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How Much Does It Cost To Break a Major Artist?

How Much Does It Cost To Break a Major Artist?

The Pro Audio Web Blog

So, how much money do you think it costs to break a major artist? Recently last years report was published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (the IFPI) outlining some particularly interesting financial details.


Before we get to the actual cost of how much financiers have to spend on making an artist become a major hit, it is nice to know that the industry spent 16% of their revenue on Artist and Repertoire (A&R) with a reported total figure of $2.7bn (£1.67bn). However, whilst the music industries total value has dropped by 16% since 2008 it is comforting to know that the total amount of expenditure lost in the A&R sector since then is only 3.6%. This clearly demonstrates that investors are dedicated in locating new musicians and helping them break into the industry.


Here A&R is often the first step in locating an artist and developing them to a commercially viable interest, it would not be possible to break an artist without marketing, something which the industry invested $1.8bn (£1.12bn). Whilst we note these figures it is important to make it clear that flooding the industry with unsuccessful or little known artists on subsidiaries of major record labels is not a 'stack them high and sell them cheap' intention, it is instead the intention to fill the market with musicians that listeners want to listen to and pay for their work by reacting in the best way to overcome the pitfalls. These pitfalls were created in the industry for two reasons; the pirating of copyrighted works by consumers and a flood of artists on the record labels books. This is because more artists means higher overheads and a loss of profit as typically only 10% of the artists on a record labels books shall generate any profit at all.


In and amongst the list of bills for the label to break an artist to major status we see advanced payment for the cost of record production, marketing, pressing and distribution, artist and repertoire, public relations, music video production, touring and marketing material creation. In total the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry claims that on average the cost of all of the above totals approximately $1.4 million (£867,000) per artist.


Edd Harris

So, how much money do you think it costs to break a major artist? Recently last years report was published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (the IFPI) outlining some particularly interesting financial...

Edd Harris 13th December 2013

Article Ref: #HowMuchToBreakIndieArtist