How to Make Money with Music! (Ultimate Guide)

July 09, 2021

make money ith music

Building your dream music career

Every music artist on planet earth wants to expand their music business and grow a music career!


Do you struggle to get your music career started up?


One of the hardest issues growing revenue with music.


In many cases though, you don't even need a music career with millions of dollars pouring in from your music business.


You just needed your music business to be semi-successful.


Only enough where you can start making money to live and pay off expenses.


That said, it isn't easy... music grants are hard to come by.


You'll need alternative ways to earn income aside from music grants. plus your friends/family can only help so much.. .

Not to mention how a record deal is not what it used to be.


Getting a record deal is tough than compare - so you'll have to self finance for the most part!


In this blog, you'll discover how to earn enough to start your music biz the right way!



Making money with music - the growing middle class

I have good news and bad news.


I'll start with the good.


Fortunately, it's making money with music is a lot easier now than ever!


More people are starting their music career in this day and age.


The music industry went through so much innovation and evolution to make this possibel.


The digital landscape took a large role in this change.


The simple fact that you can put music online to top streaming services to generate revenue streams and digital downloads is a freaking advantage!


We are seeing a rise of other artists:

  • Earn moolah
  • Build a substantial music business
  • Grow a sizeable fanbase


It's going to take some work to get here though.


In cases like this, you'll need to leverage multiple revenue streams to earn income to join the true elites of the music middle class.


That begs the question... Who really profits the most?



who makes the most money in the music industry?

You may be seeing other musicians such as Drake with millions of music fans making money.


You're left asking yourself... Can my music business make as much?


See the truth about making music online is - it's not necessarily the hip hop artist stacking the most paper.


It's usually record labels and other sound recording copyright owners!


There are cases where artists bring in millions of digital downloads yet the music business does not see a single penny of it.


A classic example of this is a 360 deal:



The modern independent approach to the music biz

It's a pyramid, the business owners make the most money.


It's the artists who write (or sing) these business owners' paycheques.


This is why you need to be BOTH an artist AND a businessman.


The smart way to expand your music career is to offer other musicians services to earn money - as well as working on your personal music sales.


You may have to start some side hustles and that's okay.


This is the case whether for both independent artists or huge artists signed to large labels.


So long as your income streams are expanding, you'll have more success.


Just make sure you're optimizing for the long game and no shortcuts.



making royalty income: the long game

One of the easiest revenue streams you can start building is royalty income.


(Easiest does not mean fastest nor most efficient.)


All you need is a digital distribution platform and you're all set to generate some sales.


It's not a quick buck to sell online music streams, however, as you make more money you can invest more into your musical projects.


This will get the most revenue juice out of the major streaming platforms.


Streaming services such as Apple Music YouTube music should be seen as a long-term approach.


Even successful artists don't make income from new music for the most part.


It's only once these recording artists finish giving the record companies the mechanical royalties from album sales when they profit.


Take a birds-eye view and have a realistic timeline.



treat new music as new revenue streams

The more music you have on streaming services, the more you can earn money through multiple revenue streams.


That's the benefit of platforms - you don't need to sell CD's at a storefront.


If you have 200 songs - each is its own revenue stream on the major streaming platforms.


Example: If you make only $5.00 dollars a year from 200 songs then you'll get over $2000 in mechanical royalties.


Royalty Revenue


That ain't so bad


This explains why other musicians release multiple albums and singles a year - they all act as independent revenue streams.


The larger the catalog = the larger the income.


Now here are practical ways you can earn income that's NOT through streams.



You should Host music lessons to make money with music

Your ability to make good music and produce new songs is a valuable asset.


In other words... People would pay you to learn how to make original music.


This is how to make money with music - use the talent you spend so much time and effort acquiring!


I urge you to host music lessons as a way to make music online.


In fact, if you have some music venues you can even host your music lessons in person!


(This applies more when teaching someone how to play instruments.)


Some musicians are simply hobbyists and don't want to create any revenue stream with their music.

They just want to make good music for fun!


These people are the exact clients that you want.



Apple Music vs Spotify vs Youtube streaming services

Not all streaming services are equal.


Apple Music is wonderful because they pay out more to artists than the other streaming services.


That said Spotify, YouTube Music, and Google Play music have more fans listening in total.


Search digital distributors that put your music across all streaming services you'll be able to target and make more money from the larger base.


The trick is to focus on promoting towards the three largest streaming services:

  1. Apple music
  2. Spotify
  3. Youtube

Best streaming platforms


Amazon music is also a great option however I find that it's hard to promote and people are less receptive to check those streaming services.


Equally important when it comes to promo on Youtube is having a nice music video!



Earning money with music videos

As long as you have a YouTube channel and a couple of music videos - you can start to monetize in your music career.


It will take some work but 100% possible.


Compared to other types of videos, music videos have the most repeat viewership.


YouTube is one of the best revenue streams because they are consistent.


So long as your YouTube channel complies with the rules you can earn money through Music sales for a long time.


Successful artists release music videos that garner millions of views!


Once you put your music online on your YouTube channel you can earn money through advertising revenue.


A great way to earn extra money on top of selling music directly is to start selling merch and promoting physical CDs at the end of your music videos.


If the music video is good you'll get many repeat views and YouTube love to organically promote its content!


Even Apple Music and Spotify can't dream of having as good of an algorithm as YouTube.



Run music blogs to expand your music biz

Music blogs are great ways for a hip hop artist to not only earn money - but to help other unsigned artists gain traffic.


Music blogs are very easy to start.


In fact, Boost Collective has a few music blogs you can pitch music to! 👇

Get on music blogs

All you need to do is register your domain name and start hosting your website.


You can get free templates for Squarespace as well as WordPress.


Once your music blog is live you can earn money by offering blog placements to upcoming artists.


Not only can you promote their new music but also the ticket sales for any live gigs that unsigned artists have.



YOU CAN Sell artist merch

The most valuable asset you have as a music artist is your brand.


If you want to know how to make money with music then merch is a great way to do it.


People love to get T shirts from their favorite artists.


How else do you think Kanye West makes billions through his Merch sales?


Selling merch


Note: it is a saturated market - however most cotton graders suck at promoting their t shirts so they can't really make an income through music.


You must maneuver with finesse.


The trick is to set up distribution networks and have multiple influencers generate merch sales as affiliates.



Run brand deals to monetize your fanbase!

Every artist wants to know how to make money with music.


Not only can you leverage your music - but also sell online to your Fanbase/audience.


See, streaming services are a difficult way to profit in the music game however doing brand deals is a decent way to earn money.


To earn money through a brand deal you need to sell online through your social media platforms.


You promote a brand's product - and you're paid for it.


It's that simple.


For this to be profitable your social media platforms should have a decent engage following.


Otherwise, brands won't sell online products with you.



It's hard to earn money with digital royalties

Digital royalties is not the most optimal way to earn income as an artist.


The thing to know about digital royalties from the streaming platforms is that you're competing with Drake and other record label artists for revenue.


This is the same with Google Play, Apple Music, and all other streaming services.


Your YouTube channel is the one platform where you can earn 100% of your streams.


The money that the streaming services pay to artists is based on a percentage of total streams - not on an individual stream basis.


That means that if you get 100,000 streams, a cut of those music online revenue goes to top artists.


Unfair Compensation


Streaming services are not impartial when it comes to Digital distribution and album sales.


There's nothing you can do though - record companies won't put their music in Spotify unless they get a good deal.


Let's be honest... Without Drake then Spotify would not even exist (they get 90% of streams.)


Here's how to overcome this issue:


Instead, you want to get public performance royalties rather than relying on streaming platforms to save you.

This brings me to my next point...



Host gigs and perform at music venues

Every fan wants to hear live songs from their favorite artists!


If you want to know how to make money with Music and this is a top priority for you!


Paid gigs at either local venues or corporate events are a great way for you to make money as an indie artist.


Did you know that top musicians can get paid over six figures to sing their songs at private parties?


I covered it before:



It's insane how easy it is to make money with live Music songs performances.


To make multiple streams of revenue you can either perform paid gigs or help other musicians make money by setting up the venue and event.


Most gig promoters happened to be artists as well don't want to get good music and new songs out to more listeners!


Just keep in mind that the more ticket sales you can bring then you'll be able to make money with Music easier.




Music success doesn't come easy - except it does, with Boost Collective!


Whether you want:

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