This Background Vocalist performs regularly on network TV and in widely-released films. She also performs live on tour, and as a singer on many recordings. Based on accounting data from 2009-2010 provided by the artist, this case study –– like other financial case studies we have conducted –– examines her music-based sources of income and expenses.
To the casual observer, musicians probably seem like a disorganized bunch. Unlike doctors or lawyers, there are no qualifying exams or prerequisites that certify a musician’s level of “professionalism.” On a group level, there is no central organization that represents their collective interests.
But that’s not the case. In addition to record labels, booking agents, managers and other teammates, musicians and songwriters can align with a vast array of music-related organizations that serve a number of purposes, everything from performance rights organizations like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange, to unions like AFM and SAG-AFTRA, to genre- or role-based organizations like Folk Alliance, Chamber Music America, or the Songwriters Guild.
As musicians and advocates, we at FMC know that these organizations serve an important purpose, and we have a sense that membership makes a difference. But in what ways? Do musicians that belong to certain organizations participate in more revenue streams? Do they make more money because of these allegiances? Or is the inverse true; do particular types of work make it possible and/or necessary for musicians to join certain organizations?
[…]So is it time for artists to strap on a hard hat? Maybe unions or artists’ guilds can serve and protect an embattled creative class. With musicians typically operating without record labels, journalists increasingly working as freelancers as newspapers shed staff, and book publishing beginning what looks like a period of compression, unions might take some of the risk and sting out of our current state of creative destruction.read more
Five prominent organizations representing recording artists and musicians filed reply comments [PDF] at the Federal Communications Commission in the proceeding examining the upcoming transition from analog to digital audio broadcasting (DAB) (MM Docket 99-325). In their joint filing, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the Future of Music Coalition (FMC), The Recording Academy®, and the Recording Artists’ Coalition (RAC) expressed broad support for and excitement about the opportunities that digital audio broadcasting presents to citizens and recording artists.read more
In a letter sent today, a diverse group of over thirty recording artists urged FCC Chairman Michael Powell to grant Congress and the public a full opportunity to review any proposed changes of media ownership rules before they are enacted.
WASHINGTON — In a letter sent today, a diverse group of over thirty recording artists urged FCC Chairman Michael Powell to grant Congress and the public a full opportunity to review any proposed changes of media ownership rules before they are enacted.read more
A “Joint Statement on Current Issues in Radio” was delivered to the Federal Communications Commission and Congressional leaders by four organizations instrumental in the development of the statement: the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA); American Federation of Musicians (AFM); the Future of Music Coalition (FMC); and Recording Academy (NARAS). The “Joint Statement on Current Issues in Radio” was also signed by six other groups: Association for Independent Music (AFIM); Just Plain Folks; Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI); National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM); National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB); and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). read more