"My dad always says, 'The music business is not the same as it was when I got into it,' " Taylor remarks. "My father may have been the first person who ever put it in my head that CDs were promotional devices to get people to his concerts. They're not a consistent, dependable revenue stream. That got me thinking, 'If that's the case for you, what's it going to be like for me?' "
Thanks to the digital revolution, Taylor pockets as much as $11 from his $15 CDs, while most major-label acts are lucky if they earn $1 or $2. "The question should never be, 'How many CDs can you sell?'" says Taylor. "It's, 'How much can we as artists make on every song?'"