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76% of new artists say that music career is financially unsustainable

Toolroom Academy, who commissioned the report, has announced an Artist Development Masterclass in response

  • 12 June 2024
76% of new artists say that music career is financially unsustainable

A music industry study has found that 76% of new artists say that their music career is financially unsustainable.

The figures were released in April as part of Toolroom Academy’s report ‘From Mix to Mainstage - The Blueprint for Emerging Electronic Artists’.

The report, researched in collaboration with Audience Strategies, aims to “identify and understand the barriers that emerging artists face and provide actionable strategies for overcoming these challenges, ultimately paving the way for sustainable careers in the industry.”

The data is sourced from surveys with over 250 ‘new’ artists, as well as interviews with more established artists, educators and industry professionals.

Read this next: Spotify CEO claims cost of creating “content” is “close to zero”

The 'barriers' investigated span personal, professional and financial, with mental health cited as a key barrier to success, particularly struggles with self-confidence and the pressure to succeed, with 50% of artists found to regularly compare themselves to others.

Added to this, 82% of surveyed artists were found to rely on jobs unrelated to electronic music to support themselves, with 56% working in a full-time capacity, and 26% working part-time.

The report also went on to suggest strategies for growth and success within the music industry, with key findings focusing on an artist’s brand, their use of social media in an organic and exciting way, their ability to build up a support network with genuine relationships, and participation in competitions.

The report helped Toolroom Academy to quantify what it had learned through running its academy, working out that “there is a significant gap between talent and recognition.” Following April’s release of the report, Toolroom Academy announced recently (June 5) that it will be opening up a new Artist Development Masterclass.

The 12-month programme has been designed in response to the findings of the report, helping artists to create a "complete business plan", and covering a range of topics from things like music law, to basic strategy and networking.

Read this next: MJ Cole pens opens letter to major labels calling to end free artist labour

To check out the Artist Development Masterclass, click here.

To read the full report, click here.

Jamaal Johnson is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Instagram

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