The report is the first of its kind in the country and is based on nationwide research conducted by the MIAF in 2021 to identify the revenue streams that are viable for musicians in the South African music industry. It spans all nine provinces of South Africa and is based on information supplied by some 3 000 musicians plying their trade in different genres, communities, and geographical and social settings.
The study forms part of the broader Revenue Streams for African Musicians (RSFAM) project – a multifaceted initiative aiming to empower African music professionals with the information and tools to earn more income from their works. RSFAM subprojects, apart from the nationwide repot, include capacity-building workshops for musicians across South Africa, an extensive content offering with helpful educational guides assisting music professionals to earn more money, and new digital tools envisioned to advance their careers.
The report is published on the Music In Africa portal, where music creators can now access a wide range of educational content about the identified music revenue streams.
Highlights of the report
A critical aspect of the research is the focus on the informal music industry, which is often neglected in similar studies. The study, which takes into consideration pre- and post-COVID earning trends, identified five main music revenue categories that are relevant in South Africa – namely Music Rights revenue, Live Performance revenue, Services revenue, Brand-related revenue and Grants and Funding revenue. These categories are further subdivided into 47 earning streams that function holistically to create the broader financial ecosystem for music creators in South Africa.
Highlights of the report include a comprehensive list of revenue opportunities for music creators in South Africa, and the average earnable amounts in the different revenue streams, genres and locations. The report also shows useful statistics on the efforts (time and money) musicians need to invest to earn a profit, as well as the key marketing channels that are worthwhile for them.
The report identifies the most profitable revenue streams and includes important statistics on newer models such as NFTs, crowdfunding and webcasting. In addition, it shows the areas where music creators require support, as well as the learning priorities they deem central in shaping successful careers.
“The Revenue Streams for Music Creators in South Africa 2022 comes at an opportune time for the local industry,” MIAF director Eddie Hatitye, who also serves on the Foundation’s Music Policy Committee, said. “African music creators are in dire need of solutions and reliable information about how their industry functions and the opportunities they can tap into. Now that the COVID-19 crisis is beginning to simmer down, this report, and the RSFAM project as a whole, could ignite a new way of thinking about what works and what needs work in an industry with incredible potential.”
Download the Revenue Streams for Music Creators in South Africa 2022 report here.
The Music In Africa Revenue Streams for African Musicians project is supported by UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity in the framework of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Siemens Cents4Sense programme, Siemens Stiftung, Goethe-Institut, the National Arts Council of South Africa and Kaya FM.