In March of this year, Artist Revenue Streams co-directors Kristin Thomson and Jean Cook participated in a panel at South by Southwest called Brass in Pocket: Accessing More Musician Income. Drawing upon data collected through the Artist Revenue Streams project and the panelists’ personal experience, they talked about a handful common assumptions and myths about how musicians make money.
This week, the ARS team is expanding on the SXSW panel topic through a series of posts.
We’re starting by tackling the assumption that musicians are rich. This is a feeling that is reinforced by shows likeMTV Cribs, by annual lists from outlets like Forbes and Billboard that publish figures about the most well-paid musicians, and even by musicians themselves who reference luxury brands in their lyrics, or embrace high-priced lifestyles. Naturally, the public begins to assume that musicians – especially chart-topping, highly visible ones – are rich, based largely on what they see on stage, read about online, or hear on the radio. And even when the musicians aren’t rich, some embrace the stereotype because it adds to their own brand’s value.
There are some musicians who are doing very well financially (at least in gross earnings), and we applaud their success. But, just like the US population, there are very few at the top. While there are a handful of musicians who are wealthy, the vast majority of working musicians in the US are middle class earners.
[…] Charles McEnerney of Layers Marketing, who produced the event, kicked off the evening with a review of results from the Future of Music Coalition “Money from Music” research project.
The project, which analyzes the many revenue streams of working musicians — based on comprehensive online surveys and offline interviews — reflects the impact of technology on the music industry in general. While we may have a general gut instinct that technology has empowered the individual musician, check out the FMC’s analysis for some interesting insights into the phenomenon. […]
Everyone is always talking about the artists’ team, the critical support structure that helps spread the music and manage fanbases. But when it comes to successful artists, the most important and well-paid members are lawyers and accountants - then the webmaster, booking agent, manager, and everyone else.
The Future of Music Coalition recently interviewed thousands of artists about the composition of their team, and this is what a few hundred, high-earning artists said. These are full-time artists making more than $100,000 a year with over 90% of that coming directly from their music. And outside of the band members themselves, these were the roles designated most (in terms of the percentage of respondents indicating that these people were members of their team). […] read more
Musicians are musicians because they play music, not because they love accounting or managing Facebook pages. But in the current climate, artists are now forced to play more roles than ever - and their art is often suffering as a result.
According to survey information just shared at SXSW by the Future of Music Coalition (FMC), more than half of all of artists find themselves juggling three or more roles, and nearly 26 percent of artists are playing 4 or more roles. “The ‘I can do it myself’ mentality is not only pervasive, but I think some artists also romanticize it,” FMC consultant Kristen Thomson relayed. read more
Remember when we told you about that ambitious, groundbreaking survey on musicians’ revenue streams? Well, we’ve got all the data, and we’re now in the process of making it available via unique presentations that highlight specific areas of our research. Through ths ongoing effort, we hope to shed light on the large, diverse, and specialized group of folks that are musicians. read more
The first results of the Future of Music Coalition’s Artist Revenue Stream project show the average musician gets more from fans and grants than merchandise and corporate sponsorships. The cross-genre research project collected data on over 5,000 US-based musicians and composers. A “first look” white paper was prepared for MIDEM and released Monday.
The New Power Trio: Bands, Brands and Revenue
In 2010, the US-based nonprofit Future of Music Coalition launched a multi-method, cross-genre research project to assess how US-based musicians’ revenue streams are changing in this new music landscape. On Visionary Monday, join project co-director Kristin Thomson for an exclusive preview of what FMC’s research findings tell us about musicians’ evolving relationship with sponsors and partners, and how some artists are leveraging their own brand to support their work and connect with fans. read more
Virginia Tech students’ favorite music is increasingly streaming into their ears instantly, and for free — a trend leaving many of their favorite artists with weakening streams of revenue.
A survey conducted by the university’s Communication Network Services in coordination with the Future of Music Coalition shows Hokies are most likely to access music for no cost through YouTube, Pandora and free versions of services such as Spotify and Last.fm.
Tech students’ music preferences will be further explored in a panel discussion tonight that will discuss “The Value of Music.” The event, hosted by CNS in a partnership with the FMC, will be held in Squires Student Center’s Old Dominion Ballroom tonight at 7:30. read more
The lineup of speakers for MIDEM 2012 was just made public which means we get to share some exciting news with you: FMC will be part of Visionary Monday on January 30, 2012.
Our kick-ass consultant Kristin Thomson (@kristinthomson) will be presenting some initial, exclusive findings from our Artist Revenue Streams research project. In her talk, Kristin will describe what we have learned through our multi-method research process about the changing relationship between artists and brands. read more