This era may have given us the £0.0058 pay per stream on Spotify, but it has also seen the exponential rise of virally famous independent musicians, such as Chance the Rapper. Even if you’re not that into hip hop, the chances are that you will have heard of his music, or at least his name.
His $33m income in 2017 proved that it is entirely possible to fund a non-impoverish lifestyle via music – if you’ve got the songwriting ability and talent. In an exclusive interview in 2022, Chance the Rapper revealed that most of his income came through the sale of tickets and merch. Even if you don’t get to the same level of renown, there are a plethora of ways to make money from your music in 2022.
From sync deals to getting on radio station playlists to selling merch to selling digital downloads, relying on streaming platforms never has to be and will never be your bread and butter.
With enough blood, patience, sweat, tears and perseverance, financial success and an impressive level of recognition are entirely possible. However, there is only so much room for the cream of the crop to float to the service in an oversaturated market – meaning that having realistic expectations will be fundamental to maintaining your sanity while you are trying to turn your creativity into a money-spinner.
How to Make Money from Your Music in 2022
The main reason why the financially successful artists are in the painful minority is due to the sheer number of artists that made their debut when the lockdowns gave everyone too much spare time. Not because there is a lack of opportunities for talented artists.
In May 2019, the Bureau of Labour Statistics ran a study on 175,600 singers and musicians; the study found that the median hourly wage for all participants was an impressive $30.39 an hour.
Stop Depending on Physical Sales & Digital Downloads
Trends in the music industry are constantly in flux; one of the biggest changes in recent years has been the decline of digital and physical LP and EP sales, while streaming has seen a sharp rise.
It is easy to feel a little dejected when you compare the cost of a gatefold limited edition picture disc vinyl with a Spotify stream; find the silver lining in the fact that the platform is the biggest contributor to streaming royalties.
By the end of 2020:
- 184,500 artists earned over $1,000.
- 42,100 artists made over $10,000.
- 870 artists earned over $1 million.
For all future releases, utilise third-party distribution services which will platform your music on all popular platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Apple Music, YouTube, Tidal and Deezer. We highly recommend the services of TuneCore and Ditto.
Try Your Luck with Sync Deals
In 2020 sync licencing deals contributed to 2% of an artist’s entire income through their original music. That may not sound all too significant, but considering that the sync licencing industry was worth $265 million in 2020, it is still well worth considering.
There is an increasing trend in licencing companies offering subscriptions to clients on their roster and paying the artists small but continuous payments.
Yet, there is still the chance to rake in the big bucks when working with companies such as Music Gateway, BeatStars, Music Vine, Sound Stripe and Music Bed.
Leave Lo-Fi Behind
As highlighted in our first point, streaming is king in 2022, which means your music must be of high enough quality to be stream worthy. And to state the fairly obvious, this also goes for your sync licencing deals.
One of the best things that you can do to increase your chances of financial success with your music in 2022 is to produce it to the highest possible quality.
This may mean enlisting the help of a renowned producer with plenty of sway in the industry, or it could mean that you need to focus on your production skills. You can always earn additional income by producing other people’s music with your freshly acquired skill set!
The 2020 and 2021 lockdowns proved just how much money was at stake with the closure of venues. Along with the cash you get paid to play (whatever you do, don’t just do it for exposure or resort to extortionate pay to play gigs), you will also bank money from merch sales.
A recent study showed that musicians who lived comfortably off their music made an average of 14% of their income via selling their merch.
A lot has changed in the merch-selling world, aside from t-shirts remaining the top sold merch item. New key trends to consider are the demands for leisurewear, such as joggers and hoodies and the increase in sales of home décor items, such as posters and mugs. Other merch ideas to explore include hats, tote bags, phone cases, stickers, or whatever you think your audience would appreciate!
Other Revenue Streams to Consider
Creating hit songs that fans scream for when played live is the financial vision of success that many artists have in mind when they start to contemplate how to fund themselves via their music.
The reality is that some of the income streams are a little less rock and roll and a little more lucrative.
While looking at the different ways of supporting yourself through your music, take the time to consider:
– Composing and writing songs for other artists.
– Working as a session musician – remotely or live.
– Performing at private functions, such as weddings.
– Teaching music as a private music teacher or academically
– Producing music for other artists.
– Livestreaming on Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
– Writing music-related content, such as blogs.
– YouTube ad revenue
– Music Journalism
For more info on music artist development, look at our consultancy packages and self-promo course material. Our PR Packages, which were developed by award-winning industry veterans, were built to boost exposure, fans, and revenue streams for independent artists.