To all the artists out there, specifically those who love music, it’ll be a dream come true if you can live with your passion, right? But it would be perfect if you can make money with music while enjoying it.
This article is not only for music-addicted people, but also for those who have already earned money from their songs and talents, and want to diversify their streams of income.
After listing all methods to earn money with music, we will show you a complete tutorial to be ready to get started!
Let’s take a look at how to make money with music in 7 ways:
How to make money with music
Have you ever wondered why people spend money (sometimes it’s a lot of money) to go to music concerts while they can listen to any songs they like at home for free? Everything happens for a reason. There’s even a paper on this behavior published on Frontiers.
In summary, it can be interpreted that we’ll be more inspired in a concert since we experience the music event with others, which will reflect our emotions and result in social consequences. Besides, live concerts have other features that attract audiences, such as being with musicians, singers that you like in the same place is fascinating. Moreover, the songs in a concert are unpredictably unfolded, which may increase the audience’s feelings of involvement.
That’s the reason why you should use your talent to earn money from live performing. There are many music venues that allow you to perform in their places.
Perform at acoustic cafe or bar.
Be active! Go around and contact the acoustic cafe/ bar that you often visit at the weekend to see whether they offer indie singers to sing at their concerts or not. Ask your friends; perhaps someone has his/her own bar that they would love you to perform at their place.
You can go to https://indeed.com to search for live singer recruiters. Indeed is the top 1 job site in the world with over 750 million jobs available and 10 jobs added per second globally. You might be surprised because the website will suggest many jobs related to music that you may not have heard but be capable of. You can learn more about success stories with Indeed here.
You could earn a surprising amount of money from performing on the street if you’re in the right place and being at the right time. However, you must check with the local law if street performances are allowed or not. Most of the time, you need some kind of permissions to perform on the street legally.
France is probably the best country for you if you want to earn money from performing on the street. There are a lot of good reviews from buskers who traveled there. Paris is especially welcoming to buskers. No one has been seen to be hassled by the police there. You can refer to some places to perform in Paris below:
The small bridge near Notre Dame.
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel at the Louvre museum.
On the stairs at the Sacre Coeur.
The plaza in front of Pompidou
Australia is also a good place for street performing. An iconic example is the Australian singer Tones and I (Toni Watson), who became a phenomenon after performing on the street of Byron Bay. She broke out from an unknown busker to a famous singer with over 1 billion streams on Spotify globally, since she released ‘Dance Monkey’ in May 2019. This famous song has penned on the worst day of Toni’s busking career – Someone robbed her money, some drunk people teased and bullied her, and audiences were even booing at her. To someone else, this may be the end of this world, but to Toni, it’s not. She turned the lemons into lemonade, she wrote the song, and it boomed! This is a case in point for ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. You can transform the worst experiences in your life into the greatest motivation that helps you achieve things you never thought were possible.
There are many places where you can show your talent in Australia, such as Federation Square, Queen Victoria Markets, and Flinders Street Station. You can learn more about busking in Australia here.
Let’s check out the inspiring performance of Tones and I:
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, are OK; Amsterdam is also a great place for buskers, but the number of competitors there will be relatively high.
In Amsterdam, you usually don’t need a license to perform on the streets if you meet the required conditions and reverse. The requirements include:
Your band (group) is no more than 6 people playing at the same time.
The time is between 9:00 and 23:00.
Your performance doesn’t last longer than 30 minutes at the same location. You have to move at least 100 meters away from the previous place.
You don’t use barrel organs, amplifiers, or percussion instruments.
If you don’t meet the conditions above, you will have to complete the street artist licence , which costs you €200. Besides, there’re many streets in the city center areas that not allow you to perform without a license, check out the map here.
Southeast Asia is not a great area for street performers to make a living. But if you travel to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia… for a few days, you can come to the walking streets (usually in the middle of bustling cities) to busk. Since these are developing countries, some metro lines have been set up to serve the transportation demand; you may ask your friends who traveled there, or search online for more information about busking there. You can learn more about How to make money from travel and The cheapest and worthiest place to visit in Asia if you’re planning to travel to SEA.
Perform at music/ cultural festivals
You should consider starting to perform at your hometown festivals. Don’t be afraid to start small! ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, as a beginner, you would want to begin with something easy to gradually build your confidence, practice your skills, your unique style, and your bravery on stage to grow further.
It would be best if you get your social media ready in advance. Upload information about your performances a few days before the showtime. Post videos and stunning images of the best performances on your fan page/ channel after every show. You can include your social media on your ‘artist bio’ to prepare to apply for more prominent festivals.
If you do well at small concerts, your reputation will spread through word of mouth and personal social network page. It’s a slow but practical approach to a successful career.
Monetize your youtube channel
Youtube is the biggest video-sharing platform in the world. It allows you to reach royal and casual listeners all over the world. It’s no matter if you’re an independent singer, or working with a team/ band/ distributor; you can monetize your videos! There are people who earn 6 figures with Youtube, and you can be one of them if you’re talented and persevered with it.
Below are key points on the journey to make money from Youtube, you can click here to check out more details about it.
If you want to earn money from Youtube as an independent artist, here are some essential points that you should know about:
You should apply to the Youtube partner program – you can apply anytime, and your application will be reviewed when your channel reaches 10 thousand views in total.
Your videos need to comply with the monetization policy.
You need to connect an approved Adsense account with your Youtube channel in order to earn money from your videos – You can set one for FREE using Google Adsense.
>>> Click here for the detailed tutorial on how to make money with your Youtube channel.
Working with a distributor
If you’re working with a distributor, they will collect your Youtube revenue for you. Youtube will pay the distributor, and they will pay you. Here’s the key benefits:
They have access to Youtube Content ID System: they can identify when your sound recording is used by someone else and then claim their ads revenue for you.
Distributors can also place your recordings on digital stores so they can sell downloads of your songs. Of course, you won’t receive 100% revenue, there’ll be fees that you have to pay for the distributor. Keep that in mind and discuss it with your partners (if any) for better decisions.
More advance features on Youtube
Besides earning money directly from your channel, Youtube is also a valuable tool for promoting yourself to increase other sources of income, such as tour promotion, crown funding, sale albums…
You can bolster effort by using data gleaned from Youtube Analytics, Youtube Music Charts, and Youtube Music Insight.
You should also know about how Youtube manages music rights, what is the Official Artist Channel, and many other factors to successfully earn money from Youtube.
>>> You can Learn more about Earn money from Youtube here.
Crowdfunding is funding raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically using supportive platforms on the Internet.
There are 3 types of crowdfunding:
Personal Fundraising: for people who want to raise money for a friend/ neighbor/ family member.
Non-profit Fundraising: for non-profit organizations to raise funds for charity.
Business or Creative Project Crowdfunding: for people who want to start a business or launch a product. You should choose a professional platform that offers many marketing opportunities to expand your reach.
To successfully with crowdfunding, the first thing you need to consider is choosing the right platform. For most of you who’s reading this article, you must be interested in launching a musical product, then, the last type of crowdfunding – Business or Creative Project Crowdfunding must be the best fit for you.
The best business crowdfunding platform for musicians:
ArtistShare, founded in 2001, is the earliest crowdfunding platform on the Internet.
Indiegogo specializes in technology and hardware product launches. It raised 1.5 billion dollars until now. The number of supporters is up to 10 million. If you want to use this platform, you have to pay 5% for platform fee on all funds raised for your campaign. You can learn more about Indiegogo Fees and Payments here
Our recommendation: KickStarter. The platform specializes in creative projects. It was established in 2009, and has now raised 5 billion dollars with 183,209 projects successfully funded, and 18 million supporters. Here’s some success stories on KickStarter:
Fidget cube: this is the most successful project of all time on KickStarter. Fidget cube raised 6.4 million dollars with over 150,000 backers.
Oscar winners: Every year for the last decade, at least one project funded on Kickstarter has been nominated for the Oscar. Three of them, Inocente, Period. End of Sentence, and Hair Love have taken home awards.
Grammy nomination: In 2017, 4 Kickstarter-funded projects were nominated. Learn more about them here.
Click to check out the stunning stats of Kickstarter.
If these stories inspire you, start here!
What is Streaming platform?
Streaming platforms are online websites that provide services for users to listen to high-quality music without having to store songs on their phones/ PC.
Napster formed the foundation of the music streaming industry. It was established in 1999 as a peer-to-peer file-sharing system, followed by Apple’s iTune in early 2001, and Spotify in 2006.
How artists make money?
Streaming platforms earn revenue from paid subscriptions and advertising (maybe from other sources, but these two account for the largest share in the total revenue.).
Imagine that you sign up for Spotify, you’re really into R&B, and the one band that you listen to all the time is TheGreatestBandEver (a fiction one). You may assume that all the money from your 10$ monthly subscription will go to TheGreatestBandEver. But it’s not.
The way these platforms pay artists is different, it’s ‘pro-rata’. In other words, they collect all the money from all their users, then divide it by the total share of streams each artist received. So, back our example, if Spotify decides to give 100 million a month to the artists on their platform, and if TheGreatestBandEver songs account for 1% of all stream that month, then the band (and their songwriter) will receive 1 million that month.
Which streaming platform pays artists the highest?
There are about 33 streaming platforms now on the market. But which platform pays the highest royalties for artists? According to an analysis of Digital Music News, the answer is Napster that pays the highest at $0.019 per stream. The next one is Jay-Z’s Tidal at $0.0125 and Apple at $0.00735 per stream. YouTube pays the lowest of only $0.00069 per stream. Spotify is somewhere in the middle, paying about $0.00437 per stream.
In other words, you’ll earn 19000$ on Napster, or 12500$ on Jay-Z’s Tidal, or 7350$ on iTune, etc, if you have 1m streams. You can do the calculations yourself.
Sell your artworks
Sell artworts on your own website
If you have a fanbase, then creating a website/ blog is crucial. Of course, there’re a lot of works to be done if you want to sell your music on the website that you manage yourself. From buying a hosting, register for a domain, to set up a complete site, not to mention SEO and many other miscellaneous tasks. But many people/ artists ‘sacrifice’ their time to do all those things. Why is that?
There’re many reasons. First, you have the full right to control your business. Regardless of which social media platform comes and goes, your site will stay as long as you want. Your fans can easily reach you to buy your records and support you.
Second, your true fans will always want to support you directly. They will buy your artworks from your website instantly so that you don’t have to share your revenue with other platforms.
Finally, and most importantly, you can keep all information of your customers. This is very important if you want to succeed in your long-term career, as you will use those emails to stay in touch with (and sell music to) your fans.
If you decided to create a website for your business, EMOHO provides you complete tutorial – everything you need to build your site from scratch.
>>> Check out: How to create a website/ blog and earn money from it
Sell artworks on online services
Using available platforms is highly recommended for newbies since it won’t require a lot of time or specific understandings on working with websites. These platforms will also provide you with supportive tools to automatically promote your artworks to buyers – Which may take you months (or even years) to manage.
Bandcamp is our top 1 recommendation. Founded in 2008, Bandcamp artists earned 530 million dollars ever since. It will take you 15% of your revenue, but it’ll bring you great benefits. Besides selling your music directly to your fans, you can acquire their information for your long-term plans. More significantly, Bandcamp will do the hardest task for you: promote your artworks to the world. Bandcamp uses their community (Blog, app, weekly podcast) for advertising. Your songs will be able to find their way to the top of Google because Bandcamp will be SEO-ing your band name. You can even reach a whole new fan community with Bandcamp.
Teach music classes or sell lessons
If you are a professional musician with excellent communication skills and confident of it, you definitely should check out how to create online music courses. There are three common ways:
Secondly, you could sign up to become an instructor on available online websites. Let’s take Udemy for an example. Udemy is an American online learning platform, which allows you to build online courses. Using the available tools, instructors could easily upload their videos, pdf files, PowerPoint presentations, ZIPs files to the platform. At the beginning of 2020, Udemy attracted over 50 million students and 57,000 instructors, with 150,000 courses in 65 languages.
You can find out how to sign up for Udemy here.
Utilizing the available tools of online platforms will be easier for you since you don’t have to know all the complicated things on building website. But the drawback is that you have to share the revenue with Udemy, which depends on how the course is sold.
The last and easiest way is uploading your teaching videos onto Youtube. You won’t earn money directly from your videos but through advertisements – which is mainly affected by the traffic (viewers) to your videos. It results in an advantage that you can make your videos go viral by sharing them on social media. It would be better if you have a great number of friends interacting with you on social networks.
Sponsorship/ Brand collaborations