The Economics Of Busking

October 5, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

Charles Shafaieh wrote about the buskers, or street performers, of New York City:

  • To maximize profits buskers can’t dress too nice – or else people will think they don’t need money. But they can’t be dirty either – or else the crowd will think of them as beggars.
  • Thus buskers go for the simple – a plain clean shirt and perhaps jeans.
  • Commuters value work ethic more than individuals. Those who are there at the same place at the same time every day will draw more contributions.
  • For about six hours of work during the peak hours between 7 and 10am, and 4 and 7pm, a busker can make anywhere between $50 and $200.
  • This could potentially make busking more lucrative than being popular on Spotify.
  • Odd things like the level of terror threat, or the performer’s mindset can affect donations in a given day.
  • If a crowd see’s one person giving money to a performer more tips will likely follow as the performer’s skill has thus been validated.
  • Some of the buskers see what they do as genuine art. This is why they may play in narrow hallways where pedestrian traffic is low but acoustics are ideal.

Read more about the compositions that earn the most money, and other details here.

Source: Hopes & Fears