Case Study: Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
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.
1997 – present
TIME SPENT ON MUSIC
INCOME DERIVED FROM MUSIC
This case study looks at the world of classical small ensembles through the finances of one Contemporary Chamber Group. Unlike other case studies, we are examining only the financial picture of the ensemble and not the individuals.
Looking at the gross income, we see that 95.4% of the Ensemble’s gross income comes from live performance fees. They retain a professional manager in 2004, and their touring income more than doubles by 2005.
When taking expenses into account, we learn that though their gross income fluctuates from year to year, their net profit is steadily increasing. We also see that while their records are doing very well for classical music and have recouped, the Ensemble does not rely in this income at all (0.1% of their 2002-2010 income is from record royalties paid by a label) and instead treats recordings as marketing for the ensemble.
We reflect on the classical music marketplace, which is distinct from other markets. Their situation is similar to Professional Orchestra Player‘s in that they are highly skilled musicians that are usually paid a relatively high wage in an extremely competitive marketplace.
The PDF/printable version of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble case study is downloadable below.