It’s hardly a secret that one of the most lucrative genres of music – certainly in terms of the ratio of production costs versus potential royalties – is relaxing piano music. That’s thanks to the growth of streaming playlists designed to get people relaxing, sleeping or focusing on work.
Now Rolling Stone has published a very interesting article outlining the kind of revenues being made by artists from ‘solo piano’ music in the streaming world. Artist Michele McLaughlin is cited as the outlier, with more than one billion streams and an estimated $250k a year in royalties. But distributor CD Baby’s VP of marketing Kevin Breuner says that “we have a large group of solo piano players that are making a killing, making $7,000 to $10,000 a month”. He continues: “Some of them are making far more money from their music than the artists than you see on major labels that sell OK but are not crossing the threshold of really having an income stream for years to come. The piano players have cracked that.”
This isn’t just about Spotify though: one artist, Jennifer Thomas, says she’s had 360m streams on Pandora versus 10m on Spotify, for example.