Skip to main content


April 26, 2018 | Music Notes Blog

U.S. Music Industry's Jobs & Benefits Report

The outsized role music plays in the cultural landscape of the United States is undeniable, from artists known the world over, to fans that bond over their favorite albums, to songs from our teenage years that we can still sing today. But music’s impact goes further than that.  Artists, producers, songwriters, tour managers, music teachers, and so many others get to combine their passions with their livelihood by working in the music industry.  We asked the question “how many?” – and a new study we commissioned begins to answer that question.

Inspired by reports that look at the impact of music on the economies of specific cities like Nashville and New York, we engaged the help of Stephen Siwek from Economists Incorporated, an expert on determining the economic impact of intellectual property. With data from government and other outside sources, he analyzed the broad range of businesses that comprise the modern music industry.  Everything from musicians to record labels, radio stations to digital music platforms, music teachers to instrument makers, and many more.  None of those businesses or their employees work in a vacuum, so the report also looks at the downstream effects of the music industry – the economic impact beyond the direct sales, salaries and products sold.

As steadfast believers in the power of music, even we were impressed by the breadth and impact of the music economy shown by this study.  The results are presented here, both in summarized form as well as the essential details of the analysis. This report is not the endpoint – the industry has evolved rapidly in the digital era, and is sure to continue to change.

Joshua Friedlander

SVP Strategic Data Analysis, RIAA