Do you love to sing or perform for an audience? Have you ever wondered if you could make a living off your music?
Who doesn’t want to become the next big music star? Look at the big stars like Adele — she earned over $177.59 million from her most recent tour. Who wouldn’t want to hit that level of success?
Not sure how to make money as a musician? Don’t know how to step out of the boundaries of your music room to earn a decent income?
We’ve got you covered. Here’s our list of different ways you can make money with music.
1. How to Make Money as a Musician: The Traditional Route
First off, there’s the traditional route. When people wonder how to make money as a musician, this is the first idea that comes to mind.
This is where you record a demo of your music, spending your own cash to do so, and then handing it to a recording studio or a music agent. They’ll evaluate your music to see if it’s marketable.
If they like what they hear, they might strike a deal with you. The deal could include paying you to record a full album and then go on tour to promote that album. The deal might be smaller in scale, such as recording only a few singles to test your brand on the radio or online.
That said, this route requires a lot of you. You may need guaranteed payday loans direct lenders to help you get a financial start. After all, you need to record a demo first and this requires an amateur recording set-up in your home.
2. Selling Music on iTunes
The days where albums launched on CDs and vinyl are gone. Vinyl is now a thing for high-end collectors and pre-orders instead of being the norm.
Nowadays, everything is digital.
Out of all the digital markets, none quite matches the prestige and size of iTunes. Apple’s digital distribution platform wasn’t the first but it modernized the concept. Nowadays, every major recording artist releases music on iTunes.
People can purchase individual songs or a whole album. iTunes also helps protect your music, granting artists a beefy copyright that stops others from ripping off their compositions. It’s a great platform for amateur musicians and professionals alike.
3. Other Digital Markets
But, iTunes isn’t the only digital platform. There are a few worthy competitors as well, like Spotify, Google Music, and Amazon.
Spotify is quickly becoming a popular platform, with over 75 million paid subscribers. There are services like Tidal that will take your music and upload them on Spotify as part of a set of playlists. The service will pay you each time someone streams your music on Spotify.
Google Music and Amazon work similarly to iTunes. Users look for artists, songs, or albums and can purchase them outright instead of paying monthly subscription fees.
4. Going on YouTube
YouTube is where many musicians get a firm hold of their career. There’s nothing simpler than picking up a camera and singing in front of it for the whole world to see and hear.
However, if you want to make money with music instead of performing as a hobby, there are a few extra steps to follow.
First, you’ll need to monetize your YouTube account. This enables ads to play before your video plays. You can earn money each time someone clicks on those ads or if they watch the full video ad.
YouTubers also earn via Patreon, influencer-sponsorship deals, and merchandising. We’ll tackle all of those below.
5. Using Patreon
Patreon is a unique subscription service. Patrons can subscribe for a small fee but they won’t pay this until you release new content. This ensures they aren’t paying monthly for a musician who won’t release new songs.
The great thing about Patreon is how it works in tiers. You can offer different rewards for patrons who subscribe for only $5 a month from those who give $25 and more.
It’s important to reward your Patrons. You could release exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and studio performances only they get to see. You could give them exclusive previews of upcoming songs and music videos that the rest of the world won’t have access to.
6. Signing Sponsorship Deals
Want to know how to make money from your music? One of the best methods is to agree to a sponsorship.
Many YouTubers sign up for sponsorship deals, particularly people with a large following. Companies might reach out to the YouTuber and ask them to promote a product or a service. In return, they’ll pay the YouTuber.
If the YouTuber agrees, they’ll have to include a segment in their video dedicated to this deal. This is why many YouTubers talk about products or services before or after the main content of their video.
7. Merchandise Deals
Don’t want to sound like a promoter for someone else’s business? You can instead sign up for merchandising deals.
Some musicians partner with t-shirt printing companies, for example. The printing company might sell shirts with the musician’s logo on their site. Each time a shirt gets sold thanks to the musician’s popularity, the musician earns a commission.
You don’t have to stick to shirts. There are merchandising deals available using mugs, headphones, and even toys.
8. Music Lessons
Sponsorship deals and merchandising might sound like too much work. For some, these are distractions from the music.
To still earn some cash without relying on these methods, why not offer music lessons? You can charge students a flat fee for a set number of lessons.
One option is to launch an elaborate website and use a YouTube channel to promote it. Or you could scale down and simply teach people music via Skype or Facebook.
It doesn’t always have to be direct music lessons either. You can release educational videos too, like showcasing the basics of violin sizes or what kind of recording mic to use.
9. Online Streaming Services
Do you like the concept of YouTube but not a fan of earning via ad revenue? You should try out online streaming services.
Twitch is perhaps the most popular platform. Keep in mind, Twitch primarily targets video game enthusiasts. It may be difficult to find an audience solely for your music.
Fortunately, there are streaming platforms specifically for music. The most popular one today is YouNow. Subscribers pay a fee of $4.99 and you earn at least 70% of the revenue, not only from subscriptions but also when subscribers pay for extra features.
Discover More Music Guides Today!
Learning how to make money as a musician can be a fun and challenging endeavor. Thanks to the digital advancements today, you can make a living off your music in a wide variety of methods. Perhaps one of these might lead to your discovery and you could sign a big deal with a major recording label in the future!
But don’t stop here.
We’ve got other tips and guides for you to discover. Check out this guide that aims to help kids choose the best violins for their age.