Meteoric transformations in the creation and distribution of music over the past ten years have drastically changed this landscape. New technologies like digital music stores, streaming services and webcasting stations have greatly reduced the cost barriers to the distribution and sale of music, and a vast array of new platforms and technologies — from blogs to Bandcamp to Twitter — now help musicians connect directly with fans. Subsequently, it’s easier than ever for musicians to retain control of their creative output and to benefit more directly when their music is performed, licensed or purchased. […]
Has technology leveled the playing field to a point that musicians can do it all themselves? And an even more critical question, should they try to do it themselves? What are the net effects of teammates and partnerships on musicians’ earning capacity? This article examines data collected through the Artist Revenue Streams project to better understand the impact – and tradeoffs – associated with musicians, income and teammates. […]
[Post authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox]
The New York Times recently published a short op-ed that explored one musician’s unsuccessful attempt at crowd fundraising for her album. Veteran recording artist Terre Roche signed up for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, popular crowdfunding platforms for creative projects. Roche and her new band were aiming to secure $21,000 in funding to produce their next album. Unlike some other success stories, however, this already established creator fell flat when it came to raising cash from fans for her project.
A recent series of blog posts about musicians, music, and income have found various writers claiming – each with a level of certainty – that musicians are making more money/less money today than in years past. These posts prompted us to write about the challenges in making assertions about changes in musicians’ income, based on what we’ve learned through the Artist Revenue Streams project.
About once a month, we get an email from a researcher, journalist, policymaker, or student asking us a simple question: how many musicians are there in the United States? Given FMC’s work with musicians, it makes sense that they ask us, but our answer is the same for everyone:
there is no reliable way to measure the real size of the US musician population.
In a post last week on the Artist Revenue Streams site, we outlined the particular challanges associated with estimating the size of the musician population in the United States. read more
During an interview with musician Rebecca Gates. Among the other topics we meandered to were those of modern media, the various challenges presented by putting out records in 2012. She mentioned the Future of Music Coalition, and the 42 streams of revenue it had identified for musicians.
I joked that was 41 more than had been identified for newspapers. […]
Whether on vinyl, cassette, CD or via digital download, income from the sale, license or performance of sound recordings has been a core part of many musicians’ income streams for decades. But there’s no doubt that income from sound recordings — perhaps more than any other — has experienced significant challenges and undergone serious changes in the past 10 to 15 years. read more
[…] Thomson says she hopes the study will help music fans to better understand the financial realities that musicians are dealing with.
“Sometimes there’s assumptions about musicians that, ‘Oh, they’re all rich,’ or the opposite, ‘Oh, this is just a hobby for them, they should get real jobs,’” she says. “There’s huge assumptions made about musicians, based on people thinking about all musicians being rock stars or crazy artists. We hope that this work, on the biggest level, can humanize or demystify the musical community … to give a sense of the more nuanced take on the way musicians knit a career together.”
Interview by Sara Kendall, Melinda Braathen, and Noah Reibel.
Kristin Thomson, from the Future of Music Coalition, joins us to discuss the report “Does Radio Airplay Matter?” The report is based on the findings of Artist Revenue Streams, a cross-genre examination of how US-based musicians’ revenue streams are changing, and why. Kristin discusses the future of radio, and asks: for musicians and managers, does radio matter? Kristin Thomson is also the co-owner of Simple Machines, an independent record label.