Here’s How Singers, Rappers, & Musicians (Actually) Make Money In 2019

Here’s How Singers, Rappers, & Musicians (Actually) Make Money In 2019

Written by Cameron Mayo

We all know that successful musicians make good money. But where does it come actually from? Record sales, concerts, or somewhere else? This article will attempt to answer these questions like “how do artists make money in 2019?” and give you an idea of how you can make your music a career.


As you are aware, it takes countless hours to perfect an album and release it to the public. Once it’s ready to go, music stores take it and distribute it in both physical and digital copies. Unfortunately, those sales don’t translate to much profit for the artist. Due to the huge libraries of music available through online streaming services, physical album sales are declining, and people are becoming more selective about what they are buying. Digital sales for singles are often greater than album sales and streaming is becoming much more popular.

Thankfully, artists are able to make some money from streams. On of the best venues for making money from streaming is on YouTube. Artists have the choice to monetize their music which allows YouTube to sell ad space on their videos. Every time someone watches the ad attached to their video, the artist gets paid. It’s a very small amount per view, but if a video get millions of views, that’s significant.

Just a not about comparing album sales to streams. According to the Retail Industry Association of America (RIAA), who officially monitors sales figures, it takes 1,500 streams to equal one album sale. Despite decreasing in popularity, album sales are not going to disappear anytime soon as they serve an important role, to promote the tours.


Ever wonder how someone like Billy Joel, who hasn’t released a new album in years earned $35 million between 2016 and 2017. That’s because he’s been busy playing concerts at stadiums.

But, how do artists make money from concerts?

Not only do artists earn a percentage of the ticket sales, they also earn from merchandise. That can include anything from concessions to clothing, from photographs to phone cases. It just depends on the artist’s contract with the venue.

As you can see, this is a veritable gold mine. The bigger the tour, the bigger potential payout. That’s why artists are happy to have their singles on the radio for next to no reimbursement. Airplay is some of the best marketing available and will be a huge factor in filling a concert venue.


Another way artists make money is through brand association and sponsorships. Sponsorships range from anything to being featured in advertisements to wearing certain clothes to award shows. Lily Allen told Business Insider that an advertisement may pay as much $170,000. Artists also make money if they can get their music featured in an ad campaign.

However, the biggest money comes when people want a personal performance from a star. Beyoncé and Jay Z reportedly charge around one million dollars to perform at a wedding. Big artists can also make around $350,000 for opening a new venue. As you can imagine, an artist only needs a few big events to afford a very comfortable lifestyle.


On a small scale, this is how an independent artist makes money too. Make an album, sell it to promote a concert, sell as many tickets to the concert as possible, collect a perfect of profits. Sponsorship opportunities don’t often come to small time musicians, but every famous artist you know started somewhere. Good luck making it to the big stage!

To help you on your way, you should take a look at organic music promotion. A good campaign will extend your reach to new audiences and build your fanbase with real, active listeners. Omari MC has the best organic promotion of Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube. Click below for more information!




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