75 methods for musicians to earn money in 2024

Wish to receives a commission to your musical skills? 

As a musician, there are extra methods to earn cash than ever earlier than. Dozens upon dozens of the way, in reality!

When you ought to, in fact, prioritize sure income streams as an artist who creates unique music, there are occasions — maybe whenever you’re first rising your profession —whenever you simply gotta pay the payments

And in that case, placing your music expertise to make use of certain beats a job exterior of music, proper? Particularly if your musical side-hustle helps you keep sharp as an instrumentalist, arranger, producer, educator, or content-creator. 

That can assist you get a way of the wide selection of choices on the market, I’ve put collectively an inventory of 75 methods you may make cash out of your music, grouped by class for simple scanning.

Streaming & Digital Gross sales

1. Streaming Income: Earn cash from streaming exercise whenever you get your tracks onto platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, or TIDAL.

2. Digital Downloads: Promote MP3s, WAVs, or FLACs of your tracks on platforms like iTunes, Amazon, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, or your individual web site.

3. Social Video Monetization: Receives a commission when folks create social content material utilizing your music in movies on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Fb, and extra. 

4. Monetize Your YouTube Channel: Generate promoting income from viewer exercise by yourself YouTube movies, and use further creator instruments to monetize subscriber engagement.

Music Recording Work

5. Music Manufacturing: Put your producing expertise to work for different artists. Receives a commission in factors, upfront charges, co-writer splits, or no matter different association is sensible for you and your collaborator. 

6. Engineering: Are you good at recording, mixing, or mastering? Let different artists know! This could be a nice income between your individual recording initiatives or excursions

7. Session Participant: Acquired skills as an instrumentalist or vocalist? Are you fast at studying and arranging tunes? Recording periods may be a good way to receives a commission whereas not tying up an excessive amount of of your time directly. You may attend periods in particular person, or do distant session work from your individual house studio.

8. Studio Operator: Do you personal a whole lot of recording gear that goes unused whenever you’re not making music? Possibly it’s time to contemplate renting out your studio to different engineers, producers, and artists. 

9. Cellular Recording: Whether or not it’s vacation spot recording (“My band rented an airbnb and we wish to flip it right into a studio”) or capturing dwell audio for different bands at their reveals, generally having a transportable studio could make all of the distinction in getting the job. 

Music Publishing & Licensing

10. Mechanical Royalties: Accumulate this type of publishing royalty when your unique songs — together with covers by different artists — get streamed, downloaded, or pressed on CD/vinyl.

11. Efficiency Royalties: Earn this music publishing cash when your unique music is carried out dwell in venues or publicly broadcast on radio and TV.

12. Sync Licensing (Songwriter Facet): If you happen to write your individual songs and retain the publishing rights, you will get paid an upfront payment — and in some circumstances, ongoing royalties — when your music is positioned in movie, TV, video games, commercials, and so forth. 

13. Sync Licensing (Label Facet): Similar goes for the “recording” aspect of the equation. If you happen to personal your individual tracks, you’re the label, and may receives a commission for sync placements.

14. Compose for Music Libraries: Prolific composer or producer? You could possibly write music for music collections which are particularly curated for sync licensing alternatives.  

15. Promote Sheet Music: The unique supply of “music publishing” income! Relying in your style, this could be a massive vendor. (New Age Piano, anybody?) However don’t simply consider notation; you can additionally do chord-charts, tablature, lyric sheets, and extra.  

Stay Music Performances

16. Touring and Stay Exhibits: Play dwell and receives a commission. This income may come within the type of ticket gross sales, door splits, bar percentages, or a assured payment from the venue proprietor. 

17. Residency Gig: Similar type of cost choices as above, however a residency is a frequently scheduled factor. It may very well be “7 nights in a row in July” or “Each different Thursday all 12 months.”

18. Home Live shows: Play intimate concert events in personal houses. These may be nice fan-building experiences and enable you promote a whole lot of merch, whereas decreasing strain for big turnout. Plus it can save you on journey bills if the host places you up for the night time.  

19. DJing: If you happen to’re not touring, you possibly can DJ occasions, events, or venues in your hometown. On the street? Do a DJ set at a competition or venue between your tour dates. 

20. Company Gigs: Wish to receives a commission massive bucks whereas coming into The Twilight Zone? Play at a company perform. It’s surreal. And profitable.

21. Weddings and Non-public Occasions: Carry out at weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, household Christmas events, birthdays, and different kinds of personal occasions. These can typically pay higher than a regular venue gig.

22. Metropolis or Municipal Occasions: The annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, the summer time beer backyard within the park, the Arts Stroll. Verify along with your native chamber of commerce or metropolis council for alternatives. 

23. Festivals: It’s nice to play music festivals, in fact, but in addition analysis non-music gatherings which have dwell music as a part. Beer festivals. Balloon festivals. Meals festivals. 

24. Busking: Play in a public house with a lot of foot visitors for ideas. Subway stations. City squares. Boardwalks and piers. Simply verify the native ordinances first. Get a allow, if required.

25. Be within the Home Band: Just like a residency, the place you keep put and totally different audiences come to you, search out efficiency alternatives the place you back-up different singers. Might be live-band karaoke, a giant band or jazz group, and so forth.

26. Play Cruise Ships: If you happen to don’t thoughts small rooms and plenty of months at sea, cruise ship gigs offer you an opportunity to play quite a bit (generally a number of gigs per day), and supply downtime to concentrate on apply, recording, studying, and so forth. 

27. Nursing Properties: Whereas these aren’t glamorous gigs, they are often very significant for the viewers and also you because the performer. They will pay nicely, are often shorter units, and have the potential to change into reliable repeat gigs. 

28. Digital Performances: Wish to mix the unique and intimate feeling of a home live performance with the comfort of livestreaming? Play a non-public, digital efficiency on Zoom, Google Hangouts, and so forth.  

Music Merch Gross sales

29. Artist Merchandize: Promote merch at gigs, in your web site, and on platforms like Instagram and Spotify. Objects may vary from t-shirts to mugs to books. 

30. Bodily Music Codecs: Regardless of what you might have heard, followers nonetheless buy CDs, vinyl information, and even cassettes. Supply them in all the identical locations you’ll your merch, in addition to in report shops through bodily distribution or consignment. 

31. Restricted-Version Releases: Supply limited-edition or signed bodily copies of your music to followers. For example, you can promote tour-specific recordings that may by no means once more be out there to buy.

32. Digital merch: Not all merchandise must be bodily. You may provide PDFs of your tour diary or poetry. A digital cookbook. An unlock of a secret video. 

33. Digital “Field Set”: Similar goes for music information. You might have a trove of unreleased recordings. Give followers paid entry! Or bundle every thing you’ve ever recorded right into a digital package deal with bonus tracks. 

34. NFTs: “Non-Fungible Tokens.” These are crypto belongings on a blockchain that symbolize possession or engagement in some piece of music, imagery, neighborhood, paintings, or monetary association. 

Music Schooling

35. Educate Music: Whether or not it’s personal classes or a teleconference tutorial, you possibly can assist different folks get higher at an instrument, music manufacturing, or songwriting. 

36. Music Remedy: Put your expertise to make use of in a therapeutic means that helps folks enhance their well-being.

37. On-line Programs: Create and promote a digital course. It may very well be about your instrument, or your music-biz and promo expertise. Plenty of upfront work, however with the potential for it to change into extra “passive” earnings as soon as your advertising and marketing funnel is up and working. 

38. Music Workshops: Host IRL or on-line neighborhood gatherings the place studying and suggestions occurs in a bunch setting. 

39. Visitor Lectures: Converse at faculties, faculties, or music seminars. These are sometimes paid alternatives, however even in case you’re an unpaid speaker at a music convention, you need to have the possibility to make a fast gross sales pitch on the finish of your discuss or promote books afterwards. 

40. Music Transcription: Are you good at determining complicated harmonies, blistering bluegrass breaks, or well-known saxophone solos? You could possibly earn cash transcribing that music note-for-note. It is likely to be work-for-hire earnings, or you can publish these transcriptions in a e-book. Or on YouTube (with the potential of incomes advert income). 

Crowdfunding & Fan Help

41. Venture-Based mostly Crowdfunding: Use platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe to lift cash from followers to assist a selected recording, tour, advertising and marketing, or video mission. 

42. Membership Golf equipment: You should use a subscription-model platform like Patreon, or construct your individual on-line fan subscription by your web site. In alternate for month-to-month cost, followers get unique or early entry to content material and different perks. 

43. Fan Donations: Settle for donations straight from followers by platforms like PayPal or Venmo. These hyperlinks may be listed in your web site, livestreams, and even pinned to the highest of your Spotify profile. 

44. Livestream Help: That is income followers offer you for livestreaming. However in contrast to the Venmo or PayPal ideas talked about above, it may well come within the type of a platform-specific foreign money or motion: Stars, Bits, Subs, and so forth. 

45. VIP Experiences: Supply your diehard followers the possibility to pay for an unique expertise. Backstage passes, meet-and-greets, watch the soundchecks, dinner earlier than the present, pictures and autographs. 

Music Composition

46. Songwriting for Different Artists: If you happen to’re a prolific author, you might have concepts to spare! Pitch your unreleased songs to different artists, publishers, or labels. Or collaborate with co-writers to make new songs. Repeatable success on this space takes a whole lot of dedication, however may result in a publishing deal. 

47. Write Jingles: Ya know, the catchy (and generally annoying) music that performs throughout commercials? There’s cash to be made the place artwork meets promoting. 

48. Movie Scoring: Compose music for movies, TV reveals, and documentaries. Like many areas of specialization, this subject can require a whole lot of time and dedication. Take into account accordingly how typically and whenever you wish to settle for scoring work.

49. Video Recreation Music: In concept, this isn’t that totally different from movie scoring. Besides that gaming has its personal musical tropes, so the reference factors might differ from cinematic orchestration and sound design. Many video video games additionally characteristic songs that change into a part of the sport’s soundtrack, which refers again to sync licensing. Lastly, there’s a complete large ecosystem of VGM covers on YouTube, the place artists do their very own artistic preparations of common online game music. So in case you play a novel instrument, this would possibly offer you a solution to differentiate your self: Halo on accordion, Ultimate Fantasy on metallic guitar, Zelda on harmonica, Mario Bros on banjo.  

50. Promote Beats and Pattern Packs: Are you a prolific producer in a style that depends closely on digital music, corresponding to hip-hop, pop, or EDM? You may assist different artists get an enormous musical help by promoting your beats, production-starts, and pattern packs. 

51. Write Customized Songs: Let your followers know you’ll compose and report customized songs for particular events like weddings or birthdays. Simply make sure to cost sufficient to your precise effort and time!

52. Sound Design and Audio Branding: Create “audio logos” and “sound identities” for companies. Or use your manufacturing expertise to make sound results and audio environments for media, public areas, or different commissioned initiatives.

Retail & Venue Work

53. File Retailer: Gig at night time and work at a report retailer in the course of the day. You’ll keep on high of the most recent music releases, as nicely brush up on the classics.

54. Music Retail: Reasonably be close to devices? Work at a music retailer and develop your experience within the newest gear, used instrument valuation, and extra. 

55. Making or Repairing Devices: Good at fixing guitars? Carving violins? Soldering results pedals or synths? You could possibly begin your individual enterprise or work out of an present store or retailer.

56. Expertise Purchaser: Already in communication with a big community of proficient musicians? Put these social and group expertise to make use of reserving the acts at a neighborhood venue. 

57. Venue Workers: Want extra of the “on the bottom” venue expertise? You could possibly be a bartender, bouncer, field workplace assistant, or venue supervisor. 

58. Stay Sound Engineer: Each good venue wants good dwell sound. You could possibly be the important thing to creating that occur. Bonus factors in case you’re not a grump!

Different Music Professions

59. Music Journalism: Write present previews, album critiques, characteristic interviews, and extra. You could discover a chance to do that as a side-gig to your native newspaper or arts weekly. 

60. Musicology, Criticism, Editorial, and Curation: Put your deep information and keenness for a selected style to make use of. Educate others about that historical past. Or make music suggestions and thrilling connections for listeners. 

61. Member of an Orchestra: Jazz, Classical, Ballet, or the pit-orchestra for Musical Theater. You probably have nice technical facility in your instrument and reliable sight-reading expertise, you can make a residing in a big ensemble.

62. Non secular Music: Whether or not it’s the organist in a cathedral, the guitarist in a praise-and-worship band, the cantor at a temple,… many religions have music as a part of their common service. 

63. Voice Expertise: You probably have singing voice, you would possibly have the ability to translate these dramatic expertise to offer voiceovers, audiobook readings, or character voices. 

Model Collaborations

64. Model Sponsorships: Companion up with some firm who shares your values and aesthetic, and receives a commission whenever you rep their merchandise, companies, or mission. 

65. Endorsements: Get discounted (or generally free) services corresponding to devices, music advertising and marketing instruments, or music manufacturing software program. In alternate, you agree to make use of that gear in public and supply testimonials.

66. Affiliate Advertising and marketing: Promote a sure product in your web site, do gear critiques, and hyperlink to the producer or retailer, and earn a fee on any gross sales. 

67. Be an Influencer: “Influencer Advertising and marketing?” Simpler stated than carried out, however… if in case you have a big social following, you could possibly monetize that spotlight by doing product placements or promo shoutouts. 


68. Books, eBooks, & Audiobooks: I suppose this might go underneath the “merch” part, however that’s extra in regards to the ultimate product and gross sales. Turning into an writer is an endeavor all its personal, in fact. However in case you already show a knack for lyric-writing, you might have longer-form literary expertise too. It may very well be fiction, non-fiction about musicology, essays about band drama and tour mishaps, and even written instrument instruction with accompanying illustrations.

69. Music Running a blog: I discussed above that you can write critiques for an present publication, however you can additionally host critiques by yourself website within the hopes of monetizing your weblog by advert placements and affiliate income. 

70. Podcasting: Begin a podcast about your music, adventures, or different pursuits. If you happen to get ample engagement, you possibly can monetize by advertisements, sponsorships, or listener assist. 

71. Competitions: These may very well be rap battles, songwriting challenges, bluegrass competitions. There could also be an entry payment, however that additionally means there may very well be a giant payout in case you win. 

72. Interactive Music Experiences: You probably have blended media or web-development expertise, you can create an immersive real-world or digital expertise. Emma McGann’s multi-player “Monsterverse” RPG in Discord is a good instance. You may ask your followers to pay to take part, or you need to use it as an opportunity to drive merch gross sales on the finish of the expertise.

73. Consulting Providers: Musicians need assistance, stable recommendation, and networking connections. Are you able to mentor somebody in administration, crowdfunding, digital promoting, or one thing else? Present that technique recommendation in alternate for a payment.

74. Open-Supply Collaboration: That is whenever you make some artistic work out there for others to make use of, with no clear concept of who will collaborate, or what precisely will outcome. Making stems downloadable for remixers is an apparent instance. You may approve your favourite remixes and formally distribute these tracks, splitting any income the remix generates. However artists like Holly Herndon and Grimes took it one step additional with AI fashions of their vocals. 

75. __________: Sure, a clean house, as a result of if there are 75 gadgets on this checklist already, there’s certain to be many extra methods to earn money out of your musical expertise. And I needed to depart room so that you can think about your individual prospects. Have enjoyable!


Most musicians won’t ever sort out each merchandise on this checklist, and that’s utterly high-quality. They shouldn’t. All of us have our personal specialties and pursuits. Finest to concentrate on what’s rewarding, each by way of private development and revenue.

However hopefully this lengthy checklist offers you an outline of your choices as you make a profession of your music, and as you complement your main music earnings sources with further income streams. 

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