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STUDY: Musicians Income Up 66% Despite Decreased Album Sales!

STUDY: Musicians Income Up 66% Despite Decreased Album Sales!

Since artists receive on average only 15% of album sales revenues, whereas they receive on average 50% from concerts and 80% from collected remunerations, the decline in music sales means “record companies, not the musicians, (are the ones) who are losing out.”

One of the main arguments that record labels have used in the war against illegal file-sharing is that the decline in music sales they wrongly attribute to the practice results in less revenue for artists, and therefore a decreased incentive for them to create new music.

However, a new study carried out by Richard Bjerkøe and Anders Sørbo, master’s degree students in business and economics at the BI Norwegian School of Management, the largest business school in Norway and the second largest in all of Europe, refutes that assertion by concluding that since the advent of digital music the income of the average musician has increased by some 66%!

“The only losers in the digital music revolution are the traditional record companies,” they say in a press release.

According to their master’s thesis, ‘The Norwegian Music Industry in the Age of Digitialization’, the rise in the average musicians’ income is due to an increase in revenues from concerts,  remunerations and government subsidies between 1999 and 2009 even though actual record sales declined by 50% during the same period.

From the study:

  • Revenues from concerts increased by an average of 136% between 1999 and 2009.
  • Remunerations from TONO, Gramo and others increased by 108% between 1999 and 2009.
  • Government subsidies increased by 154% between 1999 and 2009.
  • The number of active artists has risen by approximately 28% during the same period.
  • All figures are adjusted for inflation.

They found that the drop in record sales has had a “negligible impact” on individual musicians since they receive on average only 15% of those revenues, whereas they receive on average 50% from concerts and 80% from “collected remunerations.”

“In the interviews we conducted with a number of musicians and music products, the musicians said that they were losing a lot of money due to digitisation, while the figures show that it is the record companies, not the musicians, who are losing out,” say Bjerkøe and Sørbo. “The drop in record sales also means that the record companies are losing their significance as a launch pad for new artists and that recordings are to an increasing extent serving as business cards, or advertising opportunities, for drawing audiences to the concerts.”

A study from earlier this year found that the average musician only makes $23.40 for every $1,000 in music sold, also contradicting record labels’ claims that declining music sales are the ones most adversely affected.

Stay tuned.

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Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
FyreLive
FyreLive

It's been the never-ending lie of the record labels that they are the ones responsible for the popularity of the musicians. This completely discounts the musicians as artists, entrepreneurs, businessmen and people. The second lie is that they are the ones shouldering all the costs of making artists into stars. It's the artists themselves who are responsible for their craft and it's content.

I, for one, am more than happy to see (hopefully) the demise and death of the record labels and their greedy, parasitic drain on the creativity of the artists in the world. I would love to be one of the people who swung the mallet, plunging the stake into the black, foetid heart of this criminal organization as it screamed it's last!!

Matthew Mateo
Matthew Mateo

This is the reason I launched a crowdfunding platform -- Songseeds.org -- this past year (debuted it in Austin @ SXSW) that intimately links fans with bands and singer-songwriters.  The fans get to play the role of "associate producer" as they witness the songs going from songseed to fully produced song.  It's about honoring that process of songwriting and recording by filming and blogging and capturing the moments as they happen and allowing fans to be the patrons they truly are (I liken it to the "slow food movement" applied to music)  I, too, look forward to seeing the Big 3 record companies go down in flames.  Their old and tired model is far along the path of extinction.  Welcome to the 21st Century Renaissance!

jim
jim

i would love to see the numbers if they took out the government subsidy money, what were they thinking, including gifts and grants as income?

Jay
Jay

I love how artists aren't lazy anymore and how they realize that gone are the days where you record a song and wait for the money to roll in.

myname
myname

Now the idiotic record companies are trying to milk the musicians for their live concert sales! I hope the musicians and artists band together and stop this nonsense!It is concerts and promotional items that the musician and artists live on....NOW the record companies who have been greedy want to take some of THAT from the musicians and artists?They record companies need to be told to go take a long walk off a short pier. The sooner the "Big 3" goes under....the better off the public will be without those leeches! Maybe then music can get back to what it was in the first place...an art instead of a money making machine!

Mountain_rage
Mountain_rage

Revolutionize or die, I hope I can one day be a crucial part in the decline of the music labels.



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