Making Money From Music
- Artist Development
- 24th May 2018
The age old question. We all love playing and writing music, but if you are serious about having a career in the music business, it all comes down to money. Scratch, cheddar etc. So, how do you go about making money from music?
Public opinion would have you believe that music is a dying industry, and no one makes money from it anymore except the biggest artists. This simply isn’t true. Truth is, there is no great secret that all the big artists have, there are many ways you can make money from music. One or two of these income streams may not be enough to sustain you, but all of them together, now you’re talking. Here is the Kycker guide for how to make money from music!
Let’s start off easy. Merchandising is a massive money earner all across the modern commercial landscape. Just look at Star Wars, they earn more from action figures, clothing, mugs, posters and bags than from their box office takings. This is because selling physical product is the most simple way of earning money as a business, and making money from music. You need to be thinking of your music like a business if you’re ever going to make it into one! As an emerging artist, the merchandising opportunity that is on your plate is only limited by your imagination. t-shirts and CD’s are only the beginning.
Vinyl is back in fashion, so get that EP pressed! Got a fan base who likes a drink or two? Order some bottle openers! If someone stumbles across your merch stand at a gig and sees an awesome looking bottle opener on sale for £2, who’s not going to say ‘yeah, give me one.’ Cigarette or plectrum holders, wallets, hats, socks, badges, the list is never ending. Get inventive, the more unusual, the better!
Did you know that every time you play a show, now matter the size, you are earning money? Every venue in the UK has to pay a license to the PRS (Performing Rights Society) so they can showcase live music. This license money is then distributed by the PRS to artists who are have registered their music for publishing. Good right? You can earn money every time you play a gig! Each payment may not amount to much, but if you play 25 gigs a year at medium sized venues, you could be looking at a nice chunk of money coming your way that contributes to your newfound music career. So how do you actually do this? All you need to do is register with a music publisher and claim your royalties, you can do this using Kycker at the click of a button, no hassle! Find out more about Kycker here!
Once you have built up a profile for yourself as an artist that can pull in a crowd, you will begin to be offered bigger and better live shows. This then not only helps you earn some nice cash in hand, but also boosts your royalties. The bigger the gig, the more royalties you will be able to claim for! Obviously the issue here is how do you actually build up a live audience? That’s a question for another blog, so click here to see our tips for building a live audience!
Sales & Streams.
I know what you’re thinking. “I’ll never earn money from selling my music online.” While album sales have declined in recent years, streaming has boomed. Streaming is now the biggest music consumption method on the internet, with sites like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music seeing a massive surge in listeners over the past two years. While each stream on Apple Music only brings in $0.00783, once you gather momentum as an artist and boost your streaming figures, streaming royalties can actually contribute better than you expected to your income.
Albeit a very niche sector, work as a session musician can help you earn a decent income. But how do you actually get into session work? First of, make sure that you are extremely well versed in your instrument(s). When producers are paying for a musician to come in and play a song, they are expecting the best. You will not be a very successful session musician if all you can play on the guitar is ‘Seven Nation Army’.
Secondly, register with the Musician’s Union. This allows you to charge what is called ‘MU Rates’ for your time as a session musician. Signing up to the MU also brings with it a whole host of benefits, which you can read about here!
Thirdly, get your name out there. Network with producers and artists. If you play an instrument that they want on their track but cannot play themselves, they may well be willing to pay.
This is the big one. Synchronisations are getting your music placed into film and TV, ‘synced’, if you will. This is a massive money earner for modern artists. If you can get your new single placed on a high profile advert, TV show or film, you’ll be looking at some major income. Not only is this a big money earner, it also gives you massive exposure. Even just a 10 second play on BT Sports on a Saturday morning can gather you thousands of streams. However, synchronisation is the hardest income stream to crack. As with everything, start off small, with getting pitched for small adverts or online videos, and build your way up through the income brackets, through minor campaigns and shows to major serial dramas and advertising campaigns. If you want to begin your journey in the crazy world of synchronisation, check out Kycker!
So there you have it, a few tips to help you on your way to make money from music. I won’t lie to you, it can be difficult. There are many lessons you will learn along the way, and you’ll need all the help you can get! If you want a platform that allows you do most of what is mentioned here, along with giving you some exclusive industry know-how, look no further!