Does organizational membership matter?

Posted on September 5th, 2013 by Kristin Thomson in What We're Learning. 1 Comment

Perceived changes in revenue by membership

On the survey, we also asked respondents whether their revenue streams had increased, stayed the same, or decreased over the past five years. The chart below illustrates some core differences in perceived changes by membership.

Perceived changes by PRO membership

First, those in the NoPRO camp were simply not participating in revenue streams related to compositions; over 80% reported that questions about revenue trends related to songwriting/composing were “not applicable” to them.  This makes sense, but the chart below visually underscores this point.

For Composer PRO members, not only are they more likely to be participating, 10% more said that income from compositions had increased over the past five years than decreased.


There is a similar distinction with income from sound recordings; 58% of the NoPRO group said that questions about income from sound recordings were “not applicable” to them, while Composer PRO members were much more likely to be participating in this stream. However, both groups had more respondents saying that this income stream had decreased, rather than increased.  We have written specifically about income from sound recordings in a separate report.

Perceived changes by music organization membership

In the analysis of the perceived changes in revenue by organizational membership, differences in participation in revenue streams are less prevalent, but still interesting.

Looking simply at participation levels, joiners are more apt to answer questions about perceived changes in income from being a salaried player, a session musician or a teacher.  Meanwhile, nonjoiners are more apt to respond to questions regarding merchandise and live performance.

Looking at perceived changes in revenue, more organizational members noted that income from being a salaried employee has decreased, while non-joiners are somewhat neutral. And, more organizational members reported a decrease in income from sound recordings and from session work, while non-joiners reported these as neither increasing nor decreasing. Is membership the reason why respondents report these revenue trends? Other factors including genre, role, career trajectory, age or experience certainly play a part, but larger, ongoing struggles about the financial solvency of orchestras and the amount of available session work – both of which affect AFM members disproportionately – may have an impact on the responses to salaried roles and session work.


Next: membership and “other” revenue streams

One response to “Does organizational membership matter?”

  1. […] Does organisational membership matter? This material was first presented at Music: Parts and Labor conference at New York University in April 2012 and examines the relationship between organisational membership and income. […]