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How One Pianist Made A Living Through Streaming Royalties

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

Written by Jaron Lewis

The music world is a tough industry. There are many occupations that involve music, including careers such as in dance, choreography, composing, directing, teaching, singingwriting, directing, and not at the least of this list are the musicians themselves. Musicians and singers make up a very small percentage of the entirety of those who make up the music industry, and an even smaller number makes up the amount of the singers and musicians who maintain a living from their music or singing career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014 there were only 173,000 jobs for musicians and singers combined, with only a 3% job outlook, which if compared to a common career field such as lawyers, (where there are 778,700 jobs and a 6% job outlook), you can see that job number and outlook is much lower than average.

Becoming A Full Time Musician

In retrospect, full-time career opportunities for musicians are few and far between. Despite this fact, there are many musicians in the United States who have broken the mold and built up their own names by working hard and making good music. One of the most predominant musicians in the country who has built her own empire is Michele McLaughlin. McLaughlin is a self-made, self-taught pianist and composer who has worked her way to the top of the charts and to full-time career.

Michele McLaughlin

McLaughlin began by composing songs in her early years of life. Her first album was titled “Beginnings,” and was recorded on a cassette tape for her mother in 2000. It wasn’t until seven years later that her career really took off, after being invited to perform a few songs at a Gary Girouard concert in Salt Lake City. It was the excitement in this performance that inspired her to invest her life into full-time music. As of now, McLaughlin has released 9 albums and accumulated a plethora of awards and features

How did this pianist make a living through music? The answer is simple. She gained her revenues through streaming royalties. Streaming royalties are gained through music distributing sources such as PandoraSpotifyRhapsody, etc. McLaughlin receives 100% of the royalties from each time one of her songs is streamed. McLaughlin has chosen to stream through Spotify and Pandora, where she says she enjoys both of their discovery platforms.

In an interview with DIY Musician (McLaughlin shared that Pandora has been her biggest platform for gaining publicity and fandom. She has been using Pandora since 2008. Her marketing strategy for increasing her exposure mostly included her online presence in reaching out to fans on social media and other online sources. It seems that her marketing campaign has been a successful one over the years as she has managed her full-time career solely through streaming royalties.

Making A Living Off Music Is Possible

Although there are not many musicians out there who have figured out how to make a career out of making music, McLaughlin is a living example that there are in fact full-time opportunities for those who will put in the effort.

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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How This INDIE Artist Got Over 67,598,275 Streams On ONE Song

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*Here are some small samples of the playlists in our network. Obviously, we aren't able to share every single list for confidentiality reasons, but these are a handful of examples out of the hundreds of playlists we have in our network.*

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Contemporary Christian Music (33K Followers)

Louvores - Gospel (62K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Clean Rap & RNB (25K Followers)

Top Hits From New Artists (20K Followers)

Chill Music (38K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Today's Pop Hits (38K Followers)

Gaming Playlist & Workout Radio (23K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Forest Gump Soundtrack (50K Followers)

Stagecoach (15K Followers)

Best of Country Hits (2K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Acoustics For Relaxing (48K Followers)

Chill Music (9K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Hard Rock Workout (70K Followers)

Rock Hits (5K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Funky Songs Playlist (190K Followers)

Clean Rap & RNB (10K Followers)

[EDM/Future Bass] Melvin - Luv Again

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Top Hits From New Artists (20K Followers)

Electro-mania (6K Followers)

Best Workout Playlist (14K Followers)




[Hip Hop] K-Rich - We Workin  


[Hip Hop] Surve - Found My Way  

*Note: Songs may have ordered promotion from other sources as well. Small, medium, and large only denote the amount of promotion that was ordered from our service.  



With an already buzzing YouTube audience of over 400K+ subscribers, Kid Travis wanted his Instagram profile to start gaining some of that same traction.

While you can get some spill over audience from YouTube, Kid Travis knew that Instagram ad campaigns could boost his presence on IG even further!

He discovered that trying to run Instagram ads yourself vs. having us add our years of experience and expertise to them made a huge difference!

His main goal was to achieve new followers who are seriously interested in his journey as an artist.

Kid Travis already had amazing talent but needed to combine his music genius with some marketing expertise to get the best of both worlds.

We were able to bring out the heart of his music through paid ads by editing & optimizing his existing videos and properly researching and structuring his ad campaigns.

The end results: We were able to consistently and predictably gain followers averaging between $0.25-$0.35 per follower (including a bulk of the promotion being done in high cost English speaking countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Australia, & Canada) resulting in around 4,000 new, engaged followers/month on Instagram.

Kid Travis Instagram:

Kid Travis YouTube:

*Note: Previous campaigns are not a guarantee for results in future campaigns. However, we do our best to ensure each client gets the best results possible.