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:

Topline survey respondent characteristics

Specific revenue sources

By genre

By demographic characteristics

By external factors and support structures

Special series

 

Six 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.

 

Some additional writing about challenges of doing research on this population

 

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.

Additional resources
42 Streams: Existing, Expanded, NewThe same list, but reorganized to identify revenue streams that have expanded – or been newly created – in the past 15 years. Read more
42 Revenue Streams 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

 

FMC’s Digital Distribution A diagram designed for musicians to help them understand how to get their music into various platforms and services. Read more
FMC’s New Business Models Google spreadsheet that shows if/how/how much songwriters, performers, record labels and publishers are paid when their music is used/performed on a variety of new digital platforms. Read more

 

Music and How the Money Flows An infographic that illustrates how the money flows back to musicians and songwriters when their music is downloaded, webcast or streamed. Read more
Music and Money Quizzes A quiz about the copyright laws, licenses and agreements that frequently determine who gets paid, and how much. Take one of these quizzes and see how you measure up! Read more

ReThink: Teams, Time Allocation and Technology

Posted on 26th April, by Kristin Thomson in What We're Learning. 1 Comment

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, Artist Revenue Streams co-director Kristin Thomson took part in the ReThink Music Conference in Boston, MA. She was joined onstage by musician and Berkman Fellow Erin McKeown. Drawing upon Money from Music survey findings and artist interviews, she presented some findings about musicians’ teams, time allocation and technology.


Musicians’ Teammates and their Effect on Earnings

Posted on 17th April, by Kristin Thomson in What We're Learning. 4 Comments

On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, Artist Revenue Streams co-director Kristin Thomson delivered a luncheon lecture called “All You Need is Love…(and a manager, an accountant and a web designer). Making it as a Musician in an Increasingly Networked World” hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She was joined by musician and Berkman Fellow Erin McKeown.

The focus of the lecture was examining the question of whether emerging technologies have made it possible for musicians to “do it all themselves”, and the impact that various intermediaries can have on a musician’s career and earning capacity.


CMW: On The Money: Examining Musicians’ Income

Posted on 5th April, by Kristin Thomson in What We're Learning. 5 Comments

On Saturday, March 25, 2012, Artist Revenue Streams co-director Kristin Thomson took part in the 30th annual Canadian Music Week in Toronto. Drawing upon Money from Music survey findings and artist interviews, she presented some top level data about musicians’ careers and their earning capacity.

She started the presentation by describing the project’s methodology. The research involves three data collection methods: in person interviews with about 80 different US-based musicians and composers, financial case studies based on verifiable bookkeeping data, and a widely distributed online survey.

She also underscored that this study is not about label market share, or consumer spending, or measuring an artists’ social graph. It’s about individual musicians’ earning capacity. It’s about what they end up putting in their pocket, and how it’s changing over time.

Then she did a quick overview of the range … Read More »


Orchestral Recordings and Performer Payments

Posted on 15th March, by Kristin Thomson in What We're Learning. 3 Comments

US-based orchestras have a rich history of making sound recordings of classical repertoire. Have you ever wondered if and how the performers are paid when those sound recordings are sold?

This question came up while we were working on a case study of a young professional orchestra player. While categorizing his income streams, we realized we didn’t know how sound recording revenue flowed back to performers. Was it a profit split with all current members?  What about the money generated from legacy recordings that are still sold?

Below is a description of how it works for unionized orchestras, in other words, the orchestras where the performers are members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). This includes all of the major professional orchestras in the US.

Studio recordings

If an AFM orchestra goes … Read More »


Are Musicians Benefiting from Music Tech?

Posted on 23rd February, by Kristin Thomson in What We're Learning. 14 Comments

On Monday, February 13, 2012, FMC’s Kristin Thomson participated in the tenth San Fran MusicTech Summit in San Fransisco, CA.  Drawing upon Money from Music survey findings and artist interviews, we presented some data about the impact of music/technologies on musicians’ careers and their earning capacity.

We started the presentation by describing the project’s methodology. The research involves three data collection methods: in person interviews with about 80 different musicians and composers, financial case studies based on verifiable bookkeeping data, and a widely distributed online survey.

We also underscored that this study is not about label market share, or consumer spending, or measuring an artists’ social graph. It’s about individual musicians’ earning capacity. It’s about what they end up putting in their pocket, and how it’s changing over time.

Then we did a quick overview of the survey … Read More »