As a musician, you’ve probably pondered where the majority of an artist’s earnings comes from. How can musicians make a living from their music?
So, here are ten primary revenue streams that will account for the majority of any artist’s earnings.
To begin, the most obvious approach to earn money from your music is through music royalties and distributing it online to all of the main music outlets. Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, and other services are examples.
Although streaming sales won’t always bring in significant dollars right away, they can start to build up over time, especially as your followers and monthly listeners expand. As a result, streaming has become a consistent source of money for many artists, young and old, big and little!
But how exactly?
Through revenues from streaming. Streaming royalties are the fees you are charged each time your song is played or downloaded from a digital music outlet.
Physical music sales
The catalyst for everything.
Physical music sales – such as CDs, vinyl, and cassettes – are clearly less prominent in today’s industry than they formerly were. But it doesn’t mean physical music purchases aren’t still a viable source of income for musicians and artists.
CDs could be a decent option. They’re inexpensive to produce, simple to replicate, and may be packaged and sold alongside other products. To be honest, very few people currently pay attention to them.
Vinyl, on the other hand, has had a massive cultural rebirth and continues to outperform CD profits year after year. According to a recent Spotify listener survey, vinyl is the most popular merch across practically every genre!
With many musicians releasing limited vinyl runs, creating and selling vinyl versions of your music could be a terrific way to capitalize on current purchasing patterns!
Cassette tape purchases increased by 50% in 2020. Perhaps a passing fad, but there’s no harm in jumping on board if it fits with your real image and branding.
Remember that you can sell CDs and vinyl at events, on your website or any other online store, and through physical music distribution to record stores and ecommerce wholesalers like Amazon.
Crowdfunding & membership subscription services
Crowdfunding and membership subscription services are two more excellent revenue streams.
What exactly is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is the process of converting your following and community into a long-term source of money for your projects. Whether it’s purchasing new music equipment, releasing a new album, or creating new artwork.
It enables you to solicit financial assistance from your audience and followers rather than seeking a large advance from a single source (such as a record label or loan). This makes it an excellent choice for indie musicians.
What exactly is a membership subscription service?
A membership subscription service differs somewhat from Crowdfunding.
This is when you begin a membership with a subscription service, which your fans can then subscribe to.
The distinction is that subscription services, such as Patreon, allow users to obtain unique content (such as artwork, pictures, and films) from their favorite artists in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.
There are now numerous crowdfunding platforms available on the market. Some of the better ones for artists and creatives include:
Plus loads more!
The artist can then apply the funds collected through subscriber fees to whatever project they are currently working on. As a result, it’s a two-way street!
When it comes to both crowdfunding and subscription services, the platform you choose is heavily influenced by the purpose of your funding.
If it’s solely for music equipment, for example, it might function best on a music-specific crowdfunding site like Indiegogo. For albums and songs, though, Kickstarter is a better bet if you’re hoping to generate more creative cash. And Patreon for musicians is the way to go for an ongoing funding campaign for larger projects that may require more than a one-time donation.
It is also critical that you
What you know should be taught.
Why not earn money by teaching others the secrets of your craft?!
If you’re a rapper, singer, composer, or producer, you may sell all of these things to a younger artist through online courses, workshops, and vlogs.
If you’re an instrumentalist, you could instruct an aspiring musician part-time in the evenings and on weekends.
The simple line is that you can sell your expertise to anyone who wishes to learn and purchase that information.
Brand collaborations and sponsorships
Have you ever seen one of your favorite musicians collaborate with a particular business or product?
That is referred to as a brand partnership or endorsement agreement. This is where the musician earns money as a brand or product advocate.
As a musician, you may collaborate with the following brands/companies:
- Producers of musical instruments
- Fashion lines
- Makers of social networking apps
- Product lines for grooming
If you opt to collaborate with a business, they will negotiate a deal with you to promote their brand or increase their awareness through your relationship as an artist. This might include sponsored posts on social media, live concerts, your YouTube channel, and much more.
As a budding artist, it’s doubtful that the CEO of Marshall or Fender will come knocking on your door and demanding to work with you. Let’s be honest. Big businesses like that usually partner with performers that already have a large fan base or a strong and regular online digital presence.
So, the idea here is to start small. Contact smaller, possibly local or independent brands to see what you can work out. At first, money may merely be in the form of free kit and the like – but it’s a good place to start!
But, most importantly, if you are fortunate enough to work with a brand, ensure that the brand matches with your own as an artist.
Live Shows and Touring
Now that the world has reopened (hurray! ), live music and gigs remain one of the most important sources of income for musicians.
You can earn money by doing a live event in a variety of ways.
- The sale of tickets
- Entrance fees
- Payment from the venue owner or promoter (if the show is paid)
When you’ve established yourself and are getting regular engagements, whether as an opening act or the main attraction, you can start charging fans for tickets to see you perform.
Tickets for unsigned events typically range between $5 and $15.
And, if you have a support act or are a group/band, you’ll need to agree on how you’ll work together.
It’s also crucial to include any potential expenses incurred by you as the live artist, such as venue hire/deposit, catering costs, or promotional material. So, simply shop around to locate the best value venue offer for your money.
Psst – if you’re performing original material, keep track of all your set lists in order to receive money owing to you for live performance royalties.
Making money from music sync can be difficult, but if you can master it, you’ll be on to a winner.
Music synchronization is a completely different realm.
But, in brief, music sync, also known as “synchronising licensing,” allows musicians to earn money by having their music featured in visual media, such as movies, television shows, or video games.
The media company must pay the artist a set fee for the right to utilize their music in their media. Flat rates vary, but can reach $10,000 per sync placement, plus continued royalties for ongoing media usages and recurrent broadcasts.
So it’s simple to see why synchronization is such a valuable cash stream for musicians.
Your music publisher is the greatest place to submit your song for a sync deal.
Music library writing
Writing and producing music for music libraries and production businesses is not only a great method to make money from your music, but it’s also a fantastic way to improve your musical ability.
What exactly is a music library?
A music library is essentially a controlled collection of music-related items that are exclusively available for licensed and private use, such as musical scores or audio recordings. Designed specifically for ad agencies, videographers, indie filmmakers, YouTubers, and other licensed enterprises.
When making music for a music library, you’ll almost certainly be writing or composing in a style that isn’t your own. Although this may appear to be a difficult task, it is actually a great opportunity to explore new musical frontiers and face new challenges.
Payments for music libraries are now made through royalties with the PRS. This implies you may not get paid for an extended period of time, possibly up to a year.
However, if you’re competent at writing music for a short, open to new experiences, and eager to improve your skills, you should consider writing for music libraries.
Selling your own stuff is another important source of money for an aspiring musician.
Manufacturing merchandise might be rather inexpensive if you know where to look. And, if you sell merchandise at your live shows or concerts, the money you gain might be a terrific way to offset concert travel fees and/or venue rental.
Your merchandise line does not have to be confined to garments. It can include a wide variety of things, such as mugs, phone covers, posters, bottle openers, and more.
In fact, having a variety of products might assist you generate higher and lower level price points in your merchandise line. So, perhaps not every fan can afford a $20 tour tee. They will, however, be more numerous.
Publishing of Music
The money you make from music publishing royalties is one of the most essential sources of revenue for independent musicians.
Understanding how music publishing works can be difficult. However, it is critical that you have a general understanding of it in order to ensure that you receive all of the royalties due to you as an artist.
So here’s a (VERY) quick rundown.
Music compositions and recordings, being intellectual property, come with a set of rights. This means that groups (such as radio stations, streaming services, and venues) must pay an annual license fee to use this piece of land.