Tag: TV Residuals


Case Study: Background Vocalist

Posted on 24th February, by Chhaya Kapadia in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 2 Comments

This financial case study shows the income and expenses from a full-time Background Vocalist who performs regularly as a background singer on network TV, live on tour, and on recordings. She also writes songs and performs and records her own music as a solo artist, and produces records for herself and others.

This artist is part of the regular “music crew” – as a background vocalist – on a live network television program with a house band, appearing on 34 episodes over four seasons. She also tours regularly as a background vocalist for several different featured artists, with performances at concert halls, theaters, opera houses, resorts, and festivals. She has also performed on over 50 recordings as a background vocalist for more than 30 different artists.

This case study gives us a glimpse at the world of a background singer who is both paid for her original work, and is also the recipient of “mailbox” money, or residuals from TV and film appearances and royalties from studio recordings. It also underscores the importance of unions in negotiating fees and administering TV/film residuals and recording royalties.


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.