ARTS / MUSIC
Report shows more than half of musicians in China earned no income from music
Published: Dec 23, 2020 11:45 PM

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The 2020 Chinese Musician Report, an annual report that was published on Monday, has revealed the stark dilemma facing musicians in China: more than 50 percent of them have earned zero income from music in 2020. 

Released by Zhang Fengyan, a professor at the Communication University of China’s School of Music and Recording Arts, the report discerns the rather tough living situation of Chinese musicians. 

The report shows that 52 percent of musicians did not receive music-related income in 2020, while 24 percent of musicians’ music income accounted for less than 5 percent of their total income. 

Zhang and her team gathered data from musicians in more than 40 Chinese cities as primary data for this analysis, conducting in-depth interviews with 104 musicians and collecting 3,174 valid questionnaires. 

Zhang’s analysis also highlighted other trends to paint a picture of the Chinese digital market in 2020 such as how the number of registered musicians has increased on digital music platforms and that the average income of musicians is still low.  

Compared to the 2019 report, the 2020 report reveals an obvious growth in musicians’ total income. Although more than 20 percent of musicians earned less than 2,000 yuan ($305) a month in total in 2020, this number is far lower than 2019’s 47 percent. 

There was also an obvious increase in the number of musicians earning more than 10,000 yuan a month in 2020, due to burgeoning livestreaming and short video media platforms helping musicians increase their popularity. 

Additionally, the 2020 modified version of China’s Copyright Law gave musicians a more authoritative way to guard their intellectual property from infringement.  
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