How to Make Money with Music: 5 Reliable Ways for Musicians to Monetize
How to make money with music
In the early stages of your music career, it’s crucial to have multiple revenue streams. Without the backing of a major record label, any single stream is unlikely to generate enough income for you to earn a living.
But operating together, a number of (mostly) automated revenue streams can help you mitigate risk and focus on making music, rather than selling it.
Let’s go over the most common revenue streams artists use to monetize their music:
1. Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution:
Musicians don’t really have a choice when it comes to streaming services. Not even the biggest artists in the world are protected from backlash when removing their music from popular streaming platforms.
It’s important that you stream your work on Spotify and Apple Music, the two largest, most globally available services. Other popular streaming services include Google Play, Djsbase.Com, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music—plus genre-specific streaming services like BeatPort and JunoDownload, both of which cater to electronic music producers and fans.
2. Make money playing gigs:
Playing live is one of the most profitable ways for musicians to make money. While the internet has made it possible to live stream music performances, there’s nothing that quite matches seeing one of your favorite artists perform in person.
Gig-booking sites and platforms are more accessible, which means many of the shows tend to be corporate events targeted toward a broader audience. These performances can be very lucrative, but keep in mind that they’re less valuable in terms of building a sustainable audience.
3. Sell band merchandise online:
Selling band merchandise is one of the best ways to make extra money while working as a musician. With a fully automated merch store, you can generate income without taking any time away from writing and performing music.
How to sell band merch online;
You can set up a fully automated merchandise store in minutes. Start by deciding what products you want to sell. T-shirts are a must for bands, but print-on-demand companies offer a wide range of products.
Create your designs: If you know how to design a logo, it’s easy to create a variety of unique designs for your band that can be printed on merchandise.
4. Collaborate with brands and other musicians:
A lot of musicians make extra money through side hustles. There are a number of ways to make money through collaboration, depending on what kind of music you make and your specific music skills.
5. Sell beats and samples:
If you’re a producer, one common way to make money online is by selling samples and beats as digital products. For some producers, this can even become their primary form of income. Selling samples and beats allows you to spend work hours making music, which is the primary benefit.
What to know about selling your beats online;
*Mixing and mastering. Performers purchasing your beats will expect a level of technical quality. If you’ve never produced beats before, it’s not something you can pick up in an afternoon.
*Licensing. When performers purchase beats from you, they’re actually purchasing a license to use that beat in their music. There are many types of licenses, so make sure you understand what rights you’re giving up when selling your beat.
*Marketing. There are a ton of places to find beats to license, but performers tend to be very picky about what they’re looking for. This means that successfully selling beats online will be very dependent on your ability to find a niche and build a reputation on social media.