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Surveying musicians in the digital age

By Derek Slater

Policy Manager

The Internet has created a number of new opportunities for musicians to promote their work and make money -- they can upload videos on YouTube and earn revenue through advertising, fundraise on Kickstarter, sell ringtones, and much more. This range of options has grown rapidly, and only a few limited studies have attempted to understand artists’ changing revenue streams in order to help inform musicians and the wider music community.

That’s why we’re excited about a new survey of musicians being launched by the Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a Washington DC-based nonprofit that advocates on behalf of musicians. Since its founding in 2000 -- when online music was just starting to take off -- FMC has worked to educate artists as well as to inform the policymaking processes in Washington that directly affect the music community.

FMC wants to hear from US-based musicians and composers of all types. They’ve created an online survey that asks questions about musician-based revenue and how it has changed over time. You can find more about FMC and its Artists Revenue Streams project here, read some of their preliminary results here, and take the survey here.

(The survey is funded by a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and YouTube is also a proud sponsor of FMC.)