As an artist today, you do more than ever before. To make a living as an artist, you need to think of yourself as the CEO of your own brand where you can build multiple revenue streams. Artists have had to adapt and diversify their income streams to thrive. Gone are the days when a record deal was the sole path to success. In 2024, the avenues for making money as a music artist have expanded exponentially. Whether you're an independent musician or a seasoned pro, here are some of the most promising ways to monetize your musical talent in the digital age.
- Streaming Royalties
Streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube have become the primary way people consume music. As of 2024, artists can earn royalties based on the number of streams their songs receive. While the payouts per stream are relatively low, the cumulative income from millions of streams can be substantial. Using Feature.fm's Pre-Saves, Smart Links, Contests, Landing Page and Fan Base Collection Management tools to build a strong online presence and promote your music on these platforms is crucial for generating streaming revenue.
- Digital Downloads
Despite the rise of streaming, many fans still prefer to purchase and download music. Platforms like iTunes and Bandcamp allow artists to sell their music directly to their audience. By offering exclusive content and merchandise alongside your downloads, you can increase your revenue and build a loyal fanbase.
- Vinyl and Merchandise Sales
Merchandise sales remain a lucrative income stream for artists in 2024. From T-shirts and posters to limited-edition vinyl records, fans love to support their favorite artists by purchasing branded merchandise. Partnering with merch companies or running your own online store can help you capitalize on this opportunity.
When sending fans to your own Merch Stores from your Feature.fm Music Smart Links, you can track and attribute sales directly in Feature.fm.
- Music Publishing Royalties
Make sure you collect all of the royalties you are owed. Music publishing royalties are a critical income stream for artists in 2024. When your music is played on radio, TV, streamed, performed live, or used in public spaces like restaurants or shops, it generates publishing royalties.
These royalties are split into two parts: 1) the songwriter's share and 2) the publisher's share. The songwriter earns royalties for the composition, including the lyrics and melody, while the publisher earns royalties for the exploitation of the song. Joining a performing rights organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC helps collect these royalties efficiently. Additionally, music publishers play a crucial role in getting your music placed in various media, opening doors for sync deals and licensing opportunities, which further contribute to your overall revenue as an artist. Understanding and managing your music publishing rights can significantly boost your earnings and create a more sustainable income stream.
- Live Performances
While the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halted live music events, the industry has since rebounded. In 2024, touring and live performances continue to be a significant source of income for artists. Whether you're playing small local gigs or headlining international tours, ticket sales, merchandise sales at concerts, and sponsorships can boost your earnings.
- Licensing and Sync Deals
Your music can find its way into movies, TV shows, commercials, and video games through licensing and sync deals. In 2024, the demand for music in various media remains strong, and artists can earn substantial royalties from these placements. Registering your music with a performance rights organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC is essential for tracking and collecting these royalties.
- YouTube and Social Media
YouTube isn't just a streaming platform; it's also a revenue generator for artists. Through monetization programs like YouTube Adsense and Super Chat, you can earn money from ad revenue and fan donations during live streams. Consistent content creation on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter can also attract sponsorships and brand partnerships.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon allow artists to raise funds directly from their fans. In exchange for financial support, artists can offer exclusive perks, such as early access to music, personalized experiences, or even executive producer credits on albums. These platforms empower artists to finance their creative projects and maintain artistic independence.
- Music Licensing Libraries
Many artists create instrumental music specifically for licensing purposes. Submitting your compositions to music licensing libraries like Epidemic Sound, Artlist and No Copyright Sounds, can lead to consistent income as your tracks get used in various projects. This avenue is especially promising for musicians skilled in producing cinematic or background music.
- Teaching and Workshops
If you're an experienced musician with a unique skill set, consider offering music lessons or workshops online. Platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, and Patreon enable you to share your knowledge and earn money while helping others develop their musical talents.
- Some out of the box thinking:
- Selling Products
Once your brand is established as an artist, you are free to branch into new types of businesses and product categories. You can sell anything you'd like from fashion brands to food products.
Check out how artist, Skrizzly Adams, launched his own Beef Jerky brand.
- Affiliate Marketing
Collaborate with brands that align with your image and values. Promote their products through your social media channels and earn a commission on sales generated through your affiliate links.
- Sample Packs and Sound Libraries
Producers and beatmakers are always on the lookout for high-quality samples and sound libraries. If you're a musician with a unique sound, consider selling sample packs and presets through online marketplaces.
- Virtual Concerts and NFTs
Embrace the world of virtual concerts and NFT art. Host exclusive online performances or create digital art pieces that fans can purchase as NFTs, generating both income and a sense of ownership.
Let's grow your career
The good news is that no matter what you need to promote around your business as an artist, Feature.fm has the tools to connect your fans there.