This week a survey was published identifying that many musicians (64% according to the survey) are considering another profession other than music amid the COVID crisis which has hit the music profession hard .
This survey really identifies a sad day when 64% of musicians feel that their profession is no longer viable. Although only 569 musicians were surveyed by the online booking platform Encore, the results show a very bleak outlook for the profession. Note from Encoremusicians.com: Data size 569 isn’t a huge dataset, and I’d be very interested to see if our results correlate with larger studies. We’re just aiming to do our best to assess and highlight the problems facing musicians in the UK today (with the aim of informing government policy).
The jazz stats from the London Jazz News article states that the loss of earnings average £10,470 since March 2020. That suggests an average earning of £21k gross per annum, which does not account for rent, equipment maintenance, rehearsal space and years and years of study and perfecting an art that an audience would be willing to pay to see.
It does not end there!
Earlier this month Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently said musicians might find they "can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough". Given the figures detailed in the survey(s) above, Who is he actually talking to? The dissonance between these streaming companies and music at a grass roots level is clear, just from that statement alone.
To put out an album even if it is only online, costs anywhere between £2-5000 on a very,very basic level. With most sales now via streaming, the average musician would be lucky to earn a little over $4 for 1000 streams! To achieve even that, a musician may also need to have sufficient disposable funds to pay for musicians, studio time, designers (album cover etc.), online/digital marketing and advertising to get anywhere near to 1,000 streams. So again, who is the CEO of Spotify actually talking to?
The outlook for jobbing musicians is bleak, as once again the value of music in the lives of the average person is viscously undervalued. None of us can imagine going out to shop without hearing music whilst we purchase what we need.
If the general public value music as part of the tapestry of life, we need to fight hard to keep it. If not, the silence that will surround us in life will be deafening.