Why one busker makes more money than another

Knowledge Snacks Annemeike Tan

Also hunger for knowledge? Fancy a snack? Samuel Stäbler, affiliated with the Tilburg School of Economics and Management in Tilburg, has explored which factors determine listeners’ giving behavior. In a field study, he studied for three months the behavior of 80,471 people who donated to 72 street musicians in downtown Cologne.

In his study, he distinghuised the following factors: busker-specific, consumer-specific and context-specific. All of these affect the degree to which donations are made. A tip of the iceberg:

  1. Earnings are higher on Sundays than they are on other days of the week.
  2. Classical music pays better than rock music.
  3. People give more money in cold weather than they do in warm weather.

The research results are relevant to marketeers who engage in fundraising in public areas as well as to nonprofit organizations that generate donations in public areas. The results also suggest ways for buskers to improve their market exposure.

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Article:  ‘The street music business: consumer responses to buskers performing on the street and on online video platforms’

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