In March of this year, Artist Revenue Streams co-directors Kristin Thomson and Jean Cook participated in a panel at South by Southwest called Brass in Pocket: Accessing More Musician Income. Drawing upon data collected through the Artist Revenue Streams project and the panelists’ personal experience, they talked about a handful common assumptions and myths about how musicians make money.
This week, the ARS team is expanding on the SXSW panel topic through a series of posts.
We’re starting by tackling the assumption that musicians are rich. This is a feeling that is reinforced by shows likeMTV Cribs, by annual lists from outlets like Forbes and Billboard that publish figures about the most well-paid musicians, and even by musicians themselves who reference luxury brands in their lyrics, or embrace high-priced lifestyles. Naturally, the public begins to assume that musicians – especially chart-topping, highly visible ones – are rich, based largely on what they see on stage, read about online, or hear on the radio. And even when the musicians aren’t rich, some embrace the stereotype because it adds to their own brand’s value.
There are some musicians who are doing very well financially (at least in gross earnings), and we applaud their success. But, just like the US population, there are very few at the top. While there are a handful of musicians who are wealthy, the vast majority of working musicians in the US are middle class earners.
I talked with Jean Cook last October after hearing her speak on WNYC’s SoundCheck, hosted by John Schaefer. They discussed her work researching artist revenue streams with the Future of Music Coalition. While most information widely available on making money as a musician largely focuses on or caters to indie rock bands, this discussion intrigued me because it seemed to embrace all professional and semi-professional musicians, regardless of genre or style. So I contacted Jean Cook to ask her a few more questions about it and her other musical activities. read more
Washington, DC— Future of Music Coalition (FMC) is pleased to announce Lissa Rosenthal as its next Executive Director. Rosenthal brings extensive experience in arts advocacy, public relations and nonprofit development to her new role at FMC, which she will assume on May 1, 2010.
Throughout the month of September, Community Cinema presented free preview screenings of the documentary D TOUR. Each of the 36 events between September 1 and September 29 connected audience members with information about local organ donation registries and shared the stories of transplant recipients and the donors who saved their lives.