Keep Your Day Job: Less Than Five Percent of Indie Musicians Earn a Living Off Their Music, According to Survey

> Jul 12 2010

Keep Your Day Job: Less Than Five Percent of Indie Musicians Earn a Living Off Their Music, According to Survey
By Alex HudsonIndependent music has exploded in the past few years, and thanks to corporate sponsorships and Hollywood soundtracks, becoming a DIY musician is starting to look more and more like an legitimate career choice. Still, if you're planning on launching your music career, you might want to hold onto that day job for a little while longer.

According to a survey conducted by Dizzyjam.com, only 4.3 percent of musicians are actually able to earn a living wage off their musical endeavours. Of the 207 participants in the survey, almost a quarter (23.2 percent) lost money from their music. On the other hand, 71.8 percent earned some money off their music, but not enough to pay the bills.

Of course, part of the reason for this struggle is the decrease of physical music sales in the past few years. Still, it's not all bad news for aspiring musicians: 33 percent of the musicians surveyed claimed to be making more money from live shows than they did two years ago, while 34 percent reported an increase in download sales.

It's worth noting that this survey was conducted by an online merchandise retailer, and that the ultimate conclusion of the survey was that bands need to sell merch in order to pay to bills. Still, there's no denying that for the vast majority of indie musicians, big money deals are still as inaccessible as ever.

Thanks to CBC Radio 3 for the heads-up.  
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