Tom Pakinkis writes here that new research commissioned by the Musicians’ Union suggests that 60% of musicians have worked for free over the past year, and more than half of professional musicians get paid less than £20,000 per year.

The MU calls the statistics “ominous for the future of music in the UK” against the backdrop of the autumn statement with its omission of music for the Government’s £6m creative industry boost.

“So many of the MU’s members are SMEs battling against a tide of arts cuts and reduced income due to piracy,” said MU general secretary John Smith.

“Small but significant investment by Government could make all the difference in the struggle to survive.

“What’s also interesting is that of the musicians surveyed who receive royalty payments; over half said that they represented an important additional source of income for them. This finally puts paid to the argument that ordinary musicians do not benefit from copyright.”

The full report can be found here to download as a pdf