The average South African musician makes approximately R10, 000 a month

A monthly amount of R9,890 is the average revenue an active South African music creator earns, according to a recent report on revenue streams for music creators in SA.

The report, titled  Revenue Streams for Music Creators in South Africa 2022, is based on nationwide research conducted by the Music In Africa Foundation (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 a sample of musicians from “different genres, communities, and geographical and social settings”.

According to the report, a monthly amount of R9,890 is the average revenue an active South African music creator earns. A monthly total of R141,568,500 is reported as earned by participants across all streams.

In total, 3,000 music creators participated in the survey. During the analysis phase, data was cleaned and data from 2, 881 surveys was used.

The report took account of the challenges presented by COVID-19, as earning trends were heavily impacted by the pandemic and its related social restrictions. As a result, all participants were made aware that they had to provide information on income trends over a 24-month period, including earnings prior to the pandemic.

The report further breaks down the revenue streams that make up musicians’ earnings in South Africa.  The revenue streams explored in the study were grouped into the categories: live performance revenue, services revenue, grants and funding revenue, brand-related revenue and music rights revenue. According to the findings, grants and funding account for 38% of total monthly revenue, followed by live performances at 19%. Brand-related revenue accounts for 14%, while music rights account for 15%.

The report gives details about each of these revenue streams in the country’s nine provinces and by genre and other parameters. The report also discusses new trends and makes recommendations based on the findings.

“Without reliable information, including statistics and industry intelligence tools, music creators will always struggle to make informed decisions and to fully monetise their works. Responding to this challenge, the Music In Africa Foundation launched the pilot phase of the Revenue Streams for African Musicians (RSFAM) project in South Africa in 2020,” wrote Eddie Hatitye, director of MIAF in the report’s introduction.

Check out an overview of the report and download the full report in ZAR and in USD.

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