Apple iTunes and Playing Fair...
You may be surprised to learn how much artists make via legal downloads.
Some artists may make pennies per download because the record label sucks up most of the profit. It is amazing that some artists still only make a few cents a download. Kid Rock is just one artist who feels strongly about this.
It is possible for unsigned bands to sell their tracks on iTunes and make a reasonable split of the profits. They must first find a distributor they are happy with. The distributor will take anywhere from 10 to 25% of what is left after iTunes takes their cut. See our Choosing a distributor guide
For example, the distributor http://zimbalam.co.uk divides the cash from iTunes per download (in Europe) at 0.70£ for a single track sold at £0.99 and £6.00 for an album sold at £9.99. They then pay you £0.63 per track and £5.40 per album.
One of the problems independent artists face is that some distributors don’t mention the cut that iTunes takes and others will say they are prohibited from telling you this information until after you buy their service. This makes it impossible for artists to make informed decisions about who they want to distribute their music and in which shops.
Hopefully artists can give their business to distributors who are upfront about the percentage that iTunes will take and the distributors that are keeping this vital information from us will be pressured into operating in a more upfront way.