new data from the e-commerce firm Topspin Media, the average band or musician makes $US3.78 in sales every time someone gives them his or her e-mail address.
Arcade Fire does rather better than that — its fans are worth $US6.26 each.
While this might sound like a small chunk of change, consider that the internet has driven prices so low that when adjusted for inflation, the U.S. music industry now makes about half as much money in music sales as it did in 2003.
And that at $US3.78, the average user-provided e-mail address gives bands the equivalent of nearly four $US0.99 iTunes downloads. Even if the act has to give away a free download in exchange for an e-mail, a practice Topspin recommends, they’re still making money from receiving the address.
Topspin, which runs online stores for more than 70,000 artists, says that fans are 11 times more likely to give an artist their e-mail addresses if they’re promised a free music download. By its calculations, artists can make three times as much money from fans by offering a free song in exchange for their e-mail addresses.
The Wall Street Journal took a look at how much money individual artists are making from each e-mail address they receive. Here’s how some of them stacked up:
- Arcade Fire: $US6.26 per e-mail address
- Sigur Rós: $US10.91 per e-mail address
- The Pixies: $US4.29 per e-mail address
- Umphrey’s McGee: $US32.96 per e-mail address
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