Case Study: Indie Rock Composer-Performer
The ARS project includes a series of anonymous financial case studies, being released throughout Spring 2012. These case studies are based on the real finances from real artists, anonymized to protect their privacy.
1999 – present
TIME SPENT ON MUSIC
INCOME DERIVED FROM MUSIC
This case study looks at the world of indie rock composer-performers through the finances of one Indie Rock Composer-Performer.
When looking at the Artist’s gross revenue, we note 72.3% of his income is tied to live performance, whether it’s live performance fees or CD sales at shows. He is completely dependent on touring for his income.
We look at the Artist’s income by band and see that while he is an active member of four bands in addition to his solo work, 94% of his gross income comes from one Main Band and his own solo work.
Unlike the Professional Orchestra Player, who is also a salaried musician, the Artist also writes for the group that pays him a salary, and that provides 21% of his income in addition to his salary.
When examining income versus expenses, we note certain roles, like salaried, sideman or teaching work (approximately 31% of his income from 2008-2011) have few expenses. The Artist is able to use that income to invest in his own solo work, in lieu of being beholden to a label, publisher, or tour sponsor.
The PDF/printable version of the Indie Rock Composer-Performer case study is downloadable below.