How It Works: “How You Can Sell 10m Albums And Be Broke” (The Breakdown)


“This is how a group can sell 10 million records and be broke, and everybody get ready to do your math. There are 100 points on an album, TLC has 7, every point is worth 8 cents. Alright, 7 times 8 is 56 cents, that means every time an album gets sold, TLC gets 56 cents. Sell 10 million records, $5.6 million, sounds like a lot of money. That’s the addition, now here comes the subtraction.

  • Each album had 100 points accredited.
  • TLC had 7pts on CrazySexyCool.
  • Each point is worth 8¢.


  • CrazySexyCool sold 10 million.


  • LaFace Records spent $3million recording TLC and shooting the music videos. In the recording industry, artists have to pay that back.


  • When you have that much (at least by 1995-6 standards), you’re in the 47%-49% tax racket, so this becomes reduced to $1,300,000.
  • Now split that up between the 3 of you.

$1,300,000/3=$300,000 (after other costs, if you’re lucky.)

  • Management 20%
  • Accountants %
  • Lawyers %


QUESTION: How many points would you get on your albums?


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