10 Creative Ways To Make Money From Your Music In 2021

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Hello, dear reader! Are you passionate about music? Are you dreaming of making a living by doing what you love the most? If the answer is yes, but you don’t know where to start, this article is for you. In this article, I will share some valuable insights on how to make money from music.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the steps you need to take to turn your passion for music into a profitable business. You’ll learn the secrets of successful musicians, who have already made it in the industry, and how you can follow in their footsteps. Whether you aspire to be a singer, songwriter, producer, or performer, this article is a must-read for anyone who wants to monetize their talent in the music industry.

But before we jump into the solution, take a moment to consider this: Did you know that there are countless talented musicians out there who struggle to make a living solely from their music? The truth is, the music industry can be tough, and it’s not always easy to find your place and thrive. However, I can assure you that it’s not impossible. In this article, I’ll show you how to make money from music by sharing proven strategies that have worked for successful artists.

Monetizing Your Music: 5 Strategies for Making Money

The music industry has undergone several changes in the past decade thanks to advancements in technology. In the past, making money from music was limited to selling albums and performance fees. Today the rise of the digital age has opened up more opportunities for musicians to monetize their work.

In this article, we will explore five strategies for making money from your music and provide detailed explanations for each strategy.

Strategy 1: Sell Your Music Online

Selling music online is one of the most popular ways to make money in the music industry today. Online music selling platforms like iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play offer musicians the opportunity to sell their music digitally.

Here are some facts and figures about selling music online:

  • Streaming makes up for 75% of the music industry’s revenue
  • The music streaming market is valued at over $17 billion
  • Spotify is the most popular music streaming platform with over 356 million users worldwide

To sell your music online, follow these steps:

  1. Create a digital music file of your work in a high-quality format like WAV or FLAC.
  2. Choose a digital music distributor. Some popular options include Distrokid, TuneCore or CD Baby. These distributors help musicians get their music on online platforms like iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.
  3. Upload your music to the chosen distribution platform
  4. Choose a pricing model for your music. You can choose to sell an album or a single track, and set the price according to your preference.
  5. Promote your music online through social media and other platforms to increase your reach.

Selling your music online can be a lucrative option for independent musicians looking to make a profit from their work. However, it’s important to note that the revenue from digital music sales is usually split between the distributor and the platform, and the musician may only take home a fraction of the revenue earned.

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Music Online

Pros Cons
  • Accessible to a broad audience
  • Easy distribution process
  • Consistent revenue stream
  • Worldwide reach
  • Revenue split with distributor and platform
  • Difficult to get noticed amongst millions of music online
  • Increased competition
  • Piracy

Selling your music online is just one of five strategies for making money from your music. Stay tuned for more strategies in the forthcoming sections.

Maximizing Your Revenue Streams on Music Streaming Platforms

The music streaming industry is growing rapidly, with sales reaching over $61 billion in 2019. As a musician, you need to understand how to take advantage of this platform to maximize your earnings. Here’s how you can do just that.

1. Understanding How Music Streaming Platforms Work

Music streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music, generate revenue from subscriptions and advertisements. The money generated is then distributed to the music industry in royalties. Understanding how this system works is crucial to maximizing your earnings.

  • The revenue generated from streaming is split between the platform, record label, and the artist.
  • The artist’s cut is determined by their contract with the record label.
  • The revenue generated is also dependent on the amount of streams an artist receives on a specific platform.

Table: Comparison of revenue share on different music streaming platforms

| Platform | Revenue Split |
| Spotify | 70/30 |
| Apple Music | 70/30 |
| Tidal | 75/25 |

These platforms offer different revenue split percentages, and it’s important to keep track to ensure you’re earning the most from your streams.

2. Promote Your Own Music

It’s essential to promote your own music on social media and other platforms to increase your chances of standing out in a sea of other artists.

  • A strong social media presence can increase your popularity and streams.
  • Utilize playlists to increase your reach and exposure on platforms.
  • Create engaging and visually captivating album artwork that can stand out from the competition.
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Real World Example: Billie Eilish’s chart-topping single “Bad Guy” received over 1 billion streams on Spotify alone. This success can be attributed to a strong social media presence and a visually distinct image.

3. Collaborate With Other Artists and Playlists

Collaboration with other artists and playlists can improve your streaming numbers and enhance your popularity within the industry.

  • Collaborating with other artists can help you tap into new audiences and expand your career opportunities.
  • Creating playlists with other musicians can help you leverage each other’s fanbase and increase your exposure.
  • Participating in cross-promotion opportunities with other businesses can help you reach a wider audience.

Real World Example: The popular Spotify playlist, “RapCaviar,” has over 13 million followers. The playlist features both mainstream and emerging artists, helping to promote new artists to a wider audience.

4. Utilize Online Tools to Grow Your Audience

Today’s digital age offers a wide array of online tools and software to help musicians promote their music to a broader audience.

  • Use social media to increase your following and promote your music.
  • Partner with video creators to create music videos and promotional content.
  • Utilize email marketing to keep fans updated on new releases and events.

Real World Example: Chance the Rapper’s rise to fame is largely attributed to his use of social media to promote his unique music style.

In conclusion, understanding the ins and outs of music streaming platforms, promoting your music, collaborating with others, and utilizing online tools can help you maximize your earnings in the music industry. With the right strategies and hard work, any artist can succeed in the streaming era.

Beyond the Stage: Diversifying Your Income as a Musician

As a musician, your income is not limited to just performing on stage. There are various ways to make a living from your passion for music. By diversifying your income, you can expand your revenue sources and ensure a stable and sustainable financial future. In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways to make money from music beyond the stage.

1. Music Licensing

Music licensing refers to granting permission for the use of your music in different projects such as commercials, TV shows, films, and video games. Licensing offers a great opportunity for musicians to earn royalty payments from their music. Here are some ways you can get your music licensed:

  • Register your music with Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

    PROs are responsible for collecting royalties for the public performance of your music. They ensure that you receive payments anytime your music is played publicly or broadcasted. Registering your music with a PRO will help you get the maximum royalty payments for your performances.

  • Join Music Libraries.

    You can also make money by joining music libraries. These libraries work as a database of music that filmmakers and producers can use in their projects. You get paid each time your music is used, and there’s a lot of potential for revenue as there’s a high demand for music in different projects.

  • Sell Stock Music.

    You can also create stock music that can be used in different creative projects such as YouTube videos and podcasts. There are several stock music websites such as AudioJungle and Pond5 where you can sell your music and earn royalties.

Pros Cons
  • Diversifies income sources
  • No additional work needed after licensing
  • Great potential for revenue
  • High competition in the market
  • Low royalty rates
  • Difficulty in getting licenses

2. Teaching Music

Teaching music is another excellent way to make money from your music expertise. With the rise of online learning, you can now teach music to students from anywhere in the world. Here are some ways to monetize your music teaching skills:

  • Provide Private Lessons.

    You can offer private lessons to students in your area or online. You can set your own rates, and there’s a lot of demand for expert music teachers. You can also create a course and sell it online to reach a larger audience.

  • Create Music Tutorials on Youtube.
  • Many musicians have YouTube channels where they provide music tutorials, reviews, and performance videos. By building an audience on YouTube, you can monetize your channel through ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

  • Write Music Books.

    You can also write and publish your own music books or create online courses that people can purchase. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and provide value to people who want to learn more about music.

Pros Cons
  • Flexibility in setting rates and schedules
  • Gaining new insights into your music
  • Opportunity to build a loyal following
  • Requires a different skillset than performing
  • May require additional certification or degree
  • Difficulty in finding students initially

3. Merchandise

Merchandise offers an opportunity for musicians to monetize their brand, build a loyal fanbase, and create additional revenue streams. Here are some ways you can make money through merchandise:

  • Create and Sell Branded Merchandise.

    You can create custom merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, and posters with your brand or logo. You can sell them at your concerts, on your website, or on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This is a great way to expand your fanbase and promote your music.

  • Partner with Brands.

    You can also collaborate with brands to create unique merchandise. For example, if you’re known for playing a specific instrument or genre of music, you can partner with a company that sells related products such as guitar strings, drumsticks, or audio equipment. This is a great way to create mutually beneficial relationships outside of your music.

  • Create and Sell Sheet Music.

    If you’re known for writing or arranging music, you can also create and sell sheet music. There’s a lot of demand for sheet music among music enthusiasts, and you can earn passive income by selling your music online.

Pros Cons
  • Inexpensive to produce
  • Builds brand loyalty among fans
  • Can be sold online and offline
  • Needs initial investment in production
  • Requires design skills or hiring a designer
  • May not be as profitable as other revenue streams

In conclusion, diversifying your income as a musician is crucial for financial stability and sustainability. There are various ways to make money beyond the stage, including music licensing, teaching music, and merchandise. By exploring these revenue streams, you can build a stable and profitable music career.

Developing a Brand: Using Marketing Tactics to Boost Music Earnings

Developing a brand is key to standing out in the highly competitive industry of music. It’s not enough just to create great music. You also need to market it effectively to increase your earnings as an artist. Here are some marketing tactics you can use to boost your music earnings.

1. Create a Strong Online Presence

Creating a strong online presence is essential for any musician who wants to succeed in today’s digital age. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Create a website
  • Engage with fans on social media
  • Upload your music to streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music
  • Collaborate with influencers and bloggers
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Having a strong online presence increases your visibility and makes it easier for fans to find and follow you. You can use your website to sell your music, merchandise, and concert tickets directly to fans, cutting out the middleman and increasing your profits.

2. Use Visuals to Enhance Your Brand

Visuals play a crucial role in music marketing. They help you tell a story and create a unique brand identity. Here’s how you can use visuals to enhance your brand:

  • Create a unique logo and brand colors
  • Use high-quality photos and videos in your marketing materials
  • Create album artwork that reflects your brand identity
  • Use a consistent visual style across all your marketing channels

Using visuals consistently across your marketing channels helps fans recognize and remember your brand. This, in turn, increases your brand loyalty and encourages fans to buy your music, attend your concerts, and purchase your merchandise.

3. Collaborate with Other Artists and Brands

Collaborating with other artists and brands can help you reach new audiences and increase your music earnings. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Collaborate with other musicians on songs and projects
  • Partner with brands that align with your brand values
  • Create sponsored content for brands or products
  • Guest on other artists’ songs or albums

Collaborations allow you to tap into new fan bases and reach audiences you might not have otherwise. They also give you the opportunity to earn new income streams, such as brand sponsorships and guest appearances.

4. Build a Community Around Your Brand

Building a community around your brand can help you create a loyal fan base that will support you throughout your career. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Create a fan club or membership program
  • Host meet-and-greets and fan events
  • Engage with fans through social media and email newsletters
  • Offer exclusive content and experiences to fans

Building a community around your brand helps you establish a connection with fans beyond just your music. This connection can help you build long-term, sustainable success as an artist.

Pros Cons
Increases visibility and brand recognition Can require a significant investment of time and resources
Allows you to reach new audiences and collaborations Can be difficult to stand out in a crowded industry
Enables you to create new income streams through brand partnerships and sponsorships Requires ongoing effort to maintain and grow your brand

In conclusion, developing a brand is essential for any musician who wants to succeed in the music industry today. By using marketing tactics like creating a strong online presence, using visuals to enhance your brand, collaborating with others, and building a community around your brand, you can increase your music earnings and build long-term success.

Protecting Your Music: How Copyright and Licensing Can Increase Profits

As a musician or songwriter, creating music is your passion, and it deserves protection. Copyright and licensing are essential for artists to protect their music and make money from it. In this section, we will explore the benefits of copyright and licensing for musicians.

The importance of Copyright Protection

Copyright is a legal right that protects the original works of authors, artists, and creators. This protection ensures that creators are the only ones who can make copies, distribute, and sell their creations. Music copyright law can protect a wide range of musical works, including music compositions, song lyrics, and recordings.

  • Copyright protection ensures that you have the exclusive right to use, distribute and sell your music. Your music is considered your intellectual property and as such, it deserves legal recognition through copyright protection.
  • It is the first step towards monetizing your work. With copyright protection, you are the only one who can monetize your music, either by yourself or through licensing to others.
  • Copyright protection safeguards your music from being used without your consent. It protects your music from being distributed or played on media channels without your consent, meaning you can control who uses your work and how.
  • It safeguards you against infringement and piracy. With copyright protection, you can take legal action against those who infringe on your intellectual property rights or engage in piracy, which is necessary in today’s digital age.

The benefits of Music Licensing

Music licensing is the process by which music creators give permission for others to use their music for commercial purposes. When another person wants to use your music, they must acquire a license from you. Music licensing provides benefits for both the music creator and the licensee.

  • The music creator earns money from licensing their music to others. By granting a license for others to use and distribute your music, you can generate additional revenue streams beyond album sales and streaming royalties.
  • Increased exposure through licensing opportunities. Your music can be heard by a wider audience if it is licensed and used in films, TV shows, commercials, and other media outlets. This can lead to more fans, social media followers and increased record sales.
  • Music licensing provides an opportunity to collaborate with other artists and creative people. Licensing opportunities can lead to new collaborations with filmmakers, commercial directors and other creatives, helping grow and expand your network.
  • Music sync licensing can expose you to new fans and allow you to connect with existing fans in unique ways. When your music is licensed for television or film, it allows you to connect with new fans or reconnect with old ones in the comfort of their home, backing an ad or having music appear in a visual medium can work wonders with creating a lifelong fan.

Using a Licensing Agency for Increased Profitability

Licensing agencies are businesses or individuals that help music creators by licensing their music to other businesses and media outlets. They help to establish a network of contacts who are interested in using licensed music.

  • Increased visibility for your music offerings. While you can benefit from the exposure when your music is licensed, you can further your reach by working with an agency. They have the business network and contacts to promote your music in more channels giving you more sales and access to different industries.
  • Licensing agencies help you focus on creating music while managing the business side of things. By partnering with a licensing agency, you can focus on your creative energy on creating music while they take care of negotiating licenses.
  • Receiving the full value for your music. With their expertise, they can negotiate a higher fee for your music than you might have been able to get on your own.

The Pros and Cons of Copyright and Licensing

The table below provides a summary of the pros and cons of copyright and licensing for music creators:

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Pros of Copyright and Licensing Cons of Copyright and Licensing
Protects your music from unauthorized use Licensing can be an extensive and complicated process
Provided the ability to monetize your work The success of licensing depends on factors outside of your control
Increased exposure for your music The process of creating and managing licenses can be time-consuming
Creative independence and control over your work Legal action against infringers can be time-consuming and costly

In Conclusion

Protecting your music through copyright and licensing ensures that your music and brand are protected while also generating revenue streams beyond the sale of albums and streams. While utilizing licensing agencies can offer more benefits and increased profits the pros and cons of these strategies should be reviewed to maximize your earning potential. Be knowledgeable about your legal rights, and control the licensing process to increase your revenue streams as a music creator.

FAQs: How to Make Money from Music

What are the different ways to make money from music?

The different ways to make money from music include selling digital or physical copies of your music, performing live shows, licensing your music for use in films, TV shows, and commercials, and selling merchandise such as t-shirts and other items with your band’s name or logo on them.

What should I include in my music contract to ensure I get paid?

You should include information on the payment structure, such as how much you’ll get paid and when, as well as how royalties and other revenue streams will be split. You should also include information on the rights to the music and who owns them, as well as any distribution or marketing responsibilities.

Can I make money from my music on streaming platforms like Spotify?

Yes, you can make money from streaming platforms like Spotify. The platform pays artists by taking a percentage of the subscription fee and distributing it among the artists based on the number of streams their songs received.

Is it possible to make money from music as an independent artist?

Yes, it’s possible to make money from music as an independent artist. With the help of social media and music distribution platforms like TuneCore and DistroKid, independent artists can distribute their music and collect royalties without the help of a major record label.

How can I monetize my YouTube channel as a musician?

You can monetize your YouTube channel as a musician by joining the YouTube Partner Program, which allows you to earn money from advertisements that run on your videos. You can also use YouTube to promote your music and merchandise, as well as to drive traffic to your website or other social media channels.

What are some tips for making money from music as a producer?

Some tips for making money from music as a producer include building a strong portfolio of work, networking with industry professionals, and offering affordable rates that take into account your level of expertise and experience. You can also consider offering additional services such as mixing and mastering.

Is it worth investing in expensive equipment as a musician?

It depends on your specific goals and needs as a musician. If you’re focused on recording and producing high-quality music, investing in expensive equipment like microphones and studio monitors may be worth it. However, if you’re just starting out, it’s possible to create great-sounding music using more affordable equipment.

How can I sell merchandise as a musician?

You can sell merchandise as a musician by creating an online store on your website or on a platform like Bandcamp or Shopify. You can also sell merchandise at your live shows and through partnerships with other artists or musicians.

Will I need to pay taxes on the money I make from music?

Yes, you will need to pay taxes on the money you make from music. As a musician, you’ll be considered self-employed, so you’ll need to file a Schedule C as part of your annual tax return.

How can I protect my music and ensure that I get paid for it?

You can protect your music and ensure that you get paid for it by registering your songs with a performing rights organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. These organizations collect royalties on behalf of songwriters and composers and pay them out to the appropriate parties.


In conclusion, there are various ways for musicians to make money, including selling music and merchandise, streaming platforms, licensing, and performing live shows. As an independent artist, you can take advantage of music distribution platforms and social media to reach new fans and generate revenue. To ensure you get paid for your music, it’s important to have a strong contract and register your music with a performing rights organization. Remember to file your taxes and stay up to date with industry trends to maximize your earnings potential.

After reading this article, we suggest checking out our article on “Tips for Building a Strong Social Media Presence as a Musician” to learn more about how to use social media to promote your music and reach new fans. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your music career!