In this article, we look at the age-old question of how do musicians make money? we give you a few of our top tips on surviving as an artist and making money from music online.
Firstly, as a musician or independent artist, you should try to have several strings to your bow. Always be open to new ideas of how to make money as an artist and additional sources of income.
This is because, ultimately, having more income is how you can actually exist solely as a musician. In many cases, artists try to “make it” by only focusing on one aspect like live gigs. However, they forget that there is actually more to building a career in music and making money.
So How Do Musicians Make Money?
There are plenty of available opportunities for making money from music.
Creating a business model to help you identify different ways to generate revenue with your music business is your first step. It may seem overwhelming to allow yourself to utilize more than one source of income. Still, there is an excellent benefit to using your creativity and talents to help you develop a strong music career.
So without further ado, here are our 10 top ways that musicians can make money with their music.
1. Royalty Free Music
Imagine if you could get your music heard by tons of people, placed in TV shows, and paid thousands of dollars, all without having to do any promotion or build a fanbase! Well, you can by making tracks for royalty-free music sites.
2. Create a YouTube Channel
If you have original music to share, take it to the largest streaming video platform on the internet. YouTube allows you to quickly set up your own channel. For those wondering how do musicians make money on Youtube. You can provide subscribers with special access to private videos with memberships. That way, you can monetize your channel in other ways once you start building a following.
Developing your fan base on YouTube will take some time but the payoff is very beneficial. Soon you can do your own promotions and have sponsors for your videos (who will pay you money to talk about their products). So if you have any desire to be on camera, are tech-savvy, or have editing knowledge then this is an excellent option for you to share your music and also be making money from music online.
3. Teaching Online Lessons
Teaching has always been one of the best options for musicians to use their musical knowledge and help others. If you can teach singing lessons online, you can also utilize video platforms like Zoom. You can easily create a flexible schedule to teach students. That way you can start earning money by taking on music lessons.
Referring to the business model, you must be organized. Especially, if you decide to start teaching lessons. Many people are always in the market to learn how to sing or pick up an instrument. So, hosting classes is a great side gig to make money as an artist.
4. Creating Music Workshops and Master Classes
If you want another teaching method that doesn’t involve any one-on-one lessons, you could opt to create a master class through video workshops. This allows you to collaborate with other music teachers to put together a lesson plan.
To create such workshops, check out platforms such as Teachable. Here you can create different modules to guide people through their learning. You could also do in-person workshops in collaboration with other music experts (where people can join in groups for sessions).
5. Write Original Music For Submission
If you are a musician with an aptitude for songwriting or composing, you might also consider selling it outright. There are plenty of music licensing companies and music blogs where you can submit your music to be highlighted or licensed by creatives to use within their projects.
When someone wants to use or feature your music, you will get paid a fee, either upfront or for each use. You might also consider pitching yourself to write jingles for commercials. You can work directly with a music supervisor or film producer to create custom music for their next feature. Making money from music submission may require a lot of effort but it gives a great return.
6. Streaming and Digital Downloads
Providing people with the ability to stream your music is the future of the music industry at this point. So it is a good idea to create music for this type of distribution.
A lot of new artists ask how musicians make money by streaming. The answer is simple… setting your music up for online distribution. The big music gurus like Spotify or Bandcamp can help provide you with more visibility and help bring in those big bucks.
7. Mix and Master Music
Suppose you are more of an engineering expert. In that case, you could offer your services to help mix and master music for other musicians.
Many musicians out there do not understand mixing audio and sound software. As a result, they need help in this area and will be willing to pay you generously.
If you are interested in music production but don’t necessarily know how to mix or master music just yet, then there are options to learn. Skillshare has some great music production courses that can show you how to work with audio.
8. Write About Music
If you have a great way with words, you could take your music expertise to the blogging world. DIY musicians are always searching online for advice. You might have an endless amount of music business knowledge or skills which you could share through online articles.
But if you are wondering again, how do musicians make money writing about music? There are multiple music blogs already established that you could pitch to write for. Many of them are always looking for new content or writers with new perspectives.
Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, you could start your own music blogging website where artists could share their experiences and knowledge. This could be very lucrative, making money from music by charging per word or per article.
9. Live Performances & Online Concerts
It would be wrong not to include this as a way for musicians to earn money (even if it’s an obvious one!). This option allows the musician to get visibility within their community. This way, they can start making a name for themselves by performing live in venues.
Live gigs could also become more revenue-generating by providing music sales and merchandise for people to buy.
Online concerts are also another option to stream live performances in a concert-like fashion. Fans could pay for their online tickets and view the live stream on your platform. It sounds like a fair deal for making money from music online!
10. Studio Sessions
If you live in an area where there are local music studios nearby, you could reach out and see about doing session work for them. There are many cases where sound engineers or other musicians need studio musicians to help put together an album in a studio. They could easily hire you for your music abilities.
There is also the option of offering remote session work. You can play or sing for someone working from a home studio. There are plenty of independent and DIY musicians who are looking for assistance in putting songs and tracks together in this fashion and will pay.
How Do Musicians Make Money – Wrapping Up
To sum up, there are many opportunities to make money as an artist. So, before you wonder again “how do musicians make money”, try exploring the strategies mentioned above.
In addition, with the internet and streaming, it has never been so easy to make money with music online. It may feel a little difficult in the beginning, but having an additional income will allow you to follow your passion. Good luck!