To live off your passion and turn a hobby into a lucrative business is an enormous achievement. But while it is easy to dream of being the next superstar or one of the leading names in the music industry who knows how to make money from music, it takes a lot of work to make your dream a reality.
If you enjoy making music, this is one of the most fulfilling ways to make a living. Whether it’s your full-time job or a lucrative side gig, you can get paid for listening to and selling your favorite music.
In this writing, we shall discuss exhaustively ways to make money with music or how to make money as a musician.
Can I earn extra money as a musician?
Sales of your music are not guaranteed. Making money from music is not easy, but not impossible. In the early stages of your music career, having multiple sources of income is crucial.
Without the backing of a major record label, a single stream is unlikely to generate enough income to make a living.
However, when you work together, a number of (mostly) automated revenue streams can help you mitigate risk and focus on making music rather than selling it.
How to Make Money from Music
#1. Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution
Here it is important to understand the difference between a streaming service and a distribution network:
- A streaming service is a platform on which people listen to music. The most popular are Spotify and Apple Music.
- A distribution network distributes and collects license fees from these streaming services.
Musicians don’t really have a choice when it comes to streaming services. Not even the greatest artists in the world are safe from setback when they remove their music from popular streaming platforms.
It’s important that you stream your work using Spotify and Apple Music, the two largest and most globally available services.
#2. Make money playing gigs
Playing live is one of the most profitable ways for musicians to make money. While the internet has made live streaming of musical performances possible, there’s nothing like seeing one of your favorite artists perform in person.
#3. Sell Band goods online
Selling band goods is one of the best ways to make extra money as a musician. With a fully automated merch store, you can generate income without spending time writing and performing music.
#4. Collaborate with brands and other musicians
Many musicians earn additional money through secondary employment. There are a number of ways you can make money working together, depending on what type of music you are making and what specific musical skills you have.
Freelance websites such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Twine have posts for singers, producers, and seasoned instrumentalists.
#5. Sell beats and samples
Oftentimes, if you’re a producer, you can make money selling samples and beats as digital products. For some producers, this can even become their main form of income.
Selling samples and beats can save you hours of work making music.
#6. Teach music lessons or sell lessons
Not all musicians strive to be global superstar. For some, training the next generation of artists is a bigger achievement than the Super Bowl halftime show.
If you’re interested in training others, LectureOwl is a great place to apply to be a private music teacher. You can also create a music course on a number of online learning platforms.
#7. Freelance music writing
Another way to make money as a musician is to make a few dollars freelancing about music. One way to get attention and gain valuable experience is to start your own blog.
Gather as many readers as you can and use this platform to show your talent when applying for freelance work.
Freelance writers can generate up to $42,000 a year, but it takes time to build a name and a quality portfolio. Just like playing gigs, it takes time to get to the sweet spot of writing about music.
#8. Create a Website
Having a website or blog is a great way to showcase and even sell your music. You can also advertise your availability for gigs.
Don’t know where to start? You can use a platform specially designed for band websites like Bandzoogle.com. It offers a free 30-day trial and plans to start at less than $10 a month. To create your own website, follow our guide on starting a blog.
#9. Start a YouTube channel
YouTube is a good place to not only make money from your own music but also to make money from free video courses. There you can find individual video courses with millions of views (like this guitar lesson for beginners).
That can turn into a lot of money if you monetize your video tutorials.
In addition to creating lessons, you can also record your performance and post the videos on YouTube. This strategy has helped many successful musicians and pop stars to be discovered.
#10. Be a band stand-in
You know what you can do, but why not let some active local bands know? Offer to represent sick or absent band members. Aside from making a little bit of money, it can lead to something bigger, such as: B. to join an upcoming band or starting your own.
#11. Become a DJ
The most obvious way to make money as a DJ is to get paid to work in bars, clubs, and private parties. But you can make it serious business by branding, hosting big shows, selling merchandise, and getting endorsements.
Depending on the venues you work at, you may be able to play some of your own pieces along with the popular requests. You could have a following soon.
#12. Book gigs
Small bars and restaurants are perhaps the easiest places to book concerts, but events can pay off better. Parties, small festivals, art fairs, and corporate events are all options.
#13. Writing songs
It’s not common to sell songs outright, and that’s probably a good thing. Who just wants to make a few dollars on a song that could become a big hit?
Instead, you usually get mechanical royalties or performance fees. Mechanical royalties include a statutory rate of $0.0755 per song per unit manufactured. If the song you wrote is on 10,000 albums you would make $755.
#14. Check Upwork for Odd Music jobs
Upwork is an online platform that aims to bring freelancers and customers together. Apply to be a music writer, musician, or even a tutor. Sometimes you can find little gigs here and there through Upwork and other freelance platforms.
Focus on building a solid profile based on great customer feedback and keeping your prices competitive first.
#15. Become a music producer
As a producer, you can help different musicians create albums and discover their own sound by adding a professional pizzazz to their tracks and helping them discover new ideas.
As part of this, you can also get paid to oversee the production and recording of their music and possibly arrange session players for solo artists.
#16. Take part in songwriting competitions
If you can’t get into the music industry the usual way as a songwriter, you can always look for competitions to enter.
For example, the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) hands out 71 winners with cash, prizes, and recognition. You can enter the competition in one or more of 23 different categories, including children’s music, electronic dance music (EDM), blues, and jazz.
#17. Take part in singing competitions
Artists like One Direction, Kelly Clarkson, and Jennifer Hudson all started singing competitions. So why not you? But it’s not all about The Voice and American Idol – look for local competitions to help you get noticed and network with fellow cast members.
#18. Check out for gig on Fiverr
There are many ways to make money on Fiverr.com. But can you do that with music? It turns out you can. Current users offer a variety of services including recording music, writing jingles, mixing music, and creating music videos.
#19. Sync fees for TV, film, video games, and advertising.
Music placements in TV, video, film, video games, and advertising. In order for a company or individual to use your composition to “sync” with movies, they must have a “sync license” and a negotiated fee to pay you for that use.
You actually need two licenses. One for the composition and one for the master license.
#20. Put your music on Spotify
Spotify is a streaming music platform that allows users to listen to music for free or upgrade to paid subscriptions. The company makes money on advertising and subscription fees.
A variety of factors determine how artists are paid, including whether they are independent or signed with a record label.
Spotify examines an individual artist’s stream share, which is the total number of streams they have in a given month, and then determines that artist’s share of all streams on Spotify.
Spotify then takes its own edit, and a certain amount of money goes into recording royalties and to the writers as well.
These days, it is rare for musicians to get income from a single source. To finance your music career, you need to build a system of multiple revenue streams that are easy to manage so you can focus on what matters most: making music.
This is why it’s of great importance for you to understand how to make money from music. However, once you understand the ways to make money with music, you can focus on the most important thing which is making music.
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