Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want. One of their recent projects has been the Artist Revenue Streams Financial Case Study - a multi-method, cross-genre research effort that’s examining how musicians’ revenue streams are changing, and why. The research is fascinating and extremely valuable for artists and all stakeholders in the music business and helps us understand the financial landscape for creators and what it takes to sustain their work.
The US-based Future of Music Coalition has been running a project called Artist Revenue Steams (ARS for short) to dig into how modern musicians are making their money. As part of that, FMC has published five case studies of individual, unnamed artists: a jazz bandleader/composer, an indie rock composer/performer, a jazz sideman/bandleader, a professional orchestra player and a contemporary chamber ensemble. The case studies are based on 4-12 years of accounting data provided by the musicians, breaking down their music income and comparing it to their expenses. There is plenty of detail to explore via the link below, but key findings include the importance of performance as a revenue stream, as well as its spin-off benefits like selling CDs on the road.
In a rather fascinating case study by the Future of Music coalition, they published a very thorough breakdown of an indie musician’s annual salary through four years. This individual, whose name and actual dollar amounts were shrouded in the study due to contractual agreements, makes 100% of his income off of music, has no health insurance, and has been a touring, creative member of several bands over the past four years.
Many of the conclusions one could draw from these numbers are obscured because there is no raw dollar amount to ground the percentages. What can be gleaned, however, is what aspects of the music business are currently profitable for indie musicians. read more
He plays as a salaried member of multiple bands, and also derives significant income from solo performances. He writes, sells CDs, does session work, occassionally teaches, and seems like he’s on the road non-stop. And he also doesn’t have health insurance. read more
Digital Music News reports on a new study by The Future of Music Coalition, who interviewed thousands of bands and artists about the makeup of their teams and found that attorneys and accountants were overwhelmingly the highest-paid members of said teams, outranking label executives, publicists, tour managers and everyone else: read more
For these studies, the FMC worked in depth with five people in the industry who make their living full-time with music. Using data provided by the professionals, the FMC then graphed and wrote up explanations of how money flowed in, from where, etc. As with any case study the results aren’t necessarily broadly interpretable but it’s nice to have some detailed data to go with the more general surveys we usually see.
Ever wonder what the living wage is for a jazz band leader living in London? Or how about a cello player in an orchestra? Many of these musician gigs don’t win a popularity contest when it comes to the public’s perception of the music industry. There are tons of bedroom producers and garage bands that can generate a short-lived buzz, but it takes years of practice and formal education to develop a stable stream of income for the average musician. Luckily, they’ve got the Future of Music Coalition looking out for them.
The Future Of Music Coalition has published a case study profiling artist revenues in a number of occupations: Jazz Bandleader-Composer, Indie Rock Composer-Performer, Jazz Sideman-Bandleader, Professional Orchestra Player and a Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. read more
[…]The good news, perhaps, is that there are more ways than ever to bring in cash. Artist lobbying group The Future of Music Coalition revealed at Austin the results of its two-year research project into how artists make money. Jean Cook, one of the architects of the project, specified Saturday to Pop & Hiss that no single artist is, of course, benefiting from all 42 potential revenue sources that her group has identified. A classical artist, for instance, may have access to only two or three, she said, whereas a singer/songwriter may be able to pull from as many as 25 different sources.[…]