How To Make Money As A Musician In 2023

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Are you a passionate musician seeking strategies to turn that passion into a profitable career? Navigating how to make money as a musician can be tricky. This article offers an extensive guide packed with creative and diverse ways to generate income from your musical talent. From selling your music in various formats, claiming royalties, utilizing digital platforms, and exploiting modern technologies to establishing partnerships and providing education, the opportunities are endless.

Imagine being able to pursue your musical aspirations while also ensuring a sustainable income stream. With the methods described in this comprehensive guide, you can secure a steady paycheck, engage with audiences like never before, strengthen your fan base, and deepen relationships with dedicated followers.

Embrace the future of music entrepreneurship by diving into the details of this article and implementing the suggested strategies, transforming your love for music into a rewarding venture.

So here are our top 8 tips on making money as a musician.

1. Capitalizing on Music and Performances

Sup fellow musicians, we’re always on the lookout for fresh, creative strategies to turn our love for music into a healthy paycheck, right? Well, we’re going to delve into a treasure trove of unique chances in this guide.

Selling Your Music

Sell Your Music On Vinyl, Cassette, And CD

Despite the digital revolution in the music scene, the craving for tactile formats is still alive and kicking. CDs, vinyl records, and even cassettes not only cater to the touchy-feely needs of fans but also become treasured keepsakes.

Upload Your Song To Streaming Platforms

Streaming platforms have bloomed as the go-to avenue for fans to get their music fix. As a musician, nurturing your fanbase on these platforms can morph into a steady income stream as your song plays to rack up.

Sell Your Music As Digital Downloads

Beyond streaming, peddling digital downloads of your tracks opens up another lane to cash in on your craft. At the same time, it’s a brilliant way to hand over high-quality audio files to fans to enjoy whenever and wherever they fancy.

Male playing guitar and singing live on stage

Performing Live

Live Shows & Cover Gigs

Live shows and gigs, be it private or corporate, are still a cornerstone income source. Despite the digital era, the unmatchable thrill of a live performance continues to enchant audiences.

Online Gigs

Online gigs, a trend sparked by global circumstances, have expanded our reach to wider audiences. Various tactics, like virtual ticketing, paywalls, or the digital version of passing the hat, can channel sustainable income streams.

2. Harnessing Royalties and Licenses

Claiming Your Royalties

As the music creator, you’re in line for royalties every time your music hits the airwaves or is performed. These royalties are split into performance royalties, granted when your music is performed publicly, and mechanical royalties, awarded when your music is replicated.

Collect Digital Royalties

In the digital age, making sure you’re collecting digital royalties is crucial. These are generated every time your music is streamed or downloaded online.

Collect Public Performance Royalties

Lastly, don’t overlook public performance royalties. These compensations are due to you whenever your music is played in public spaces, broadcasted on TV or radio, or played within a business establishment.

Licensing Your Music

Music licensing offers a side income source. By licensing your tunes, you allow others to use your music in their projects in return for a monetary reward.

Male playing guitar in front of iphone camera set-up.

3. Digital Platforms and Cutting-Edge Technology

In this vibrant era, digital platforms and technology have become a boon for musicians, providing an opportunity to engage with audiences like never before.

Benefiting from Online Channels


Online channels like YouTube are more than just promotional tools; they’re a means for musicians to communicate with their audience. When used effectively, these platforms can generate income through ad space on your music videos.

YouTube’s Content ID system, a digital tool for managing copyrighted content, is another source of income. If your music is used without permission in someone else’s video, ads will be displayed on that video, generating ad revenue for you.


On the other hand, platforms like Patreon allow musicians to cultivate an exclusive space for fans, providing access to unique content in return for a monthly subscription. This creates a steady income stream for artists while enhancing the fan experience.

Exploring Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Crowdfunding

NFTs provide artists with an innovative way of selling ownership of their music to fans and collectors. Websites like OpenSea facilitate the creation and sale of music NFTs.

Additionally, crowdfunding offers a novel approach to financing your musical endeavors. Supporters can contribute to album recordings, music video productions, or tours. Offering exclusive rewards or experiences to contributors strengthens the musician-fan bond.

4. Diversifying Revenue with Merchandising and Partnerships

As a resourceful musician, it’s essential to leverage your creativity and loyal fan base to create additional earnings. This can be achieved outside traditional music sales and performances, primarily through merchandising and brand partnerships.

Revenue through Merchandise

Boosting Merch Sales

If you’re seeking a way to supplement your income, merchandising presents an excellent opportunity. From apparel like hoodies and beanies to show posters and physical music formats, merchandise sales have been a key revenue channel for many musicians.

Profiting From Exclusive Content

Supplement your earnings by offering exclusive content. This could include documentaries, sheet music, or stem files. This strategy generates extra revenue and deepens the relationship with your dedicated fans.

Advantages of Endorsements and Sponsorship

Boosting Brand Visibility

In addition to merchandise sales, brand endorsements offer a significant revenue source. Brands often look for influencers to highlight their products, and musicians fit the bill perfectly.

Capitalizing On Sponsorship Deals

You don’t need to be a superstar musician to benefit from sponsorships. Many brands are eager to partner with emerging influencers and musicians, especially those with a solid, dedicated fan base.

5. Cashing in on Music Education and Consultations

As a musical maestro, you possess the unique ability to educate others. You can convert these educational moments into a profitable venture by offering music sessions.

These can range from personal instrumental classes to comprehensive online courses that cover aspects such as music theory or composition. Platforms like Podia or Thinkific can assist in creating and distributing these online courses, helping you reach a wider audience.

Your expertise is a unique asset. Why not monetize it? If you’re a wordsmith, your lyrics can become an additional revenue source. Platforms like Songbay and LyricFind can facilitate the sale of your song lyrics to other music lovers.

6. Music Production Services

The music world is teeming with opportunities to augment your earnings. From sound engineering to music production, the possibilities are endless. For instance, music producers frequently generate a significant income by selling beats to lyricists, rappers, and businesses.

Selling beats on your own website can yield substantial profits. Alternatively, marketplaces like BeatStars and Airbit provide convenient platforms for this purpose.

Another avenue to explore is becoming a session musician. Although it may not catapult your fame, it’s a steady job. You can earn by offering your skills as an instrumentalist for other artists or bands, even if it’s a temporary arrangement.

If you possess technical prowess, consider offering instrument and equipment repair services. This is a service that’s always in demand among musicians.

For tech-savvy individuals with a discerning ear, roles such as mixdown or mastering engineer could be a good fit. These roles play a crucial part in the music production process, fine-tuning and balancing track components to perfection before their release.

2 men sitting and talking in a music recording studio.

7. Ghost Production

Delving into ghost production is another avenue often overlooked. This involves creating a track for an artist who then releases it under their name. Despite the lack of recognition, ghost producers are much sought after, and the compensation is typically substantial.

8. Entrepreneurship

Establishing Your Record Label

Carving out your unique niche in the music industry doesn’t require you to be at the mercy of existing labels. Instead, consider pioneering your own. Record labels are entrepreneurial ventures that facilitate music recording, distribution, and promotion, capturing a slice of the profits in return.

Renting out Your Personal Recording Studio

If crafting music ignites your passion and you have the necessary resources, here’s an unconventional idea: construct your own recording studio. Once operational, you can rent it out to other artists. While initial costs may be steep, the potential for substantial returns is high once it’s fully functional.

Amplifying Events as a DJ

DJing offers a significant income opportunity. The demand for DJs spans a wide array of events, from club nights and wedding receptions to private parties. You can capitalize on this growing market by providing DJ services while simultaneously promoting your own music.

Offering Unique Music-Related Services

Fiverr, the global online marketplace, is crowded with musicians offering music production and songwriting services. To stand out, consider offering unusual musical services.

Selling Presets for Virtual Instruments and Effects.

Another avenue to explore is the sale of presets for virtual instruments and effects. This venture is akin to selling sound effects and sample packs but generally requires less effort. Success here hinges on choosing a popular instrument or effect that you’re intimately familiar with


Remember, the music industry, though saturated, offers abundant opportunities for those willing to diversify their income streams, ensuring a steady cash inflow. This is your chance to showcase your entrepreneurial spirit.

Whether it’s starting your own record label, setting up a recording studio for rental, offering unique services on Fiverr, or selling presets for virtual instruments, these are all potential paths to consider.

Always remember success in the music industry isn’t just about talent; it also requires business acumen and marketing strategy. So, don’t shy away from wearing multiple hats.

Venture forth in the music industry – the sky is truly the limit.


Andrew Scrivens

Andrew Scrivens

I am a live musician and guitar teacher from Brisbane, Australia, with extensive experience playing live, in the studio and for TV shows. I play in many venues, studios, music shops and with my students and as such am exposed to a lot of different gear. I form my opinions based on my experiences playing instruments in these locations.

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