... but they do have the comfort of knowing that their sacrifices are contributing to a war of liberation against consumer capitalism that is being waged largely by criminals and sinecured academics with an old school Marxist axe to grind.
I merrily confess to being self-interested and being self interested it means I also have access to the real numbers that effect real artists who have real careers completely outside the mainstream music industry. Not numbers with the real costs hidden elsewhere in the chain.
Of course if all else fails they can always relocate to Norway (where the floors of music venues are apparently paved with gold) and wave Loopy's report around until someone offers them a government grant.
The reality is this ...
The average wage enjoyed by Norwegian musicians in 2009 including money from grants? £14,500 in one of the most expensive countries to live in Europe and home of the £30 pizza. Last I looked cost of living in Oslo put it in the top dozen world cities ahead of London, Paris, Milan, Rome, New York. Only Zurich, Geneva and Copenhagen were ahead of it in terms of western European centres.
Sales of all recorded music in Norway (digital or otherwise) were DOWN 2008 > 2009.
Live revenues were UP (and skew the numbers) because the major artists in the market are playing a lot more shows to make up their revenues. The number of shows played by, and thus the amount of money form live revenue going to new and emerging artists is DOWN.
In turn collecting society revenues (PRS and MCPS to you and me) are UP because they are collecting from new revenue streams and becasue of the growth of ticket revenues from big shows their 5% take of the gross has increased.
Most of the money from these later two categories are going to the already established artists not the rank and file.