31 ways to make money from music


There are many more ways to take advantage of your music than live broadcasts and live shows … we have about 29 more.

by Greg Majewski of CD Baby’s DIY musicians blog

There are more ways for musicians to make money today than at any other time in music history.

From publishing and synchronizing licenses to merchandise and NFT, we’ve made a quick checklist of all (or most) of your music revenue and copyright sources.

Look at it and see which ones you can miss!

1. Streaming revenue from sound recordings

How it is generated: Every time your songs are broadcast around the world

How to collect it: Through your music distributor

2. Download the sound recording proceeds

How it is generated: Every time your tracks are downloaded all over the world

How to collect it: Through your music distributor

3. Mechanical streaming

How it is generated: Every time your original songs are broadcast around the world

How to collect it: Through mechanical agencies directly or through your publishing rights manager

4. Mechanical nets for physical manufacturing

How it is generated: Each time one of your original songs is released on vinyl, CD, cassette, etc.

How to collect it:Through mechanical agencies directly or through your publishing rights manager

5. Mechanical royalties for discharges

How it is generated: Every time you buy your original songs in an international download store

How to collect it:Through mechanical agencies directly or through your publishing rights manager

6. Interpretation royalties for digital works

How it is generated: When your original songs are streamed on certain platforms

How to collect it: Through your PRO directly or your publishing rights manager

7. Rights of interpretation by radio broadcast

How it is generated: Every time your original songs are played on terrestrial radio (AM / FM)

How to collect it: Through your PRO directly or your publishing rights manager

8. Performance royalties for synchronization placements

How it is generated: Every time your original songs are broadcast on TV shows, commercials, and more.

How to collect it: Through your PRO directly or your publishing rights manager

9. Networks for live performances

How it is generated: Every time you play your original songs live or play them in a public space

How to collect it: Through your PRO directly or your publishing rights manager

10. Revenue from social video monetization

How it is generated: When your original songs are used in videos on platforms like Instagram and TikTok

How to collect it: Through your music distributor or social video monetization service

11. YouTube Content ID revenue

How it is generated: When your music appears in monetized YouTube videos

How to collect it: Through your music distributor or YouTube monetization service

12. YouTube Partner Program Revenue

How it is generated: Advertising revenue and YouTube Premium subscriptions viewing your content

How to collect it: Via YouTube

13. Sale of physical means

How it is generated: Selling your vinyls, CDs, tapes, etc. through distribution programs, on your website, and in physical record stores

How to collect it: From the retailer if you sell directly or from your music distributor

14. Non-interactive digital rights (or neighborhood rights).

How it is generated: When the songs you have played are played on satellite radio or the Internet

How to collect it: From agencies like SoundExchange

15. Fees for playback on session recordings

How it is generated: Playing in studio sessions with other musicians

How to collect it: From the artist or record company that hired you

16. Fees for engineering work

How it is generated: Producing, mixing or mastering music

How to collect it: From the label or artist who hired you

17. Income from live performances

How it is generated: From ticket sales, door fees or bar tickets at concerts

How to collect it: From the developer, talented buyer or site representative

18. Advance sync rates for your master recording

How it is generated: From synchronized placements in movies, television, etc.

How to collect it: From the producer who licensed your music (if licensed directly) or from your licensing service

19. Publishing rights for synchronized placements

How it is generated: From synchronized locations

How to collect it: Through your PRO directly or your publishing rights manager

20. Licensing beats

How it is generated: From making and selling your own rhythms to having artists use them in their songs

How to collect it: From the artist or record label that licenses your rhythm

21. Sales of goods

How it is generated: In shows or online

How to collect it: Directly from your concert fans or through online solutions like Stripe, PayPal, Shopify, Bandzoogle, etc.

22. Partner Subscriptions

How it is generated: From fans who sign up for subscriptions, either directly or through platforms like Patreon or Bandcamp

How to collect it: From the platform where you offer your subscription (or directly)

23. Crowdfunding

How it is generated: From fans who contribute to a fundraiser to record a new album, a tour, or just pay bills

How to collect it: From the platform where you are hosting your crowdfunding

24. Live tips

How it is generated: Of fans tipping during your live broadcasts on platforms like Facebook (Stars), Twitch (bits) and YouTube

How to collect it: From the platform where you are hosting your live broadcast

25. NFTs

How it is generated: From people who spend cryptocurrency to buy your tokens

How to collect it: From the buyer or the NFT market, directly to your cryptocurrency wallet

26. Sponsorship and endorsement offers

How it is generated: From appliance companies or other brands affiliated with you

How to collect it: Directly from the company that endorses you

27. Virtual tip

How it is generated: From fans who contribute to your virtual tipping pot on social platforms like Discord or streaming platforms like Spotify

How to collect it: Directly from the platforms that host your tipping pot like HearNow

28. Give classes

How it is generated: Teaching face-to-face or virtual classes

How to collect it: Of the people you teach

29. Sell VIP experiences

How it is generated: Selling experiences to your biggest fans

How to collect it: Directly from your fans

30. Sale of courses

How it is generated: Teaching courses about things you know

How to collect it: Through the website or platform where you are offering the classes

31. Self-employment skills

How it is generated: Hire your skills if you have experience in marketing, design or other specialties

How to collect it: Through the people who employ you


What do we miss?

If there are 31 ways to make money with music, there are probably more. So let us know in the comments what sources we forgot.

Want more information on all available sources of income?

Watch the full episode of the “31 Music Revenue Sources” podcast:



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