New Ways Musicians Can Earn Money in 2012

Money, Money, Money, MoneyNew year– new ways to make money from your music!

Here is a quick list of artist revenue streams you may not have tried to tap into yet (thanks to Hypebot for drawing our attention to some of these links).

Most likely, you won’t earn an adequate income from any one of these; but when you add them to your normal music sales and performance revenue, Santa might be able to put that extra Neumann U-87 in your stocking at the end of 2012!

10 ways musicians can earn more money this year.

1. Alternative performances and house concerts– Fill in those blank calendar dates while touring. Check out or Concerts In Your Home.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

6. Digital archives- Diehard fans want to collect everything! Like Fugazi, Phish, and other famous band with cult followings, give your fans the opportunity to download every show, video, album, and single.

7. 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.

8. Live Streams- Perform live and stream it on a service like Ustream or Ask fans to subscribe or donate!

9. 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!

10. 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!

Did we miss anything? I’m sure we did. Let us know in the comments section below.

-Chris R. at CD Baby


Free Updates: Become a 
Smarter Musician


Join the Conversation