Making Money with Music in the 21st Century

Making Money with Music in the 21st Century

In the past 15 years, the landscape in the music industry has changed dramatically. Industry changes affect all industry players from bands and solo artists to those working behind the scenes. 

Like other industries, technological advancements play a significant role in the transformation of the music industry. The way musicians make money from their music right now is different from how they did 20 years ago.

To thrive as a musician in the 21st Century, you have to diversify your revenue streams. In the current market, record sales are declining; therefore, you need to open up your mind to other potential revenue streams.

You will also need an entrepreneurial mind to handle the idea of several revenue streams. To get you started, we have discussed a few creative ideas you can try.

1.    Sell Your Music

In the 21st Century, digital distribution is inevitable. You should be readily available on all media platforms. If you can, you can seek the services of an aggregator to place your music all over the internet on your behalf.

You can also sell CD-Rs online and in gigs. It has become increasingly easier to produce physical copies, which you can also sell on local shops.

2.    Sell Merchandise

If you have a loyal following, then selling merchandise can generate some extra income for you. You can make t-shirts, buttons, Caps, badges, and stickers, among other merchandise.

When you go for concerts, you can display your merchandise on the merchandise table to get an extra income. You can also make use of online platforms like social media and your website to display and sell the merchandise.

However, you have to make sure you keep your expenses down to make money from the items. Sometimes this method can be unreliable if you don’t market aggressively.

3.    YouTube Channel

YouTube channel is a must-have medium for the 21st-century musician. YouTube allows you to make money each time a viewer plays your content on the channel. The most significant advantage of using YouTube is the fact that it is free.

Furthermore, you don’t need a godfather, and you can try multiple times. All you need is a camera, record yourself. Once you post some videos, you can take advantage of the YouTube advertising program to generate some extra money.

Content ID is one of the easiest ways you can use to make money on YouTube. Content ID is a digital fingerprinting scheme used by content creators to ID and manage their copyrighted content on YouTube.

Also, every time your music is played in videos that are running ads on YouTube, YouTube will pay a part of the marketing money to the rights owner of the song.

4.    Create a Website

When you create your website, you will have a personal avenue to showcase your music, sell CDs, and advertise your availability for events. On your website, it is advisable to feature some samples of your talent.

It will also provide the best platform for your clients to write a recommendation if they were pleased with your services. Seek the help of a qualified web designer to get a professional website for your music business.

5.    Streaming

Online streaming is the trend in the music industry right now. It is, therefore, a no brainer that you should have your music on music streaming platforms.

You will be paid royalties every time your music is played on streaming platforms. Even though the payouts per stream are usually low, over time, they will add up. Streaming services also provide new fans with the opportunity to discover your music.


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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