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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

75 methods for musicians to make cash in 2024

Need to receives a commission in your musical abilities? 

As a musician, there are extra methods to earn cash than ever earlier than. Dozens upon dozens of how, in truth!

When you ought to, in fact, prioritize sure income streams as an artist who creates authentic music, there are occasions — maybe while you’re first rising your profession —while you simply gotta pay the payments

And in that case, placing your music abilities to make use of positive beats a job outdoors of music, proper? Particularly if your musical side-hustle helps you keep sharp as an instrumentalist, arranger, producer, educator, or content-creator. 

That will help you get a way of the wide selection of choices on the market, I’ve put collectively a listing of 75 methods you may make cash out of your music, grouped by class for simple scanning.

Streaming & Digital Gross sales

1. Streaming Income: Earn cash from streaming exercise while you get your tracks onto platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, or TIDAL.

2. Digital Downloads: Promote MP3s, WAVs, or FLACs of your tracks on platforms like iTunes, Amazon, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, or your personal web site.

3. Social Video Monetization: Receives a commission when individuals create social content material utilizing your music in movies on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Fb, and extra. 

4. Monetize Your YouTube Channel: Generate promoting income from viewer exercise by yourself YouTube movies, and use extra creator instruments to monetize subscriber engagement.

Music Recording Work

5. Music Manufacturing: Put your producing abilities to work for different artists. Receives a commission in factors, upfront charges, co-writer splits, or no matter different association is sensible for you and your collaborator. 

6. Engineering: Are you good at recording, mixing, or mastering? Let different artists know! This generally is a nice income between your personal recording initiatives or excursions

7. Session Participant: Bought abilities as an instrumentalist or vocalist? Are you fast at studying and arranging tunes? Recording periods could be an effective way to receives a commission whereas not tying up an excessive amount of of your time directly. You’ll be able to attend periods in particular person, or do distant session work from your personal dwelling studio.

8. Studio Operator: Do you personal plenty of recording gear that goes unused while you’re not making music? Possibly it’s time to think about renting out your studio to different engineers, producers, and artists. 

9. Cellular Recording: Whether or not it’s vacation spot recording (“My band rented an airbnb and we wish to flip it right into a studio”) or capturing reside audio for different bands at their exhibits, typically having a transportable studio could make all of the distinction in getting the job. 

Music Publishing & Licensing

10. Mechanical Royalties: Accumulate this type of publishing royalty when your authentic songs — together with covers by different artists — get streamed, downloaded, or pressed on CD/vinyl.

11. Efficiency Royalties: Earn this music publishing cash when your authentic music is carried out reside in venues or publicly broadcast on radio and TV.

12. Sync Licensing (Songwriter Aspect): Should you write your personal songs and retain the publishing rights, you may get paid an upfront payment — and in some instances, ongoing royalties — when your music is positioned in movie, TV, video games, commercials, and so forth. 

13. Sync Licensing (Label Aspect): Identical goes for the “recording” aspect of the equation. Should you personal your personal tracks, you’re the label, and may receives a commission for sync placements.

14. Compose for Music Libraries: Prolific composer or producer? You possibly can write music for music collections which are particularly curated for sync licensing alternatives.  

15. Promote Sheet Music: The unique supply of “music publishing” income! Relying in your style, this generally is a massive vendor. (New Age Piano, anybody?) However don’t simply consider notation; you would additionally do chord-charts, tablature, lyric sheets, and extra.  

Stay Music Performances

16. Touring and Stay Exhibits: Play reside and receives a commission. This income might come within the type of ticket gross sales, door splits, bar percentages, or a assured payment from the venue proprietor. 

17. Residency Gig: Identical type of cost choices as above, however a residency is a recurrently scheduled factor. It might be “7 nights in a row in July” or “Each different Thursday all 12 months.”

18. Home Concert events: Play intimate live shows in personal houses. These could be nice fan-building experiences and make it easier to promote plenty of merch, whereas decreasing strain for enormous turnout. Plus it can save you on journey bills if the host places you up for the evening.  

19. DJing: Should you’re not touring, you possibly can DJ occasions, events, or venues in your hometown. On the highway? Do a DJ set at a pageant or venue between your tour dates. 

20. Company Gigs: Need to receives a commission massive bucks whereas coming into The Twilight Zone? Play at a company perform. It’s surreal. And profitable.

21. Weddings and Personal Occasions: Carry out at weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, household Christmas events, birthdays, and other forms of personal occasions. These can typically pay higher than an ordinary venue gig.

22. Metropolis or Municipal Occasions: The annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, the summer season beer backyard within the park, the Arts Stroll. Verify along with your native chamber of commerce or metropolis council for alternatives. 

23. Festivals: It’s nice to play music festivals, in fact, but in addition analysis non-music gatherings which have reside music as a element. Beer festivals. Balloon festivals. Meals festivals. 

24. Busking: Play in a public area with numerous foot visitors for ideas. Subway stations. City squares. Boardwalks and piers. Simply verify the native ordinances first. Get a allow, if required.

25. Be within the Home Band: Much like a residency, the place you keep put and totally different audiences come to you, search out efficiency alternatives the place you back-up different singers. Might be live-band karaoke, a giant band or jazz group, and so forth.

26. Play Cruise Ships: Should you don’t thoughts small rooms and lots of months at sea, cruise ship gigs provide you with an opportunity to play rather a lot (typically a number of gigs per day), and supply downtime to deal with observe, recording, studying, and so forth. 

27. Nursing Properties: Whereas these aren’t glamorous gigs, they are often very significant for the viewers and also you because the performer. They will pay properly, are often shorter units, and have the potential to grow to be reliable repeat gigs. 

28. Digital Performances: Need to mix the unique and intimate feeling of a home live performance with the comfort of livestreaming? Play a non-public, digital efficiency on Zoom, Google Hangouts, and so forth.  

Music Merch Gross sales

29. Artist Merchandize: Promote merch at gigs, in your web site, and on platforms like Instagram and Spotify. Gadgets might vary from t-shirts to mugs to books. 

30. Bodily Music Codecs: Regardless of what you might have heard, followers nonetheless buy CDs, vinyl data, and even cassettes. Provide them in all the identical locations you’ll your merch, in addition to in file shops through bodily distribution or consignment. 

31. Restricted-Version Releases: Provide limited-edition or signed bodily copies of your music to followers. As an example, you would promote tour-specific recordings that can by no means once more be out there to buy.

32. Digital merch: Not all merchandise should be bodily. You’ll be able to supply PDFs of your tour diary or poetry. A digital cookbook. An unlock of a secret video. 

33. Digital “Field Set”: Identical goes for music information. You might have a trove of unreleased recordings. Give followers paid entry! Or bundle all the pieces you’ve ever recorded right into a digital package deal with bonus tracks. 

34. NFTs: “Non-Fungible Tokens.” These are crypto belongings on a blockchain that symbolize possession or engagement in some piece of music, imagery, group, art work, or monetary association. 

Music Schooling

35. Educate Music: Whether or not it’s personal classes or a teleconference tutorial, you possibly can assist different individuals get higher at an instrument, music manufacturing, or songwriting. 

36. Music Remedy: Put your abilities to make use of in a therapeutic method that helps individuals enhance their well-being.

37. On-line Programs: Create and promote a digital course. It might be about your instrument, or your music-biz and promo abilities. Plenty of upfront work, however with the potential for it to grow to be extra “passive” revenue as soon as your advertising and marketing funnel is up and working. 

38. Music Workshops: Host IRL or on-line group gatherings the place studying and suggestions occurs in a gaggle setting. 

39. Visitor Lectures: Communicate at colleges, faculties, or music seminars. These are sometimes paid alternatives, however even in the event you’re an unpaid speaker at a music convention, it’s best to have the possibility to make a fast gross sales pitch on the finish of your discuss or promote books afterwards. 

40. Music Transcription: Are you good at determining complicated harmonies, blistering bluegrass breaks, or well-known saxophone solos? You possibly can earn cash transcribing that music note-for-note. It may be work-for-hire revenue, or you would publish these transcriptions in a e-book. Or on YouTube (with the potential for incomes advert income). 

Crowdfunding & Fan Assist

41. Venture-Primarily based Crowdfunding: Use platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe to boost cash from followers to help a selected recording, tour, advertising and marketing, or video mission. 

42. Membership Golf equipment: You should utilize a subscription-model platform like Patreon, or construct your personal on-line fan subscription by way of your web site. In change for month-to-month cost, followers get unique or early entry to content material and different perks. 

43. Fan Donations: Settle for donations straight from followers by way of platforms like PayPal or Venmo. These hyperlinks could be listed in your web site, livestreams, and even pinned to the highest of your Spotify profile. 

44. Livestream Assist: That is income followers provide you with for livestreaming. However in contrast to the Venmo or PayPal ideas talked about above, it will probably come within the type of a platform-specific foreign money or motion: Stars, Bits, Subs, and so forth. 

45. VIP Experiences: Provide your diehard followers the possibility to pay for an unique expertise. Backstage passes, meet-and-greets, watch the soundchecks, dinner earlier than the present, photographs and autographs. 

Music Composition

46. Songwriting for Different Artists: Should you’re a prolific author, you might have concepts to spare! Pitch your unreleased songs to different artists, publishers, or labels. Or collaborate with co-writers to make new songs. Repeatable success on this space takes plenty of dedication, however might result in a publishing deal. 

47. Write Jingles: Ya know, the catchy (and typically annoying) music that performs throughout commercials? There’s cash to be made the place artwork meets promoting. 

48. Movie Scoring: Compose music for movies, TV exhibits, and documentaries. Like many areas of specialization, this discipline can require plenty of time and dedication. Take into account accordingly how typically and while you wish to settle for scoring work.

49. Video Recreation Music: In principle, this isn’t that totally different from movie scoring. Besides that gaming has its personal musical tropes, so the reference factors could differ from cinematic orchestration and sound design. Many video video games additionally function songs that grow to be a part of the sport’s soundtrack, which refers again to sync licensing. Lastly, there’s a complete large ecosystem of VGM covers on YouTube, the place artists do their very own inventive preparations of standard online game music. So in the event you play a singular instrument, this would possibly provide you with a technique to differentiate your self: Halo on accordion, Ultimate Fantasy on metallic guitar, Zelda on harmonica, Mario Bros on banjo.  

50. Promote Beats and Pattern Packs: Are you a prolific producer in a style that depends closely on digital music, comparable to hip-hop, pop, or EDM? You’ll be able to assist different artists get an enormous musical help by promoting your beats, production-starts, and pattern packs. 

51. Write Customized Songs: Let your followers know you’ll compose and file personalised songs for particular events like weddings or birthdays. Simply you’ll want to cost sufficient in your precise effort and time!

52. Sound Design and Audio Branding: Create “audio logos” and “sound identities” for companies. Or use your manufacturing abilities to make sound results and audio environments for media, public areas, or different commissioned initiatives.

Retail & Venue Work

53. Report Retailer: Gig at evening and work at a file retailer in the course of the day. You’ll keep on high of the newest music releases, as properly brush up on the classics.

54. Music Retail: Relatively be close to devices? Work at a music retailer and develop your experience within the newest gear, used instrument valuation, and extra. 

55. Making or Repairing Devices: Good at fixing guitars? Carving violins? Soldering results pedals or synths? You possibly can begin your personal enterprise or work out of an present store or retailer.

56. Expertise Purchaser: Already in communication with a big community of gifted musicians? Put these social and group abilities to make use of reserving the acts at an area venue. 

57. Venue Employees: Choose extra of the “on the bottom” venue expertise? You possibly can be a bartender, bouncer, field workplace assistant, or venue supervisor. 

58. Stay Sound Engineer: Each good venue wants good reside sound. You possibly can be the important thing to creating that occur. Bonus factors in the event you’re not a grump!

Different Music Professions

59. Music Journalism: Write present previews, album opinions, function interviews, and extra. It’s possible you’ll discover a chance to do that as a side-gig in your native newspaper or arts weekly. 

60. Musicology, Criticism, Editorial, and Curation: Put your deep data and keenness for a selected style to make use of. Educate others about that historical past. Or make music suggestions and thrilling connections for listeners. 

61. Member of an Orchestra: Jazz, Classical, Ballet, or the pit-orchestra for Musical Theater. If in case you have nice technical facility in your instrument and reliable sight-reading abilities, you would make a dwelling in a big ensemble.

62. Non secular Music: Whether or not it’s the organist in a cathedral, the guitarist in a praise-and-worship band, the cantor at a temple,… many religions have music as a part of their common service. 

63. Voice Expertise: If in case you have a very good singing voice, you would possibly be capable to translate these dramatic abilities to offer voiceovers, audiobook readings, or character voices. 

Model Collaborations

64. Model Sponsorships: Companion up with some firm who shares your values and aesthetic, and receives a commission while you rep their merchandise, providers, or mission. 

65. Endorsements: Get discounted (or typically free) services comparable to devices, music advertising and marketing instruments, or music manufacturing software program. In change, you agree to make use of that gear in public and supply testimonials.

66. Affiliate Advertising and marketing: Promote a sure product in your web site, do gear opinions, and hyperlink to the producer or retailer, and earn a fee on any gross sales. 

67. Be an Influencer: “Influencer Advertising and marketing?” Simpler mentioned than finished, however… when you’ve got a big social following, you might be able to monetize that focus by doing product placements or promo shoutouts. 


68. Books, eBooks, & Audiobooks: I suppose this might go underneath the “merch” part, however that’s extra in regards to the ultimate product and gross sales. Turning into an creator is an endeavor all its personal, in fact. However in the event you already show a knack for lyric-writing, you might have longer-form literary expertise too. It might be fiction, non-fiction about musicology, essays about band drama and tour mishaps, and even written instrument instruction with accompanying illustrations.

69. Music Running a blog: I discussed above that you would write opinions for an present publication, however you would additionally host opinions by yourself website within the hopes of monetizing your weblog by way of advert placements and affiliate income. 

70. Podcasting: Begin a podcast about your music, adventures, or different pursuits. Should you get enough engagement, you possibly can monetize by way of adverts, sponsorships, or listener help. 

71. Competitions: These might be rap battles, songwriting challenges, bluegrass competitions. There could also be an entry payment, however that additionally means there might be a giant payout in the event you win. 

72. Interactive Music Experiences: If in case you have blended media or web-development abilities, you would create an immersive real-world or digital expertise. Emma McGann’s multi-player “Monsterverse” RPG in Discord is a superb instance. You’ll be able to ask your followers to pay to take part, or you should use it as an opportunity to drive merch gross sales on the finish of the expertise.

73. Consulting Companies: Musicians need assistance, strong recommendation, and networking connections. Are you able to mentor somebody in administration, crowdfunding, digital promoting, or one thing else? Present that technique recommendation in change for a payment.

74. Open-Supply Collaboration: That is while you make some inventive work out there for others to make use of, with no clear concept of who will collaborate, or what precisely will consequence. Making stems downloadable for remixers is an apparent instance. You’ll be able to approve your favourite remixes and formally distribute these tracks, splitting any income the remix generates. However artists like Holly Herndon and Grimes took it one step additional with AI fashions of their vocals. 

75. __________: Sure, a clean area, as a result of if there are 75 gadgets on this record already, there’s sure to be many extra methods to make cash out of your musical abilities. And I needed to go away room so that you can think about your personal potentialities. Have enjoyable!


Most musicians won’t ever sort out each merchandise on this record, and that’s fully effective. They shouldn’t. All of us have our personal specialties and pursuits. Finest to deal with what’s rewarding, each when it comes to private progress and revenue.

However hopefully this lengthy record offers you an outline of your choices as you make a profession of your music, and as you complement your major music revenue sources with extra income streams. 

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