How many of you have heard this — or something like it — before? These comments are all gleaned from just one recent article in CNET.
“Artists don’t get payed for their songs anyway. The only real money they make is through merchandise and concerts. I can bet you that the vast majority of album sales go to the record labels. At this point in time, record labels are middlemen, and are no longer required in this internet-run world.”
“What a joke. Lime wire was great :-( Most music today is created by hacks. If music is good, people will pay money to support their band. But most bands are a joke and just greedy. Personally I think the loss of Lime Wire is a loss for all of us. But it just means people will find another way to get free music as we all do.”
“I don’t see a big deal. these artists already make millions! and lets not get started with how much cash record companies are rolling in.”
These memes continue to be repeated, especially by bloggers and commenters. For the most part, they are based on either faulty logic, an incomplete understanding of the music industry, anecdotal information or — even worse — all of the above.
FMC has spent the last eleven years trying to dispel these myths, so reading these comments day after day can be exasperating. We could spend our entire week just hanging out on comment boards trying to correct the record or inject some perspective, but we know it would be met with limited success.
That is one of the core reasons that we launched the Artist Revenue Streams project, a multi-method, cross-genre effort to examine musicians’ revenue streams. Through in-person interviews, financial case studies, and a large online survey we hope to enrich the public conversation about how musicians earn a living.
And we need your help.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you either write music, perform, or you have close friends or business partners who do. We need as many musicians and composers to complete our ground-breaking survey on how musicians make money from music before it closes on October 28th.
Take the survey here today.
The survey has already been completed by thousands of musicians and composers, which is an inspiring response. But high participation rates are crucial for this research. We’re keen on collecting data from all the corners of the US music community, from individual songwriters, to professional rockers and pit orchestra players. You can be signed to a big label or be releasing your own music. We want to hear from emerging artists and seasoned professionals.
Your participation is both voluntary and anonymous. There are no questions that identify you as an individual, and your data will be aggregated with thousands of other musicians. By participating in this survey, you are contributing to something much bigger than simply providing us with some information about your life and musical work; the results will provide a rich snapshot of the complex nature of being a musician in the 21st century.
We will be sharing the data with organizations, advocates and musicians nationwide in 2012, and it will help us to ensure that policymakers and consumers understand the financial realities of musicians today.
Help us defeat the memes and put that “all musicians make millions!” myth to bed. Take the survey today.