.