Brad posted a great article this week on which CD sales approaches pay independent artists the most. His experience mirrors mine: Direct sales are the most profitable, followed by CD Baby, then the various online distribution methods. Says Brad:
No big surprise, buying direct from me is the best (for me). Direct digital sales… is the best in profit and percentage as I only pay Paypal fees and a negligible Amazon S3 amount. I make more per sale on CD Baby and iTunes UK than direct CDs from me, but that’s only because the unit price is three or four dollars more.
That information could come in handy if you take Bob Lefstez’s advice – Don’t sign with a major label
They don’t pay you.
Oh, they’ll give you an ever-shrinking advance. But royalties? No one sells enough albums to go into royalties anymore. And they own the rights to the recording. Terry McBride’s got it right, you want to control all the rights, so you can license INSTANTLY! So you don’t have to get someone on the phone to say YES to YOU about YOUR music! Oh, they’ll give you money to get started, but it’s like making a deal with the Mafia, they own you, forever.