Philosophy

Many corporations that claim to have "strong values" undermine them behind the scenes, so we’re asking you not to trust our word alone. We are actively looking for new ways to hold ourselves accountable to our values, and these statistics represent our first efforts to do so.


Musician income

As of June, 2021.

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 All time
(Since 2013)
Mean musician income
Per player, per event
$129 $151 $161 $152 $264 $160
How often players make < $50 13.2% of events 8.7% of events 9.5% of events 7.3% of events 8.3% of events 11.3% of events
How often players make > $150 31.2% of events 36.7% of events 42.0% of events 41.% of events 58.9% of events 38.6% of events
Note: Since groupmuses still work mostly on cash donations, we rely on self-reporting from musicians for this data. To date, we have data from 79.3% of all groupmuses that have ever happened.

Musician income goals

We strive to make sure musicians walk away with at least $150 per player from a groupmuse. Throughout the pandemic, we consistently saw averages over $300 per player per event, but we realize this may not be sustainable as we return to in-person groupmuses. We are constantly working to achieve fair pay for musicians playing groupmuses, and we know that only the musicians and the audience members can decide what’s fair. We’ll continue to gather feedback on this from everyone who participates in groupmuses.

As of March 2020, we have increased our guaranteed minimum payment to $100 per player for any musician who plays at a groupmuse (with a max. of 4 players per event). Throughout the pandemic, this was offered unlimited to musicians for performing virtual groupmuses. As of July 2021, that minimum only covers the first virtual performance, but we've been able to preserve the $100 minimum for 100% of in-person concerts.

We try to balance musician pay with audience experience and accessibility by:

  1. Matching ensemble sizes to audience sizes appropriately (e.g. when searching for an ensemble for a groupmuse of 18 attendees, we’ll match them with a soloist, not a string quartet. We also communicate this intention to musicians.)
  2. Recommending a minimum attendee payment that should be both affordable for guests and fair to musicians. Right now that recommendation is at least $10 per guest.

When Groupmuse directly pays musicians (for example, at Massivemuses or Groupmuse at Work), we will never pay less than $100 (and usually pay more).

We are publishing these numbers so that our community can help hold us accountable. If you are a musician or other community member and think we should change our practices, please write us at [email protected] and start a conversation!


Musician/Groupmuse Income Breakdown

Since mid-2016, Groupmuse has started asking for a $3 reservation fee for most reservations placed on groupmuse.com. We also ask each attendee to pay at least $10 towards the musicians. As of 2021, we've increased those amounts to a $5 reservation fee and $20 minimum suggested audience contributions. Groupmuse also earns revenue through Supermusers, Massivemuses, and our Nights Out program, making it difficult to compare all income equally. However, we find it a helpful gut-check to compare the total income we're earning through reservation fees with the income musicians are earning at groupmuses.

Here’s what it looks like right now:

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Groupmuse’s income portion
from reservation fees
9.2% 16.3% 13.2% 13.2% 10.5%
Musicians’ income portion
from audiences
91.8% 83.7% 86.8% 86.8% 89.5%
As of June, 2020.