8 Most Effective Ways to Make Money With Your Music

The 8 Most Effective Ways to Make Money With Your Music

Musicians can’t make money. Or can they?

The days of paying to listen to recorded music are over. If you want to listen to something that you need is just a couple of clicks or tap on the screen.

Does that mean musicians are really doomed? Wrong.

It means that to sell your “sound,” you’ll need to know everything about music distribution and how to promote your music once it’s out. It will also take some creativity — we know, the same creativity you use to make music every day.

Here are 8 of the most overlooked ways to make money with your music. They won’t work for everyone but try them and you might be surprised. Being able to make it in music also means taking risks. And they’re easy to try, so why not!

1 — Distribute Your Music Without a Label

The boom in digital music distribution has made distribution available to all artists, not just those who have contracts with labels. You don’t have to spend your entire budget on promotion or split your royalties if you do it yourself.

Getting your music to Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and other platforms makes it available to your fans wherever they listen to music. Of course, royalties won’t be huge right away, but it gives you a channel to continue promoting your music and grow your fanbase in other ways.

In addition, playlists are the leading actors in the digital music era. Streaming platforms help recommend your sound to music lovers who have never heard you before. And those people are your fans of the future who will pay for tickets to your shows, buy albums and merch, and stream your music.

Distribution ensures that all your music promotion efforts are not lost when someone searches for your tracks on their favorite platform.

Place your music where it needs to be. Your music promotion directs all those ears in the right direction.

2 — Share your music for free. But do it in style.

It’s not enough just to sell your album. Streaming has definitely changed things when it comes to selling music. People want music at their fingertips.

The customers still want to support the music. The listeners just want something special. And on their own terms.

That’s why many artists have started giving away their albums online, but with a few extras.

Selling your album — or sharing it with the world — must be as creative as the music itself. So get creative about how you release your album. Sell an experience; not a “thing”.

3 — Fiverr

Fiverr is one of the biggest sites where musicians can sell their music.

It is an online community where people can sell their services from 5 euros or more, including the sale of beats, songs, and other music-related services for different purposes.

There is already a large community of people selling tracks on Fiverr. But it’s not so hard to make yourself unique.

Another great site where you can sell your “music services” is Upwork.

Tip: tracks that have passed through mastering tend to stand out and sell better.

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4 — Musicians are getting royalties every day, and you can too with ASCAP

Did you know that every time you hear music in an elevator, the artists who owns the rights get paid?

Now I’m not saying to go out and make elevator music (but if you want to, go ahead). What you should do is get in touch with the organizations that take care of the royalties for the artists.

In the United States it’s ASCAP. In Canada it’s SOCAN. And so on. But most of the important countries have services that take care of royalties for artists.

In 2016, ASCAP paid $918 million to artists. What are you saying? A lot of money, huh?

5 — Synchronize

Synchronization (or sound) licenses refer to music used in other media such as TV shows, movies or commercials.

The sound recordings are usually handled by music supervisors or agents. They use sound libraries to find music for their projects.

One of the best sites to start with synchronization licenses is Versus Media. They put artists in touch with small television and film projects that need music. In addition, registration is free.

Pump Audio is also a good site. Just send 2 tracks to get ‘the green light’ and then upload as much as you want in their library.

6 — YouTube ID

YouTube is the number one music streaming service on the internet. Yes, It beats iTunes, Spotify and Tidal for hassle-free total streaming.

If your music is uploaded, you should be paid. YouTube has a system called Content ID that finds exactly where you use your song on YouTube.

If it can find your music somewhere and you are the copyright owner, you can choose to monetize it by placing ads on the video. It’s like having your own little YouTube booking agent.

Click here to find out more.

7 — Engage with merchandise

If you sell t-shirts and records at a concert or shoes on eBay, selling merch is a great (and affordable) way to make grain fast.

Fans want something authentic that comes from the artist, something digital streaming can’t give. So give them the option.

You don’t have to do it in person.

Sites like BigCartel and Bandcamp give artists the tools they need to sell merchandise without stress.

8 — Super Fans

The most valuable currency in music is not money. It’s your catchment area.

Cuddling super fans is hard work. But in the end, it will pay more. It means being a human first and aspiring musician afterward.

Superfans really love your music and support it in any way they can. Forever and ever.

And you can use platforms like Patreon that enables you to receive recurrent payments from your supporters with monthly subscriptions.

So talk to them. Meet them in person. Find a way to answer them when they contact you.

Perhaps one of the best things about the do-it-yourself promotion is the authentic fan/artist relationship. Build it!

More money, less problems.

Now that you have a few extra cash in the till, the best thing to do is to invest in your project again.

Make sure you have an artist fund that you only touch when you have to. Set aside and use the funds wisely to make your project grow even more.

Just don’t blame us when all your less experienced friends start borrowing from you.

You fill find more monetization tools like the ones I mentioned in the article here.

If you want to receive updates on new Music Marketing articles and guides, subscribe to my newsletter. It would mean a lot 🙂

Thank you!


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