In October 2009, the nonprofit Future of Music Coalition posted a blog entry called The 29 Streams, which laid out all of the possible revenue streams available to composers, recording artists, performers, session musicians and teachers based on the contours of copyright law and business practice. The list, which has been re-blogged and re-posted hundreds of times over the past two years, was heralded as the go-to inventory of revenue streams for musicians.
But this blog post was just the beginning of a much more ambitious project. In 2010, FMC launched Artist Revenue Streams, a multi-method research initiative that’s examining just how many revenue streams musicians are relying, and if the ratio among revenue streams has changed over time, and why.
The project employs three methodologies: in-depth interviews with more than 25 different types of musicians — from jazz performers, to classical players,and film composers, Nashville songwriters, rockers and hip hop artists; financial snapshots that show individual artists’ revenue pies in any given year; and a wide ranging online survey in which they hope thousands of musicians will participate in fall 2011.