The modern music industry is living its tough times, and we all know that. Being a musician means, dealing with various struggles every day making money as a musician. Lots of musicians prefer to work on a day job and make music for their own pleasure. Even popular bands members in various genres usually have a day or seasonal job to pay their bills between tours and studio recording sessions. Some of them, for example, work for such services as Edu Birdie and help students all over the world as writers.
But what if you don’t want to give up your dream and making money with music becomes a matter of life and death? Well, in this case, you need to learn few main ways how to make money as a musician. Of course, the first thing you may guess is selling music on physical copies. Well, the old scheme is not working these days as you may already know. And even big names in the industry don’t make those big incomes as they had even ten years ago.
Then there goes touring. But in this case, you should have a strong fan base in various areas. In addition, it is hard to achieve even in your own country. And, unfortunately, having a good song is not enough anymore.
However, the best way for you as a musician and composer is to diversify your art and sell it online. Various stock and streaming services work these days perfectly and often are the best way if you have to understand how to make moneymaking music.
Therefore, here are few main ways a musician can make money for living without constant touring. I will review few new and traditional ways also.
Main Ways Musicians Can Make Money
- CD, tape, and vinyl sales: yes, this is the most obvious way for you as a musician. This thing works perfectly for those guys who play live shows constantly without the opportunity to have a place on a local CD market in stores, etc. Just take your CDs and other physical copies of your album or EP to every show, and there will be a person who will buy something from you.Talking about vinyl and cassettes, we should say that both of these formats go through an impressive revival these days, especially vinyl. The sales indexes of both formats increase with every year all over the world and are the most popular merch format after t-shirts.
- Digital Sales: we all living the new era and digital age now. That is why being presented in all digital sources of sales and information is very important these days. Every modern musician should be available on various social media and sources of direct music sales such as BandCamp for example. Besides that, iTunes and Amazon are extremely popular these days and can bring you the success you desire.
- Streaming: another hugely popular way to present and then convert your music into money. Services like Spotify are not just a perfect place for marketing, but also help you to reach your auditory and get newly devoted fans all over the planet.
- Live Shows: another obvious way to earn money as a musician. But there is one thing you should be prepared for. Until your band or you as a brand are not popular or close to the larger audience, there will be no big money for you. In this case, you should work hard on building your audience and fan base. Various social media are the best way to make it happen. Until then your live gigs are just waste of time for you as a musical businessman.
- Physical and Digital Merch: merchandise these days is one of the most profitable ways for a band or artist to make money, especially on tours. Popular and even unknown bands sell tons of merch every year, and even the biggest names in the industry have their merch sales as the largest portion of income after CD sales failed. You can sell it on your shows and digitally on your social media pages and official website.
- Session Work: and the last for today is the session musician job. This activity is one of the most profitable works since the music industry started developing. Even such idols as Jimmy Page worked hard as a studio musician and composer till the early Led Zeppelin days. So, why can’t you try to be the same?
Article by Nicole Lewis