|Title:||Contracts and Copyright: Contemporary Musician Income Streams|
|Citation:||Garcia, Kristelia (2020) Contracts & Copyright: Contemporary Musician Income Streams. The Oxford Handbook of Music Law and Policy, Forthcoming, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-32, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3620401|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data set includes seven qualitative interviews (or “case studies”) conducted, in April and May 2018, by phone and email with musicians and their management teams. The interviewees were selected on the basis of availability and willingness to participate, and with aims of diversifying career stage, genre, and gender.
First, the set of interviewees were limited to working musicians. This set was further limited to primary songwriters and to top-line recording artists and performers. All data was anonymized, and dollar amounts were converted to percentages.
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“Musicians typically earn revenues from two sources: copyright law and contract. The proportion of revenue derived from each of these sources varies from artist to artist, but an understanding of the general distribution of earnings from each source is useful when considering proposed legislative amendments. Through a series of qualitative interviews with working musicians, this article contributes to the ongoing conversation around copyright’s import to, and impact on, musician revenue at different career stages.”
Main Results of the Study
The study suggests that:
1. Of the five income sources (recording, publishing, touring, endorsement, and synch) tracked in the research, three (recording, publishing, and synch) most derive from copyrights, especially in the early stage of a musician’s career, where the advanced earnings represent most of their income, and again at the latter stage of a successful musician’s career, when, ideally, masters and publishing rights are self-owned and administered.
2. Mid-career stage musicians are the ones that benefit less from copyright related income sources. In their case, touring and branding are their primary sources of income.
3. Touring can be a significant proportion of income at all career stages, with the exception of musicians who only break even with touring.
4. Many superstar musicians earn more with copyright after they ‘recoup’ the total sum of the advance they received with publishing and recording contracts and reassert the ownership over their copyrights. However, even after that, copyright-derived revenues are still much lower in comparison to superstar musicians’ touring and endorsement revenues.
5. The higher in the rank a musician go, the more important copyright- and contract-related revenues become.
6. Finally, copyright plays an important role in incentivizing and enabling creativity, especially at the first and latter part of their career. On the other hand, contract-related revenues play a significant and increasing role at every stage of a musician’s career.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
No policy implications stated by the author.
Coverage of Study