Generating income or monetizing work poses a big challenge for musicians anywhere. In this technology driven world, selling music becomes harder and harder each year. The competition is not the only thing that’s stiff, but the music evolution and audience are much harder to please. There are more genres, more artists and other complex ways of selling stuff. You always need to be ahead of the curb and you must be knowledgeable of today’s way of making money off from music.
The old ways of marketing music such as playing gigs and demos can’t be relied on heavily nowadays. You could still earn through this method but face it, earning this way will never be enough to compensate your monthly needs and it is physically draining too, touring from city to city each day.
There are multiple ways to earn money with music. Well tackle each one and differentiate what’s best suited for you and your band.
Live Shows – Truth be told, this method can still bring in a good payday if you can sell tickets or attract a good number of crowd to attend your gig. It’s not the most reliable option but it could suffice for some. One of the good things though is the spread of word and referrals which could land you another show in the near future.
Cover Gigs – For some musicians, doing a cover gig is draining and it doesn’t really help you in promoting your band. That may be true, but the need for cover gigs around the country is still high. This method could still bring in a good amount of money if you get hired by the right people. The audience and event will vary from a children’s party, bars, restaurants, corporate meetings, weddings, etc. The problem is, for most independent musicians, you can never really choose your audience when you do cover gigs.
CD Sales and Demos – If you’re going to play gigs or a live show, be sure to have a demo at hand. There are still audiences that would buy them in person and it’s a good way to earn a little extra income. Don’t rely on this method heavily though as the physical sales are declining steadily in the past few years.
Music Lessons – This could be a very good extra income for musicians. Although music sessions only run a couple times a week, earning a little extra income would be a big help to you. You can teach people on how to play multiple instruments and create a friendly bond with your students. It also allows you to hone your craft as well.
There’s no doubt that the ways stated above could earn you extras. However, there are a few more methods on how to make money in music and these are more money generating if done accordingly. You need to understand that the music industry in constantly evolving together with today’s technology. While the physical sales and direct marketing are still in play today, there’s no denying that the audience who are listening and buying are opting for the convenient way, which means buying music from the comforts of their home or anywhere they may be at.
Music Licensing – This would truly enhance your chances of getting a big payday and you could even get a recurring payment if you license your music. Music licensing is the licensed use of copyrighted music. If you are an owner of a copyrighted music, you are ensured of compensation if your music is used by others. The fees also vary differently and can be negotiated. With more TV shows, commercials, films, movies and games today, the need for licensed music is at an all time high. Different industries need music content to their businesses.
YouTube – There’s no denying that this is the site to go to listen and watch all the tracks or news you’ve missed out for the past week or so. Businesses, movies, games and a lot more are campaigning through this site today. Did you know that you could get paid if it is proven that other people are using your music content for their own advertisements? YouTube has a content ID system which tracks duplicate music content and videos through their database. But before all that, you need to get your music licensed first.
Streaming – Music streaming is a big hit today. With the inevitable fall or the physical and digital sales for the past few years, streaming has gained a significant rise and will continue to do so in the next decade as people opt for this method. The worldwide streaming revenue is on the rise, outperforming digital sales and physical sales altogether. Streaming doesn’t require the downloaded files of music or videos so it doesn’t consume any space for your computers or smart phones. It is overly convenient for people nowadays as they could listen to any track from anywhere and anytime. If you got your music licensed, explore the possibilities of streaming as this is the way to go not only for today but for the future as well.
Making money off from music is complex and you need to be extra innovative as this profession has always been competitive in every aspect. Do not hesitate to license your music as the door it unlocks has unlimited possibilities and opportunities. If you want to learn more about music licensing and how to make money with music, check out my website, See you there!