We’ve all heard speculations about what musicians are “really thinking” in the changing digital landscape. Yet, from our vantage point inside the music community these projections have always seemed too narrow to represent the complex concerns we regularly experience in our discussions with musicians.
FMC felt is was time to stop projecting our thoughts and preferences onto musicians and, instead, ask musicians to share their own experiences and opinions.
To that end, in Spring 2004, FMC and the Pew Internet & American Life Project worked with CD Baby, Just Plain Folks, Nashville Songwriters Association, Garageband.com, AFTRA, and AFM to design an online survey that asked musicians a variety of questions about music, technology, copyright, peer-to-peer filesharing, emerging best practices, and the public domain.
The survey was available online from March 15 to April 15, 2004. During that time, 2,755 musicians and songwriters completed the survey. To learn about the demographics of the survey participants, go here.
Data Memo Released
On April 30, 2004, Pew Internet released a preliminary data memo that outlined some of the initial findings based on the data collected from the survey. These preliminary findings were then included in the report Artists, Musicians and the Internet on December 5, 2004. The report assesses findings from three separate surveys: a telephone survey with self-identified artists, an online survey completed by over 2700 musicians and songwriters, and telephone surveys with the general public. The questions in the musician’s survey cover a broad range of topics related to the internet: from basic usage, to sales, promotion, communication, fair use, copyright, sampling, and file-sharing.