It’s no secret that the music industry is struggling, as digital markets like YouTube and Spotify have changed the game. But that hasn’t stopped musicians from exploring different ways to make money — like touring or releasing albums. As it turns out, some of the best ways for musicians to make money are online, which is where this blog post comes in.
If you’re looking to get into the music business, you’ll have to decide whether you want to focus on streaming or download sales. While both have their perks, they’re definitely not as profitable as they could be. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for you to make money — you just have to know where to look.
Sell Digital Tracks To Consumers
If you’re looking to get started, one of the best places to start is by marketing yourself and your music to digital marketplaces like Spotify and Apple Music. These are places where individuals can explore music, so they’re already somewhat populated by your potential fans. If you can keep them interested in your music, you can potentially convert them into paying customers.
But you have to be careful here. While these platforms are great for discovering new music, they’re terrible for helping artists promote their albums. And oftentimes, the success of an album rests on the shoulders of its lead performer. If you’re keen on pursuing this avenue, it’s important to consider whether you’re prepared to invest heavily in marketing campaigns, or if you’d rather explore other options.
Sell Products In Relation To Your Music
Another great way for musicians to make money is to take advantage of the fact that music is related to many other industries, such as fashion and home design. There are many cases where artists have sold off their songs, with fans paying to have the music associated with a particular brand or style. For example, Demi Lovato’s song “Confident” was used in a fashion campaign, and the song “Shape of You” from artist Taylor Swift was used in a movie theater chain’s advertising campaign. These are just two examples of how your music can be related to other industries, and thus, you can potentially sell other products related to your music.
But again, you have to be careful here. Just because your music is associated with another industry doesn’t mean that there’s an automatic market for your products or services. It’s something that you have to look into and see if there’s potential demand for your music’s connection with various industries.
Sell Your Music To Publishers
Back in the 1990s, when the music industry was still primarily focused on selling music downloads, artists would often team up with publishers to get their music heard by more people. If you’ve ever had credits on a book or an album, you know who she is: Kate Hodge, senior executive for music at Wiley. With her, you’ll never be short of an illustrator or designer willing to work with you on projects pertaining to your music. If you’re looking to make money off your music, this is one place you should consider looking, as publishers have a habit of shopping your music to the highest bidders and can thus be lucrative.
Sell Your Music To Film & TV Companies
More and more music is consumed by audiences via movie and television soundtracks. If you’ve ever seen a film or TV show that prominently featured music, you know who she is too: the woman with the wand, changing the beat, making everything (and everyone) dance. If you’re an accomplished pianist or have a decent singing voice, you can get careers in film and TV composing, conducting, and singing. Just remember, this is typically one area where you’ll need to sign a non-exclusive contract, as some of the biggest names in film and TV have complete control over the music within their shows.
Sell Tours & Special Events
An oft-overlooked way for musicians to make money is to sell concerts and other events, usually associated with festivals. But again, you need to be careful here. The main issue is making sure that you’re getting paid what you think you’re worth. A lot of times, artists will try to negotiate a smaller payment, thinking they’re being generous. They’re sometimes not aware of just how much work goes into organizing a concert, and thus, they don’t feel they should get paid a lot. This can definitely be a losing proposition for you, as you’ll most likely end up spending more in the long run.
Start A Podcast
With the resurgence of spoken word and hip-hop music, it’s no surprise that a lot of artists have taken the medium up on YouTube and Twitch. These are online platforms where musicians can showcase their talents and engage with their audience. Many successful musicians, like Russell Simmons and Complex magazine, regularly appear on these platforms, discussing topics related to music and the industry.
If you’ve got something to say about music and the industry, why not say it on your own platform? You can record an album, compose a song, or just do a podcast where you educate and entertain your listeners.
The great thing about podcasts is that you don’t need a huge audience to make money from them. Anyone who’s listening will be treated to your unique voice and the information you’re presenting. While you won’t make much money off a single episode, you can potentially make a lot from podcast syndication deals. If you can get your foot in the door, this can be a lucrative source of income, as millions of people listen to podcasts every week.
Manage A Band
If you’re into singing, dancing, and playing various musical instruments, you can look into becoming the manager of a band. There are plenty of opportunities to get into the band world, as many established bands need a manager to help them navigate the ever-changing music industry. From talking with your local music shop owner to networking events, getting into the band world is fairly easy and can be a lot of fun. And while you’re at it, why not see if you can turn your hobby into a full-time job?
Just remember that this is a highly competitive field, and you’ll need to work your way up from the bottom if you want to make it in the music business. If you’re looking for a steady and reliable income, be prepared to work for many years before you can even think about becoming a manager.
Sell Your Music On Line
The music industry isn’t going anywhere, but the ways in which we consume and engage with music are constantly changing. While many music business related careers can be found offline, the field is changing, and thus, so must your approach. If you’re looking to make money off your music, don’t be afraid to explore online marketplaces, as there are plenty of opportunities there. Plus, like a good ol’ fashioned record store, you can often find gems that were overlooked by mainstream stores.