How To Generate Revenue From Your Music?
If you are an up-and-coming music artist, and you write music and you are the rights holder of your own music, you probably already know that generating revenue through your music is not an easy task, especially when starting out your music career. The goal for every artist would be to make music for a living and become financially stable from it.
In today’s day and age, music artists have much more control over their careers than artists 20 years ago. There are an abundance of platforms and channels that can assist you in promoting your music and earn money from your music. The question however is, how do you utilise these tools to make money from your music?
It is also vital to remember to develop diverse streams of revenue in order to grow and build your music career.
Listed below are the 9 methods on how you can generate money from your music.
Music Video Distribution
Collect Royalties From Public Performances
Earning revenue from music streaming platforms
Creating & selling merchandise
Perform live shows/gigs
Offer membership subscriptions
Brand sponsorships and partnerships
1.Music Video Distribution (YouTube)
Most music artists know to put their new tracks onto their own YouTube channel, but there are however thousands of YouTube channels that will play your music videos. The benefits of doing this is that your music will eventually generate more performance royalties for you and end up getting your music exposed towards a wider audience.
YouTube pays between $0.10 - $0.30 per Ad view. Therefore we can say that Youtubers earn an average of $0.18 per ad views. It is important to note that Ad views are not the same thing as video views. The average payment that youtubers receive for video views is around $3 - $5 per 1000 video views. A popular YouTube channel however can earn around $7000 streaming royalties per 1 million video views. These payments also vary depending on many factors, for example, video length, video description, how regularly you post videos and the type of content you post. These factors will all have an impact on the size of your payment from YouTube. In order to make money off YouTube you need to have at least 1000 subscribers on your channel as well as achieve 4000 watched hours over a 1 year period.
2.Collect Royalties From Public Performances
It is imperative that musicians sign up with a Performing Rights Organisation (PRO). These organisations collect performance royalties on behalf of songwriters and publishers, and help ensure that they get paid for the use of their music.
One type of royalties that PRO’s collect on your behalf is public performance royalties. When your track is played on the television, radio, shopping malls or at any other public space, these places must pay for the use of your track when playing it. The PRO collects those payments and distributes the money accordingly. Payment is done on a quarterly basis, depending on the society you’re attached to.
When your music is uploaded onto TikTok, you will be giving millions of TikTok users consent, allowing them to use your music when creating their videos. You will get paid a proportionate cut of TikTok’s subscription revenue per month. This is calculated and set out in the contract between your digital distributor and TikTok. This will only occur when someone uses your song in their video.
The amount you are paid can vary depending on your digital distributor. TikTok videos can be between 15 or 50 seconds in length, therefore, can further affect the value of your royalties. If you decide to upload by yourself you will not receive any royalties, the reason for this is that the earnings that you make, has to be collected by digital distributors, as it is part of the contract between TikTok and digital distributors.
It is difficult to determine the exact amount of revenue you can earn on TikTok as there are so many variables that influence your earnings. In June 2019 the average royalty you would receive would be $0.030 per video, in which your song was used in. Based on this information, if your song was used in different videos 10 000 times, you would make approximately $300.
TikTok tends to pay bi-annually or annually depending on your music catalogue size. In my opinion, TikTok and other social media platforms are a great place to get your music exposed.
4. Earning revenue from music streaming platforms
Nobody sells cds any more, and digital downloads are almost gone from the world.
Most of the online music revenue today comes from streaming services.
Having your music available to streaming services is a game changer for your success as an artist. Allowing your fans to stream all your latest singles can have a massive impact on the amount of revenue you earn through streaming. Spotify, Apple music, Deezer and Tidal are paying mechanical royalties. Spotify for example, is currently one of the most popular music streaming platforms that you can use to upload your music to.
Having your music updated and available to stream can also help other music lovers around the world discover your music.
Spotify pays an artist $0.003 - $0.005 per song stream. The exact amount Spotify pays you per stream depends on certain variables such as the country of the stream, what percentage of streams you bring into Spotify and the time spent listening to your song.
Spotify pays you according to what they call Stream Share. Stream Share looks at the total number of streams on Spotify in a country, during a 1 month period. This assists Spotify to determine and calculate what proportion/percentage of those streams were yours. Stream share determines your slice of the revenue from a really large pie.
For example, if your average per stream is $0.004. You will need to get 250 streams on Spotify in order to earn $1.
You may be asking yourself, “how many streams do I need on Spotify to earn $1,000 from streaming?” The answer is you will need to get 250,000 streams on Spotify in order to earn $1000.
The amount of revenue you will earn varies depending on whether you are signed to a label or if someone has writing or recording rights to your music.
It is logical to think that in order to get more streams, you will need to get on more Spotify playlists.One Submit for example is a platform that allows you to submit your music to curators from 6 different platforms, including Spotify playlists. You can mass submit to playlists by the size of playlists with an adjustable pricing for your budget.
5. Creating & selling merchandise
Selling merchandise is a great way you can generate solid revenue as a music artist. Merch sales online as well as at your live gigs, gives you the opportunity to market yourself as an artist and earn money at the same time.
Selling merch can be done in numerous ways. Artist have the ability to make money and sell online through many online stores such as Etsy and Depop. With them, artists are getting all the tools needed to design their own online store without the hassle of creating a completely new website from scratch. You're able to sell music CDs to stickers, hats, sweaters and more on your personal Etsy or Depop store. This allows for the artist to sell online, generate more revenue and connect with their fan club by allowing them to purchase merch wherever and whenever.
A great tip to sell more merchandise at your live shows, would be to go stand by the merchandise stand after you are finished performing. This will give your fans/audience an opportunity to meet you, and at the same time drive sales of your merchandise, as your fans will possibly ask you to sign their merchandise. T-shirts, caps, hoodies, mugs and buttons are usually popular sellers amongst fans. You can place someone on your behalf at the stand if you’re a shy person.
Merchandise is an underrated revenue generator, which should be prioritised by any music artist trying to make it in the music industry.
6. Perform live shows/gigs
Performing live music is considered to be one of the best methods to earn revenue as a music artist. Due to the worldwide decline in Coronavirus infections in 2022, artists around the world have slowly gone back into the process of playing more live gigs. This is a great opportunity for music artists to get back out there and do what they do best. As we all know, more shows and more merchandise sold equals more revenue.
Music venues, bars, music festivals and private events such as weddings are all amazing opportunities for music artists to grow their fan base, earn revenue and promote their music all in one place. By the way, corporate events and private parties can be very profitable.
An easy way for independent artists to effectively advertise their live shows and gigs is to post a flyer up on community bulletin boards. Artists are also able to post flyers in public parks, on trees, utility poles in order to freely advertise their show allowing them to have more listeners and a greater audience.
7. Offer membership subscriptions
The next two tips are for the more advanced artists, who already achieved a decent amount of fans.
Offering a membership subscription to your fans gives them the opportunity to access your exclusive music, rewards and content via your website, for only a small fee per month. Fans for example can have access to your entire discography, early access to any new music releases and merchandise discounts. This can give loyal fans an incentive to subscribe to the membership.
Subscriptions to these memberships can be incredibly rewarding for you. This can really assist you in creating a steady source of income for you in the long term.
8. Brand sponsorships and partnerships
Being able to collaborate or partner with a brand is a massive opportunity for you, as an artist, to promote yourself as well as your music. Brand partnerships allow you to earn a significant stream of income as well as partner with a brand that you admire and would like to be affiliated with. Being a brand ambassador can definitely have its perks, however, you need to be careful which brand you associate yourself with, as this is extremely vital in how you will be perceived by the public and your fans, as you are representing this brand.