San Francisco cellist and composer Zoe Keating is among a talented pool of musicians who managed to earn her spot and create a sustainable career from her music with global touring, appearances on soundtracks, and collaborations with the likes of Imogen Heap and Amanda Palmer. She has also been very outspoken about artists’ rights and transparent about the way she earns her living – all in hopes of showing a greater community exactly how artists pay their bills in today’s music space. Recently, Zoe took the liberty of disclosing exactly how she tuned her music into money.
While it has been very well documented how labels, digital retailers, and streaming companies earn their money, the real difficult numbers to come by are from “all the way at the bottom of the food chain,” as Zoe puts it.
“How does a recording artist make a living? How much cold cash does an unsigned DIY artist make from a stream or a sale? Those numbers are surprisingly hard to come by.”
Earlier this summer, the avant-garde cellist posted the details of her Spotify earnings, showing that each time a user listened to one of her songs, she earned about three tenths of a cent. But most recently, Zoe added to that data what she earns from Pandora, radio plays, and from her affiliation as an ASCAP member.
During a six-month period from October 2011 to February 2012, Zoe earned $84,386.86 before taxes.
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