Most Musicians Are On Poverty Line

Figures reveal nine out of ten professionals make no more than 16k a year, compared to UK national average wage of over 25k.

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Most professional musicians in the UK earn far less than the national average wage, recent figures reveal with most sitting below the official poverty line.

The music licensing agency PPL says nearly all musicians make less than 16,000 a year compared to the 2010 average salary of 25,500 across all types of employment.

And most members of the Performing Rights Society are paid less than 5000 a year from royalty payments.

According to the Musicians Union, only 13% of full-time musicians can expect to earn more than the 16k figure a salary similar to that of a junior office administrator.

And while around 4% are generating a very comfortable income, the vast majority of entertainers are forced to either live on low wages or take other jobs.

The MU also reports that around 30,000 people in the UK manage to make a sustainable living from their music.

The UK government defines low income as 60% or less of the average which in current figures is 15,300. Authorities believe around a fifth of the UK lives on or below that poverty line.

Thanks for the report to RockAAA.com.

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    thefollower
    ITs called a saturated market. So many amature bands think their great filling up the market when they should work in asda and let a lower amount but higher quality musicians take the stage. So many bands get gigs in this area and they are utterly wank. I feel i play better than them - but i have no desire to stage perform yet but who knows what i will do but imma wait till i got 10 years guitar practice in first.
    The\m/
    There is good money in music. I know plenty of people who make good livings off it. You have to do more than play in a damn band people. Do music for games, TV, etc. Play as many genres as you can so that you'll be in higher demand, teach others to play your instrument for a price etc. The reason most "professional" musicians are suffering is because they don't seem to realize that bands are not in demand and music careers are not exclusive to playing in a band.
    Footzyrama
    It's not surprising at all, when you consider that year on year the sales of pirate downloads and cd's sales out wiegh the entirity of the money made by the music industry, it's not surprising that most musicians can't make a living.
    rabb1t34
    well thats what happens when people decide to download illegally instead of buying music... the good paying labels wont hire, so all the good underground bands have to live off nothing.
    ahiddenmexican
    i think most people who like to make music have dreamt about making it their career at some point or another. but the fact is, its very hard to do music full-time and live decently. there's nothing wrong with making music on the side, but if you think you're gonna be touring the world and raking in cash, you need to think twice. find a career outside of music first, then start a band and play shows. music is only a career for the few rockstars and the dirt poor, unfortunately
    x SiN x
    Well at the end of the day you can't rely on becomeing am musician with no other job, the music industry is struggling for various reasons such as illegal downloading and of course the economy has turned to sh*t, so it's even less likely than ever before that you could become a professional musician. You need to get a job with a weekly pay cheque and earn money to fund your musician career, and maybe one day it'll happen.
    Shabalaba
    thefollower wrote: ITs called a saturated market. So many amature bands think their great filling up the market when they should work in asda and let a lower amount but higher quality musicians take the stage. So many bands get gigs in this area and they are utterly wank. I feel i play better than them - but i have no desire to stage perform yet but who knows what i will do but imma wait till i got 10 years guitar practice in first.
    +1 this man knows.
    KasanDude wrote: 16,000? That's enough for booze and cigarettes, maybe even a place to live.. women will be attracted to you because you "live on the edge," and they could let you stay over for a few weeks. So yeah, I guess 16,000 ain't bad. Seriously, who get's into music to make money?
    You cannot be serious...When you are younger maybe but girls want security and to be treated as they get slightly older. Not be stuck with some deadbeat musician who has no career prospects what so ever.
    Eifler121
    I think that isn't bad for a single person, and as a musician, a second job isn't out of the question most of the time. In response to Darkmessiahnz: Travis Meeks aka Days of the New has been invited to play in the Boston Pops as a completely self-taught musician. He not only does guitar, but composes a lot of other orchestral instruments, all without any training. He is a rock musician (really a one hit wonder, if that) who has been recognized by one of the most prestigious musical institutions around today.
    Herrjames
    I'm not surprised. But I agree, if you want to be an artist for the sake of art, get ready for a struggle with bills.
    KasanDude
    16,000? That's enough for booze and cigarettes, maybe even a place to live.. women will be attracted to you because you "live on the edge," and they could let you stay over for a few weeks. So yeah, I guess 16,000 ain't bad. Seriously, who get's into music to make money?
    Darkmessiahnz
    Man that's biased Requiemofdemons saying that only classical musicians are good at their instruments, a degree does not = skill, and conversely, not having a degree does not make you unskilled. Look at Paul Waggoner, I believe he has no degree, however he is def one of the best musicians alive, no doubt better than many 'classical musicians' out there right now.
    dentrix
    RequiemofDemons wrote: Although this is in the UK....here in north America almost anyone can make a comfortable login as long as you are good:/ hell I bring in around 1000 bucks a show and I'm just a small town musician :/ 25 shows in a year and that's a good 25 grand I suppose not including merch sales....put a random part time job on the side of that and ur living comfortably...although tuition fees seem to drain every cent made in a year...suppose it all depends on the cost of living .. Sorry if this double posts...iPod strikes again
    well $25,000 is around 16,000, so...
    i_am_metalhead
    RequiemofDemons wrote: Lol noones asking for riches..just enough to put food on the table . As much as writing music for the sake of writing music is admirable...it still sucks when you do all that work ( and it is a **** ton of work) and not have enough income to pay your utility bills.
    Its called being an artist. Most of the famous composers that we know about from the 1700's and 1800's barely made any money at all. If you wanna be a rock star and live the high life then go do that, but if you want to be an artist then you should expect to put up a good struggle.
    Skinny91
    SkepsisMetal wrote: Skinny91 wrote: This is a career I'm just beginning to get into, and this seems a bit scary. But I'm doing what I love so I'm not going to complain. You say that now, hell, most people say that now. But once you get into it, you'll always be searching for that way to increase your paycheck just a little bit more..and more..and more, and soon enough you'll be called a sellout. Sad fact of the industry. My plan nowadays is just to make music as a hobby from home, do everything myself and sell stuff for digital download to make some pennies and do what I love, but work full time alongside that just to make ends meet.
    Well, this is the only thing I'm any good at, so it's this or a life as a shelf stacker haha.
    Unless you are the trendiest of trendy bands, you aint got not chance..
    There are plenty of other aspects than being in some "trend" group. There is function bands, session work, teaching. Most professional players do things other than play in their own bands.
    Shabalaba
    deathofagod wrote: Shabalaba, this is inclusive of all roles of a professional musician, including session musicianship, not everyone is a "deluded wannabe rockstar" as you would call it.
    Poor career choice then. If they love music and don't mind making a lower end wage then that's fine, otherwise they should keep it a hobby and get a job which pays better. Again they still could keep a part time job regardless of what form of musician they are. If i was on the poverty line and struggling i would drop being a musician instantly. It's not that hard a concept to grasp.
    RequiemofDemons
    Although this is in the UK....here in north America almost anyone can make a comfortable login as long as you are good:/ hell I bring in around 1000 bucks a show and I'm just a small town musician :/ 25 shows in a year and that's a good 25 grand I suppose not including merch sales....put a random part time job on the side of that and ur living comfortably...although tuition fees seem to drain every cent made in a year...suppose it all depends on the cost of living .. Sorry if this double posts...iPod strikes again
    ChucklesMginty
    Shread_6009 wrote: i bet this probably includes struggling musicians whos income comes from playing clubs, or house band, not necessarily full on touring and recording acts.
    You'd be wrong.
    Gettinbroady
    RequiemofDemons wrote: Also this may not pertain to solo artists...musicians can spam from those who play or classical instruments or classically trained musicians...the ones who forked out money for education or private lessons and worked for degrees... It's a lot bigger than some kid in his basement trying to make it big in the music industry...for some people this is a job using skills they are good at
    Good point, but realisticly getting somewhere with a career of that magnitude has to be an extreme stretch. I mean not everyone who goes to college for what they are good at gets a job in that feild, and if they do and it does not pay great..you look for other oppurtinites,right?
    EpiExplorer
    Lulz, this has been going on for the last 20 years..
    Skinny91 wrote: This is a career I'm just beginning to get into, and this seems a bit scary. But I'm doing what I love so I'm not going to complain.
    Unless you are the trendiest of trendy bands, you aint got not chance..
    Shread_6009
    while im not suprised at all about this, i bet this probably includes struggling musicians whos income comes from playing clubs, or house band, not necessarily full on touring and recording acts. and this seems to only apply to UK musicians, not worldwide, so it might be on average different somewhere else. also, 16,000 pounds is about 25 000 US dollars, which is pretty good, considering someone working full time at minimum wage only earns about 15 000$US in the united states, before taxes
    deathofagod
    Shabalaba, this is inclusive of all roles of a professional musician, including session musicianship, not everyone is a "deluded wannabe rockstar" as you would call it.
    RequiemofDemons
    Also this may not pertain to solo artists...musicians can spam from those who play or classical instruments or classically trained musicians...the ones who forked out money for education or private lessons and worked for degrees... It's a lot bigger than some kid in his basement trying to make it big in the music industry...for some people this is a job using skills they are good at
    rabb1t34
    Footzyrama wrote: It's not surprising at all, when you consider that year on year the sales of pirate downloads and cd's sales out wiegh the entirity of the money made by the music industry, it's not surprising that most musicians can't make a living.
    you said it better than me.
    Shabalaba
    They should get a job then. If someone honestly expects to make a living off being in a band/musician they are deluded of dreams about being a rock star. Vast majority of bands never come to anything. I'm not saying being in a band is a bad idea but throwing everything you got into a band is stupid, everyone knows you have a suitable backup if the band didn't work out. The article is a load of crap though, chances are most musicians will earn a living on the side. Doing a 9-5 job then doing Oasis covers friday/saturday/sunday at a pub.
    jcthomasva
    bush_slayer_07 wrote: people should be able to make a descent living at anything, not everyone wants to be a rockstar, but some people would like to do something they love and be able to feed themselves and possibly even a family, all you tards saying that this isn't possible or even warranted are only saying this cause you've been tricked and stupified by american capitalsm and consumerism, which promotes the idea that the arts aren't as important as industry or other professions that make more money, well congratulations you all have no soul
    You're absolutely right - I should be able to pursue whatever makes me feel good about myself, and you should have to supplement my income if I find I'm incapable of sufficiently supporting myself. How generous of you! BTW - get off my lawn.
    Thrace
    Shabalaba wrote: They should get a job then. If someone honestly expects to make a living off being in a band/musician they are deluded of dreams about being a rock star. Vast majority of bands never come to anything. I'm not saying being in a band is a bad idea but throwing everything you got into a band is stupid, everyone knows you have a suitable backup if the band didn't work out. The article is a load of crap though, chances are most musicians will earn a living on the side. Doing a 9-5 job then doing Oasis covers friday/saturday/sunday at a pub.
    Oh sorry mr know it all, what's wrong with wanting to make a living from music? Faggot.
    Cerelil
    Does this include skill at an instrument by any chance? I'm sure someone who is able to teach a wide variety of genres well can boost their income?
    shreddymcshred
    They also don't work 40 hours a week, 45-50 weeks a year consistently. Performing can't be a full time gig for everyone. This is hardly news.
    KingJustinian25
    KramerW5150 wrote: Gettinbroady wrote: This is a joke, noone promised riches,Get a job or go on unemployment. no they arent promised riches, but nobody is making any money beacause all you @ssh*les are downloading all your music, people should start buying music and supporting artists or there wont be any music for you to download illegally at all in the near future
    Yeah cause artists get so much from album sales, not the record companies.
    KramerW5150
    Gettinbroady wrote: This is a joke, noone promised riches,Get a job or go on unemployment.
    no they arent promised riches, but nobody is making any money beacause all you @ssh*les are downloading all your music, people should start buying music and supporting artists or there wont be any music for you to download illegally at all in the near future
    lern2swim
    bush_slayer_07 wrote:first off i've never read a howard zinn book in my life, lemme guess if your previous post fails to discourage me your gonna call me a commie next huh? or a socialist? also its quite obvious that the article is referring to people who have somewhat of a fan base meaning that people are already interested in them. Also i'm not on YOUR lawn its the banks lawn remember that limbaugh jr
    Oh for ****'s sake you are such a ****ing cliche.
    bush_slayer_07
    jcthomasva wrote: bush_slayer_07 wrote: jcthomasva wrote: bush_slayer_07 wrote: people should be able to make a descent living at anything, not everyone wants to be a rockstar, but some people would like to do something they love and be able to feed themselves and possibly even a family, all you tards saying that this isn't possible or even warranted are only saying this cause you've been tricked and stupified by american capitalsm and consumerism, which promotes the idea that the arts aren't as important as industry or other professions that make more money, well congratulations you all have no soul You're absolutely right - I should be able to pursue whatever makes me feel good about myself, and you should have to supplement my income if I find I'm incapable of sufficiently supporting myself. How generous of you! BTW - get off my lawn. the idea i was presenting was workers rights and fair pay, not social welfare as a crutch for musicians. god if everyone in the world was as stupid as you are we probably wouldn't even have music why are you posting on this website, since you obviously are nothing short of a complete enemy to all musicians everywhere weather they would think it or not. How do you propose guaranteeing that "fair pay" to musicians who cannot support themselves because the public is not interested in voluntarily paying for their music? It would have to be through gov't payments funded via confiscatory taxation, which makes it social welfare. Stop reading Howard Zinn. Oh, and you're still on my lawn.
    first off i've never read a howard zinn book in my life, lemme guess if your previous post fails to discourage me your gonna call me a commie next huh? or a socialist? also its quite obvious that the article is referring to people who have somewhat of a fan base meaning that people are already interested in them. Also i'm not on YOUR lawn its the banks lawn remember that limbaugh jr
    jcthomasva
    bush_slayer_07 wrote: jcthomasva wrote: bush_slayer_07 wrote: people should be able to make a descent living at anything, not everyone wants to be a rockstar, but some people would like to do something they love and be able to feed themselves and possibly even a family, all you tards saying that this isn't possible or even warranted are only saying this cause you've been tricked and stupified by american capitalsm and consumerism, which promotes the idea that the arts aren't as important as industry or other professions that make more money, well congratulations you all have no soul You're absolutely right - I should be able to pursue whatever makes me feel good about myself, and you should have to supplement my income if I find I'm incapable of sufficiently supporting myself. How generous of you! BTW - get off my lawn. the idea i was presenting was workers rights and fair pay, not social welfare as a crutch for musicians. god if everyone in the world was as stupid as you are we probably wouldn't even have music why are you posting on this website, since you obviously are nothing short of a complete enemy to all musicians everywhere weather they would think it or not.
    How do you propose guaranteeing that "fair pay" to musicians who cannot support themselves because the public is not interested in voluntarily paying for their music? It would have to be through gov't payments funded via confiscatory taxation, which makes it social welfare. Stop reading Howard Zinn. Oh, and you're still on my lawn.
    flaminphoenix
    This shows that if you want to survive in the music industry then either you got to be a monster band (which is not easy in these diversified times) or you got to be ready to just do music for the pleasure and not for the money. For the money, find a good job.
    bush_slayer_07
    jcthomasva wrote: bush_slayer_07 wrote: people should be able to make a descent living at anything, not everyone wants to be a rockstar, but some people would like to do something they love and be able to feed themselves and possibly even a family, all you tards saying that this isn't possible or even warranted are only saying this cause you've been tricked and stupified by american capitalsm and consumerism, which promotes the idea that the arts aren't as important as industry or other professions that make more money, well congratulations you all have no soul You're absolutely right - I should be able to pursue whatever makes me feel good about myself, and you should have to supplement my income if I find I'm incapable of sufficiently supporting myself. How generous of you! BTW - get off my lawn.
    the idea i was presenting was workers rights and fair pay, not social welfare as a crutch for musicians. god if everyone in the world was as stupid as you are we probably wouldn't even have music why are you posting on this website, since you obviously are nothing short of a complete enemy to all musicians everywhere weather they would think it or not.
    bush_slayer_07
    jcthomasva wrote: bush_slayer_07 wrote: people should be able to make a descent living at anything, not everyone wants to be a rockstar, but some people would like to do something they love and be able to feed themselves and possibly even a family, all you tards saying that this isn't possible or even warranted are only saying this cause you've been tricked and stupified by american capitalsm and consumerism, which promotes the idea that the arts aren't as important as industry or other professions that make more money, well congratulations you all have no soul You're absolutely right - I should be able to pursue whatever makes me feel good about myself, and you should have to supplement my income if I find I'm incapable of sufficiently supporting myself. How generous of you! BTW - get off my lawn.
    cause thats exactly what i said, obviously you didn't understand even the faintest idea i was presenting, go troll another forum ignoramus
    atkm2891
    good, I hope this discourages mediocre people who want to enter music for a quick buck. Good bands and musicians make more from shows anyways, and I respect that
    barden1069
    Lou108 wrote: the price you pay for art i suppose, if you are in it for the money tough luck.
    This. Make music for the sake of making it, not because you want to get rich.