Income For Indies: Tracy Maddux On The Future Of Streaming

IIndependent musicians have to fight for every dollar, and CD Baby’s CEO, Tracy Maddux knows this well.

With growing reports of artists not getting paid by streaming platforms, it’s easy to think that they aren’t a realistic revenue stream for indies. When I caught up with Tracy at the Future of Music Policy Summit in D.C. he had some thoughts about the indie/streaming relationship: “There’s this industry narrative that people aren’t making money on platforms like Spotify and Pandora… but by and large we’re seeing an ecosystem of artists making substantial sums.”

Tracy Maddux

Tracy Maddux

Tracy says that CD Baby artists are making over 1 million dollars a month on Spotify. One example of this is an artist named Perrin Lamb who made $70,000 this year from two songs that were included in a Spotify playlist.

So why’s it different for the independent artist? “A lot of those artists who aren’t seeing a dime, sign their monetization rights for streaming away to their label.”

I was so happy to hear him say this.

We’ve all seen the articles online with the clickbait titles of “I’m an artist with a bagillion fans online and I made 3 bucks from Spotify”. Ok, I exaggerated that a bit, but you know what I mean.

The truth is that independent artists get the whole pie as opposed to someone in the major label system where more people get a cut. As Tracy described it, “Fewer barriers, less friction for commerce.”

When you’re an independent artist there’s less people taking a piece of the pie. Tracy said something I wholeheartedly agree with, “Spotify is here to stay… and the indies can make money too.”

Tracy thinks streaming is a viable revenue stream, and I agree. What do you think? Let us know on Twitter, Tracy’s and my handles are @tdmaddux and @cwolff411

Cory Wolff combines his deep knowledge of business with a lifelong passion for music, working as the CMO of Dotted Music. Cory began his career as an Artist Manager in collaboration with hip-hop artist, Aayu. In 2010, Wolff co-founded Everyone You Know Entertainment, an independent record label based in Pennsylvania.