A few people have asked recently about how much it costs me to release new music. Obviously it’s much cheaper than it was even just a few years ago. But it’s definitely not free. So, since I have a new single coming out this Thursday (watch here for an announcement…) and all this is fresh in my mind, I thought I’d break it down for you.
Recording – $0-ish
I have a home studio that I built in my back yard that I’m still paying for. Spent about $12,o00 getting that all built. But I don’t pay for studios or engineers anymore as I do it myself. To record and mix a single song takes me about 8-10 hours of work depending on the complexity of the arrangement. That doesn’t count the time I spent writing the song.
Mastering – $50
Mastering is the final processing that goes on a song to make it commercially listenable. It takes well-trained ears and specialized equipment. Neither of which I have.
Copyright – $35
The government gets their piece of the action so I can protect my copyrights on the song.
Digital Distribution – $10
I don’t do this until after I release the song on my own website. But this distribution gets the song into iTunes, Spotify, Mog, etc.
So on release day for just one song, I’m into it for nearly a hundred bucks. There are a few economies of scale for full albums, but you can pretty much do the multiplication.
This also doesn’t take into account promotional costs for the song. That’s a whole other deal.
Of course, this is much cheaper than the thousands of dollars that a larger act might spend on a single. But my market share and budgets are considerably smaller.
So I’d like to thank the people that are generous enough to pop a buck or two into the “name your own price” box for my downloads. The act of music patronage doesn’t get much more direct that “you give me a few bucks and I’ll be able to give you more music”. 🙂
Want to chip in and download some of my songs and comedy bits? Click here to visit the Phil Johnson and Roadside Attraction download store.