#128: Roundtable – How Much Are Musicians Paid to Play? Part 2

Selling music at showsThinking about touring Canada anytime soon? Think again. Canada’s new exorbitant performance fees make it nearly impossible for non-Canadian independent acts to play there. iTunes radio is alive and may not turn out to be the Pandora killer that some assumed it would be.

We asked our listeners “How much money do you pull in at a gig?” The answers might surprise you. Tune in to hear how artists just like you are ‘bringing home the vegi-bacon’ in this action-packed episode of the Do-it-Yourself–Because-You-Love-it Musician Podcast.

  • Looking forward to it!

  • Adam_B_Harris

    There was supposed to be something about Canada in this?

  • I’m sure I’ve heard this one before…

  • Whoopsie. Uploaded the wrong file. All fixed now. Episode 128 is now available for your listening pleasure. -The Bolt

  • Glenn Dixon

    Hey all, although I don’t agree with the new Canadian fees on foreign bands touring here (I’m a Canadian musician), I do understand why. We share the longest border in the world but the US has ten times the population and, I’d assume, ten times the number of bands. Many US urban centres are close enough (Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago – even Denver) that it’s easy for you to come up and play and the thought then is, of course, that you are taking gigs from Canadian bands. I can’t agree only because I’d be afraid of a reciprocal law making it hard for Canadian bands to play south. Please understand though, as tough as it might be for an American band to make a living, it is even harder for Canadian bands. The distance between major cities (Calgary to Vancouver – 800 miles) is staggering for one thing.

    You also referenced a Canadian funding system for recording. That would be FACTOR – the foundation to assist Canadian talent on record. Despite what you said, it’s actually very difficult to get these grants. A lot of paper work and a very low success rate.

    Lastly, we don’t have Pandora here at all. The copyright laws are different and Pandora doesn’t work inside Canada so that avenue is shut out for us too (assuming we could even get onto Pandora).

    All that just to explain that it might be more complex than you have indicated on your podcast. Thought you should know.

    Big fan of the podcast, and CD baby in general (you have a couple of my cd’s on your site – under the band name Global Chilling).

    Glenn Dixon
    Calgary, Canada

  • Sunshine Collective

    In response to your question about our Pandora experience, we have had an overall good experience, but it took some work on our part.

    We really felt that the music that was being served up by stations seeded with our songs were so far off-base, that we did not tell anyone that we were on Pandora. Our solution was to “curate” our own station by first, seeding the station with our band name, then disliking everything that did not match our sound, this was a long-long process. Finally, things that matched started to be served, which we would vote up. We continued this process until the station started sounding right to our ears. The final task was removing all the down votes, we did not want to be negative jerks when it came time to share the station.

    There was a quirk in matrix, if we thumbed up more than a couple indie songs, the whole station would go haywire and started serving up the unrelated stuff, so we would have to get rid of those thumbed up tracks. Once it was all right, we did an email blast, and web/social push promoting the curated station:


    This was all in 2010, now things have changed, I assume from the 70+ people that use the curated station and their individual taste? Not sure if Pandora works that way but the changes have been quite positive over the past three years. We are quite happy when seeding just “Sunshine Collective” our band name, which creates a station of indie music that is in our wheelhouse, and as mentioned in the podcast, these would be cool people to tour with. The other change has been to our curated station, which will play a lot more “hits”, that are in our wheelhouse, however, it plays lots of artists that have influenced the band (The Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Toots Thielemans, Cole Porter and Stéphane Grappelli).

    iTunes radio is similar to our curated station, with more dance pop – which is unrelated, and fewer classics. The station that seems more dead on is on Jango, it is a nice mix of the hits, the b-sides of the hit makers and a nice selection of indies – it only lacks in the classic artists that have been influential to us.

    Great show!

  • chris hardy

    been listening for 20 minutes so far. is there anything about what musicians get paid? or is this just a very long cdbaby commercial?