Case Study: Background Vocalist

Posted on February 24th, 2014 by Chhaya Kapadia in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 2 Comments

Previous: Gross Revenue Time Series

Income vs. Expense

The pie charts below show aggregate gross income, and the related expenses, for 2009-2010.


The pie chart for expenses has been scaled visually to represent that expenses consume about 10% of gross income. The table below provides details about expenses from 2009-2010.

Expense Category
2009-2010 Details
Touring 63.6% Travel, Meals
Overhead 36.4% Office Expenses, Legal and Professional Services, Postage, Professional Dues, Music Purchases
Unlike other case studies, this musician’s expenses are more like those of a professional orchestra performer or sideman in that she doesn’t have a lot of expenses.
While she tours extensively, the featured artist pays her travel costs.

The chart below shows income versus expenses on a year-to-year basis. The grey line indicates net income, which varies depending on factors like whether the year’s income includes a lengthy tour backing a featured artist – which would pay a background vocalist soon after the performances – or if the year’s income depends more upon TV/film work and their associated mailbox money, which can take much longer to receive.



Next: Mailbox Money: An Overview

About the Case Studies

Graphs do not have a Y-axis dollar value in order to observe the conditions of our privacy policy. In addition, graphs and visuals in case studies are not comparable within or between case studies. For more details about this, read about our financial case study protocol.

Information detailed in case studies is based on data received directly from the artist or their authorized representative. The data analysis and lessons learned here are based on individual experience, and do not necessarily reflect the experiences of all musicians in genre or roles.

Case studies are one of three ways this project is looking at music creator income.

2 responses to “Case Study: Background Vocalist”

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