Armen Chakmakian on Royalties



There’s no doubt that the new music economy is brutal. We all know that. But we rarely get to see the actual numbers. Luckily someone is brave enought to come forward. Armen Chakmakian, who in 1992 were nominated for Grammy for Best New Age music album with the band Shadowfax, has published a list of his pay outs. It is not pretty reading.

On Digital Music News Armen writes:

There are tons of articles about music streaming sites like Pandora, Spotify, etc in relation to recording artists making money or not.  Here’s a screen capture of my quarterly royalty statement.  14,227 performances of music (almost every track 100% owned by me) generated $4.20.  Notice one performance of “Ceremonies” or “Distant Lands” streaming radio show like Hearts of Space that brings in 26 cents for the full writer’s share compared to 2,088 performances of “Gypsy Rain” on Spotify that brought in a total of 60 cents.

Someone’s making money, and in true fashion with the music industry, it’s not the artists.  Business practices like this are one of the reasons I jumped ship and only write for television now.

Read it all here.