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 March, 2018.

All time (since 2013) Only 2016 Only 2017
Mean income, per musician, per event $129 $129 $151
How often musicians make under $50 15.7% of events 13.2% of events 8.7% of events
How often musicians make over $150 29.5% of events 31.2% of events 36.7% 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 76.7% of all groupmuses that have ever happened.

Groupmuse expenses

As of March, 2018.

Median salary of Groupmuse team members $3000 per month
Number of salaried team members 3

Musician income goals

Right now, our musician pay benchmarks are $150 per musician at the high end, $100 as the usual expectation, and $50 as an absolute minimum. These numbers come from the current pay numbers musicians are getting, and they don’t reflect what we believe is fair pay for musicians. 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 Jan. 1, 2017, we are now able to guarantee a minimum payment of $50 per player for any musician who plays at a groupmuse (with a max. of 5 players per event). We know that this isn't fair pay, but it's all we can offer right now, and hopefully alleviates any extremely low-paying events. We are committed to increasing this number as our revenue grows over time.

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. 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
Groupmuse’s income portion
from reservation fees
9.2% 16.3%
Musicians’ income portion
from audiences
91.8% 83.7%