It seems that the income to the artists from all those streams are shockingly low. Of the top 100 musical money makers of 2009, only 10 made more than $2,000 from interactive streams, with Beyonce topping the list with a mere $5,000!
What's more, only 25 artists made more than $1,000 from on-demand streams, with Michael Jackson topping the list with $10,000 (these figures are US only and don't include publishing).
But there's still some real money in digital album download sales. 13 artists generated sales of over $200,000, again led by The King Of Pop with $800,000, and another 26 made more than $100k. And single track sales pulled in the kind of money you'd expect a pop star to generate. 3 acts generated more than $1 million in digital track sales, with Lady Gaga leading the pack, and 33 others made at least $100k from digital single track download sales.
Streams from subscription services like Rhapsody actually paid off a little though, with 26 earning more than $100,000, led by Nickelback, Michael Jackson, and Taylor Swift.
So what does this all mean? Even though we think we've figured out how to monetize music in Music 3.0, it's still a moving target. There are still many holes in the system, with the artists still taking the brunt of any shortfalls that occur. Because even if subscription music takes hold in a big way and the income stream of the industry takes a big leap forward, there's still no guarantee that the money will find it's way into the artist's pocketbook.