CD Sales Alone Won't Crack the Rich List

Ken Muse sent me an e-mail so juicy, I'm just gonna post it here...

J-Lo was just announced in Fortune's 40 under 40. She is now one of the wealthiest celebrities in the world (and the richest woman under 40). How rich? $255 million and counting ... and they expect her next to movies (and several new product lines) to push her further up the list. She's sitting quite well at number 19. And she was #5 on Forbe's list of the top 100 celebs for 2003. Compare that to Britney Spears (who didn't make the Forbes cut), the pop industry's poster child for someone who plays it their way ... number 28, $123 million. 54 million records sold ... she's made $2 per CD since her debut in '98. And J-Lo? 25 million records, and more than twice the income. If that were just CD sales, she'd be averaging more than $10 per CD. According to Forbes, in 2003 she made more than $140 million in sales from her product lines, pulls massive web hits (almost 1.2 million!), and was paid $29 million for films. How does that publicity pay out? About $3 per CD.

If these two can't average more than $2 per CD, how could we ever plan to make it in this industry without a better plan?

Now, let's look at Linkin Park -- 30 million records sold. According to the singer, Chester Bennington:

"You don't really make money selling records. Eighty percent of [money made on sales] goes to the label and half of what's left goes to the government and the rest of it goes to paying all of the expenses of the band, managers and employees. Music makes a lot of people a lot of money, unfortunately the people that make the music that makes the money don't see a lot of that money. I'm not bitching about it that's just the way the music business is anymore, so you find other ways to make money."

Interesting tidbits from NARIP: