40+ Ways to Make Money in Music

The idea of showcasing one’s artistry is often compounded with the need to profit off of it. Whether it is from selling merchandise (i.e. t-shirts, caps, etc) to touring, as an musician there are many ways to make money from music.  However, these revenue streams are just the tip of the iceberg. There are far more ways to earn money than any musician or composer can imagine.

fmc_revenuestreamsTo start earning money, an artist must first understand what copyrights are and how they work. Songs are composed of two copyrights: 1) a musical composition (notes and lyrics), and 2) a sound recording (the performance of a musical composition). And songs should be copyrighted before attempting to earn money from them. For example, Rihanna’s smash hit “Umbrella” was composed by The-Dream. He wrote the lyrics and created the beat. Rihanna, on the other hand, is only attributed to the “sound recording” of the song.  She sat in the studio with ‘Dream and recorded his composition. Remember, it is important to know how copyrights work in this type of situation.

The-Dream and Rihanna earned millions from “Umbrella,” but in several cases, in two different ways.


Now, let me spit some game. There are more than 40 ways to make money with your music (as an musician or a composer). I can bet that the majority of listed revenue streams, no one hardly thinks about. Money can be generated, however, through unorthodox methods. As an artist, you must be willing to think outside the box though. For instance, if you are a drummer, why not offer drum lessons? If your songs are being played on a TV show, why not make sure you’re being paid via the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund?

Although those are just two examples of revenue opportunities, there are more provided by the Future of Music Coalition. If you would like to peep the entire list, click the photo image. 

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