Kristin Thomson chats with Kyle Williams from Seeds of Music about FMC’s Artist Revenue Streams project and the ways that musicians can make money from their compositions, sound recordings, performances, brand and knowledge of their craft.
This Background Vocalist performs regularly on network TV and in widely-released films. She also performs live on tour, and as a singer on many recordings. Based on accounting data from 2009-2010 provided by the artist, this case study –– like other financial case studies we have conducted –– examines her music-based sources of income and expenses.
A major US orchestra’s performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring – recorded in 2012 and released by a major label – is for sale on iTunes. How are the orchestra members who participated in the recording session paid for digital sales?
A. The performers aren’t paid anything for sales. The income from sales goes to the orchestra management, just like ticket sales.
B. The performers aren’t paid directly for sales. Orchestra members who participated in the recording are entitled to participate in distributions made by the Sound Recordings Special Payments Fund.read more
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. […]