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The 6 money makers for musicians

With hardly any royalties from music streaming, and very low music sales ( CDs) or iTunes, there is a strong necessity to diversify revenue streams for musicians in today's business, as artists can no longer rely solely on the income from music sales. Digital marketing is changing the music industry and with music streaming rise in 2014, we are now seeing a continuous decline in album sales. Although sales of recorded music have dramatically decreased since 2010 , there are news ways for musicians to increase their income from various sources.

Gigs and Touring

The more artists can play live the better it is for them and their fans. Live shows and tours are where the real money is and are so far the best and preferable ways for musicians to connect with their audience, perform live and make a good income. The amount of money that musicians make really depends on their genre and the popularity of the artist. It ranges from developing artists earning 2-15k per show and stars like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and others earning over $500k per live show. In 2016, Beyonce's Formation World Tour has earned $123 million, as per Billboard.

DJ/Producer success

Many young producers and singer-songwriters are starting to become successful DJ's. This is a great way for artists to have an additional stream of income earning money as a DJ by simply playing their music and building a career in the industry. For example, Calvin Harris started his career as a singer-songwriter, producer releasing his first studio album in 2007, and today, he remains the world's highest paid DJ, earning over $63m annually from years 2013 - 2016. No to mention, television personality, model and singer Paris Hilton earns up to $1m for a single DJ set, as per The Guardian, and plays numerous shows in China, Dubai and Ibiza.

Fashion & Beauty Collaborations

Fashion Designers know that famous faces can certainly increase their brand's publicity, so there is no wonder why many well-known singers and musicians have been chosen to take parts in fashion campaigns. The highest paid beauty and fashion campaigns range from $3m - $50m and it's a great way for brands to sell their products and artists to promote themselves. The recent Dior fashion campaign with Rihanna x Dior sunglasses has been a hot topic on social media, and her Viva Glam MAC campaign has managed to raise $50m for Mac aids fund.


Firstly, new musicians need to understand that endorsements are not the same as sponsorships. Endorsing the company that makes your gear is all about you using their products, sharing your thoughts on why you believe in the brand and generating a correlation between you, the product and a potential buyer. If a company can trust that you're out there on a large scale representing their product in a way they'd trust an employee, you're on the right track, as per DIY Musician. Artists can earn an endorsement deal by building a fan base on social media, getting radio airplay, performing life and getting recognized. Musicians have to prove to these companies that they have something to offer.

Sync deals

Your music can also be used in audiovisual works like movies, TV commercials, video games etc. To sign the best sync deal, you have to make sure your material has a high-quality production and it's suitable for the particular project. For example, a major motion picture will usually pay from $10,000 to $25,000 for a song by an indie artist or producer, where a pop hit in major studio movie can easily earn $100,000 or more, as per Sentric Music blog.


While many people have been sceptical about YouTube stars, a lot of them earn more than most people on TV.

Today, record labels and managers are scouting for artists online who already have a large following, a great talent and unique songwriting skills. Especially, if you are starting in the music industry, YouTube is great for showcasing your talent and building your fan base. YouTube can open up more opportunities for you to invite fans to your gigs, sell your music, merchandise and get paid from YouTube as your channel grows.

These are only a few ways that, I think, are great for today's artists to look at for increasing their income. With technology and music industry trends changing, we are going to see more opportunities for artists to connect with their fans, sell their music online and make money from various sources independently or being signed with a record label.
Let me know in the comments below if you would like to add any relevant ways for musicians to increase their earnings.

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