Fact-checking the RIAA's claim that the number of working musicians fell by 41%


14 Responses to “Fact-checking the RIAA's claim that the number of working musicians fell by 41%”

  1. Rider says:

    I don’t even get the connection here?  

    Even if true what do working musicians have to do with the RIAA?  How would piracy affect those numbers at all, if anything piracy has increased the need for touring thus increasing the need for musicians.

    Such a silly little stat for them to flaunt.

  2. I don’t know that the figures are so distorted; but the trend down is probably less because of decrease in sale of recordings (which hit a long time ago) and more because of decrease in paying gigs. Anywhere you turn, live musicians are complaining about the increasing number of clubs that basically don’t pay.  Couple that with the fact that the BLS probably doesn’t take into account that the huge growth area in live music is EDM which is in part getting a lot of support from the promotion industry because each act generally consists of one guy and a laptop which makes it logistically easier and cheaper to put on a big show with lots of names.
    I defy you to identify any (non-DJ/EDM) musician with 20 years experience who will tell you that the financial opportunities for revenue from live or recorded music are anything but abysmal today compared to 20 years ago. Just because mean ol’ Mr RIAA says things are bad does not make them good.

  3. austinhamman says:

    i’ve pretty much stopped listening to music save that which i already possess. i haven’t bought a new CD or hell even pirated anything new for some time. same for television i shut that off a long time ago, now i use HULU or netflix as i feel they give a better service. and wherever they are lacking there is piracy. and i found the world didnt end, i didnt spend my life going “what should i do?”  ultimately nothing really changed.
    so if they can’t get with the times and provide a better service, i don’t need them and i doubt anyone really does.

  4. Kaden Harris says:

    The PROs are imposing more and increasingly ridiculous licensing fees on clubs booking live music… it’s becoming too expensive for venues for venues to license themselves for both live and recorded music, so they go with DJ only, cuz it’s cheaper.

  5. Drabula says:

    And how about a shout-out to the legions of musicians (that me and many of my friends are part of) that have been playing and recording for decades just because we love it. We don’t give a shit about making money at it or give a toss about piracy. Long live the unknowns.

    • Lemoutan says:

      Your not giving a shit about making money is exactly what allows the industry predators to hoover it up. It works in IT too, I find.

      • wysinwyg says:

         The reason people want to make music free of money is because those industry predators sucked all the vitality of music while increasing the barrier to entry.  The blame belongs on the idiots forking their money over to record companies for overpriced dreck, not on independent artists making music out of love.

        • Narfig_Agar says:

          I think it’s more a point about musicians who play clubs/parities and other paid functions for “exposure” instead of appropriate pay.
          Remember folks, people die of exposure.

        • Lemoutan says:

          But the idiots who hand over their money may do so because they feel that what they’re experiencing has value and consequently that its maker should be rewarded. Money is a convenient way of doing this, and the industry predators have positioned themselves in the path of it. They have been allowed to do that precisely because the music makers (OK, and the consumers too) don’t care enough about it to stop them. Don’t shoot the piano fan.

  6. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    RIAA makes yet another groundless statement, Congresscritters “donation” sense tingles.

  7. Arys says:

    I’d be willing to bet any decline in working musicians in America had more to do with it being REALLY hard to be any sort of ‘working’ (as in getting paid) creative professional in America these days. Pretty much all of my creative friends that used to be happy freelancers (musicians, artists, actors, etc.) have given in and gone to in-house or day-jobs because they need to do crazy things like pay their rent and buy groceries. It’s not a really friendly economy for working for yourself, no matter your profession.

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