BitTorrent 2015 Artist Survey

200 creators weigh in on the present and future of creative sustainability.

2015 marked a year of massive change for the creative industry. Music got a universal release date. Theaters are agreeing to 17-day release windows (well, some of them). Apple added a music streaming service. (So did Jay Z.) You can now watch videos on Spotify. You can now buy media via BitTorrent. It’s never been a better time to be a creator. It’s never been more difficult to make a living.

Data access and data journalism are shedding light on the issues impacting artists. Major platforms like Spotify, Apple, Netflix, and Amazon are fast hardcoding the rules and rights of the creator class. But some of the most important voices in this debate—independent artists—often go unheard.

To better understand digital change and the challenges to creative sustainability, we asked a group of 200 artists who’ve used BitTorrent Bundle to share their experiences; letting them weigh in on the challenges and opportunities they face in their own work, and their vision for the future of independent art.

Key findings from the BitTorrent 2015 Artist Survey include:

  • Artists see building an audience as the primary obstacle to overcome in their own careers, as well as the single biggest challenge facing artists today.
  • Community is driving distribution platform preference, with creators choosing platforms based on fair compensation practices, and the fan and artist communities they provide.
  • Community is reshaping the release cycle, with 39% of artists releasing work once a month or more to reach and engage fans.
  • Over a third of artists typically give away work for free, yet digital sales remain the primary driver of revenue for the majority of artists surveyed.
  • Artists see self-distribution and the ability to reach fans around the world as the two most important digitally-driven changes to the creative industry, and 70% are optimistic about their creative future.

Read the full study here.

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