Tag: PRO Royalties


ARS Presentation: Leverage

Posted on 14th November, by Jean Cook in What We're Learning. 5 Comments

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 presentation because … Read More »


Does Radio Airplay Matter?

Posted on 7th May, by Kristin Thomson in What We're Learning. 5 Comments

For many decades, commercial radio airplay has been highly coveted by songwriters, musicians and record labels alike because of its enormous promotional power and reach. It has been well understood that consistent commercial airplay accompanies significant record sales, generates public performance royalties, and burnishes a recording artist’s profile.

But there have been major shifts in the radio landscape in the past ten years. We’ve seen the development of both satellite radio and webcasting as alternatives to traditional AM and FM broadcast radio, models that have a lot more flexibility about what types of music they play, and how much control they give the listener over what they hear. We’ve also witnessed the development of a stronger noncommercial radio sector, led by NPR Music and certain powerhouse noncommercial AAA stations like KEXP, KCRW, WXPN, and The Current.

There has also been a shift … Read More »


Case Study: Indie Rock Composer-Performer

Posted on 15th March, by Jean Cook in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 6 Comments

When looking at the Artist’s gross revenue, we note 72.3% of his income is tied to live performance, whether it’s live performance fees or CD sales at shows. He is completely dependent on touring for his income.

We look at the Artist’s income by band and see that while he is an active member of four bands in addition to his solo work, 94% of his gross income comes from one Main Band and his own solo work.

Unlike the Professional Orchestra Player, who is also a salaried musician, the Artist also writes for the group that pays him a salary, and that provides 21% of his income in addition to his salary.

When examining income versus expenses, we note certain roles, like salaried, sideman or teaching work (approximately 31% of his income from 2008-2011) have few expenses. The Artist is able to use that income to invest in his own solo work, in lieu of being beholden to a label, publisher, or tour sponsor.


Case Study: Jazz Bandleader-Composer

Posted on 15th March, by Jean Cook in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 6 Comments

Like many entrepreneurial small businesses, his net income fluctuates widely from year to year. Anecdotally, his gross income appears to roughly track with the growth of his reputation during this period.

When looking at his gross income, we see that live performance as a leader makes up 77.8% of his income. In addition to his work as a leader, he also earns a steady income each year as a composer, sideman, and teacher.

When looking at his net v gross, Jazz Bandleader’s expenses are high – 80% of his income goes to pay touring expenses, sidemen, managers fees and other expenses. But he is still profits from touring. His net recording income fluctuates from year to year. Some years he loses money on recording. From 2006-2011 he nets a modest recording income.

Examining the artist’s gross income by role reinforces that his recording money fluctuates depending on what years he receives record advances. We also see that roughly 8% of his income is initiated by someone other than the Jazz Bandleader or his team.

Looking at gross income by territory, we see that he is dependent on non US markets for about 44% of his performance income.

We see a similar trend in his PRO Royalties breakdown by territory, that non-US royalties are a significant portion of his PRO royalty income. When looking at his income by album, we see that his compositions continue to earn money for years after the records are released.


Case Study: Jazz Sideman-Bandleader

Posted on 15th March, by Jean Cook in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 2 Comments

In addition to his sideman work, his income also comes from his work as a bandleader, composer, administrator, and teacher. Like many freelancers, his income fluctuates from year to year. Anecdotally, his gross income appears to roughly track with the growth of his reputation during this period.

We look at the income and expenses for this individual, where we learn that his teaching, admin work and sideman work makes up 70% of his income from 2004-2010, effectively subsidize his work as a bandleader as he establishes himself.

We look at his relationships as a sideman with different bandleaders over time and see 55% of his income and activity comes from two bandleaders, but he also takes on work with 81 different ensembles. He needs all of these gigs to survive. Not just from an economic perspective, but also because these other gigs help him network, keep his skills sharp, and to maintain his position in the competitive marketplace for sidemen.

We examine his per-gig sideman wages by territory and see that there is a marked difference between the income he receives outside the US and in the USA. On average over eight years, Jazz Sideman-Bandleader’s sideman rate when traveling outside the US is approximately three times greater than what he makes in the US.

We analyze his foundation grant income and see that while this money is a large chunk of his gross income, the net take home is very small – 1%. This appears to be typical for bandleaders, that the vast majority of income for recording and touring goes to pay for expenses.

We begin to explore the complex balance he maintains between financial risk, creative fulfillment, and available time.