14 new ways to make money from your music in 2014

2632 19

Make money from your musicNew year — new ways to put your music to work

Here is a quick list of artist revenue streams you may not’ve tried to tap into yet.

Remember, I said “streams.” Not all of these options are going to turn into giant rivers of cash on their own.

But when you add them to your normal music sales and performance revenues, they can make a huge difference in the success and sustainability of your music career.

14 ways musicians can earn more money this year

1. Alternative performances and house concerts – Fill in those blank calendar dates while touring. Check out “The Musician’s Guide to House Concerts” and our list of alternative venues

2. Performance royalties – Get paid whenever your original music is used on terrestrial and internet radio, TV, and more.

3. Mechanical royalties – Maybe you’re already collecting a lot of your performance royalties through a Performing Rights Organization. But are you getting paid mechanical royalties for global streams, international downloads, and more? If not, CD Baby Pro will make sure you get paid ALL the publishing royalties you’re owed.

4. Your music on YouTube – That’s right, the video streaming giant is also becoming a giant in the world of music discovery and monetization too — and CD Baby can help you get paid for the usage of your music on YouTube.

5. Affiliate programs – You’re already sending your fans to Amazon and iTunes to purchase your music. Why not earn a little extra money for it? Check out the Amazon affiliate program and the iTunes affiliate program.

6. Offer unique merch – Have you ever wondered if your merch sales would increase if you sold leather bracelets, pink panties, or throwing stars with your band logo on them? Test it out! This might be the year to order a small quantity of that crazy merch item you’ve always dreamed of to see if it sells.

7. Sell “Direct to Fan” – Use CD Baby’s MusicStore for Facebook and Music Store Widget to sell and share music directly.

8. Digital archives – Diehard fans want to collect every single song, concert, and poster! Like Fugazi, Phish, and other famous band with cult followings, give your fans the opportunity to download every show, video, album, and single.

9. Crowdfunding – They’ve been around for a few years now, but RocketHub and Kickstarter are still generating big revenue for artists who need funds in order to launch creative projects, record albums, etc.

10. Live Streams – Perform live and stream it on a service like GigeeUstream or Justin.tv. Ask fans to subscribe or donate!

11. Recording studio open house – If you have the budget to rent a studio for an extra hour or two during one of the days you’re recording, allow fans to pay for a behind-the-scenes experience where they can see where the magic happens, hear tracks from the upcoming release while it’s still “in the works,” and smell the smells!

12. Compose songs for fans – Offer, for a fee, to write a short song or musical dedication for a fan. Record it quickly on an acoustic guitar or piano, and collect your money! Not all your fans will be interested, but a few superfans would love it.

13. Sell your CDs on consignment at unusual retail locations – Ask your favorite coffee shop, barber shop, salon, restaurant, toy store, or boutique to play your music on their stereo. Then let them sell your disc at the counter and give them some of the dough.

14. Sync licensing – Get paid a sync licensing fee (in addition to possible performance royalties) for the usage of your original songs in film, TV, commercials, video games, corporate presentations, and more.

Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did. There’s dozens of other ways you can make money from your music this year. Let me know some of your ideas in the comments section below.

Email Sign Up: Become a Smarter Musician

[Music money picture from Shutterstock.]

In this article

Join the Conversation