To the casual observer, musicians probably seem like a disorganized bunch. Unlike doctors or lawyers, there are no qualifying exams or prerequisites that certify a musician’s level of “professionalism.” On a group level, there is no central organization that represents their collective interests.
But that’s not the case. In addition to record labels, booking agents, managers and other teammates, musicians and songwriters can align with a vast array of music-related organizations that serve a number of purposes, everything from performance rights organizations like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange, to unions like AFM and SAG-AFTRA, to genre- or role-based organizations like Folk Alliance, Chamber Music America, or the Songwriters Guild.
As musicians and advocates, we at FMC know that these organizations serve an important purpose, and we have a sense that membership makes a difference. But in what ways? Do musicians that belong to certain organizations participate in more revenue streams? Do they make more money because of these allegiances? Or is the inverse true; do particular types of work make it possible and/or necessary for musicians to join certain organizations?
True or false: Songs/compositions must be registered with the US Copyright Office before they can be released commercially.
How about this one: A classical composer’s music is streamed on Spotify. Her publishing company is a member of the Harry Fox Agency in the US. As the composer, what should she expect to receive in royalties when her compositions are streamed by user request on this interactive service?read more
Yesterday (Feb 26, 2013), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released its 2013 Digital Music Report, noting that the music industry’s global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999. read more
Peter DiCola of Northwestern University School of Law and partner in the “Artists Revenue Streams”-project of the “Future of Music Coalition” has recently published a working paper entitled “Money from Music: Survey Evidence on Musicians’ Revenue and Lessons About Copyright Incentives”, which also will be published in the Arizona Law Review. Based on data of the “Artists Revenue Streams”-project, DiCola analyzes different income streams of musicians in the U.S. […]
[…] Artists still need to build a team to be successful. The 2010 Future of Music Coalition Artist Revenue Streams project concluded that high earning musicians ($100,000+ per year) were two times as likely to have certain paid or contracted team members.4 The results of the study suggest that while the Internet has enabled access to the market by anyone, revenue is still significantly affected by the presence of a team. read more
Last week, we launched a series of blog posts that are using Artist Revenue Streams to examine some of the common assumptions about musicians and income.
In part 3, we’re looking at the assumption that, in a post-Napster world, musicians don’t make any money from selling music. As with the other perceptions, there’s a grain of truth in this, based on the simple fact that income from the sales of sound recordings in the traditional sense – sales of physical goods in retail stores – has changed drasticallly in the past ten years. There are fewer retail stores, more online ways to get music for free and, according to the RIAA’s data, a steady decline in the dollar amount of CDs shipped from 2004 to 2010.
A few days ago, we launched a series of blog posts that are using Artist Revenue Streams to examine some of the common assumptions about musicians and income.
In part 2, we’re looking at the assumption that musicians make all of their money from live shows/touring. This is largely based on how the public interacts with musicians. They buy tickets to shows, and they see the size of crowds at concerts. Using basic math, a music fan can estimate how much a concert might be grossing. Coupled with the widely reported decline in album sales and the impact of unauthorized filesharing, seeing bands constantly on tour and even impressive stagecraft, many music fans assume that live performance money is musicians’ bread and butter.