Let’s face it. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible for a music producer to make a living by just selling their music. With YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify around, it’s insanely easy to just listen to a song without buying it. “Free” music is the trend today.
If you rely on making your money by just building your name and selling music, you won’t be financially secure. Less people are buying music these days and as independent artists, this may kill dreams.
However, it is possible to make a living as a music producer. Selling music isn’t the only way to make money. Here are some other revenue streams that you can tap into:
Everyone needs music. Not just to listen to, but for films, videos, TV, ads, games, apps and more. This is a highly underrated way to make money as a producer. Most producers don’t even come across this. The revenue range for this is pretty big. Smaller films can net you a couple thousands while having your song land in a TV network could gain you 5 digits.
CDBaby has a service for getting your music distributed to these potential networks. And it’s *technically* free!
It’s a stable income if you don’t want fame. There’s usually a fixed fee per track. This fee can range starting from $500 to thousands. If you love making music but don’t care about the fame then this is an option you should consider.
Being in the spotlight is a completely different journey and it is also an extremely difficult one.
You could actually earn more money ghost producing than trying to become famous and touring. Look at the bottom of the DJ mag top 100 list. Some of them are making only 4 digits per gig.
Branding is huge in music and there is so much that goes into it: marketing, advertising, networking, distribution, etc…. If your music is awesome but you have no brand, it will remain unknown.
The truth is this – music production talent doesn’t make hits, brand does.
Selling Presets & Samples
Are you good at sound design? Sell your presets. Sell midi chord progressions. Other producers are in need of good presets and samples for their music. You probably know what it’s like.
Take a look at loopmasters for example. Their whole entire website is based off this and the average price per pack is $40. If you have multiple packs and a lot of buyers, that’s a ton of money in your pocket. But please don’t pull a Cymatics and steal samples. (PSA: they steal sh*t)
Mixing & Mastering Services
If you are really good at what you do and are efficient at it, try offering mixing and mastering services. Musicians are in need of good audio engineers. Tons of producers end up having their songs mix and mastered by others and they pay good money.
If you aren’t that good yet but are wanting to learn on other people’s songs, go on Fiverr. People can buy your services for $5 which is cheap. Don’t worry about them getting quality back. They get what they pay for LOL. (Side note: Proper quality mixing & mastering costs hundereds per song)
If that isn’t enough, you could even add an addon price. For example,
Original $5 = .wav download
Additional $10 = .wav download + project file
There are many vocalists and rappers that are always in need of instrumentals. You could sell exclusive rights to a beat for $100s. If you tried selling that to the public for them to listen, they’d just listen to it on SoundCloud or YouTube and if they ever did pay for it, you’ll only get a dollar from it. But let’s be real here. Who really listens to just beats?
Album sales aren’t the only way to make money from your music. There’s tons of options and different revenue streams to consider. What’s your favourite way to monetize your music?