75% of artists are making a loss on their music, according to a new study

today02/05/2023 14

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75% of artists are making a loss when releasing music, according to new data gathered by Pirate.

The research surveyed over 1000 musicians from the UK and US Pirate recording studios which concluded that three quarters of respondents were out of pocket due to spending money on promoting their release.

Due to making a loss on releases the study reports that over half have taken a social media detox to cope with the loss.

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91% of those surveyed promote their music independently with 75% spending more money than they make from other music revenue streams.

56% of artists said they would create visuals to support their next release whilst 76% plan to make music videos.

Dan Davis, Head of Community at Pirate says: “As an artist doing your own promo, it’s both harder and easier in the social media age. Platforms reward a constant stream of content which takes a lot of work, the payoff is that you can build your own audience rather than just trying to break through gatekeepers.”

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Dan adds that: “Seeing artists take time off social media is a really positive sign that more creators are prioritising their mental health. For a lot of musicians in our studios, music is on top of full-time or part-time jobs; it’s important to take breaks from work, music and everything else that comes with being a musician.”

According to the study, 88% of artists favoured Instagram with YouTube at 69% followed by Facebook 58% and TikTok 42%.

Pirate’s survey also revealed trepidation among some for Spotify’s new “TikTok-style” video system, with 36% of artists saying they were “unsure” if they would include 30-second clips with their releases on the platform.

“Making music in the social media age means constantly jumping on new promotional trends. However, making content is rarely free and new revenue sources for artists aren’t emerging at the same rate as new trends,” explains Davis.

Read the full study from Pirate here.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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