Ok, I posted this at another site, and I figured I might as well drop it here too. AON, this might be something you can add to your site, as it's useful info. This is how the money breaks down when you buy a CD from a record store (based on a starting act with a major label record deal [Sony/BMG, Warner, Universal, EMI] or a large indie label): The CD Standard List Price (this is the price that all CDs are technically supposed to be listed at, although it never is) is $23.95. The record label then takes 25% of that off the top for "Packaging", leaving $17.96. Out of that, the artist gets 10% as their royalty, which is $1.796 From that, the artist pays the producer aprox. 3% ($0.539), which gives the artist $1.257 per CD they sell. Not bad, right? Well... On sales of say, 50,000 copies (which isn't bad for a new artist), you only get paid for 90% of them, as record labels take 10% as "free goods". These are to be distributed to radio stations, in store play copies or wherever (and obviously they arent going to be giving out 5000 copies, but they take 10% of all manufactured CDs none the less). So your left getting paid $1.257 for 45,000 CD sales. This comes out to $56,565. Not bad for a few months work...but before you get all excited with your "success," you might want to look at how much you owe the record company. These are some very basic rates to what making that $56,565 costs, in actuality, its much more expensive. CD Production (including studio time, promotion, session musicians, producer [you pay them a % of your royalties + a flat rate, which comes out of this] mixing, mastering, duplication and packaging [yes, you do pay packaging twice]): $150,000 Video(s)- because its advertising for your artist and generates performance royalties: $75,000 (each, not for like 3) Advance- the money you get to live on while making the record: $30,000 (which is really low...this is assuming the record only takes like 6 months to make) Tour Support- because you want to go do shows, right?: $50,000 (you have to pay for rental gear, venue space, travel expenses, a place to stay, food, etc..) Total that You Owe the Record Label: $300,000 This gets paid back by your sales royalties (the $56,565 I talked about earlier) BEFORE you get a penny of them. So after selling 50,000 copies of your album (getting it halfway to gold), you made a grand total (from record sales) of: Negative $243,435 To break even and start making money off your record sales (in this example), you would need to sell 238,663 copies, which is nearly impossible for a new act (unless of course they're promoted left and right, but that costs more money, which you pay for of course). You think that's bad? Well, the record company has already made well over a million dollars off you, and to top it off, on any sales done by mail order (via say, Columbia House), you only get half of that $1.257, same with any Military Sales. On top of all that, your likely going to get dropped from the label because you didn't at least break even, not that its a bad thing, because upon being dropped your debt to the record company "disappears" and you don't owe them anything, odds are you won't get signed again anytime soon though.