10 ways to make money online as a musician

10 ways to make money online as a musician


 Thanks to the Internet, it has become easier, cheaper and more efficient to distribute your music: the online audience is wider, and the costs of attracting it and promoting your work are lower.

Earn on Apple Music, Google Play Music, Yandex.Music and other services

Today, there are several services on the Internet for buying and listening to music. Some of them allow only listening, others allow downloading tracks and albums.

The most popular sites for placing music on the Internet:

  • Apple Music;
  • Google Play Music;
  • Yandex.Music;
  • Spotify;
  • YouTube Music.

Earnings depend on how many times you listened to the track. The amounts of payments to musicians are small, and you should not consider them as the main source of income. For one listening, the author can receive:

  • YouTube Music - provided that the user has a Premium subscription - $0.008;
  • Apple Music - $0.0056;
  • Google Play Music - $0.0055
  • Spotify - $0.0032
  • Yandex.Music — $0.0005.

It is estimated that for an artist to earn $160, his composition must be listened to from 35 - on YouTube Music with a Premium subscription - up to 160 thousand times - on Yandex.Music. 
The singer cannot independently upload his music to audio services on the Internet. To do this, he must either be a member of the label that deals with the placement, or contact the distribution company. In the music market, there are several aggregators that not only host music, but also offer additional services to improve content. Download services like ONErpm, UnitedMasters, Soundrop, or AWAL take roughly 10-15% of your listening revenue.
Platform Patron allows musicians to upload their own works and helps to find listeners. Here you can earn on the sale of tracks and licenses for their use. Musicians communicate with fans and receive promotions from them, which are monetized into real money. 

Get paid for using your music

In addition to earning from listening to their tracks on the Internet, a musician can earn income if his work is used by others, for example, in YouTube videos. At the same time, copyright for the content must be formalized.

Interesting! The creator of the composition "Harlem Shake", an American under the pseudonym Baauer, could not earn millions on his hit. Despite the fact that the track was used in thousands of videos on the Internet, the musician did not receive a cent from it. Baauer simply forgot to issue permission to use other people's samples in the composition.


Sell ​​your work on audio stocks

Audiostocks are sites where a musician can upload their work and sell it. Customers buy the right to use the music for commercial purposes, such as advertising, Internet commercials, or as background music for computer games.

10 ways to make money online as a musician

Popular stocks include Audiojungle, Istockphoto, and Pond5. They take a commission, at least 20% of the sale. A musician earns an average of $2–10 per download. If you put up for sale a hundred popular tracks, you can earn up to $1,000 monthly.

Sell ​​sound libraries

On the Internet, you can sell not only finished tracks, but also the so-called "blanks" that other authors will use in their works. These can be samples (fragments of the sound of the instrument) or other sound and noise effects. Musicians sell samples not one by one, but whole libraries. The sounds of rare and exotic instruments are especially appreciated. At sonniss.comasoundeffect.com and soundeffectssearch.com, you can earn $50-100 per library.

Make money on crowdfunding

Successful bloggers and game streamers earn hundreds of thousands of rubles through voluntary donations. In the musical environment, crowdfunding is not yet widespread enough. The method is suitable for those singers who have already formed their own audience. He can offset the cost of releasing a fresh album. Usually, musicians indicate the details for translation under videos or in a community on a social network. Daria Stavrovich, a member of the rock group "Slot", was able to raise 1 million rubles in a month, spending it on the release of a new album.
A donation collection project can be placed on such Internet sites as Planeta.ru or Patreon. At the same time, the singers promise the fans who took part in the action, gifts or privileges (if the event is successful). Through incentives, crowdfunding can bring in more money than traditional donations.  

Interesting! American singer Amanda Palmer has become the first artist to raise $1 million in a month through online fan donations.


Conduct live broadcasts

Streams, or live broadcasts, are widespread among gamers. Game streamers can earn 40-50 thousand rubles daily with an audience of 3-4 thousand people. For singers, streaming is still a non-standard way of making money on the Internet.

You can broadcast the process of rehearsals or a whole concert to the network, communicating with the audience, answering their questions and performing songs at their request. This stream is like a street game. You can broadcast on Youtube, Twich or Vkontakte. Streaming can be paid or free. You can earn money by collecting donations from fans or advertising.

work to order

Freelancing presents the musician with many opportunities to make money on the Internet. Orders are easy to find on freelance exchanges. A musician can write texts, music, songs for cartoons, advertisements, videos, musical greetings, corporate anthems, remake famous songs. The cost of orders for a small composition starts from $8.00.
You can also find customers and sell your works on the Internet platforms Creative Downloads, Instagram, Patron.  

Make money on blogs and social networks

To promote his music on the Internet, a musician needs to develop pages on social networks and maintain a YouTube channel. In addition to promoting yourself as a singer and attracting an audience, this can bring additional income.

  1. Groups in social networks Vkontakte, Facebook, Instagram. On their pages, musicians share news with fans, announce the release of a new track, publish audio and video. Promoted accounts of performers bring a lot of income through advertising. Advertising posts on the pages of famous performers cost from $8,000. 
  2. Music social networks SoundCloud, Bandsintown, Bandcamp. In them, musicians download tracks and albums for free, and fans listen to songs and share them. The most viewed accounts make money from ads.
  3. YouTube channel. Here, musicians make money through video views, advertising integrations, and paid subscriptions. For example, the singer Klava Koka has more than 3 million subscribers, and the monthly income from the channel is approaching 1 million rubles.

Interesting! Singer Manizha started her career on Instagram, where she posted cover versions of popular songs. After the first successes, she decided to release her own songs on the Internet. Today she is a popular artist who performs at the best venues and signs contracts with well-known companies.(ads1)


Sell ​​symbols

You can sell goods with symbols not only in stores and at your own concerts, but also on the Internet: on social networks, on the website of an artist or group, as well as on the Patron platform .

For beginners, it is better to choose small and inexpensive products, the release of which will not be too costly. Stickers, badges, t-shirts, shopper bags sold over the Internet have a low cost, but increase the recognition of a singer or group and are a unifying factor.

teach music

You can also give master classes, share experiences and make money on teaching on the Internet by recording video lessons of vocals or playing a musical instrument and publishing them, for example, on your YouTube channel. You can also distribute training materials on your website or social networks.

Earnings of foreign musical singers

The income items of United States show business stars do not differ from the earnings of their foreign colleagues. Singers earn from concerts, participation in festivals, awards and private parties. Large sums are brought to them by advertising contracts and their own business. However, the size of the fees of USA and foreign musical singers differ by several times.

According to Forbes magazine, in 2019, more than other singers earned:

  1. Taylor Swift - $185 million
  2. Kanye West - $150 million
  3. Ed Sheeran - $ 110 million. Successful concerts brought the third place to the Briton.
  4. The Eagles - $ 100 million. The American rock band earned on the tour.
  5. Elton John - $ 84 million. In 2019, the singer toured with his farewell tour, which brought him the main income.(ads1)

If a novice singer is firmly convinced that his works can bring money, then you need to boldly use all available ways to make money on music. Despite the great competition in the musical environment, everyone has a chance to become famous and make money on their work.

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