Brandon McFarland on Monday, Mar. 19th
Ever wonder what the living wage is for a jazz band leader living in London? Or how about a cello player in an orchestra? Many of these musician gigs don’t win a popularity contest when it comes to the public’s perception of the music industry. There are tons of bedroom producers and garage bands that can generate a short-lived buzz, but it takes years of practice and formal education to develop a stable stream of income for the average musician. Luckily, they’ve got the Future of Music Coalition looking out for them.
Kristin Thomson, a community organizer, social policy researcher, entrepreneur and musician herself, spent a year with Future of Music Coalition collecting and studying data compiled from working musicians, hoping to better understand how artists of different levels are generating the bulk of their income. Kristin told us that it was important to bring those case studies to this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, because the event attracts a huge range of stakeholders who care about musicians’ livelihoods; managers, label owners, advocates, policymakers and—most importantly—musicians themselves. “It’s heartening to know that so many friends and colleagues are aware of the project,” she said, ”and I think that it’s adding valuable information to the ongoing conversation about how musicians are earning a living in this changing landscape.”
Turns out, most working artists have 42 revenue streams. You can see the enlightening results of FMC’s study of artist revenue streams here.