The Musicians Census 2018

Unsigned bands tell us your challenges! Right Chord Music has launched the Musicians Census 2018 to better understand the challenges facing unsigned bands and independent musicians. All artists that complete the survey will be considered for features on the RCM blog, and one respondent will be chosen at random to receive a FREE PAYG Management Session and Marketing Guide worth £45.

If you are visiting Right Chord Music for the first time, it’s worth mentioning, we are more than just a new music blog. We produce guides and marketing sessions to help unsigned bands and independent artists promote their music more effectively. The Musicians Census helps us stay one step ahead.

The Big Survey For Unsigned Bands

Back in 2013 we ran The Big Survey in association with Farida Guitars. It was our first attempt at understanding the challenges facing independent musicians and unsigned bands.  You can download a copy of the results here.

The challenges facing unsigned bands in 2013

Just over one-half of the respondents reported paid live shows were the primary source of their monthly income. Digital download sales (13%) and CD sales (12%) were second and third respectively. Over six different incomes streams were reported. Although average incomes from live shows were not captured in this survey Right Chord Music would expect income from live shows at this level to be between £20-£50 per London show, and a band to be playing a maximum of three paid shows within an average month. It’s clear once income is divided up between 3-4 band members and petrol, parking, hire, and rehearsal costs are factored in, income does not necessarily mean profit.

Respondents reported over seven different ways they sell their music, with selling CDs at live shows remaining the most popular sales channel. Bandcamp’s growing influence among the unsigned community was clear, as many respondents reported they use Bandcamp as iTunes to sell their music.

When respondents were asked to highlight the biggest challenges they face as musicians two challenges dominated. One: ‘Getting our music heard’ and two ‘Making enough money.’

Traditional mass media channels (TV, radio, and press) are not where respondents go to discover new music. The top sources of new music discovery were split between traditional channels (Friends / family and live shows) and new channels YouTube, Facebook, Spotify and music blogs. How will that change, if at all in 2018?

Win a free PAYG management session and guide worth £45

Any unsigned band or independent artist that completes our census will automatically be considered for a feature on RCM and our Lost On Radio Playlist and one will win a free PAYG management session and guide book worth £45. Read more about RCM PAYG management.

Which of the following best describes your current situation






Do you currently have a manager? (Either full time or part-time)


Which of the following best describes how you record the music you release?






During the course of a week, which of the following sites do you use to promote your music?













Which of these would you say you most frequently login to on a weekly basis, specifically to promote your music?









At the end of an average month, how much money do you make from your music (sales, gigs, merchandise, sync, radio plays, YouTube and any other sources)







Which of the following revenue sources currently makes you the most money during a typical month?








Have you ever been paid from a sync deal? (Where your music is placed in a TV show, advert, film or computer game)


Which of the following best describes how you promote your music?





If you have previously hired a radio plugger, please choose the statement which best describes how your feel about the service they delivered?







Approximately how much did you spend to spend to produce and promote your last single? (Consider studio time, producers, mixing, mastering, CD / vinyl production, artwork, radio plugging, public relations)






Which of the following would you say is currently your biggest challenge? Choose up to 5 statements















Where do you go to discover new music. Choose your top three sources from the list below














Have you ever paid to promote a social media post?




To be in with a chance of being featured on Right Chord Music, please send us: 1.Your band or artist name 2. Email address 3. Soundcloud / YouTube or Spotify link to hear your music 4. A short biog / information about you and your music