Data Memos and Reports
We have a huge amount of qualitative and quantitative data that we have collected through interviews, a large-scale survey, and financial case studies. Instead of issuing one enormous report, we have been examining the data through various lenses:
Specific revenue sources
- Off The Charts: Examining Musicians’ Income from Sound Recordings
- Artists, Brand and Revenue
- Orchestral Recordings and Performer Payments
- Does Radio Airplay Matter?
- Teams, Time Allocation and Technology
- Musicians’ Teammates and their Effect on Earnings
- Are Musicians Benefiting from Music/Tech?
- Mythbusting: “musicians are rich”
- Mythbusting: “musicians make all their money from touring/shows”
- Mythbusting: “musicians don’t make any money selling music”
- Mythbusting: “musicians make all their money from t-shirts/merchandise”
Five Financial Case Studies
As part of this project, a handful of full-time musicians granted us access to their musician-related financial records. Our case studies illustrate each musicians’ income and expenses year-by-year.
- Indie rock composer/performer
- Contemporary chamber ensemble
- Jazz bandleader
- Jazz sideman
- Professional orchestra player
- How many musicians are there?
- Are musicians making more or less money?
- Why “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer
- Leverage: how much or little control musicians have over how – and how much – they are paid
Sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn about upcoming releases on income from live performance, whether membership matters, music cities, income for songwriters/composers, or the revenue streams or session musicians, and more.
The same list, but reorganized to identify revenue streams that have expanded – or been newly created – in the past 15 years. Read more
A list of all the potential revenue streams for US-based musicians, performers and composers based on the contours of copyright law and business practice. Read more
A diagram designed for musicians to help them understand how to get their music into various platforms and services. Read more
There are a number of assumptions made about musicians and money. Some are repeated ad nausea, giving them a special status in the public debate about musicians and income as widely believed to be true, but disconnected from any verifiable data besides random anecdotes, isolated data points and personal opinion. Unfortunately, some of these assumptions are are then used to justify certain behaviors, or to inform policy decisions.
Here are four commonly-repeated assumptions:
1. “Musicians are rich”
2. “In a post-Napster world, musicians make all their money from shows/live performance”
3. “In a post-Napster world, musicians don’t make money selling music”
4. “In a post-Napster world, musicians make all of their money from selling t-shirts/merch”
One of the core goals of the Artist Revenue Streams project was to bring some data into this conversation, to give musicians, policymakers, and the general public a better sense of the complex reality of musicians and composers. In four posts, we will examine the “truthiness” of these assumptions, using qualitative and quantitative data collected through the Artist Revenue Streams project.
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Artist Revenue Streams co-director Jean Cook addressed Future of Music Coalition’s 11th DC Policy Summit. Beginning with a review of the 42 Revenue Streams for musicians, Jean outlined the scope of the ARS study, and then went on to discuss the structures that determine the rates that artists get paid for three specific digital revenue streams: iTunes, Pandora and Spotify. This illustration of these specific three revenue streams set the stage for a discussion about the various middlemen upon whom artists rely to represent their interests at the bargaining table, where middlemen interests align and conflict with artists, and what options exists for artists who want to be more involved in how rates for the more complex streams are calculated.
1. Who Decides How Much Artists Get Paid?
We decided to do this … Read More »
A recent series of blog posts about musicians, music, and income have found various writers claiming – each with a level of certainty – that musicians are making more money/less money today than in years past.
In the “musicians are making less money” camp are writers who focus on the disruptions in the sound recordings sales market. They not only point to the problems with piracy, but also the shift away from album sales to singles sales, both of which have diverted consumer dollars away from physical CD sales. Simple math suggests that musicians are making less on recorded music sales because an increasing amount of royalty payments are based on sales of 99 cent singles, not $15 albums. Or, even worse, consumers aren’t paying anything at all. We have … Read More »
How many musicians are there in the United States? There is no reliable answer. This blog post describes the difficulty in counting the number of musicians in the US, and the challenges this presents for researchers who seek to measure the creative class now and over time. We discuss the difficulty in defining who a “musician” is, the lack of reliable, centralized data sources, and the methodological choices we made when defining the population of study for the Artist Revenue Streams project.
This data memo presents a snapshot of nearly 900 jazz musicians who participated in the Money from Music Survey in 2011, the first comprehensive assessment of jazz musicians in the US since “Changing the Beat.” After presenting basic demographic information, this memo provides data about jazz musician’s experience, income, and feelings about technology, and also compares the jazz population to survey takers from other genres. This memo also takes a closer look at the differences between jazz musicians who are members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and those who are not, and the relationship that AFM membership has with income.