11 Ways Artists Can Make Money


According to digital music news, there are 45 ways that an artist can make money these days.

After reading it over, we wanted to take a harder look at these options - and chime in with our two cents as experienced artists in the music industry.

So here goes:

1. Publisher Advance. Sure, but advances are becoming smaller and smaller -- and why would you go this route unless you are doing a large deal on existing copyrights? This isn't sustainable.

2. Mechanical Royalties. Ok, but only when you sell physical copies... Which doesn't even make sense anymore for the greater majority of artists (major and unsigned).

3. Commissions. This happens, but you'll probably be doing work you don't love.

4. PRO. Still here. Not as profitable.

5. Streaming Mechanical Royaties. Might cover a Starbucks coffee.

6. Composing for Broadcast. High competition now unless you are the top echelon. Prepare to go against competitive rates, like people composing for free just to get their name out there.

7. Synch Licenses. Great way to make money, but again everyone realized this 5 years ago so you'll be in heavy competition unless you music is unique enough to not be duplicated easily for cheaper.

8. Sheet Music Sales. Seriously? I move on.

9. Lyric Display. Ok whatever

10. Ringtones. This still exists? Seems very 2007.

11. Songwriter Awards programs. Wow. Total miss.

12. Publisher Settlement.  So you're telling me parts of an artist income is coming from litigation. Well, that's makes me excited to keep making music, I don't know about you?

13. Record Label Advance. A loan. great, more debt.

14. Record label support. Again, debt.

15. Retail Sales. Vinyl I guess? 

16. Digital Sales. This could work but everyone is on Spotify now.

17. Sales at shows. Great. There's one option...Sort of.

Ok I can keep going but everything seems outdated except for Teaching, Producer, fan funding, and guess what....Brand Partnerships.

Brand Partnerships have 6 solid revenue streams such as: Merchandise Sales, Fan Club, Youtube Partner, Ad Revenue, Persona Licensing, Product Endorsements, etc.

So I guess digital music news should rename their article to: " 11 Ways Artists can make money in 2018" ?

What do you think?

Thomas Fiss