In This Post, We’ll Talk About Ways Musicians Can Make Money
If you want to be a full-time musician, you’ll need another source of income from the music industry. The necessity to diversify your cash streams is part of the realities of being a working musician today. Your artistic activities will be more rewarding if you can diversify your income.
With record sales on the slide, you’ll need to be flexible when it comes to your sources of possible cash streams. Making money as a musician, however, isn’t difficult if you have solid business acumen. You can get started with a few innovative ideas.
Table of Contents
18 Ways Musicians Can Make Money in 2023
1. Make Money With Your Music
Digital distribution is essential; you must be accessible across all media channels or locate a helpful aggregator that will distribute your music throughout the internet for you, or do it yourself.
It’s also vital to sell songs at events. You may sell CD-Rs at your shows or online, but make sure they’re fairly priced. If you’re making physical copies, see if you can acquire them on consignment at your local record store. Even with enormous discounts, you can simply replicate your CDs for a low cost, including printing and a plastic-wrapped box, so the majority of each sale will be profit.
2. Make Merchandise Sales
Band merchandise is a major industry, especially if you’re a performer or a band with a devoted audience. Indie bands and signed labels may both offer their own products at a reasonable price. If you’ll be performing live, printing a modest batch to sell at your merch stand can help you make some additional money.
But don’t go crazy with pricey purchases unless you’re certain there’s a market for them. Make and sell your own t-shirts, buttons, badges, stickers, and other gear at your gigs and on your website. Merchandise sells particularly well after a concert, when your audience have just seen you perform and are completely enthralled.
Merchandise may add a nice little boost to your income if you keep your overhead low. One of the most unpredictable methods to generate money in the music industry is through merchandise sales. Even if you play to a sold-out crowd, it’s feasible to sell no goods. However, any promotion is good advertising, and you might be able to afford some giveaways.
3. Gigs / Live Performances
When it comes to getting money as a musician, performing live is an obvious choice. Most musicians like performing in front of an audience, and it may be a lucrative endeavor.
However, when it comes to live performance income sources, you must think bigger. Make an effort to secure your own engagements. If you don’t have much of a track record when it comes to attracting an audience, you won’t be able to command high costs. It will take time to get to this point.
If you are a relative unknown, you will not be able to command high fees. Perhaps you could do a trial run or volunteer for some charitable work to get your name out there. Take the long view and focus on growing your reputation to excellence, no matter how little you make at first. When at all feasible, keep control of ticket sales through your website to avoid paying a commission to ticket agents.
However, this does not imply that this is the only form of job you should look at. Each low-paying job should be viewed as a step toward expanding your earnings potential.
4. Design a website
A website or blog is a terrific method to promote your music, sell CDs, and let people know when you’re available for performances. It’s a good idea to establish a website that showcases some of your skills. If your client is satisfied, ask them to provide a testimonial on your website.
Don’t know where to begin? We have a platform, giglue.com, that is particularly developed for band websites and can assist you in creating a professional-looking website. Discover the advantages of having a professional-looking website.
5. YouTube Channel
Another medium that continues to grow in popularity is YouTube. Musicians may earn money on YouTube by having their work played by people. The beauty of utilizing YouTube as a platform is that it’s free, you don’t need to know anyone in the business to use it, and you can try again and again.
Grab a camera, video yourself, and use YouTube’s advertising scheme to supplement your income. Content ID is the simplest method to make money on YouTube.
Video ID is a popular digital fingerprinting technique that allows YouTube content providers to quickly identify and manage their copyrighted content. YouTube videos are matched against audio and video files registered with Content ID by content owners to see if there are any matches.
When your music is featured in videos with adverts on YouTube, YouTube pays a part of the advertising revenue to the song’s rights holders. From Justin Bieber to Soulja Boy, a slew of renowned musicians and even pop icons got their start on YouTube.
6. Teach a musical instrument or music theory
You could teach people music depending on how much time you have available and your job schedule. Many musicians teach a specific instrument, theory, or a mix of the two to encourage emerging musicians and help them fund their own careers.
You may sign up to be a substitute teacher regardless of your age or experience. Some school systems even allow you to pick and choose which classes you wish to substitute for. You may be the sub they call on to fill a long-term music teaching post after you have your foot in the door. You can even make YouTube classes for studying music and instruments.
If you can draw a large number of people’s attention, you can make a lot of money. This might be a good method to supplement your income while also allowing you to perfect your talent.
7. Labels for records
By signing with a big record company, an artist may make a livelihood if he works hard enough, makes the necessary contacts, and promotes himself properly. However, most record labels will not sign newcomers, and most record labels do not compensate band members well. They won’t pay you a cent if you don’t have your own fan base. You might be able to acquire a record deal if you have a small but increasing fan base.
Given how popular internet streaming has grown in the music industry, it should come as no surprise that your tunes should be available on this platform. They pay royalties whenever your music is played on streaming platforms. Although streaming service rewards per stream are often tiny, they might build up over time. These services aren’t just for generating revenue; they also assist new fans find your music.
9. Composing and songwriting
You might write songs for other performers or compose music exclusively for movies and television if you’re a songwriter. When your music is performed, you’ll be paid performance royalties.
10. Work in the session
Putting yourself out there as a session musician is another method to supplement your income. Artists are frequently hired by studios for session work. You might work as a session singer or instrumentalist for other musical projects or even in advertising as a vocalist or instrumentalist. Solo performers require studio musicians to play a variety of instruments on their songs, as well as support vocals.
Once the record is finished and the tour begins, you may have the option to join an artist’s supporting band. Even if you don’t, it’s an excellent method to meet people in your field. You obviously know you have ability, but collaborating with other musicians may help you refine your talents and build a valuable network.
At some time in the future, every film and television show will require a soundtrack or background tune. Music supervisors for film, television, commercials, and trailers are continually on the lookout for new songs that match their project’s aesthetic. If your music is used in a film, commercial, or television show, you may expect to be paid a license fee.
The act of obtaining the rights to utilize music is referred to as licensing. Soundscapes for movies and television are frequently created by musicians who hire themselves out. Some musicians even sell the rights to their songs to production firms for a price. These prices vary significantly based on the project’s budget and how strongly they want your music.
12. Compose a piece of theatre music
The possibilities for making music for theatrical shows are unlimited if you enjoy working with people and are ready to start small. Your neighborhood theater is a terrific place to start. For job, you can join a theatre company. They frequently demand tunes and compositions for special performances of their acts.
13. Perform at cafes, nightclubs, and shopping malls
There are several malls, businesses, restaurants, and hotels that require musicians to establish the mood for their patrons. If you’re going to embark on a full-time career as a musician, this is something you should really consider. You may be provided with equipment by the employer, or you may be required to supply your own.
The first engagement is the most hardest to secure, but once your name has been established, you should have an easier time finding them. You won’t get paid much for the labor, but it will provide you the opportunity to practice and show off your singing abilities.
14. Perform at weddings or in bars
Some musicians frown on performing cover songs at bars, weddings, and other private gatherings. You’re not going to become a rock star by performing at weddings. However, those events might pay well and allow you to earn money while playing your instrument. There’s nothing wrong with it.
And if you perform well, word will get out, and you’ll have a legitimate business on your hands in no time. This is a pretty steady form of revenue that allows you to play music if you’re still working on building a regular audience for your own music. Live performances might earn you royalties if you’re playing an original piece.
Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) will pay royalties from live performances whether you play in a bar, restaurant, club, or another music venue.
15. Produce audio files
Composers frequently need the assistance of persons who play a variety of instruments, particularly the more unusual ones, while composing their music. And, since you can’t be everywhere at once, capturing those sound files and storing them in an internet database where they may be purchased is beneficial to both them and you. You can make a lot of money this way, and it’s all done online.
16. Dispose of obsolete instruments
Websites like Olx and Quicker make it simple to declutter your closet. If you’re short on cash, it may be time to get rid of outdated instruments that you’ve replaced or that don’t operate.
17. Raise Money for Your Song or Concert Through Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding may be a terrific method to supplement your income as a musician. Part of becoming a great musician often entails putting on concerts that go above and beyond the norm. A well-run crowdfunding campaign can assist you in raising enough funds to cover the costs of recording and promoting your album.
If musicians are unable to monetize their shows, they urge their audience to contribute. That said, if you deliver on your promises to your supporters and sell yourself appropriately, this may be a really decent method to receive a significant one-time round of revenue.
18. Get a job as a DJ
Isn’t it true that you know music and how to have a good time? Start djing for events, and while you’re doing it, throw in a few of your own tunes. The majority of venues will offer the band a considerable portion of the money spent on concert tickets. The bigger the venue you can fill, the more money you’ll make.
Bookings in clubs and pubs are the most common way for DJs to generate money. Rock bands are usually booked at rock venues with the occasional nightclub thrown in for good measure. Throwing a lot of concerts when you have a large fan base is a very financially savvy move. It’s a fantastic method to have your music heard. Unless you’re making hip-hop and DJing a polka party, that is.
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