The rising trend of creatives moving to independent production and distribution — what I’ve called the “Insurgent Creative” life — has been going on long enough now that we’re starting to see measurable data coming in. Techdirt has just posted a great article which dispels a commonly-cited claim by the Recording Industry Association of America (and repeated by media and politicians) that there’s somehow been a 40% decline in employment for musicians over the past decade — apparently due to “piracy”, which is trotted out as a reason to try to legislate away the open internet which is actually allowing creatives to end-around traditional gatekeepers, like the RIAA, in the first place.
In the article, Mike Masnick provides data that shows that there’s been an 510% increase in independent musicians making a full time living, in just the past decade.
Five hundred and ten percent.
He points out that, yes — very few people are lucky enough to do it as a full-time job, so the numbers aren’t that big at all. But this graphic, compiled from Bureau of Labor Statistics data, tells it all:
That’s the change that’s been occurring in music, which was the first creative industry to be hit with disruption from the internet, and its ability to allow artists to directly reach their audience. That disruption has now firmly hit publishing, and is beginning to hit film/television. Expect to see the shape of this graph reflected in those industries as well over the coming years.
Grab your opportunity. Create your work, and find your audience.