Music Industry Monday

When you get into music, you probably get into it for a variety of reasons. You love music, it’s your passion, it makes you happy. But what happens when your passion becomes something that you want to do for the rest of your life? Unless you have loads of money socked away, and I mean LOADS of money, you likely will need a way to pay the bills. It’s no surprise that with today’s technologies, making money with your music isn’t too far of a stretch. We are miles ahead of where we were even 10 years ago. But for most independent artists, making significant money with your music is an uphill battle. For most, it takes years of steady grinding to get to a comfortable place. Many of your favorite artists likely were working day jobs for a while, even while you were listening to their early works. Now, despite all of this, it still helps to understand the many different ways for how to make money as an artist.

Let’s start with the Basics

Your first foray into money-making needs to be with the music itself. That’s your product. You need a way to sell your product and, as of this writing, the best way to do that is through streaming services. It is easier than ever to get your music on to major services like Apple Music, Spotify, etc… The way that you do it? Through a distributor like Artist Republik.

Now distribution is a whole different conversation. If you would like to learn more about how to distribute your music, check out this article.

Once your music has been distributed, you will be able to start making money from your royalties. Unfortunately, unless you’re a superstar, you probably won’t see a significant income from streaming alone. For reference, the average payout per stream on any given service is about $0.0045 per track. It takes a lot of streams to make a lot of money but as you build your brand and reputation, your income will too. But what do you do if this career is all that you want to do?

Diversify

Yes, you have to be able to diversify your income if you want any chance at making this a full-time gig! How does one diversify their revenue in a music-dominated career? By doing things other than music, of course. Now I know what you’re thinking. “I want to make music, why do I have to do something else?” I thought the same thing too when I first dove into my career. What many musicians fail to realize is that being an artist requires more than just a love for music. As the great Jay-Z would say, “I’m a business, man.” 

You have to think about your career as a business. Your artist name is the name of your business and everything under it works together to sell the main product: Your Music. But most businesses offer more than just one item. This is where the diversity part comes into play. You can make more money by doing more than just making tracks and sending them out. Here is a list of things that might be included on that roster:

  • Merchandise
  • Selling beats & samples
  • Teaching Your Craft
  • Mixing/Mastering
  • Collaborations
  • Playing Your Music for a Crowd

The list goes on. Artists are finding new ways to monetize their worth every day. A recent trend has been the sale of NFTs. This is a completely different topic that would take far too long to explain. But it’s just one small example of things that artists can do to make more cash.

How Much Will I Make?

The answer is more complicated than just a number. It depends on a variety of factors that all inherently depend on the will of the artist. I know artists that make 6 figures completely independent. But I also know guys & gals that only make 50,000 a year with their music. Either way, these people are comfortable where they’re at and they can make a sustainable living off of their music. The point is, it’s completely possible.

What it comes down to is how much you are willing to put into this career. Is it just a hobby for you, or are you ready to take this thing to the next level and start making some real cash? The choice is yours.

Music Industry Monday

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