Putting Common Assumptions About How Musicians Make Money to the Truthiness Test


6 comments posted

Does anyone really believe

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 5, 2012 - 1:29pm.

Does anyone really believe that musicians are rich? It's hard to take this seriously if that is one of the main premises.

Also, who is saying that ALL money is being made off tours/shows or merch today? Or that NO money is being made off records? For lower to mid level bands, it would seem that shows & merch would have more earnings potential than record sales today... no?

Too bad these extreme examples (all or nothing) were used to make your point, otherwise, it might carry more weight and legitimacy.

Anonymous: thanks for

Submitted by kevin on December 5, 2012 - 2:07pm.

Anonymous: thanks for reading. I know it may seem crazy to anyone who has spent time around working musicians, but yes--many people have radically inflated ideas about how much musicians make. And this is nothing new--I remember 12 years ago writing a point-counterpoint for my college newspaper where it was argued that "musicians didn't need any more money for their diamond studded wallets."

And the myths that the lions' share of artist net income comes from tours and merch are indeed similarly pervasive--just check the comments section on any music/tech blog, or on Reddit, or endless Facebook debates, and you'll find people pushing that line. The actual numbers may suprise you--stay tuned.

It's pretty hard to believe

Submitted by SMB (not verified) on December 10, 2012 - 9:09am.

It's pretty hard to believe that anyone with an understanding of the music industry beyond the 'Simon Cowells' and the 'Britney Spears' can contemplate that musicians are wealthy people. But I think there in lies the problem, not enough people know the music industry beyond the X Factor, or the pop 'myth' of the select few that show off their material wealth and glam.

the truth is, that the vast majority of the industry are noth wealthy, but on the flip side they are also talented, in it for the music rather than the ego and talented. Hopefully one day the industry will reward such qualities again.

I think we need to create a

Submitted by Josh (not verified) on December 10, 2012 - 11:32am.

I think we need to create a more in-depth chart of musician incomes based on how they distribute their music and their label affiliation. Most people who think musicians are wealthy are only speaking of major label artists who have their music distributed and promoted through radio, television etc.

I'm not saying I agree with those people, but the average consumer is going to fire back that, "Oh ya, well all those little guys bring down the number."

A musician is a person who

Submitted by donavan (not verified) on February 16, 2013 - 7:55am.

A musician is a person who plays a musical instrument, especially (although not necessarily) as a profession, or is musically talented.
denton record label

This is invaluable

Submitted by Zac Shaw (not verified) on March 13, 2013 - 10:00am.

This is invaluable information, thanks FMC.

I think with a more representative sample size of musicians who might be described as "pre-professional" or "aspiring", you would see the vast number of "musicians" (as defined by consensus) are un- or under-employed. Anecdotally, I have met hundreds if not thousands of musicians (people who are actively composing, performing or recording but not necessarily earning significant or any revenue) and less than 10% of them would make the top 80% in this chart. Maybe I'm hanging with the wrong crowd!

Of course, FMC led the way to answer the unanswerable question "How many musicians are there?".... I hope I added some finer points to the rhetorical answer on my blog: http://www.mediapocalypse.com/how-many-musicians-are-there-copyright-cha...

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