After a month of solidifying the guide tracks for the songs on the upcoming album, we’ve finally made it to the big day. Below are photos from the recording session at Kingsize Soundlabs, Studio A, with Brian Packer behind the console, Nate Laguzza on drums and Adam Popick on bass. What an amazing experience. The studio really felt like home and had an amazing sound. Nate and Adam brought so much talent and musical insight. I was very nervous at the beginning of the day because I had very specific ideas of what was right for the songs. As the day went on fear gave way to joy and exuberance. It’s so great to be able to work with people who are super talented and can really bring the heart and soul.
I was just looking at some sales numbers from my record label, and I figured out some amazing details. Maybe you’ll be interested in this too. It has to do with making music, selling music, and the way that music is consumed today.
Disclaimer: I do not consider myself to be particularly good at the music business or good at sales, and I’m not a professional when it comes to statistics, but I love making music, being an independent recording artist, and I love thinking about business-related statistical-type things, as it pertains to music that I’m involved with making. I feel really fortunate to be able to see the inner workings of music sales, and to watch the business grow and the music spread. Anyway, I apologize in advance for the shocking language (business speak) that you’re about to hear coming from a “creative-type” musician.
These are pie charts for my record label, U.S.Records, which has released 6 albums to date; 2 under the band name Joe Matzzie Beyond Belief, 2 by the band Mince Pye, 1 as Joe Matzzie and 1 under the artist name, Moat Jumper.
Just to explain, the first pie chart uses the word “units” to refer to any consumption of a piece of music or album. “CD” obviously means 1 person bought 1 album and it was mailed to them. “Stream” includes listens on Spotify, Rhapsody, LastFM, etc.. “Download” is mostly iTunes but also includes Amazon mp3 and CD Baby mp3 downloads, etc.. Whether it’s a whole album downloaded or just a song, I’m calling it a unit. “YouTube” refers to advertising money that comes from videos on YouTube that use the music of the above mentioned artists. This money goes from YouTube/GoogleAds through Rumblefish, through CD Baby, to me the artist/label.
The 2nd pie chart from the left compares income, meaning actual dollars that are paid to U.S.Records by CD Baby.
OK, analysis time:
As you can see, streaming by far reaches the greatest number of customers, however it brought in the smallest percentage of money, only 2% of all money earned in 2012.
CD sales, while being less than 1% of total units, are the 2nd greatest generator of income; 13% of all dollars brought in in 2012. Pretty cool.
Units and Income over 14 years selling music online:
If you’re looking for insight into what’s going on in the music business today, all time units and income (these 2 pie charts) are not a good indicator. They cover a time period of great change in the music industry, from 1998 to 2013.
However the most incredible statistic is in the “Units Sold – All Time” chart on the left. YouTube views, while only existing for 2 years (the relationship between CD Baby and Rumblefish only came into existence in May of 2012) account for 10% of all units EVER! (9.63% actually. I haven’t figured out how to make the pie chart percentage include decimal points). Not a lot of income, but a lot of reaching people.
I’ve been puttering with statistical charts for several years now. I import my monthly CD Baby sales info into a big old spreadsheet, and then use filters to compare the sales numbers from different angles. For a while I had the idea of doing a little presentation and sharing it with friends who might be interested in seeing the numbers. I find this stuff interesting, not enough to follow through, most of the time.
Yesterday something happened and I got inspired. I found myself musing on vinyl LPs, and whether it would be viable for me to manufacture one of my future albums as a 12 inch vinyl LP. I started reading articles about “the return of vinyl” in the music business. The thing that immediately struck me was that everything I read seemed to compare vinyl sales in units, saying that vinyl still represents a small percentage of the way that people consume music. As someone who makes and sells music, this comparison seems absurd.
Sure there are advantages to streaming and YouTube views. I can reach listeners globally with these. I can be open for business around the clock with these. I can maybe even create an online connection with these fans and push information to them if they’ve streamed or viewed. But a physical sale of a CD or LP is a much higher price point. The sale of 1 CD brings in the same amount of money as, um, well a lot of Spotify listens. Hundreds? About 300 listens on Spotify brings in about $10. It’s precisely the un-scalability of vinyl that makes it a great idea for music makers.
The Kickstarter campaign to fund the new album ended on August 12 but pledges continue to come in. Supporters have been sending money through paypal, mailing checks and even giving cash in person. I am amazed and so grateful for everyone’s support of this album.
For every contribution that comes in for the album This Box Makes Noise, I will honor the incentive rewards mentioned on the Kickstarter page. Even though you can’t give through Kickstarter after the deadline, just click the Donate button and contribute through Paypal.
Whatever level you contribute at, you will receive the incentive rewards listed on the Kickstarter page. Yay!
The past month since the Kickstarter ended has been a flurry of activity, preparing to make the new record This Box Makes Noise.
I’ve teamed up with Brian Packer to produce the album and we’ve been laying down preliminary tracks, mapping out the songs, changing keys, changing tempos.
At the same time I’ve been doing a lot of work on my voice to get ready for recording vocals. We’re also scouting out recording studios around L.A. for recording drums and bass.
The Kickstarter is complete. Thank you so much to all the fabulous awesome backers who contributed to help fund the new album This Box Makes Noise. What an amazing experience. A total of 96 backers pledged $7534. Every penny raised will go to the production of the album.
Check back here often for updates on the progress of the album.
The Kickstarter is ending. We have till TUESDAY to raise $4469. Can we do it? You bet, but we need you as a backer.
I did the math and figured that we need either 223 people giving $20 (the most popular pledge) or 91 people giving $49 (the average pledge).
Click http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joematzzie/this-box-makes-noise and check out the video. Click the green button that says “Back This Project”.
There are wonderful delicious incentive rewards for backers, including homemade pizzelles, autographed copies of the CD, house concerts and more.
Thank you for being the best part of my world.
Contributing to a creative project is the best kind of karma. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joematzzie/this-box-makes-noise
Contributing to crowd-funded music projects empowers the music fan. It allows individuals anywhere in the world to contribute at any level to a creative project of their choice.
Contributing to crowd-funded projects is fun and sexy.
This album represents Joe Matzzie’s return to songwriting. It will be his first album of songs since he released It’s All True in 2000.
There are incentive gifts for various levels of contribution. For as little as $1 Joe Matzzie will be sending you the entire album download. There are 12 reward packages in all, including homemade pizzelles, autographed CDs, Grammy tickets and house concerts. See them all at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joematzzie/this-box-makes-noise
Joe Matzzie recently bought a new Martin guitar, which sounds fantastic. This Box Makes Noise will heavily feature that box, and be heavily rooted in the acoustic sounds that Joe grew up on in Western Pennsylvania
All the songs have been written and you can hear rough demos of them by clicking on the orange SoundCloud widget on the Kickstarter page. The underlying words and music are all there.
Whether you have very little money or are able to contribute at one of the higher levels, you contribution to This Box Makes Noise will have a greater impact than most things we spend money on. Becoming a backer will give you a feeling of satisfaction in knowing that you enabled great music to come into existence.
Kickstarter is so hip right now, even Spike Lee wants to get involved.
If we don’t reach our goal of $7360 by the end of the campaign we don’t get any of the money. We truly can’t do it without you.
Every time somebody gives to the Kickstarter campaign, Joe Matzzie stands up and does the happy dance.
I’m experimenting with a design for the patron mug, one of the incentive gifts for the Kickstarter. The album cover art is still in the works, so this text logo is kind of a place keeper for the album cover.
Joe Matzzie is launching a Kickstarter campaign, to crowd-fund the making of a new album titled This Box Makes Noise. Anyone can contribute, and we’ve come up with some super-fun incentive gifts to show our appreciation for your support, including homemade pizzelles, musical instruments and your own house concert.
Click here to view the video (shot at the UnUrban Cafe in Santa Monica, CA) and become a patron. Yay!