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budget vs sales
Old 25th October 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
budget vs sales

Seeing that this is quite an international place with people from all over the world contributing .... I would like to discuss / know about the following.

RECORD COMPANY BUDGETS vs SALES

How much do record companies spend on projects and what are the average sales expectations ?



Here's Belgium as an example :

1. Single project :

for an average single project you will get something like 2.5 or 3 k $. Sales can be anything of course but 1500 copies of registered sales will get you in the charts, 5000 + and you're doing good ..... 10,000 + and you have a good chance to be in the top 10. 15,000 or more and you're a hit. 25,000 +will get you a cover story in every local music magazine and you'll be treated as a star by the record company and your golden record will shine at their reception desk. 50,000 or more and you're considered HUGE ..... 100,000 + and you're hall of fame for eternity.


2. full album project :

10k $ average over here. sure ... some get more ... much more .... but it is rare ... rather very rare.
As for sales. If the record company considers you interesting enough to do a full album project, your single probably sold more then 15,000 copies. And they expect the album to sell at least the same. anything less and you will have a hard time convincing them to invest in a second one. multi platinum albums have been known to sell 200,000 or more. sure ... we even have artists selling like a million of them but you can count them on one hand. 50,000 is considered a tremendous success.


So there's tiny belgium for you .... how about where you live ?
Old 25th October 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
dfegad

dont get me started....

lol i depressed otherwise thinking about he vacuous logic of record co's and A& R mooks!

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 25th October 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
dfegad

dont get me started....


NO NO ..... get started please .... I wanna know .....
Old 26th October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
common .... don't be shy.
Old 26th October 2002
  #5
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
as far as i know in amerika... if you dont do at LEAST 250k out of the gate... forget another album. if you dont go platinum after that, see ya.

i know several bands that have been dropped being in the 200-500k range by majors. and i know of one who has been shuffled around a couple labels, but none of them still know how to effectively market them. i know their last album was done in @ 50k for just the recording [no mastering]
Old 26th October 2002
  #6
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My experience has been that the biggest expenses by far are sales, promotion and publicity. A recording budget is whatever it needs to be because an extra 50-100 grand one way or the other is chickenfeed compared to the cost of attaining a high enough profile to pay the bills.
Old 26th October 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Ditto on what Bob said.

In America, the production cost is probably around 15-25% of the $$$ output over the course of an album's life. That percentage certainly varies by genre.

In Nashville, the average major label budget for a country album is $125,000-225,000 and falling. Sales are way down (rightfully so given the lamentable state of country music), and things are definitely going to get worse as the longterm effects of declining sales kick in.

The other primary Nashville genre is Contemporary Christian. The average budget there is $75,000-150,000 for established artists, with some going much higher, newbies often getting less than that. Sales are stable or climbing in that genre, but since all the labels are now owned by large conglomerates, they are also facing shrinking budgets as company wide cost cutting kicks in due to losses in other genres.

There are no longer "singles deals" in the U.S., at least around here. Whole album signings only.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 26th October 2002
  #8
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
anyone watch the 'josie and the pussycats' movie? it was almost absurd to the Nth degree but somehow has altered the way i look at the world anymore.
Old 26th October 2002
  #9
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
anyone watch the 'josie and the pussycats' movie? it was almost absurd to the Nth degree but somehow has altered the way i look at the world anymore.
Yup. I got the same kinda spooky feeling from it that I got from seeing Spinal Tap the first time... Way over the top, but close enough to the truth for discomfort.

I squirmed through Tap at the movie theatre; Couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry! I finally decided to laugh...

Is it possible that Josie nailed the boy/girl 'band' phenom as accurately as Tap nailed Metal?
Old 26th October 2002
  #10
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
In France...where 100,000 units is good and 500,000 is excellent, and only a handful do more than one million, here are some ranges...

Major album budget: $150k - $300k.

First album...I've seen $30k up to $150k. The current album in the studio is a priority new signing and the prod will be over $150k.

Rap/hip hop: $10k-$150k range, most of them $20k-$60k. Indie albums are often done with $5k-$10k. House music: $3k-$15k.

Single budget: $3k-$15k, maybe $5k-$10k on avg.

YMMV, etc. Volodia -- what do you think?
Old 26th October 2002
  #11
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have seen the record buisness change as rapidly as the recording technology in the last 20 years.....here in amerika(excuse me America) the single deal is dead unless you are an idol......lol....even the album deal has become an endangered species....unless you are a backstreet like boy band or a brittany or girlie sound alike...even those are not found but manufactured. most real musicians are on there own with indi labels in the hopes of doing enough sales that they then can atract a major label or distributer...it happens but not a lot....most major labels now have the idea that why pay for production just wait for it to come along....when a big artist come to a studio they have budgets of over 100k us.....most projects for starters is about 5k-8k per song....at least that is what i see happening ....in my little universe.....
Old 27th October 2002
  #12
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
In America, the production cost is probably around 15-25% of the $$$ output over the course of an album's life.
This is why labels are looking for the artists who they can save a big chunk of that OTHER 75% on even if it means considerably higher production costs and a weaker product.
Old 1st November 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Sofa King's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: budget vs sales

Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts


So there's tiny belgium for you .... how about where you live ?



I do mostly independent rock records, that on occasion get picked up in part, if and when the indie gets signed.
So the budgets im dealing with come from the bands themselves, investors, publishing advances, and sometimes development money from labels.

I typically charge 15-25k per record depending on the ability and expectations of the act.

take care,
Old 1st November 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Sofa King's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: budget vs sales

Quote:
Originally posted by Sofa King





I do mostly independent rock records, that on occasion get picked up in part, if and when the indie gets signed.
So the budgets im dealing with come from the bands themselves, investors, publishing advances, and sometimes development money from labels.

I typically charge 15-25k per record depending on the ability and expectations of the act.

take care,
Sorry,
its a little late, and I didnt finish my post from above!
The indie bands I work with seem to have a little more connected feel to the costs of doing a record.
I feel this as we are working, and very much afterwards as the bands go out touring and selling discs. I think that the indies feel that theyre a little more in control of their destiny.
If an indie can sell 3000-4000 discs, then recouping is a definate reality, whereas with a major its not. And many acts actually turn a profit for themselves.

sorry bout the split post,
I think im done.
nite.
Old 6th November 2002
  #15
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doug_hti's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
glad to see this thread...i'm curious about some of the numbers now too.
I'm quite involved with a artist that falls into the 130k-350k soundscan range per album and has had production (recorded, mix, mastered) budgets that have ranged from $130k-$160k for each of the past three albums.
The artist virtually makes nothing from the label, they just make money from ASCAP (radio play), their publishing, and live performances...If you're not a songwriter and selling in this range, life is pretty rough. Labels are many times just free advertising for the artist, keeping them on the radio, good distribution and helping with worldwide tours. By the time your record recoups, it's time to make another record...here it goes again...

So my curiosity is how are people/producers allocating their budget with a say $100k 10 song project...(This being with a seperate mixer, seperate mastering engineer, and seperate recording engineer.)
How much is going to the mix, how much to mastering, how much to production, how much to the producer advance... The artist will also be able to do almost all vocal overdubs within their own studio and bring in their own ProTools rig everywhere.

Obviously there are many SO SO variables....but what would you do, what are you doing. How much is a A- mixer charging per song (without points)?
Old 6th November 2002
  #16
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
with no points most of the mixing engineers i know will charge a flat fee of 2k to 5k a song...this is what i see in miami...area.. i get 2k with points and 4 without....with my own projects that i am speculating the same price applies to be recoupted later out of first royalties...also encludes my own hd room well equiped...so there is a saving for the record co...do most of the mix there and take it into the big room just for the final blend....
Old 8th November 2002
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
fishtop_records's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
>>The artist virtually makes nothing from the label, they
>>just make money from ASCAP (radio play), their publishing,
>>and live performances...If you're not a songwriter and
>>selling in this range, life is pretty rough.

I recently read a biography of Stan Getz, the jazz sax player. I always thought that he was a pretty big name in jazz.

It said that he never considered album sales as significant
income. Almost all his money came from gigs, with a little
from airplay, etc.

It is intereting because his career was hot from the mid-50s thru
probably the early 80s.

I wonder if the last 30 or so years of pop/rock was just
a passing fad.

On current rock, I worked with an indi band that produced for
about $5000, but it will be interesting to see if they
ever recoup.

Pat
Old 8th November 2002
  #18
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
well the artist on the bigger name platinum selling albums many times won't recoup either...why? Because the record label gives them a pretty fat advance...maybe $1mil or so at least...etc...etc...and they are nearly forced to live like rock stars and many spend all there money from album to album, so unless they write their own songs, they may be broke...

And again there are always exceptions...but I'm talking about a new artist or band on a major label getting screwed on some 7 album 1st time deal. If you can make it to your second deal, you can pull a lot more clout.

But for any special market stuff (jazz) or whatever it's tough. The mininum for making a typical world class album is typically no less than $100k for an artist...being that there are no special favors pulled...they had to hire everyone and do everything properly...so depending on what they sell in the 18 month period, it's hard. Meanwhile, the label is making a few bucks per copy, even more if there distribution is linked in...while the artist may only be making $.80 a copy on only SOUNDSCANNED stuff...which may be only 40% of actual sales.
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