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Written by Omari
We all know that successful musicians make good money... but the question is how? Is it record sales, concerts, or somewhere else? There is a big public misconception about where and how much income a typical artist makes. In fact, the truth my surprise you. In this article, we are going to clear up any confusion regarding how musicians get paid. So that you can have a good idea of how you can make your passion for music become a lucrative 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.
Selling merch is a huge source of revenue for many musicians. Live performances and tours generally help push merch sales. Concert attendees love getting a hat, t-shirt, poster, or some other physical memento to take back with them as a piece of the experience.
So, if you are not including a merch booth at all of your live events, you are seriously doing yourself an injustice and could me losing out on a ton of potential money.
However, concerts and shows aren't the only way musicians rack in revenue from merchandise. Thanks to eCommerce websites and online merch stores, artists can get paid rom merch sales without ever leaving their own homes.
Platforms like Shopify, Big Cartel, Zazzle, and Red Bubble are extremely popular and lucrative websites that artists use to get their merch out to the public. Basically all you have to do is come up with a design, do some promotion, and most websites do all the other work for you.
Another big platform to drive merch sales is your band or artist website or music landing page. This URL is already guaranteed to get visitors who are interested and supportive of your music, so embedding a merch store within your website already has a higher percentage of viewers which means a higher chance of sales.
Besides live shows and merch, another way today's artists make decent money is through teaching music lessons. Typically, musicians that are teaching are earning a better income than they would be through live performances, and vice versa.
Music lessons or teaching gigs pay well and often have flexible hours that the artists can set themselves. Nowadays, lessons can even be taught virtually or from the comfort of one's own home studio.
Teaching may be a great opportunity for those who need to step back from performances and/or touring, whether it be due to family reasons, mental or physical health, or anything else. Some many find teaching lessons draining, but for others it can be very fulfilling and rewarding.
Conducting music lessons can be great for honing in on your skills, refining your knowledge of theory and basics, and a way to fulfill your soul by interacting and helping others find their love for music.
On a small scale, this is how an independent artist makes money. Make an album, sell it to promote a concert, sell as many tickets to the concert as possible, make merchandise and have a booth selling at every single venue you perform at — as well as having merch available for purchase online.
Though sponsorship opportunities are fantastic if you can land one, they don’t often come to small time musicians. However, every famous artist you know started somewhere. Just remember, keep grinding and always have multiple sources of revenue streams under your belt. Good luck making it to the big stage!
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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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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