New survey will uncover the reality of artists and musicians in the popular music industry

The working conditions and economy of artists and musicians in the Norwegian popular music industry have not been mapped since the so called “Kunstnerundersøkelsen” in 2015. Now, CreaTeME at the University of Agder and GramArt – the performing artist organization – will conduct the performing artist survey – “Artistundersøkelsen” – to answer questions about the economy and life as a performer.

Link to the performing artist survey “Artistundersøkelsen”:

The performing artist survey is driven by a need to know more about the working conditions for artists and musicians. The so-called Artist Survey “Kunstnerundersøkelsen”, conducted on behalf of the Norwegian Arts Council, did not include data from this group for various reasons. The fact that the artists themselves are conducting this survey will ensure more relevant data and probably also a higher response rate than what the Artist Survey could deliver.


Initiative from the artists themselves


“This is insight that we at GramArt, educational institutions, and not least the policy- and decision-makers within politics need in order to make the business conditions for Norwegian artists as good as possible. The artists themselves have designed the survey to uncover what really matters to us,” says Marit Larsen, a beloved artist and board member of GramArt.


Hoping for a lot of respondees
There are many surveys conducted annually in the cultural field, and GramArt experiences that this results in some of the surveys having a low response rate. There are simply too many inquiries. They expect that now they will get solid data, as they represent the group being asked.

“The survey is sent to our members and other professional performers within the very broad term of popular music. With us as the sender, they know that the survey is designed in a way that takes into account their needs and that it will be used for something important. With their help, we will learn much more about the reality of the performers and potentially debunk several myths related to their economy. The data we get, we take with us in our work to improve conditions for the professional artists and musicians. The more responses, the better,” says Ivar Storm Peersen, chairman of GramArt and guitarist in the metal band Enslaved.

Collaboration with CreaTeMe

The task of conducting the survey has been given to the newly established CreaTeME – Centre for Excellence in Creative Use of Technologies in Music Education. The institution is closely linked to the research community at the University of Agder and is already one of Norway’s leading competence environments on topics in the music industry.

“We at CreaTeME are conducting the survey in collaboration with GramArt because we know it will provide indispensable insight into the artist economy. This insight we can take with us in research and development within the field. Since this will be a regular survey, we also get reliable data over time and can see the development in the field. Thus, the survey can also be used to evaluate the various measures from the various ministries, the policy instruments, and others who have an influence on the artist economy,” says Daniel Nordgård, professor at the University of Agder, director of CreaTeME, and board member of GramArt.

“Another major advantage of us conducting the performing artist survey “Artistundersøkelsen” is that the ownership of the data remains with the artists themselves, rather than with a privately-owned company. This is valuable data that should remain the artists’ own property, and such a methodology is also in line with the EU’s wishes for data collection,” concludes Nordgård.


Daniel Nordgård
Professor at UiA
Leader at CreaTeME

Lasse W. Fosshaug
Head of communication


Photos by:
Kaizers Orchestra by Grete Nygaard
Bendik by Jonathan Vivaas Kise