99.9% of Music Artists Make Less Than Minimum Wage

99.9% of Artists Make Less Than Minimum Wage

*This article may contain links to affiliate products & services. We have reviewed these services to try and ensure the highest quality recommendations*

Written by Omari

Yes, you read that correctly. 99.9% of artists make less than minimum wage. Specifically, this stat applies to Tunecore artists.

Honestly, this is a scary number. How is it that almost NO independent artists are making a substantial income from their music? Read till the end and I'll tell you how you can help fix this too.

When I came across this statistic it rubbed me the wrong way at first, but then I realized something. This high percentage of artists making virtually no income from their music includes a ton of inconsistent musicians as well.

You know exactly who I'm talking about too. The people who will go hard for about a month then quit for the next five. Consistency is key.

This number is astronomically high not only because of the inconsistencies of artists, but because of the lack of knowledge most independent artists have about the music business.

I've consulted with far too many indie artists who do not have priorities in order for their music career, so I'm just going to eliminate some of these critically harming mindsets independent musicians have about making it as an independent artist.

1. I Don't Have Enough Money

Let's just get this pesky one out of the way because we all know we've used this excuse. I'm guilty of it too. What this translates as is, "I'm prioritizing other expenses over my music career. " Some of them may be legitimate expenses too, and some of them may not.

But if it comes down to having cable or putting more investment into my music career guess which one is going? (Sorry Walking Dead)

What I've come to find is there's always a separation factor for the more serious artists. A higher percentage of their funds are being attributed towards their craft because they are the few who sincerely want to do music full time.

Not every artists who says they want to actually does though. The investment is one way you can tell.

Not to mention how freaking cheap some smart investments for your music are.

Domain name ($1/month). Hosting (As low as $4/month), A GOOD Mailing list (Not ReverbNation) (As cheap as $10/month). That's not even $20... $20!!! (Sorry for yelling the second time) There's really no excuse for serious artists not to find a way to invest the $20 though, and a very small percentage actually go through with it.

However, if you don't know how to use these tools and properly structure a website it's useless to invest in them, so keep reading.

2. Don't Even Think About Radio Yet

"If I could get a spot on radio I know I'll blow up." Please, I beg of you, if you don't even have your own domain name and highly converting email list yet, DON'T SPEND MONEY ON RADIO.

I really don't blame this mindset on the artists. If you would've asked me a couple years ago I would've thought radio was a good idea too, but if the right things aren't in place BEFORE you get on the radio you're pretty much doomed.

If you don't even know what I mean when I say highly converting email list click here.

One of the reasons artists think it cost so much to start an independent music career is because they don't know HOW to spend their money to get R.O.I. (Return on Investment)

3. How The Free Mindset Can Hurt You

"SoundCloud & ReverbNation are free. I'll just put my music up and send all my listeners there." *Face palm* Let me break this one down.

SoundCloud doesn't even have a mailing list option and ReverbNation's mailing list is beyond mediocre compared to Mailchimp (discounted link) or Aweber.

You own no part of these companies and if their traffic slows down there's goes your entire music career. (Remember MySpace & PureVolume?)

If you don't have your own domain name and sales funnel set up you essentially have a hobby on your hands, not a career. Honestly, you're going to stay in the hobby field of music if you keep telling yourself, "I don't have any money" too.

The big problem is most artists don't know this, or they'll read this and won't take the advice. Then they'll still have the SAME problems they had with their music career last month that they're having this month or 3 months from now.

Don't add on to the 99.9% that aren't building a smart fan base with their music. TAKE ADVANTAGE of the resources available to you so you don't have to fail.

Wrapping Up

The blog has the basic articles for the everyday artist who just wants to know a little more about the music business, but if you want the advanced material to start learning the serious techniques about how to structure an optimized website, build an interactive email list, drive highly targeted daily traffic, and separate yourself from the millions of artists who don't know the in depth details of starting a legitimate independent music career you can get them here.

I'm going to continue to fight this 99.9%, but the only way that happens is with action on the part of all the independent artists reading this. Read through the articles on the blog, or if you're really looking to do music full time then check out the advanced course.

We'll get this done one by one!


When your song is ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to potential fans! Omari has the best organic promotion services money can buy. With packages for Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, we will get your music the traffic and attention it deserves! Click below for more information.  


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