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The Reality of Touring Revenue From Someone Who Has Done It For 32 Years

February 17, 2016

The Trichordist

(I posted this on my facebook page 6 months ago. It continues to get shared so I’m updating and posting it here.)

It amuses me to no end when people suggest that artists can make up for recorded music revenues with live music revenues. These are people who obviously know little about the live music business. I’m sure the top 1% of touring artists can. But for most middle tier bands this is not a reality. The main reason lower level artists tour is that it is the most reliable way to stimulate sales of recordings! That’s what actually supports the middle class artist.

But there are other issues to be considered before comparing live revenues and recorded music revenues.

First of all: recorded music revenues are largely “net” while live music revenues are “gross.” You can’t equate revenues before expenses with revenues after expenses. Apples and oranges (*ahem* NY…

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