…There seem to be more ways than ever for the independent artist to bring in cash. The Future of Music Coalition, an artist lobbying group, announced during SXSW the results of two years of research into how musicians make money. Jean Cook, one of the architects of the project, said the research revealed 42 potential music revenue sources. No single artist is, of course, benefiting from all 42. A classical artist, for instance, may have access to only two or three, she said. But a singer-songwriter may be able to pull from as many as 25 revenue streams.
By examining the books of a successful indie rocker, the Future of Music Coalition found that a little more than 30% of his income came from live performances, about 29% came from salary as a band member, and less than 16% came from CD sales and record royalties. Close to 22% of his income came from composing. Travel accounted for nearly 40% of his expenses; publicity accounted for nearly 10%.