Camper Van Beethoven’s 2013 Net Profit Was $645 Million Dollars Higher Than Twitter.

Technologists in Silicon Valley love to tell artists we need to update our business model.

This is hilarious since each of my businesses have been profitable for decades. Stunning when you look at just how unprofitable these Silicon Valley Companies actually are.  Twitter for instance lost $645 million dollars last year.   Jaw dropping when you consider that their total revenues were $646 million dollars.   They spent 2 dollars for every 1 dollar of revenue.  And if you look at their losses they are accelerating.

Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 10.59.36 AM

Source: https://investor.twitterinc.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=823321

Now consider the fact that the City of San Francisco also gave them approximately $56 million in tax beaks.  This is while the city has been pushing to slash benefits to city workers. 

Yes maybe Camper Van Beethoven needs to update our business model to include tax breaks and political cronyism.

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9 thoughts on “Camper Van Beethoven’s 2013 Net Profit Was $645 Million Dollars Higher Than Twitter.

  1. I brought this up awhile ago with a noted tech evangelist. He danced around it and found a way to obfuscate this obvious point. I’m unaware of any other business where operating at such staggering wouldn’t be proof of failure. And this is going back nearly a decade. Even most tech startups are only given a few years to turn a profit. Music, of course, is a very simple business model (at least it can be). If enough people buy it you’ve got a success.

  2. So are we saying that profit is over-rated? Good to know since my band operates more on the Twitter model…just haven’t figured out the part about our town giving us the $56 Million. Any ideas?

  3. Profits ARE overrated. It’s all about debt and posturing. You get a loan, make some popular stuff, get lots of people to pay attention to it.. Now take whatever you made and make an even BIGGER version of your popular thing. Spend like crazy, the sky is the limit. Use the popularity of your thing to get even more loans and spend even crazier! Posturing is key, as long as lots of people know about you, you can get even more loans and spend even more! Then just when things are starting to flatten out, you sell and go start something new.

  4. Pingback: Politics on Wednesday: Tony Kelly files, Ammiano fights for Healthy SF … and the rock band that makes (much) more money than Twitter | 48 hills48 hills

  5. But Twitter has more fans then you or your band does. I’m sure anyone at Twitter would tell you that you can keep your “profits” because what they are doing means more then what their current earnings just so happen to be.

    And I’m sure that the City of SF would gladly give you those same tax breaks once you build something that’s as big as Twitter.

    • Who the fuck cares who has more fans. Truth/ethics aren’t voted on. The point is that the city of SF is giving tax breaks to twitter while trying slash benefits for city employees. Clearly the city is not benefiting and this is a tax giveaway. Or if you like graft? corruption? When twitter goes down in a dotbomb type collapse are you gonna tell the pension funds that good tricked into investing in it that what they did means more than the current earnings? What about the grandmothers and grandparents who might rely on those pension earnings? what about the taxpayers that end up bailing out the pension funds?

  6. Hey there David,
    I’ve been reading through your blogs non-stop since I found them last night on The Trichordist (so forgive me if I sound a bit loopy) and I’ve also read 90% of the comments. As a side note, I was playing with Michael Urbano a few years back (great guy!), and I’ve heard a few good Cracker stories!
    I wanted to thank you for fighting the good fight! As a struggling musician, I do as much research as I can and always listen when advice comes from experience. One thing that I find incredibly alarming about all this is that people seem to value music less than in times past. It seems that, by and large, people aren’t sitting and listening to, or getting EXCITED about music. It’s just become background noise to a lot of people and I noticed that beginning in the early ’00’s. And I think it’s because people don’t VALUE music in their lives the way they used to.
    A number of statements in the comments section on the “Meet The New Boss” blog and other blogs here give off the vibe that a lot of people think of musicians as “a bunch of lazy bastards who should be lucky I even listen to them…”, and other similar utterances. It’s like being a professional artist or musician is no longer something that is respected. They think musicians sit down and a song magically pours out, then they play it on stage a few times and BAM money’s just rolling in, while the artist fucks off. I don’t think the Celebrity over Music, Miley Cyrus strutting around naked everywhere, attention whore thing that’s been going on helps to make real musicians look any better.
    The average person doesn’t seem to realize how hard this business is or how much goes into perfecting your craft, getting a band together, writing great songs, recording them, mixing and mastering them, building a soundproof room, getting gigs, performing, promoting, bribing the fucking radio stations to get your shit played once on the token local show at 2 in the morning, touring around, trying to hock T-shirts, designing the website, keeping up with social media, paying photographers, getting music videos produced, and all the while keeping an eye out for people who may be out to fuck you. Really, playing music is the thing that the artist has the least time for in the “I can handle it all myself” fantasy that never becomes a reality. There’s a reason the music business is considered the toughest business to make it in. It’s a major risk that most artists simply can’t afford the time or money for these days.
    Generally, I noticed a different response from the camp of professional musicians or artists who make their income only from their art and the camp of hobbyists who play music after work or on weekends. The hobbyist camp seems to say “Hey man, the arts are no longer going to be a profession, so you fuck off musicians are just going to have to GET A JOB!” i.e. music ain’t a real jobby job.
    But I’d like to point out to those who make these utterances: Bach and Mozart had to have patrons who GAVE THEM THE TIME TO MAKE ALL THOSE MASTERPIECES! You guys think that LED ZEPPELIN or JIMI HENDRIX or THE BEATLES would have been able to create those masterpiece songs and albums that we all know and love by trying to do it all on weekends while working 9-5 jobs? Songs that many of us were conceived to? Songs that will be passed down through the generations as masterpieces? Music doesn’t write itself! Check all your record collections people, look at your favorite albums. How many have been written by weekend hobbyists? That’s right very few if any. Music and art is a full time job. The time and effort it takes to perfect the craft and write and arrange (two different things) , produce and perform music is underestimated by the general public. If the arts die as a profession, then we look forward to one thing: lots of shitty art.
    I’d like to apologize for ranting in what may be the wrong place for this, but I’ve been reading all the blogs here for hours straight and then ranting about them in my head and later in the day to my bandmates, so why not here? It means something to me and I’m glad that you’ve been writing about it and I just want to let you know: keep fighting the good fight!

    C.J. Blea

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