Clay Aiken – Investing In Music

Since I started writing this blog, I have put together a list of websites that I usually check each day.  Sometimes the information grabs my interest and I share the information.  Other times I find it interesting but know it is not relevant for this site.  Then, sometimes the site is of no interest at all.

One of the sites I check each day is Digital Music News.  Paul Resniloff is the founder and publisher of Digital Music News.  A graduate of Stanford University, Paul started out at Epic Records (Sony Music Entertainment) in New York.  He also worked at Lycos and managed relationships with many of the major music labels

DMN published two interesting articles in the last few weeks.  Both of them are interesting to Clay Aiken fans because they report some real facts about how important money is to becoming a musical star

On Friday, August 12th, Paul wrote a short article about the costs of releasing a pop album.  The graphic says it all.

In July, there was an interesting article about how much money it takes to produce a hit song.

How Much Does a Hit Song Cost Anyway?  Try $1,078,000…

That’s according to NPR, which polled a number of industry experts to determine the real cost behind a top-charting hit.  In this case, it was Rihanna’s recently-created “Man Down,”  a big-budget, blockbuster-style blowout that remains unproven.

Seem ridiculous?  Indeed, the cost includes a small army of writers (an ‘all-star writing camp’), costs related to ‘flying the artist around’ and of course, ‘courting radio programmers with fancy dinners’.  All part of a big-label, big-budget style that seems reserved for the tiniest cadre of artists.  “It was at least forty guys out there,” said writer Ray Daniels, referring to the camp, which also involved several high-end studio rentals.  “I was shocked at how much money they were spending!”

Actually, one of the biggest chunks goes to radio – or more specifically, buying a slot in the rotations of various conglomerates (whatever the kickback mechanism or influence vehicle).  That validates information from earlier sources to Digital Music News, who note that getting mainstream radio rotation is virtually impossible these days without major label backing.

I bolded the last paragraph…I knew that an artist didn’t have a chance in the world to get on the radio without some incentives, but…WOW!!

All of this certainly makes you think.  No wonder Clay Aiken is taking a vacation.  For a man of integrity, the life of a recording star must be amazingly stressful.

I do hope you will check out Digital Music News.  Paul posts articles every day and keeps them short and to the point.  Of course, as in any site, you can read and then put it all in perspective.  What do you think?  Does this data surprise you?

 

 

 

Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain clayaiken.com.

Comments

  1. The music business is a weird one and who knows if there are any answers. But like I've said before though, the thought of not having another Clay cd is very sad. I hope he can find a solution to make it work.

  2. It really doesn't matter how much talent an artist can have, GREED is what ruined the music industry.

  3. "Actually, one of the biggest chunks goes to radio – or more specifically, buying a slot in the rotations of various conglomerates (whatever the kickback mechanism or influence vehicle). That validates information from earlier sources to Digital Music News, who note that getting mainstream radio rotation is virtually impossible these days without major label backing."

    This isn't much of a surprise. It's obvious which artists and songs get the most financial backing. It's obvious that some artists will never get that financial backing. The labels determine who will be pushed to radio, not the listeners. More and more it seems about image, looks, and stage presence, not necessarily talent since anyone can sing with the help of auto-tune. The labels are trying to hang on to their old model of making music because it makes the most money for them. People might be surprised at how much of the charges listed above come from the artist's pocket. It's fairly common knowledge that an artist can not live on the proceeds from a a CD alone. As for payola, many people think it doesn't exist anymore because it was outlawed, but that's not true. The labels just found a way to get around it with their middlemen. They still pay to play.

  4. music fan123 – What an outrageous and sleazy way to run a business. Include me in wondering how much of the above listed charges come out of the artist's pocket. Is there any information out about that? Thanks once again for keeping us in the know.

  5. My guess would be all of the listed charges come out of the artist's pocket, they pay it all back and don't see any income until the label has recouped all of their initial expenditures. It has been that way since the beginning of time and there is more than one story out there about artists who have sold MILLIONS of albums and end up owing the label money. None of this is new, but the cost to push and promote gets higher. This is why you only hear about five artists on the radio. The cost is outrageous and this is why the label wants you to buy the entire CD and not just individual songs. If one hit song costs over $1M to release (remember that's just one) that particular song must sell over 2M units in order for the company to recoup their costs. It seems to me that the labels would be better off promoting and supporting A LOT of different artists rather than three. The chances of them recouping would be higher and we, the public, would be able to hear a wider range of music.

  6. Considering this information, it is amazing that Clay has been able to put out so many albums. Many established artists have years between albums. I am happy to have Clay be willing to tour (which must cost a bundle and be very stressful) and have the albums that we now have. Also all the youtube postings so we can watch him over and over.

  7. Those figures are scary. Somehow it seems like the music business only takes care of themselves. They don't care what the general public thinks.

    Why would anyone want to be in the recording industry?

    Thanks for the information. I am heading to the Digital Music page.

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