Digital Audio Insider -- the economics of music and other digital content

  digital audio insider


Digital Audio Insider is David Harrell's blog about the economics of music and other digital content. I write from the perspective of a musican who has self-released four albums with the indie rock band the Layaways.

My personal website has links to my LinkedIn and Google+ pages and you can send e-mail to david [at] thelayaways [dot] com.

If you enjoy this site, please consider downloading a Layaways track or album from iTunes, Amazon MP3, Bandcamp, or eMusic. CDs are available from CD Baby and Amazon.


Analog Industries
Ars Technica
Brad Sucks Blog
Broken Record
Digital Music News
Duke Listens
Future of Music Coalition Blog
LA Times Technology Blog
The ListeNerd
MP3 Insider
Music Ally
Music Machinery
Music Think Tank
The Music Void
New Music Strategies
Online Fandom
Pakman's Blog
Rough Type
Virtual Economics

The Big Picture
Core Economics
The Long Tail
Marginal Revolution
The Undercover Economist

17 Dots
Shake Your Fist
Sounds Like the 80s
Unleash the Love

January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
August 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
June 2013
August 2013
February 2014
March 2014
September 2014
December 2014
March 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
October 2016
May 2017

August 07, 2009 Royalties for Q2 2009
by David Harrell banner

Statements for the second quarter for's Artist Royalty Program become available last week. Once again, here's what my band received for the various streaming and radio options for our songs on
Free on demand: 0.5 cents per stream

Premium radio: no meaningful figure

Free radio: .05143 cents per play

Subscription radio: .05882 cents per play
The free on demand rate was unchanged from last quarter, while the free radio rate showed a very slight increase from last quarter's rate of .04995 cents per play.

One change from previous quarters is the introduction of the Subscription Radio category to replace the Premium Radio category, coinciding with the recent change in the business model, which restricted free radio streams to listeners in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.

From a forum post:
During Q2, the 'Premium Radio' tier was replaced by 'Subscription Radio,' to coincide with the introduction of a subscription for radio streams outside the US, UK and Germany. Whereas previously Premium Radio was classified as streams for all services that can be accessed by subscribers only (for example, Loved Tracks Radio), the new Subscriber Radio is classified as any radio stream listened to by a subscriber.

Due to the change being made mid-quarter, both tiers will appear on the Q2 2009 report, to be replaced by Subscription Radio only in future reports.

Please see below for an explanation of the terms you see in your royalty reports:

Free On-Demand: these are plays of a single track, directly from the site (using the Play button) in the US, UK and Germany, where the rights holder is participating in the ARP. They appear the same as a Full Length Preview for the user, however they earn royalties whereas Full Length Previews do not. All labels participating in the ARP will have their tracks set to Free On-Demand automatically, and can change this by opting out of collecting royalties directly from

Premium Radio: up until Q2 2009, this meant any subscriber-only radio streams, that were not available to non-subscribers. During Q2 2009, this was replaced by Subscription Radio.

Subscription Radio: replacing the Premium Radio tier, these are radio streams listened to by a subscriber to the site (regardless of their availability to non-subscribers).

Radio: these are radio streams listened to by non-subscribers, which means within the US, UK and Germany. The need for subscription to listen to radio streams in the rest of the world occurred during Q2 2009 - before this, the 'Radio' tier was global.
The change in the business model appears to have affected our already-modest total number of radio plays, which dropped more than 50% from the first quarter of 2009 to the second quarter. Some of that drop, however, was probably due to the fact that we were still getting some radio play of our Christmas EP in early 2009. Money-wise, our royalties are so small that it's a non-issue for us, but the shutting out of non-subscriber radio listeners outside of the three regions could conceivably have a meaningful impact on the royalties of some more-popular artists.

related: Royalties for Q1 2009, Royalties for Q4 2008, vs. SoundExchange


link 0 comments e-mail listen to the Layaways on Spotify

August 03, 2009

Twitter Optimism
by David Harrell
Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson of the Roots in the Wall Street Journal. He has high hopes for converting Twitter followers into purchasers:
I'm hoping to get a million before the album comes out. I'd like to hope that half that number could actually be persuaded to buy the record.

link 0 comments e-mail listen to the Layaways on Spotify

More Digital Audio Insider: Newer Posts Older Posts

Subscribe:   RSS Feed

Add this blog to, Digg, or Furl. Follow David Harrell on Google+.

The Digital Audio Insider Twitter feed:
    Apple stock analysis

    Digital music jobs: Looking to hire? Looking for a job? Check out the digital audio insider job board.

    Popular Posts

    A Long Tail Experiment
    By the Numbers: Using Statistics to Quantify Audience Devotion Owes Me Sixty Cents
    An Interview with Jonathan Segel of Camper Van Beethoven
    Price Elasticity of Demand for McCartney
    Sony and eMusic: What I Missed

    The Digital Pricing Conundrum series:
    Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four


    Out Now -- "Maybe Next Year" -- The New Holiday Album:

    <a href="">Joy To The World by The Layaways</a>

    "This is a sweet treat, deliciously musical without being overbaked for mass media consumption." -- Hyperbolium

    "Perfect listening to accompany whatever holiday preparations you may be making today." -- Bag of Songs

    O Christmas Tree - free mp3 lyrics and song details
    Away In A Manger - free mp3

    Download from eMusic, iTunes, Amazon MP3, or Bandcamp. Listen to free streams at

    album cover art from The Space Between

    <a href="">Keep It To Yourself by The Layaways</a>

    "...about as melodic and hooky as indie pop can get." -- Absolute Powerpop

    "Their laid-back, '60s era sounds are absolutely delightening." -- 3hive

    "...melodic, garage-influenced shoegaze." -- RCRD LBL

    Where The Conversation Ends - free mp3
    January - free mp3
    Keep It To Yourself - free mp3

    Download from eMusic, iTunes, Amazon MP3, or CD Baby, stream it at or Napster.

    album cover art from We've Been Lost

    <a href="">Silence by The Layaways</a>

    "The Layaways make fine indie pop. Hushed vocals interweave with understated buzzing guitars. The whole LP is a revelation from the start." -- Lost Music

    "Catchy Guided by Voices-like rockers who lay it on sweetly and sincerely, just like Lionel Richie." -- WRUV Radio

    Silence - free mp3 lyrics and song details
    The Long Night - free mp3

    Download from eMusic, Amazon MP3, or iTunes, stream it at, Napster, or Rhapsody.

    album cover art from More Than Happy

    "These are songs that you want to take home with you, curl up with, hold them close -- and pray that they are still with you when you wake up." -- The Big Takeover

    Let Me In - free mp3
    Ocean Blue - free mp3

    Download from eMusic, Amazon MP3, or iTunes, stream it at, Napster, or Rhapsody.

    More Layaways downloads:

    download the Layaways at eMusic download the Layaways at iTunes

    the layaways website