71% Of Music Producers, Engineers Often Work Free [STUDY]

image from www.musicweek.comA new Music Producers Guild study showed that 88% of producers and engineers say that they have asked to work for free, with 71% agreeing to work unpaid within the last three years. 17% of those requests to work free came from major labels.

Self-financed artists accounted for 77% of the work free inquiries that producers and sound engineers accepted. Indie labels requests accounted for 34% of unpaid work.

Work On Spec

42% of producers and engineers say they had done work ‘on spec’ with the understanding that they would be paid if the artist liked the results. But as one producer complained, “I produced many demos of songs for an album for an artist on a major label to then have my production parts copied by another producer. They got paid and I didn’t”.

“I knew unpaid work was a problem in our industry, but I didn’t realize how endemic it was”, said MPG Executive Director Olga FitzRoy. “Of course, people will do favors for friends, but it’s completely unacceptable for record labels and commercial studios to exploit professionals in this way. We don’t employ someone to put in a new bathroom and then decide to pay them if we feel like it”.

"I find it shocking that assistant engineers are being expected to work for a month for free in commercial studios before having the chance of a paid position," she continued. "Nobody wins if our pool of talent is reduced to those with a bank of mum and dad to rely on”.

H/T Complete Music Update

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