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New Numbers and Opinions
#1
I don't want to put you on a roller coaster, so I'll tell you upfront that income was minimal income (total gross of $20.64 US before any splits or expenses) even as we talk about what I think is an interesting breakdown of the numbers:

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STREAMING

The best news is there were 785 total streams reported. There were 2 album downloads and 6 single downloads.  Countries reached by revenue (which includes both streams and downloads) include the following:

84.7% were in the USA with 409 streams.  (That means almost half of the streams were from elsewhere in the world, but the percentage of revenue is higher in the US because most of the downloads came from there.)

7.2% were in Great Britain & Ireland
3.7% were in the U.K
1.9% were in France
1% were in Brazil
0.4% were in Columbia
0.3% were in Canada 
0.3% were in the Netherlands
0.2% were in Italy

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POPULARITY

Song popularity by revenue:

Good To Me 23.1%
Whetstone Album 13.7%
Here 11.4%
You Have Called Me 10.5%
Lord of Glory, Lord of All 7.1%
Our Lord's Prayer 6.2%
The Way, The Truth, The Life 5.7%
God's Mercy 5.7%
Lord Lift Me Up 5.6%
Stand 5.6%
Creation to Crowing Glory 5.5%

Song popularity by #Streams - I have to add these up for each song from different spreadsheets from each outlet, and so I'm only giving you the relative ranking of the top 4 songs by #streams:

1 Here
2 Good to Me
3 Lord of Glory, Lord of All
4 You Have Called Me

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INCOME

As far as actual income, here is a breakdown of gross income by type without any splits or expenses yet:

Partner Name Net Total($)
AmazonMp3 $1.68
Apple Music $0.051648
Google Play $6.16
iTunes $9.0488512
Napster(Rhapsody) $2.56
Spotify $0.475487606
YouTube $0.66612

Keep in mind that writers are only paid mechanical royalties on downloads - Writers get paid for streaming through their PRO, as the PRO deems appropriate.  
 
Song Name Total Royalty,  Songwriter(s) split,  Artist(s) split,  Label split 

Good to Me $4.77 $0.48 $2.15 $2.15
Here $2.35 $0.18 $1.08 $1.08
You Have Called Me $2.16 $0.29 $0.94 $0.94
Lord of Glory, Lord of All $1.46 $0.18 $0.64 $0.64
Our Lord's Prayer $1.28 $0.18 $0.55 $0.55
The Way, The Truth, The Life $1.18 $0.18 $0.50 $0.50
God's Mercy $1.17 $0.18 $0.49 $0.49
Lord Lift Me Up $1.16 $0.18 $0.49 $0.49
Stand $1.16 $0.18 $0.49 $0.49
Creation to Crowning Glory $1.14 $0.18 $0.48 $0.48
Savior $1.14 $0.18 $0.48 $0.48
Last Day On Earth $1.11 $0.18 $0.47 $0.47

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WHETSTONE: RESULTS, OPINION AND OBSERVATIONS:

Let me re-emphasize - what I'm about to say is definitely my opinion, but I think those sales figures make a great background for some conversation.  And for me, having conversations was one of the goals of the project.

Do I consider the project a success?  Its made less money that I hoped, but not necessarily less than I expected. I tried to set your expectations low as well.  As I told you before launch, I considered the more important goal to be generating more exposure than any artist could do by themselves .  Out of 785 spins, I have no way of knowing how many of those were unique listeners. but I think its reasonable to say that goal was met.  

It does bring to light the project's greatest weakness in my opinion.  How many of those listeners were converted to fans? I've no idea. 

I think I have to define what I think is a "real fan", so please pardon a digression: There is a path to success that looks like this:  Build up your ability to play a full set, then get out there and perform.  Start setting up house concerts, go to festivals, play churches, events, etc. - play for whomever will take you.   Every summer you take a week, some weekends or whatever you can spare to travel and perform.  In this way you build your real fans face-to-face, one at a time.   They won't be loyal to you for just that one song. But if you spent some time with them, if you talked with them afterwards, signed something for them… involved them somehow, got personal, made them feel like you established a connection, that you really "get them", you know?  You might have a fan.

A real fan is one that cares whenever you send out an email/social media blast. They will come whenever they can when you play in their area, and will reliably shell out at leatt $10 for an album, a T-shirt or whatever each time you come through.  They are with you for more than one season, and can form the core of a career. 100 real fans earn you as much as what, 100,000 to 250,000 streams? 

I take responsibility for not putting in place better mechanisms for fan conversion. But I don't think generally the artists were ready this time.  Online fan conversion requires an artist to be ready to offer a fan something more. Like being able to say "take a look at our tour schedule, help us decide on this year's tour route, sign up for chance to have a free personal concert, be in a video, or vote for us to come play at your church, sign up now for our new album coming out in December and get a free bonus track now, etc. 

Maybe digital has changed a few things - potentially powerful IMO, but I'm not sure its easier. There is so much online noise, and so much more power in a face to face connection. 

What do most labels typically require of their artists in this regard? If an artist isn't out performing like that and/or shows any reluctance to tour - that is almost universally a non-starter.   Most labels want to see you build around 35,000 real fans first, on your own.  I hope you won't think that it is crazy of them to ask for that. If you can (over time) build up that kind of fan base. It shows you really do connect with an audience. Its enough that you have a decent chance of being self-supporting from music and merch.  It means you probably have the determination, dedication and work ethic required.  And it means you've probably figured out whether this is a path for you or not. 

Our bar isn't 35k fans, but I'm not sure it should be zero either. We're continuing to look for the best way to provide service and opportunities. I know this site isn't just about musicians succeeding in a professional way. But if you find the idea of performing like that exciting though, and if you've just set yourself a new fan building goal…  

Thoughts and Comments?
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#2
Guess we ain't getting a pizza. (lol!)
No sweat it was understood from the get go.
Since Linda & I are not in the position to put a band together and tour or even play out locally it's all cool.
But it is really nice to have been placed on a CD being promoted by a record label. I've said from the start that I'm extremely proud of Linda's ability to write lyrics. My biggest joy is always seeing her face light up when she hears the music that is mixed an arranged to showcase her song lyrics.
We network out more to the idea of building connections in the music biz for possible future things like TV show themes... the possibilities of more established artists becoming interested her writing. She's the lyricist, I'm the musician, so we balance between musical stuff I do (instrumentals and shorts for commercials etc. and full blown songs. We also write both Christian Worship and traditional songs.
Since I'm still pretty green as far as "In The Box" Mixing if we are not getting that mysterious "Punch" that so many people keep talking about, then that just means I have to work harder on my craft.
In other words...it's all good Brother. We still appreciate being given the opportunity to publish.
We continue to press on.
Peace!

Marty & Linda
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#3
I think this is really exciting, and also a wake up call as to the work to be done.  

But hey, with minimal marketing effort on my part, there were minimal results.  I feel like that is fair and acceptable, and I'm ready to work harder...

Look at all those countries though!  Pretty cool.  Smile
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#4
That's what I thought about the countries! We're international! Thanks, Greg, that is totally awesome!
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#5
Hello Greg!
Hello Everyone!
It' great to hear from all of you! Greg, I always appreciate your attention to detail as well as the way you deliver a message. It is so important to view this project in the right perspective. I am a part of your fan base and I want to do my part to encourage all of you to continue on the path God is leading you on. This project has been a wonderful wealth of information opening my mind to the realities involved around music ministry. We have all benefited by being a part of this project and for me it has been a catalyst to moving me forward with the music I so passionately want to write.
I continually write, hone my skills as a singer songwriter and perform when asked. I'm preparing myself for the next project I can be a part of. I would like to be as much of a blessing as I personally have been blessed. I talked to some local Christian radio station managers and talk hosts and they told me what they would like to hear from me so I'm working on that right now. God has and is doing great things through this project so please remain faithful to where He is leading us.
I want to thank you again Greg for all you have and are doing on our behalf! God bless all of you!

Jjordan
"A healthy Spiritual walk with God leads you down a Natural Path of worship."
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#6
Hi Greg,

You asked in your comments, "Do I consider the project a success?"

I can tell you from my perspective....absolutely! Irreplaceable!

I learned about so many aspects of copyright, publishing, label arrangements, contracts, splits, etc. and Christian (one body!) plus teamwork.

Most of all I learned how dedicated you and each of the team members are to getting God's word out in song....this is not about money, it is about Christian teamwork...follow-through, commitment...service to the work of the Ministry.

Each of us is called....each has our part and I thank God for the privilege of being part of this.

Thanks for the tremendous and disproportionate effort on your part, Secondforks, all my co-writers involved and artists and CSN.

Neil
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#7
So, is there going to be a new Whetstone for this year? I think it would be cool and a great motivator to have a deadline set in stone (get it?). Of course, it's easy for me to say, I didn't put in all that effort to get this done.
Tony
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#8
Yes I think.. I appreciate the nudging. I still want some time still to think through ways to make the next one better.. And I'm certainly open to your thoughts and suggestions...
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#9
(01-11-2017, 12:26 AM)gdball Wrote: Yes I think.. I appreciate the nudging. I still want some  time still  to think through ways to make the next one better.. And I'm certainly open to your thoughts and suggestions...

I think it would be awesome if we could get some collaboration on the actual recording phase. I'm not a singer and pretty mediocre on guitar and think my songs always suffer due to a lack of actual talent even though the song may be pretty good. There are a few good sites for collaboration (kompoz.com, procollabs.com) which could be of a benefit if folks were interested. Just an idea.
Tony
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#10
(01-11-2017, 12:45 AM)tpistilli Wrote:
(01-11-2017, 12:26 AM)gdball Wrote: Yes I think.. I appreciate the nudging. I still want some  time still  to think through ways to make the next one better.. And I'm certainly open to your thoughts and suggestions...

I think it would be awesome if we could get some collaboration on the actual recording phase. I'm not a singer and pretty mediocre on guitar and think my songs always suffer due to a lack of actual talent even though the song may be pretty good. There are a few good sites for collaboration (kompoz.com, procollabs.com) which could be of a benefit if folks were interested. Just an idea.
Tony

we could do that here, too. I had implemented a "collaboration" forum where people could work together and keep the "sausage making" within the group (individual subforums visible only to the group and myself), but no one seemed interested and I removed it.

if there's interest in that again, I can certainly implement it.

I'm definitely open to another compilation CD!
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