If you live in an area with a population larger than, say, twelve, you’ve likely run across someone wearing a pair of Beats headphones. And even if you haven’t, you may have stumbled across the marketing campaign, which includes prominent positioning in shows like “American Idol.” These “lifestyle” headphones (which are bass heavy and not all that great sounding) are the brainchild of superstar producer/label honcho Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop maestro Dr. Dre.
About once a month, we get an email from a researcher, journalist, policymaker, or student asking us a simple question: how many musicians are there in the United States? Given FMC’s work with musicians, it makes sense that they ask us, but our answer is the same for everyone:
there is no reliable way to measure the real size of the US musician population.
In a post last week on the Artist Revenue Streams site, we outlined the particular challanges associated with estimating the size of the musician population in the United States. read more
Whether on vinyl, cassette, CD or via digital download, income from the sale, license or performance of sound recordings has been a core part of many musicians’ income streams for decades. But there’s no doubt that income from sound recordings — perhaps more than any other — has experienced significant challenges and undergone serious changes in the past 10 to 15 years. read more
[This post was authored by FMC Policy Intern Joseph Silver & Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
Yesterday on Capitol Hill, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology rounded up some music industry bigwigs including Cary Sherman (CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America); Jeff Smulyan (CEO of Ennis Communications); Steven Newberry (CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corp.); Tim Westergren (Pandora founder); Christopher Gutttman-McCabe (Vice President of CTIA Wireless); Gary Shapiro (President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association); and a single artist: Ben Allison, a New York-based jazz bassist. The panel, the title of which the recently deceased Ray Bradbury might even admire — “The Future of Audio” — featured a broad discussion that touched upon music, mobile technology, radio signals, and last, but hopefully not least, artist compensation.
The musicians that I represent aren’t being offered multi-million dollar record deals that land them on the cover of Rolling Stone or in a mansion atop the Hollywood hills. Quite frankly, I’m not sure those deals exist other than in an idealized memory of what the record industry looked like in its days of excessive hedonism. So where does that leave work-a-day musicians – the ones that actually make music for a living? read more
Big news for anyone who’s been following the termination of transfer issue: a California judge has ruled in favor of Victor Willis, original singer of the Village People, in his battle with the publishing companies that administer rights for the Village People’s catalog. Last year, Willis had filed to terminate rights to his share of “YMCA” and thirty-two other songs that he co-wrote, and publishers responded by claiming he lacked legal standing to do so without having his co-authors on board. Judge Barry Ted Moskovitz disagreed, writing: read more
Every time you warble Don’t Stop Believin’ at karaoke or buy a poster of Justin Bieber represents a small handful of change in the music industry’s tipjar. In fact, the Future of Music Coalition has identified no less than 42 distinct revenue streams ranging from karaoke licensing to merchandise sales.
Christopher Bavitz talks with Future of Music Coalition’s Kristin Thomson about how/whether artists are making a living today.
For decades, commercial radio airplay was considered the silver bullet for success: a form of promotion with sufficient power and reach to generate significant record sales, while also accruing royalties (for songwriters and publishers) and massively raising an artist’s profile. read more
Like The Ramones, many musicians would say, “It’s not my place (in the 9 to 5 world).” So then, how do they pay the bills? It’s become more complicated than ever in light of changes in the music industry, so the Future of Music Coalition launched the Artist Revenue Streams project, which examines how revenue streams are changing and why. Project co-director Kristin Thomson talks to Jim and Greg about their most recent data: five financial case studies profiling how different kinds of musicians make a living. There’s the Jazz Bandleader-Composer, the Indie Rock Composer-Performer, the Jazz Sideman-Bandleader, the Professional Orchestra Player and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.
The Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, DC-based advocacy group for musicians, has recently been releasing results of an extensive study of revenue sources for today’s musicians. The project, called Artist Revenue Streams, included an online survey of over 5000 musicians, as well as extensive case studies of nine working musicians. Five case studies have been released so far.[…]