Washington, D.C. -- National non-profit Future of Music Coalition (FMC), which focuses on education, research and advocacy for musicians, launched the next phase of its ambitious Artist Revenue Streams project today, September 6, 2011, with a detailed online survey for musicians and composers.
The survey is one part of a multi-method research effort to assess how musicians and composers are currently generating income from their music, performances and brand, posing the question, "How do you make money from music?"
Artist Revenue Streams (ARS) represents the first time a US-based organization has conducted a research project that examines musicians’ revenue streams across all genres and roles. The results could provide musicians, the media and the music community at large with a comprehensive analysis of how musicians are being compensated in the digital age.
The project engages with a wide range of musicians, including jazz artists, Nashville songwriters, session musicians, touring rock artists, hip hop emcees, classical composers, and artists experimenting with direct-to-fan strategies through three research strategies: in-person interviews; financial case studies; and a wide-ranging online survey.
The online survey, which will be available until October 28, 2011, will collect detailed information from thousands of U.S.-based musicians and composers about the ways that they are currently generating income from their recordings, compositions or performances.
"There have been radical transformations in how music is created and distributed," says Project Co-Director Kristin Thomson, who wrote a widely-distributed article in 2009 for FMC entitled The 29 Streams, documenting the many ways musicians and composers can now earn income. "While it’s true that musicians’ access to the marketplace has greatly improved, how have these changes impacted their ability to generate revenue based on their creative work? Almost all analyses of the effects of these changes rest purely on assumptions that they have improved musicians’ bottom lines. By participating in this survey, musicians are taking part in something much bigger than simply providing data; they are helping us take a critical first step in understanding the complex nature of being a musician or composer in the digital age."
"This research will give recording artists, composers and their representatives empirical data that could influence policies that have significant financial impact," states John Simson, former Executive Director of SoundExchange and Partner Development for FMC’s project. "In the past ten years we’ve seen a significant shift in the way that consumers access music. As the methods of revenue generation shift, it is important that we collect this survey data to show policymakers how our industry is affected. Current performance royalty policies must fairly compensate creators and put more money back in the pockets of musicians and composers."
Information about the Artist Revenue Streams project has been presented at several recent music events, including SF MusicTech, Rethink Music, and the Societies’ Council for the Collective Management of Performers’ Rights. The project will be discussed at other events throughout the fall, including the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit, which takes place at Georgetown University on October 3-4.
For more information, visit FutureOfMusic.org/ars.