The "Best" Way To Buy Music

From the perspective of ensuring that the artist receives the largest amount of money, what is the best way to buy their music*?

I’m assuming it would be from their website and then the record label’s website. Has there ever been a breakdown of the cost of an album at a big-box music chain? % that goes to the store, % that goes to the record label, % that goes to the artist, etc.?

Or is this the type of thing where the best way to support an artist is to see them live and to buy a t-shirt or some other merchandise at the show?

*I’m a bit of a luddite and would prefer a CD as opposed to a digital download.

I’m going to give this a bump to catch some of the night traffic…

I’m a CD gal, myself. Also, I think they make a lot of money touring these days (probably due to all the other ways they lose money), so it’s probably good to see them when they’re in town, too.

I purchase all forms of music media. I’m a musician myself and know alot of local musicians so will generally purchase their releases directly from them, cds, vinyl, dvds etc. They get more money, and it’s often cheaper than me purchasing their stuff in stores. Sometimes if I know I’m not going to catch a gig but I want to hear an artist I’ll get their stuff from emusic.com or if they’re widely distributed I’ll purchase their cd in the local HMV.

I would imagine buying at the mersh stand at a gig would be the best way of remunerating the artist but I know this is not always possible.

Previous thread on same subject:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=461474&highlight=artist

I’d say a CD actually. It’s DRM free really and you can easily commute it to whatever device or player you want. Plus not very many cars have an iPod jack, but almost all (especially newer ones) have a CD player

I’m a “musician”, and my band just put out it’s first album.

It depends on the situation. You asked about getting the most money directly to the band, and the answer to that is buy a CD from them at the show or from their website (if they’re selling it themselves and not just linking to record companies/retailers’ websites).

But something else to consider is that the artist might prefer you to download mp3s or buy CDs from a retailer because that way, the sales get counted by Nielsen Soundscan, which provides that info to Billboard charts, etc., not to mention the record company notes that the artist is selling something.

This is the case for me and my band; it’s not about the money as much as it is about the reported numbers. However, the completely indie guys touring relentlessly and doing it for a living might need the gas/food money. It might be a good idea to ask the band, if you can (one of them is probably working the merch table).

Oh, and thanks for being supportive; these days, a lot of people just go d/l stuff for free; some even have the audacity to stand there and tell a working musician to their face “I never pay for music, haha!” :rolleyes: