Little-Known Ways Musicians Can Make Money

Generating an income is one of the biggest tests musicians are facing. Music sales and touring are not any more reliable to earn a living. The traditional and more modern income streams are mixed to help today’s musicians generate revenue for their music career. Here are the little-known ways musicians can make money.

1.     CD, Vinyl, and Digital Sales

If you will be playing live shows, having CDs on hand is a great takeaway souvenir for your fans. Each band members can easily sign on it. Printing a few batch of vinyl placed at your merch table generates an extra income. To make the most money, you can sell digital music through your own website besides online retailers, who take a percentage of sales.

2.     Streaming and Live Shows

The streaming services let your new fans discover your music but not solely your income generator since the per-stream payouts tend to be small even if they accumulate over time. One of the best ways to earn income for musicians is money made from live shows. You can make money from selling tickets and merch.

3.     Physical and Digital Merch

Income from physical merch like t-shirts, buttons, and stickers depends tremendously on a number of live shows you and your band play. You just make sure that you bought them when there’s a band tour. Digital merch items such as videos, PDFs, exclusive photos, lyric books, sheet music, artworks, and live concerts can be sold to your fans as well through your website.

4.     Crowdfunding and Sponsorships

A crowdfunding campaign that is skillfully carried out can also raise enough money to counteract the cost of your album production and marketing process. There are some companies that are very much willing to sponsor those musicians you have a fan base to get connected to those fans. These sponsorships range from cash to freebies, as well as free services and gear.

5.     Royalties

You can collect publishing royalties on your music including the mechanical royalties like in streaming, the sync royalties like in commercials, and the public performance royalties like in radios, live venues, and TV. You can also collect digital royalties from services such as webcasters, Pandora, and SiriusXM radio. PROs (Performance Rights Organizations) will pay the musicians with royalties from those live performances when they perform an original material at a bar, club, or any music venue.

6.     Licensing, Songwriting, and Composing

The licensing fees from your song placed in the TV show, commercial, or film vary greatly. They depend on the budget for that project and how severely they want your song. Being a songwriter has an advantage too since you can write some songs for other music artists. You can also compose music for a specific film and television.


Many musicians give music lessons to others using their instrument of expertise. It allows them to hone their craft and generate their income at the same time. Some would shamelessly play cover gigs at parties or any private or corporate event. There are many little-known ways to help develop your monetization strategy, and attitude and perseverance are all needed to your music career.

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