8 Ways to Make Money with Music
By Steve Jaz
Founder, Musician & Mentor
Music Monetisation in the 21st Century
The way musicians make a living has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Thanks to the exploding popularity of streaming music platforms, the music industry has experienced a major shift in the way we see music monetisation in today’s music business.
Gone are the days of signing to a major label where currently, only 2250 artists get signed in a market of 8 million Music Artists searching for a record deal around the globe.
The rise of Independent Musicians and Small Business
With access to a laptop, basic plugins, headphones, a midi controller and an internet connection, musicians are now taking matters into their own hands and creating their own means of income. With more online reach, skilled musicians can register an ABN and practically start trading immediately and work their way towards establishing a music career with the right tools, training and support.
So what does this mean for musicians?
Because of this, a modern musician must have a business plan, they must think carefully about how they plan to generate revenue from multiple sources, and then execute this plan well.
This is vital for success.
Navigating the music business has been a life long learning journey which has led me to create a successful living doing what I love. However, like many young aspiring musicians, I used to believe that spending years in the studio practicing for hours, scoring gigs and always working on my craft would be the way to get ‘discovered’ and finally ‘break’ into the music business.
I actually believed this for most of my 20’s!
How my perception of the music business changed
Like most musicians in their 20’s and 30’s, the early days of my career consisted of long hours in rehearsals, recording studios, managing and promoting gigs, events and juggling a boring day job in between. But living the ‘part time muso’ lifestyle somehow didn’t settle right with me.
Thankfully, at 26 I met a mentor who helped me discover the tools and principles that changed my mindset and beliefs about the music business. The moment I discovered these tools was the moment I began to change my perception about the music business and noticing real results. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have built a successful career pursing my passion and a company that has generated millions in revenue over the past several years.
What I discovered about making money with music
Having trained and worked with thousands of musicians as well as interviewed and employed hundreds more over the past 10 years, I have discovered that there are 8 ways to make money with music in Australia for the average musician between 18-35 years in today’s music industry.
So today I want to talk about the various ways you can generate income for yourself as a Musician and provide you with some thoughts on how to succeed in each aspect of building your business. Some areas to consider include:
Return on Investment
- How do you generate revenue in this area?
- How much can you typically make per hour?
- Skills needed and likely investment before you can start generating income
- How long it can take before you start generating income?
- Risk vs Rewards and the chance that it won’t sustainably generate income
- How competitive is each market and how hard is it to break into?
- Is the market dying, is it likely to become harder to get work?
- Is it a new market that’s about to take off?
I’m also going to cover some essential basic business principals, so you can start thinking a little more like an entrepreneur and make a living doing what you love.