With the pandemic slowing downing everything, include live music events, many artist are really struggling Making money with their music, hence we decided to bring you “WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR MUSIC”

Crowd funding and Donations

With artist facing a lot of challenges in this season, now might be a good time to reach out to fans to support you and your band financially. It might be awkward, but if you fans love you they wont have a problem donating, especially for artists who have given out alot of their music for free download over the years, now might be a good time for fans to reciprocate. There are plenty of great options to choose from. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe for example. You can decided to host a little virtual concert to smoothening things up and put up a donation or crowdfunding link as you perform.

MP3 Sales

iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play are the mainstays in MP3 music. While this revenue stream is in sharp decline, it still is a significant source of sales. If you had 100 fans buy an MP3, you would make around $60. If 100 fans stream the song 10 times each, you still only make about $4.00. So get your fans to download the MP3. For how to distribute your music to the digital stores and monetization platform, see here.

Streaming Outlets

Collectively, streaming makes up 79% of all recorded music revenue (according to the RIAA’s 2019 Year End report).  Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube, Amazon, Google Play, and Deezer make up the majority of streams. Contrary to popular belief there is money in streaming. Get your music exposed to millions of new listeners in playlists, and you will also earn from ticket sales and merchandise. Read more on how to get playlists and followers on Spotify.

Musical Plastic…CDs and Vinyl

CD’s and Vinyl can be a major source of income depending on your distribution. While selling CD and Vinyl at shows can be 25% of your income each night, the profit from physical music is higher than t-shirts or clothing. Furthermore, if you are unsigned or on a small independent label that doesn’t have physical distribution there is another good option. CDBaby has a partnership with Alliance Entertainment, the largest wholesale provider of music, movies, and video games in the United States. In North America, Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart, FYE, and independent shops make up the ever shrinking physical market.  

In addition, vinyl sales are still growing for certain styles of music. Pop punk for example, vinyl sales can be equivalent or better than CD format.

The profit on 500 vinyl is about the same as 1,000,000 streams. Which is a dreary thought, but it seems much more rewarding and tangible to have 500 vinyl loving superfans paying you than hundreds of thousands of nameless streamers who listened but only contributed a few pennies. You’ll have that vinyl in those fan’s collections for life.

Merchandise & Direct To Customer (D2C)

For bands with a young audience, merchandise can be the lifeblood of their business. To become great at merchandising you have to follow the same practices that any clothing or fashion brand would adhere to. So i’ll be doing a post about this, and giving tips on merchandise mistakes to avoid.

Virtual Event Experience Tickets

Yes we are in a pandemic, but who says people don’t want to watch a live event. You and your band can put together a virtual concert for your fans and sell tickets. You can host your live virtual event on a secure video conference link. Eventbrite, Zoom, Facebook Messenger Room and Pathable are great platforms to host your ticketed live concert.

Admin Publishing Companies

Admin Publishing Companies like SongTrust, Audiam, CD Baby Pro, and TuneCore Publishing are built for the DIY unsigned artist. These are all best in class services and completely above bar. Also they make things much easier so you can focus on writing, building a fanbase, and all the other things that take up your time. Admin publishing companies make it easier to manage your various publishing components, so you don’t have to register and keep track of dozens of accounts around the world. For instance, they will register you with your choice of PRO in the US (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) and other PRO’s around the world. While there is an admin fee, it’s much easier than having to do that on your own.

Performance Royalties

Performance royalties are a global revenue stream generated from radio airplay, music venues, malls, bars, sports venues, college campuses, etc. The more work you put into the steps mentioned earlier, the bigger these performance royalties will be. So to learn more about Performance Royalties please read this post.  

Mechanical Royalties

If you distribute through CD Baby or Tunecore, I recommend you use their Publishing entities CD Baby Pro or TuneCore Publishing. Another good option is SongTrust because they are highly adept at YouTube collection. If you are signed to a label or a 3rd party owns your master, you can start your own publishing company and have Harry Fox Agency (Now owned by SESAC) manage this part of your publishing rights.  

SoundExchange pays for Pandora, SiriusXM, and Music Choice

Digital Performance royalties on non-interactive streaming services on the internet like Pandora, SiriusXM, and Music Choice.  Learn more about SoundExchange. There may be money waiting for you at SoundExchange. They hold unpaid royalties in a suspense account until the proper owner claims it.

YouTube Has Four Ways To Monetize.  Know Them.

There are four ways to earn money from YouTube, so make sure you are collecting on all levels. If you’re not using TuneCore Publishing or CD Baby Pro, you can register with these collection companies that can automate your YouTube revenue collection. They are InDmusic, AdRev, and Audiam.  

Four Ways YouTube Pays

1) A royalty for the sound recording owner (Audio/Master) collected by your distributor (CDBaby/Tunecore/etc)

2) A royalty for the content owner (Visual) collected by your Admin Co.

3) A performance royalty for the public broadcast of the song (Performance) collected by your PRO

4) A mechanical royalty for the interactive stream of the song (Composition/Publishing) collected by your Admin Co.

AARC Royalties

Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies is a non-profit that represents US based featured recording artists and sound recording copyright owners globally. They collect and distribute royalties from home-taping/private copy royalties and rental royalties. Furthermore they collect for the AHRA, which collects royalties generated from sales of blank CDs, personal audio devices, automobile systems, media centers, and satellite radio devices that have music recording capabilities.

Synch (Synchronization) Fees for TV, Film, Video Games, and Ads.

Music placements in TV, Video, Film, Video Games, and Advertisements. For a company or individual to use your composition in “synchronization” with motion picture, they need a “synch” license and a negotiated fee to pay you for that use. Actually they need two licenses. One for the composition, and one for the master license. Typically there is a license and a fee for the “master use” and a separate fee for the “composition use”. If you own your master, they need to obtain the master license from you. And if a label owns your master, they need to obtain the master license from the label.  

Every “synch” has two fees involved; A master fee (recording), and a publishing fee (composition). Therefore those need to be agreed on in two separate contracts. Research and contact music supervisors yourself to start. Be wary of signing any exclusive agreements to pitch your music, or you risk not getting signed by a publisher or label.

InStore Media Play

You can license your music directly with the few global Instore Media Play companies like Mood Media, PlayNetwork, or ScreenPlay. When you go in a clothing store, elevator, or restaurant and you hear music, it is licensed by one of these companies.  

Music Video Distribution

In addition to putting your music video on YouTube, there are hundreds if not thousands of outlets that will play your music video. To reach them you can enlist the services of music video distribution companies. Some examples are here.

HIP Video Promo, Rive Video, and Trendsetter are my favorites. I’ve personally used all three. They are talented hard working people, and they can get your music video out there online, closed network, and broadcast. Furthermore this will generate more performance royalties for you, not to mention expose your music to wider audiences.


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