Some interesting stats on iTunes store music sales from 2011 have become available (2011? Does it take this long for them to compile stats? Anyway…). I’m getting this data from lefsetz.com where he’s already analyzed it thoroughly, but I’ve got a couple comments of my own. Here’s the one that stands out to me:
94 percent – 7.5 million tracks – sold fewer than one hundred units, and an astonishing 32 percent sold only one copy.
Yeap, there’s a ton of music being published. A ton of it is probably horrible, but it’s also probably horribly marketed by the artists that are publishing it. It’s likely if you’re on a label that’s promoting you at least somewhat your tracks are not going to be counted as one of the many that made up this stat, but it’s telling me that a ton of people are just firing and forgetting with their music. They publish to e-stores and hope that shoppers browsing the samples are going to hear one 30 second clip and be enamored. I think that happens almost never. Heck, even a shopper randomly coming across your music in the store without being directed there from somewhere else (like your marketing efforts!) is going to happen almost never!
0.00001 percent of the eight million tracks sold that year generated almost a sixth of all sales
Make sure you’ve got a following AND a good way to tell them where to get your tunes before you publish to stores. Otherwise, get ready for a whole lot of no sales.