Survey Shows How Much Money Musicians Actually Make

June 27, 2018

The general image of a rock star living large consists of fast cars, a line of groupies out the door, an endless flow of alcohol, and plenty of cash. But according to a survey conducted by the Inaugural Music Industry Research Association (MIRA), that's not exactly the case. According to the survey, "while many musicians find features of a musical career particularly alluring, the life a musician presents many challenges."You can read the full survey here.

In partnership with the Princeton University Survey Research Center and MusiCares, MIRA interviewed 1,227 US musicians in 2018 in order to shine a light on the "challenges and opportunities that musicians face."

One of the key findings from the study showed that out of all of the gigs a musician gets booked on, the average American musician receives income from only 3.5 music-related activities a year. These activities usually consist of live performances, music lessons and performing in church choirs or other religious services. As far as earning money is concerned, the median income of a U.S. musician is between $20,000 and $25,000 a year. Of those that earned money as a musician, live events proved to be the top contributor. Approximately 81% of those reporting income from live events received a median amount of $5,428. 

61% of musicians say that the amount that they earn from music alone is not enough to meet their basic living expenses. But money wasn't the key factor behind them pursuing music, as "artistic expression" proved to be their primary motivation, followed by "performing" and "collaborating." However, the greatest dislike the surveyed musicians chose for becoming a musician was "financial insecurity" along with "time/effort into marketing oneself" and "unknown career trajectory."

So remember to supprt live music and your local artsits!